Since women give birth in hospitals today, practices related to the placenta have totally vanished, although customs and beliefs regarding the umbilical cord are still common. Eating the baby's placenta. Blood vessels spread across its surface like the wide, billowing branches of a tree. The symbol of the medical profession, the caduceus, is the wand of Hippocrates with two snakes entwined which is derived from the triple vesseled umbilical cord. Unlike Western mythology, African myths are not recounted as a single narrative story, nor is there any established corpus of myth. Get our newsletter with new stories delivered to your inbox every Friday. “Traditional” rituals bear marks of major shifts in the agricultural economy, rapid urbanization, and ongoing adoption and reinterpretation of Islam. religious situations, facts and values in Africa as a whole. Because traditional cultures have long recognized and revered its power, the placenta is treated with great respect throughout much of the world, often disposed of in solemn ceremonies. Since the placenta is regarded as part of the child, and even as the child itself, it is wrapped up and buried in a clean place in a clean piece of cloth after birth. Christine Klynhans is a nursing sister and South African Certified Lactation Consultant (SACLC). If a baby wasn’t breathing they may dunk it quickly in a basin of water to shock them in to breathing. Benyshek believes that tendency would have ended after our species discovered fire, an innovation that would have regularly exposed humans to toxic smoke and ash. Later, British colonists dubbed the practice primitive and unhygienic. • Lay around too much. In the Muslim culture, the placenta is also buried , while among rural Koreans the placenta is burned on the third day postpartum and the ashes are either buried or scattered on a road in a long black line to promote longevity . Rituals must therefore be performed exactly and can be quite involved, requiring that the placenta be washed in special liquid, wrapped in certain fabrics or plants, placed in a specific vessel, and buried or set in an appropriate location. What he learned next about placentophagy surprised him. The Maori word for placenta and word for land have the same name, "Whenua." The practice of eating your placenta is called placentophagia. She then paused, resting her hand on the earth, and silently acknowledged what the placenta had given her. The Maori word for placenta and word for land have the same name, "Whenua." This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Saturday, July 4, 2020; 10:00 AM 11:00 AM; Google Calendar ICS; Join me for a FREE online discussion regarding traditional care of the placenta in the African American community. Africa The Ibo of Nigeria and Ghana treat the placenta as the dead twin of the live child and give it full burial rites. These cookies do not store any personal information. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. • Smear the baby’s first stool on your face. This burial place of the placenta is a place to connect with their ancestors in times of trouble, to dream and eventually to die. In some Native American cultures, the placenta is buried close to the home, signifying that the cord which bound you to your mother for 9 months now binds you to the land. It is kept dry and odour free by using sea salt and herbs or essential oils. Although a few cultures do have long-standing beliefs that the placenta can be an edible remedy, the practices rarely resemble modern maternal placentophagy. may bury the placenta in the courtyard of a mosque.12 Amongst the Kikuyu in Kenya, the placenta and the umbilical cord are believed to symbolise the attachment of the child to the mother and its roots in the traditional society. She also has a breastfeeding practice and a Breast Pump Demo Centre. After a birth, the mother is secluded in her hut with the baby until she stops bleeding and burial of the placenta … Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. In many African cultures, "zan boku" means "the place where the placenta is buried." However, many cultures hold the placenta in great esteem and have post-birth rituals to celebrate its role. Right after conception has taken place, when the fertilised egg divides into 2 cells, one of those is already destined to become the placenta, while the other will become the baby. An honoring ritual need not be elaborate; it could be as simple as looking over the placenta and silently thanking it for its role in bringing that beautiful baby into the light. July 7th, 2013 – Ritualists Now Buying Babies Placenta For Money Rituals In Nigeria “Madam, I can help you raise money to pay your hospital bill, if you can give me your placenta.” This was the statement of a middle aged man identified as Segun who specialises in buying and selling of placenta. When she looked out at the tree, she would feel a twinge of nostalgia for her child’s baby years. The placenta is rich in nutrition and hormones, and supporters believe that it can boost breast milk production, reduce postnatal depression, improve bonding and help to stop bleeding after birth. Ritual is a well-defined sequence of words and actions designed to focus attention, establish significance, and achieve a beneficial result. © 2020 Living and Loving Magazine | The Citizen |. Burns’ ritual was much more ceremony than is afforded to a placenta in most Western cultures. “For many Indigenous cultures, the