Celebrating the Placenta

Image of a placenta being checked over.

Placentas! Not everybody wants to see their placenta after they give birth and some people think us birth photographers and our obsession with placentas are weird but here are some interesting facts about this amazing organ that might just show you how beautiful they really are!

  1. Some people call it the 'Tree of life' because the veins on the placenta resemble roots and the cord is like the trunk attached to the mother passing the baby important nutrients and oxygen through the blood.
  2. The placenta is a truly wonderful organ which develops and grows within your uterus during pregnancy, being the life line for your growing baby. 
  3. The placenta attaches itself to the wall of your uterus, providing oxygen and nutrients to your baby, whilst also removing waste products, through the umbilical cord.
  4. The placenta is made of tissue from the mother and baby. 
  5. It contains half blood from the mother and half blood from the baby, but never mixing the two.
  6. The placenta alone serves the same functions of the kidney, lung and intestine to the baby, as these organs do for us after birth.
  7. One side of the placenta will house the amniotic sac, which is a thin membrane sealed bag where your baby lives surrounded by fluid.
  8. When a women's waters break, this is the amniotic sac rupturing causing the amniotic fluid to leak.  

Isn't it just incredible the female body grows and develops this entirely new organ to supply life to your baby. Each placenta is completely amazing and unique as you can see below . . . 

Midwife checking the placenta over after delivery.
Black and white image of a placenta laid out on a sheet with clamp still on the cord.

Marianne Koshoni - Wolf & Eagle Photography

Close up colour image of a placenta, showing vibrant reds and purples.

Erika Townend - Erika Townend Birth

Black and white image of a placenta with the cord arranged into a heart.

Rebekah Collins - Rebekah Collins Photography

Midwife showing the opening of the ruptured amniotic sac.
Close up image of placenta with cord resting on top arranged as a heart.

Danielle Reeder - Danielle Reeder Photography

Black and white image of a placenta laid out with umbilibcal cord to look like the tree of life.
Placenta laying in a steel sink with clip still attached to end of umbilical cord.
Black and white image of a placenta laying in a kidney dish.

Rebecca Warwick - Rebecca May Photography

Placenta laid out on a sheet following a hospital birth.
Black and white grainy image of a placenta in a colander

Sarah Marsden - Sacred Beginnings Birth Services  (also header image)