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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Placenta Prints

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
I mentioned in my last post that I had a baby carrier made with a fabric that looked like placenta prints. When my friend Bethany mentioned that she was glad that she didn’t know what a placenta print was I knew I’d have to blog about it. I’ll admit I’d never seen one until today, but, my doula had described them to me as beautiful tree-like shapes with intricate branching. I imagined them as roundish and blood colored—turns out that’s exactly what they look like. Here’s a photo of the sling I was talking about--it's homemade from IKEA fabric, not placenta prints, although that would be an excellent idea (thanks Alison). Now I just need to pull the placenta out of the freezer (it’s in a bio-hazard bag) and print away. Printmaking with organs, hmmmm, opens up a whole new realm of craft.

Here is an article about making pregnancy art, including instructions for placenta printing.


Blogger stephanie s said...

ok,i am not sure i am on board with this one....

Thu Jun 29, 11:20:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous vegasandvenice said...

That is an adorable picture and the fabric is awfully lovely , but I don't know what to say about your new printing technique!

Well ... uhh .. Have fun!

Thu Jun 29, 11:22:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous amanda said...

hee hee. That DOES look like a placenta!

Fri Jun 30, 07:01:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Dawbis said...

that is so crazy! i just never knew... hm... maybe when i have a child of my own? hehe.

Fri Jun 30, 07:50:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous kristin said...

i've heard of using the placenta for various other things, but for me, this is a first!! adorable photo!! xx

Fri Jun 30, 09:51:00 AM PDT  
Blogger creative kismet said...

Wow! This is so cool! Placenta printing. I wish I had known about it when having my two boys- I think my midwife would have been all for it!

Love that baby sling and the precious baby inside! Wonderful picture!

Fri Jun 30, 12:17:00 PM PDT  
Blogger capello said...

too bad i need the broken bone in my foot; it would make quite the interesting stamp :-)

i'm looking forward to seeing your experient. i love the idea (and i'm not kidding around with this part at all) of using your placenta for fabric printing.

Fri Jun 30, 02:16:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Alison said...

I actually did understand what you had done - I was more focused on the idea of making your own sling than of the placenta thing!!! I'm slightly obsessed with slings, and had been thinking of making my own based around the same design as yours.
The placenta thing - I kind of prefer the more abstracted 'life track' version Ikea have done :) and think yours tuerned out beautifully.

Fri Jun 30, 06:06:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bitterbetty said...

If you go for the placenta printing you will be my new over the top, uber, extreme craft hero.
Organ prints are definitely outside the craft box.
( No pun intended.)

Sat Jul 01, 10:43:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Siri said...

WOW! i love this post! I wish I had known about placenta prints when we had our boys. I'd have been all over it!
At the birth of our second son, my brother-in-law took the most incredible black and white photo of his/my/our placenta in a stainless steel bowl when our midwife laid it out to show us "the tree of life" in it. It's one of my favorite pictures.
Great sling too. Such a sweet photo.

Sat Jul 01, 01:49:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Julie said...

Very nice sling!
When I had my first son I had him the regular way (out the vajayjay)
and I asked if the nurses would show me my placenta and they looked at me like I just lost my rocker! It was interesting, but I think they would have locked me up if I had asked to take it home, I live in Kansas after all! *grin*
Then when my second boy was born he was C-sec and I was just a little freaked out about the whole huge cut and everything out in the open thing to ask to see it then. :)
I've heard of using it as a stamp to make a sort of family tree print. I bet it would be beautiful.

Mon Jul 03, 09:09:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Amanda said...

Why would you want to keep a placenta in the freezer? Do you intend to cook it and eat it? Are you going to show your kids when they are older?? "Hey kids, looky here at what Momma kept as a surprise!!"

The placenta has served its purpose, honey, THROW IT AWAY!!!

Fri Jul 14, 03:29:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Linda said...

I never did a placenta print, but I did handle my own (or the baby's, technically,) and look it over. On a visceral level it didn't all feel to me like handling an inner organ, it felt normal, and I think this is because mammals are meant to come into contact with it, even ingest it. We're instinctively wired for it. So it's really only our cultural conditioning that makes us think that such a thing is weird or gross.

It's to me also the only mass of flesh and blood that is beautiful. It's round, symmetrical, and as you've noted, has a tree-like structure that is graphically pleasing to the eye. Symbolically it's beautiful as well, as that which sustains the baby in the womb, and shares its genetic makeup. Many cultures have rituals honoring the role of the placenta.

Mon Jul 17, 02:22:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Linda said...

LOL, dontcha love when people comment on things they know nothing about? ;)

We kept my children's placentas in the freezer until we had a good place to plant them under a tree. Other people do eat or dry and encapsulate their placentas to take advantage of the hormones that, biologically, we're meant to have after birth (which is why animals eat theirs.) And I did show my children the placenta from my last birth. The younger kids weren't interested, but the eldest was fascinated.

Mon Jul 17, 02:26:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you! My daughter is 10 mos old now, and her placenta is still in the freezer. She was born in winter and we wanted to save it so we could plant it with a tree or plant in the Spring when it would be more likely to grow.
I love the placenta print idea! I am _so_ going to do that before we bury it.
Cheers! -rengal

Wed Jul 19, 11:43:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Gail said...

I just found this website that sells placenta bowls. I guess you can use them to put your placenta in after the birth until you figure out what you're going to do with the placenta (hopefully not eat!) They're kind of pretty! Go to to check it out.

Tue Jul 25, 03:59:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Shannon said...

Yeah!!!! I am not the only one with Placenta prints. I recently had my boy at home and made two lovely prints from his placenta! Yes, the placenta is still in the freezer. We intend to plant a blood orange tree with it. not only is that my new favorite fruit but it seemed a perfect application.

Sun Jul 30, 01:23:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous indygirl said...

wow. amazing. then you all get mad with the one woman that disagrees with you. kinda makes ya feel good judging other people? lol i find this subject way too interesting. and your reactions amazing as well.

Sun Jan 11, 01:24:00 AM PST  

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