placenta is a living being.” Some other cultures believe in a sort of twinning of child and placenta. to ' correct the erroneOUS observatiods, notions, assertions and pontifications of some foreign armchair investigators about . It’s true that most people’s knowledge of the placenta includes only a few common facts – that it’s an organ that grows inside the uterus and that it provides oxygen and nutrition to your baby. It also protects baby from mom’s immune system, who would otherwise attack baby’s body as a foreign object. It’s believed that you’ll have a deep root to the land and will have some place to come home to no matter where you go. It’s the body’s only temporary organ, conjured by an embryo and expelled when its job is complete. Placentas are not a clinical waste. Burns believes Western societies could benefit from adopting postpartum practices, such as intentional placenta disposal. November 2, 2011 by Moms. “Placentas are often colonized with bacteria. When the hole was big enough, Burns gently laid her still-sleeping baby onto the soft grass beside her to pick up the container. Other ritual ideas could be to bury the placenta and plant a tree on the same spot. Here are 20 traditions from across the world will make you go WTF. She is not just a practitioner of placenta ritual. She noted that scholars believe these practices may release some of the anxiety that often accompanies labor, birth, and new motherhood. One concern, however, is that the practice isn’t regulated at all, and there aren’t set protocols and regulations to ensure hygiene, or even that each mom receives her own placenta! Eating your placenta and other interesting rituals you may not have heard about before, Moms share their tips to prep for a C-section and recovery afterwards. A researcher prepares a human placenta for a study at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. The placenta would be wrapped in animal skin and then left outside for animals to feast on. In a world with so many countries, religions, tribes and customs, it is impossible for everyone to like everything. Proponents, including celebrities and social media influencers, insist—based on anecdotal evidence—that it can boost new moms’ milk supply and mood levels, even going so far as to say it can fend off postpartum depression. Click on the red dots to explore a sampling of placenta rituals from around the world. Despite the fact that all human beings spent their first months in very close proximity to a placenta, chances are you haven’t given it much thought since. Yes, some of those old wives tales you have heard are true. Every time you share a post from the relay, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per action), up to $300,000, to the Global Moms Relay, to help improve the health and well-being of moms and kids worldwide in support of MAMA, Shot@Life, UNICEF and Girl Up.Scroll to the bottom to find out more. ‘Whenua’ (which means both earth and placenta), is the Maori tradition of returning the placenta and pito (umbilical cord) to the land. "A common theme of hospital placenta stories is a sense of loss some women felt when it came to the placenta, and their missed chance to respect or honor it in some way" "It is a ritual. Yes, some of those old wives tales you have heard are true. If the newborn is a boy, the placenta is buried far from the home, and this burial may … What appears to be waste to some holds immense importance for others – this is how the placenta’s worth can be defined. and bury the placenta under a tree. In countries where the childbirth process is highly medicalized, the placenta is typically whisked away to the incinerator. This is a beautiful tradition. 10 Disturbing Rituals From Around The World Women Are Subjected To For No Good Reason. When you give birth, you may decide to keep your placenta or donate it to medical science. to ' correct the erroneOUS observatiods, notions, assertions and pontifications of some foreign armchair investigators about . This practice was even recorded in 19th century Sweden harkening back to heathen times. When it was time to plant the peach tree atop the placenta, Burns hesitated, feeling as if she was “saying goodbye to something very special that would not return.” The trio then packed handfuls of earth in the hole around the tree until it was filled. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. These strong women often walk, 8, 10 or more miles to get to a birthing mama. Placenta burial is the very final act of birth, it is the completion of the birthing journey. “Welcome earthside sweet little Harper As a Maori baby his placenta will now be returned to the land. They found that among the 109 communities that define culturally appropriate placenta rituals, there were 169 disposal methods, including burial, incineration, intentional placement in a specific location, or hanging in a tree or structure. These help to prepare the uterus’s lining so that the fertilised egg can be implanted and start growing. • Bury the placenta. It’s a 1-pound frisbee-like mass of tissue that, together with the umbilical cord, brokers the sharing of resources between mother and fetus, maintains the uterine environment, filters out toxins, and disposes of waste. In 2017, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned against the practice of ingesting encapsulated placenta after an infant developed a life-threatening infection. The baby then contracted a strep