Thursday, July 21, 2011

The (Placenta) Tree of Life

Just to say this up front, placenta talk is not for everyone. Feel free to skip this post (which does have a placenta picture) if placentas make you uneasy, though I personally find them fascinating.

My son's placenta has been in my freezer for two years now. After Asher's birth, his placenta was examined to make sure the tissue was healthy and normal. It was then wrapped up and put in the freezer for a later day.  Though placenta encapsulation has many known benefits including reducing postpartum bleeding, lessening postpartum depression, increasing iron levels and encouraging milk production, eating it just wasn't for me. I did want a way to honor the organ that sustained my son's life and connected our two bodies. Committing the placenta back  to the earth is ancient tradition practiced in many cultures. My parents buried our placentas in their backyard under fruit trees.

My husband and I hemmed and hawed about what kind of tree to plant over our son's placenta. Fruit trees are a traditional choice but can be difficult to grow in our climate. This past Earth Day, our local Lowe's Hardware stores were giving out free baby spruce trees, which seemed like an excellent placenta tree candidate. They grow well in our mountainous environment, stay green year-round and live for many, many years. 

This baby tree was not ready to go in the ground yet, so we planted the tree in a pot and I have been giving it love and water daily. My son has helped cultivate his tree, too. 

May 2011

As summer marches on, our tree keeps growing. Next spring, when the spruce is big and strong enough to be transplanted, we will plant the tree over the placenta where an old bird house now stands in our backyard.

I hope this tree continues to grow as steadily as my son. I can't wait to look out my window and see such a beautiful, natural reminder that my son and I used to be one.

January 2012

For more information about planting a placenta tree, please see THIS ARTICLE.

Happy Planting!


1 comment:

  1. Nice tree! :)

    I have my son's and daughter's placentas in the freezer too. We will most likely move soon so I want to wait until we can plant them at our new home. I'm planning an apple tree for our daughter, a nut tree for our son - possibly a black walnut. I will also plant a blue spruce with our beloved dogs ashes then too.

    I love this tradition.


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