In Western society, the placenta is normally regarded solely as an organ that attaches the umbilical cord to the baby, providing nutrition during pregnancy. It hardly beckons a second thought and is generally considered as medical waste after delivery.
For many other cultures across the world, it is a very different story. The placenta is considered sacred or even magical, and has been respected and enjoyed through ceremonial handling as far back as the Egyptian era. Despite differences in the uses of placenta between cultures, its reverence for the source of life is obvious throughout the world. Let’s take a look at what happens to the placenta after birth.