infection that developed into sepsis. Many medicines are administered right after childbirth to aid in the removal of the retained placenta. Some Icelandic and Balinese cultures see the placenta as a child’s guardian angel. When Burns chose to bury her child’s placenta under a tree, she participated in one of the most common disposal methods. If it’s nicely done it can show the cord, and the intricate network of lobes and blood vessels. • Look at dead animals (taxidermy trophies). Granted, they only looked at 179 cultures: “It was a representative sample, but it’s not an exhaustive list,” Benyshek says. Human remains are powerful—“potentially very dangerous, polluting, contagious,” Benyshek points out. An honoring ritual need not be elaborate; it could be as simple as looking over the placenta and silently thanking it for its role in bringing that beautiful baby into the light. A Ritual for Birth is known as a Birthingway and is a ceremony for a pregnant person just before they are due to give birth. In her arms, she cradled her sleeping newborn; beside her was a small container holding her placenta. In addition, traditional Chinese medicine sometimes prescribes dried placenta for chronic cough, liver problems, and male impotence. The placenta is the very first of all your baby’s organs that will grow and develop. African religions, religious beliefs and practices of the peoples of Africa.It should be noted that any attempt to generalize about the nature of “African religions” risks wrongly implying that there is homogeneity among all African cultures.In fact, Africa is a vast continent encompassing both geographic variation and tremendous cultural diversity. The baby’s mother consumed her own encapsulated placenta, not realizing that it contained group B streptococcus bacteria. Biology / Health / Medicine / Symbols, An editorially independent magazine of the Wenner‑Gren Foundation for Anthropological ResearchPublished in partnership with the University of Chicago Press. She studies home-birthing and placenta-disposal practices among modern Australians as a researcher at Western Sydney University’s School of Social Sciences and Psychology. Since the placenta is regarded as part of the child, and even as the child itself, it is wrapped up and buried in a clean place in a clean piece of cloth after birth. If the newborn is a boy, the placenta is buried far from the home, and this burial may occur along with a … Within a few days after conception, long before you even suspect you’re pregnant, the cells of the developing placenta start producing hormones. In certain African nations, the placenta is swaddled in blankets and buried beneath a tree. Western medicine is only just beginning to recognize the mysterious power of the placenta. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Instead, myths are embedded and transmitted in ritual practice. In addition, since placentas are mostly made of the baby’s cells packaged inside the mother’s uterus, they are helping scientists to understand how cancer cells can similarly avoid being attacked by the immune system. Today, in fact, ingesting one’s placenta remains a potentially risky endeavor. “Also, it’s not prescribed right after birth, though it is said to treat low milk supply,” he adds. The placenta is often seen as something that can bring good fortune to a household, or provide protection. As Burns’ baby grew, she says it felt very special to tell her child “these are your peaches” when they got a great crop from the tree planted over the placenta. Finally the feasting is just like the postpartum time then the new mother can be congratulated and fested. Show them a photo, and they’ll probably be a bit grossed out – even more so when they hear about some weird cultural and religious practices surrounding placentas. The Kikuyu of Kenya place it in an uncultivated field and cover it with grains and grasses, while other cultures bury it in the dirt floor of the family’s house. ... Nigeria and South Africa. If the newborn is a girl, the placenta is buried near the home to keep the daughter near her mother’s home. • Drink juniper/ash tea to cleanse your insides. These are a few things that women in "Western" culture do with their placentas after their baby is born. "A common theme of hospital placenta stories is a sense of loss some women felt when it came to the placenta, and their missed chance to respect or honor it in some way" "It is a ritual. Consuming the placenta may not be advisable—nor may it have the deep cultural roots that some adherents describe—but studying the treatment of the placenta has led researchers like Burns and Benyshek to question the dismissive handling of this organ in many societies. is often overlooked. Reclaiming an organ that modern medical professionals often designate as waste may inspire more people to study and adapt ancient traditions. ), Dehydrated placenta, shown here along with a dried umbilical cord, will be ground to a powder and placed into a pill capsule for a new mother to ingest. “Inkaba” is the ritual of burying the cord and the placenta and this has great significance to the clan and seals the attachment of the baby to her ancestral lands. The midwife then pronounces, 'you are now responsible for your life as I am responsible for mine'. In Kenya, Masai midwives chew the cord with their teeth to separate the cord from the placenta. Traditional Placenta Care & Ritual. Pinch a piece of placenta off and put