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Preserving the Umbilical Cord

The umbilical cord is a pretty amazing part of the placenta. It is the literal and physical connection between mama and baby. It begins at the placenta. The placenta is embedded into the side of a pregnant woman's uterus. This connection is what brings all the blood from mother’s body to baby; carrying nutrients, oxygen, hormones and all other life sustaining properties. This blood will profuse the placenta which filters out toxins present in the blood and sends it down the 1 umbilical vein in the umbilical cord. The cord ends at the umbilicus (or belly button) of the developing baby and connects to the baby's circulatory system. The blood circulates through baby, delivering the nutrients, hormones and oxygen and then takes waste products from baby, out through the 2 umbilical arteries in the cord, back through the placenta filtration and into the mother’s body to capture more oxygen and nutrients to start the process again. Wow!

The use we make of the placenta for encapsulation, smoothies, tincture, salves, is all from the "meaty" parts of the placenta. We don't usually make use of the amniotic sack or the umbilical cord for ingestion, but we do try to make use of these in other ways. (See the post about Placenta Examination to get more familiar with all the parts.) Why not just throw it out if you can’t use it therapeutically? One, to honor the part it played in growing your baby. And two, we truly don't want to waste and we find that preserving the cord actually makes a pretty cool keepsaken that most of our clients enjoy.

How do we do it? When it's time to dehydrate your placenta, we take the umbilical cord that we have previously removed and we place it in the dehydrator. Unless we receive preference for another shape, we curve it into a heart shape and let it dehydrate for several hours. After dehydration, it's a lot smaller in volume than how it started out, but it's also hard and dry; this makes it easy to transport and easy to keep forever. We place the dehydrated placenta heart in a little box for you to protect it and store it. We found these pretty awesome boxes with clear tops, so you can view the cord keepsake without taking it out or handling it. Of course you are able to take it out and get a really close look at it, and it's pretty interesting looking!

We offer the cord keepsake complimentary to all our placenta clients, so why not see how it turns out? It's an especially good way to honor the role of your baby's placenta if you don't plan on ingesting it, it's a process that really is just for looks! Our clients tell us that they love seeing it when they go through all the other placenta goodies we prepared for them. But, they also plan to put it someplace special to show their child when they are older how they were grown in their mother's belly. We think it makes a great compliment to all the ways a new mother can enjoy her placenta!

Tiffany Alblinger is a mom, doula and placenta encapsulation specialist who has long been writing informative articles on women's health surrounding the childbirth year. She serves all of San Diego, but provides the most rapid placenta encapsulation service to the Encinitas, Carlsbad, Poway and Solana Beach areas. Contact her about placenta encapsulation today!

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