The miracle of life, the process of embryo to fetus to baby is deeply mysterious and engaging to ponder for any of us birth, placenta, and baby lovers. The-scientist.com recently published an article by Amy Maxmen, “Embryos Right Genetic Wrongs?” and our lovely placenta was mentioned. A recent study with new evidence proposes the idea that embryos have some sort of intelligence to fix genetic abnormalities in early development. The findings suggests that the embryo can receive chromosomal correction either by abnormal cells dying or by the abnormal cells getting pushed aside towards the placenta, where the abnormal cells are benign towards the fetus. In fact, an earlier study in 1983 revealed that the placenta did indeed have a small percentage of cells that have erroneous chromosome counts.
The article’s focus is on in vitro fertilization and genetic testing on embryos, but the scientific idea that the placenta rises to the occasion of guarding, guiding and protecting life by providing chromosomal correction kind of stopped me in my tracks. Why? Well because it reminds me of how some cultures have deeply revered the placenta for centuries. In Robin Lim‘s book Placenta the Forgotten Chakra, she discusses how many native cultures believe the placenta to be a guardian, an angel, a protector of life. In modern times, reverence towards the placenta when in utero and when the placenta is birthed has been overlooked, ignored as part of the miracle of life. So I use this as an opportunity to all birth, placenta and baby lovers… here is a call to Remember the placenta, Honor the placenta, and Utilize the placenta (encapsulation!) for it’s intelligence pre & post birth.
Written By Elenya Grafals, CPM, LMT, & CPES