Facebook photo of baby with placenta attached prompts discussion of post-birth rituals

A photo of a Maori baby showing his umbilical cord still attached to the placenta and arranged in such a way that it spells out the word ‘love’ has gone viral on social media. Photographer Emma Jean, who posted the photo on Facebook, explains that in New Zealand’s Maori culture it’s traditional for the placenta of a newborn to be buried and have a tree planted on top of it. The photo prompted a number of Maori women to share stories about what they did with their children’s placentas, but not everyone who read their stories approved. Many mocked and criticized the ritual, calling it “weird” and “disgusting,” prompting a backlash from those defending the tradition. Along with the photo, the photographer also posted a link to Mothers Matter, a site that explains the tradition can cause complications for doctors and midwives. Mothers Matter suggests that families that want to recover their afterbirth ensure they approach Maori health workers or ministers in order to avoid complications.

Read the full story at The Telegraph.

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