A Sacred Story by Emma Prince…
After becoming linked with my local Maternity Coalition, I gained a higher awareness of many things about pregnancy and birthing, some that I knew of and others that I had never heard of. Upon reading an Article about placental encapsulation, my initial thoughts were confusing; I felt some initial disgust, but also curiosity. I let myself revisit these thoughts as often as necessary and, as I researched the process, I discovered that the benefits for myself outweighed the negative thoughts I had about consuming something that had come from my body. I chose to seek out whether placental encapsulation was possible in my local area. Luckily for me it was and after the natural birth of our fourth baby and his placenta, our beautiful Doula kindly took our placenta to a local homebirth midwife who prepared it, dehydrated it and crushed it into powder and put the powder into capsules for consumption. It arrived in a decorated bottle, which also had printed on it
“As the Placenta has sustained your baby boy now let it nourish you. Take two capsules at night. Made with love.”
Taking my placenta each day become a ritual, a time for honouring my body and remembering what it had given me and my babies. I recovered quickly from my birth and was stronger and felt happier than after the birth of my other children.
A symbolic ending to my birthing journey…
As I began to see the jar becoming empty, I began to feel a little saddened and nostalgic about my journey as a birthing woman, the end of taking my placenta capsules was beginning to feel like the final phase to this chapter in my life. I felt the urge to devise a ritual to celebrate this time rather than mourn it. I did some reading about how women had honoured this time in differing cultures and I spoke with our naturopath and friend for suggestions.
We decided to plant the some of the remaining the capsules under a fruit tree and to use the rest with some lavender and coconut oil as an ointment. Being a woman who is strongly connected to the moon we choose to wait a few days until the full moon, for the ritual to take place.
My partner and my children are of aboriginal decent and I feel a strong connection to their culture and we decided to incorporate ochre into the ceremony. My partner painted my daughter and I with a row of dots along our cheekbones and across our nose as women of this area traditionally do and he painted himself and the boys with stripes on each cheek and one on the brow. I felt so grounded and accepted as the mother of Birpai children in this moment. We lit candles for each of our children and I choose to include one more to represent the baby which I miscarried at about 8 weeks gestation between my eldest two children.
Our children were abuzz with excitement and ran around the yard under the light of the full moon, as I prepared the soil. I broke open a capsule and sprinkled the contents onto the hole in the soil so it could nourish the roots; I then placed the lime tree into the barrel. I then said
“I call upon the Great Spirit and the Great Mother and I extend my gratitude as I have been blessed with the ability to carry children, I give thanks for the five pregnancies of which I have birthed four beautiful children”
I called each of the children over individually and placed a little of my oil on their belly button and my own belly, symbolising the connection we all once shared, then each of them placed some soil around the lime tree. This was such a great connecting experience for us all, especially for my partner and I, as he has played a very significant role in my birthing journey, he also placed soil around the tree.
I then said “My pregnancy journey is now over and while this saddens me a little, I look forward to the future with my family. I place the remainder of my placenta here on the soil to nourish this tree for the future.” I then watered the tree in the light of the full moon to help the nutrients settle into the soil.
A month has now passed and our tree is in bloom, growing the beginnings of our first harvest and I feel content with this, knowing that my fertility is represented in our sacred little lime tree.
Emma Prince lives in Wauchope on the Mid-North Coast of Australia and is mother to 4 children. She is a university student, full time mother, sacred woman and I am proud to be her friend and Naturopath. Emma’s tenderness and authenticity as a mother inspires me. Her journey as a Sacred woman inspires me also. I know that her story will be of great benefit to many women, please treat it with the respect and kindness it deserves. Melanie x