Placenta Wit: Mother Stories, Rituals, and Research
Edited by Nané Jordan
Placenta Wit: Exploring Motherhood and the Sacred Placenta.
Placenta Wit is an interdisciplinary anthology of stories, rituals, and research that explores mothers’ contemporary and traditional uses of the human afterbirth. Authors inspire, provoke and highlight diverse understandings of the placenta and its role in mothers’ creative life-giving. Through medicalization of childbirth, many North American mothers do not have access to their babies’ placentas, nor would many think to. Placentas are often considered to be medical property, and/ or viewed as the refuse of birth. Yet there is now greater understanding of mother and baby-centred birth care, in which careful treatment of the placenta and cord can play an integral role. In reclaiming birth at home and in clinical settings, mothers are choosing to keep their placentas. There is a revival, and survival, of family and community rituals with the placenta and umbilical cord, including burying, art making, and consuming for therapeutic use. Claiming and honouring the placenta may play a vital role in understanding the sacredness of birth and the gift of life that mothers bring. Placenta Wit gathers narrative accounts, scholarly essays, creative pieces and artwork from this emergence of placental interests and uses. This collection includes understandings from birth cultures and communities such as home-birth, hospital-birth, midwifery, doula, Indigenous, and feminist perspectives. Once lost, now found, Placenta Wit authors capably handle and care for this wise organ at the roots of motherhood, and life itself.