The placenta is such a beautiful organ. I realize that many would disagree and most would even cringe at just the mention of the word. But really, why should something that gave and sustained life be viewed as anything but miraculous and beautiful?
Typically placentas are discarding immediately after birth. They’re considered medical waste and incinerated, usually without mom even knowing what it looked like. In addition to feeding and delivering oxygen to your baby, the placenta also removes waste, giving it to mom to dispose of. All of these crucial and essential roles are carried out by this amazing organ, yet our culture views it as a gross piece of flesh to be tossed and discarded. The placenta doesn’t get a thank you, not even a second thought.
As placenta encapsulation has increased in popularity, more and more people are giving the placenta the honor and respect it deserves. It’s a standard practice that placenta encapsulation specialists leave new moms with umbilical cord keepsakes so that moms can honor the connection they shared with their baby during pregnancy, but placenta prints are another growing trend that leaves moms with another keepsake and a great conversation starter. The placenta, also referred to as The Tree Of Life, can be printed on high quality paper, leaving a beautiful image for families to cherish forever.
How is this process done, you ask? Many Placenta Encapsulation Specialists provide this service to their clients, but for those DIY folks or those who choose not to encapsulate, here is a step-by-step guide to creating placenta prints.
Honor your baby’s placenta by making a gorgeous tree-like print!
Step 1: SET UP.
- -Line your work space with wax paper and place a disposable cutting board on top.
- -You may want to have a few paper towels next to your work space to use for clean up and hand wiping as you go.
- -On a separate, small square of wax paper, create your color palette. If you plan on ingesting your placenta, it is best to use herbs or food colorant as pigment. If you are not ingesting the placenta, feel free to use paints or ink.
Step 2: CREATE LAYOUT
- -Clean and rinse your placenta in a bowl in the sink. Remove any excess blood and blood clots that may be present.
- -Lay out the placenta on the cutting board and arrange the cord to your desired position. As you will see from the photo examples, you can make a spiral, a heart, or even spell a word with the cord.
- -Using paper towels, wipe any excess blood and water off the cutting board. Otherwise, the print could look sloppy with lots of splotches on the perimeter of the paper.
Step 3: APPLY COLOR
- -Using a disposable paintbrush, apply color to the placenta by painting the disc and the cord. Feel free to use several colors, experiment and HAVE FUN. Primary colors work well together because when they bleed into each other, it creates additional colors as opposed to looking muddy. For example, blue and red bleed together to create purple, but green and red may bleed together to look brown.
Step 4: PRINT
- -Once your placenta is painted, use a high quality, acid-free watercolor paper to create your print.
- -Gently place the paper on top of the placenta and using your hand, press down on the paper, rubbing the placenta.
- -Carefully lift the paper off of the placenta and you will find a tree-like image.
Step 5: Hang your print!
Congratulations! You’ve created several placenta prints to admire and enjoy as your baby grows.
** Original post published in 2015 by Carmen Calvo of The Nurturing Root