in the mother’s cheek to stop bleeding. Or you may decide to follow one of your own cultural traditions regarding the placenta. There are some who choose to eat a placenta as is, for example in a smoothie. Placenta Rituals From Cultures Around the World [ad_1] The placenta is an amazing, unique organ. July 7th, 2013 – Ritualists Now Buying Babies Placenta For Money Rituals In Nigeria “Madam, I can help you raise money to pay your hospital bill, if you can give me your placenta.” This was the statement of a middle aged man identified as Segun who specialises in buying and selling of placenta. It continues to manufacture hormones that maintain the pregnancy throughout. It’s unlikely to cause harm. There is no scientific research that gives a clear answer on either the safety or the advantages of lotus birth. According to the World Health Organisation’s figures for 2013 on maternal mortality, 560 women die per 100,000 births in Nigeria. But their data suggest that, if anything, many cultures avoid eating the placenta. How it manages to do this is still a mystery! In New Zealand, the Maori use the same word for placenta and land: whenua. For example, scientists are realizing how the expression of different genes in the placenta is linked to a number of pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight. It can be done without costing money, no matter where or when you give birth. That tree then symbolizes ongoing life. Emily Burns’ oldest son waters the peach tree the family planted over his younger sibling’s placenta. “Around the world, various traditions, customs, rituals, and beliefs surround the placenta,” Burns wrote in a 2014 paper in The Journal of Perinatal Education. Emily Burns’ oldest son waters the peach tree the family planted over his younger sibling’s placenta. Emily Burns. 10 Disturbing Rituals From Around The World Women Are Subjected To For No Good Reason. The Ibo of Nigeria and Ghana treat the placenta as the dead twin of the live child and give it full burial rites. En Yemen, incluso hoy en día, se extiende la placenta sobre el techo para que se la coman las aves porque esto se considera favorable para el crecimiento del amor entre dos padres. Additionally, placentas aren’t burned, as that would be akin to burning a person. Pat the placenta dry, and then press it down on the paper. Don’ts • Drink cold liquids or … 1 Shares One man's treasure is another man's trash — and the sentiment holds … That tree then symbolizes ongoing life. In Ghana and among the Ibo of Nigeria, the placenta is treated as the dead twin of the live baby and given full burial rites. Learn more about Christine Klynhans. Igbo tribe of Africa believe that burying the placenta connects the child to the spirits in the ground, and the placenta was given the name “Our Mother.” Native American tribes Chinook and Quinault call the placenta “Grandmother.” The Maori of New Zealand bury the placenta on tribal land to tie the child to the land. The placenta is a magical organ. The Navajo, a Native American group in the U.S. Southwest, have had a tradition of burying a baby’s placenta … There is perhaps just one line of logic that suggests the practice of a woman eating her own is, in a sense, ancient. On the other hand, the cord can take 3-10 days to detach, during which time the placenta will start decaying. If a baby wasn’t breathing they may dunk it quickly in a basin of water to shock them in to breathing. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. These strong women often walk, 8, 10 or more miles to get to a birthing mama. religious situations, facts and values in Africa as a whole. Or you may decide to follow one of your own cultural traditions regarding the placenta. She also worries about how the reproductive hormones in placentas could affect new moms. They also believe there’s a reduced risk of infection of the cord, as it is not cut but left intact. The burial spot of the placenta seals the attachment of a person to their ancestral land and it is a place to which many will return as adults. This idea of reclaiming the placenta from the status of biohazard or waste is a significant one. Or, just throw it away. Placenta Rituals Around the World Eat it, bury it, make art with it, burn it. Poverty, cultural practices and a shortage of primary healthcare services are forcing women in Nigeria to seek the help of untrained traditional birth attendants, despite the serious risks involved. Eventually, the foetal heart will pump 500ml of blood per minute through the placenta. Since the placenta acts as a filter, wherein toxins accumulate, the organ was an increasingly poor choice of nutrients. But of the many rituals investigated by anthropologists and social scientists more broadly, one is notably absent from the list: the increasingly trendy practice among Western women of eating the placenta. The placenta is rinsed regularly and wrapped in clean cloths. For centuries upon centuries, countless cultures around the world have ceremonially handled the placenta because to them, it is a pure symbol of spirit, life and individuality.For this reason, several cultures tend to bury the placenta instead of just wasting it. Celebrities who’ve even eaten their placentas after their baby is born affect new moms some... Of Nigeria and Ghana treat the placenta is an amazing, unique organ recorded in century! Use of all the cookies can also use paint or ink, you! 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