Placenta Wit: Mother Stories, Rituals, and Research

placenta-wit



Price: $34.95

Page Count: 255

Publication Date: May 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77258-107-2

Placenta Wit is an interdisciplinary anthology of stories, rituals, and research that explores mothers’ contemporary and traditional uses of the human afterbirth. Authors inspire, provoke and highlight diverse understandings of the placenta and its role in mothers’ creative life-giving. Through medicalization of childbirth, many North American mothers do not have access to their babies’ placentas, nor would many think to. Placentas are often considered to be medical property, and/or viewed as the refuse of birth. Yet there is now greater understanding of mother- and baby- centred birth care, in which careful treatment of the placenta and cord can play an integral role. In reclaiming birth at home and in clinical settings, mothers are choosing to keep their placentas. There is a revival, and survival, of family and community rituals with the placenta and umbilical cord, including burying, art making, and consuming for therapeutic use. Claiming and honouring the placenta may play a vital role in understanding the sacredness of birth and the gift of life that mothers bring. Placenta Wit gathers narrative accounts, scholarly essays, creative pieces and artwork from this emergence of placental interests and uses. This collection includes understandings from birth cultures and communities such as home-birth, hospital-birth, midwifery, doula, Indigenous, and feminist perspectives. Authors engage experiential, social science, scientific, literary, historical, legal, and economic lenses of storytelling and study. Once lost, now found, Placenta Wit authors capably handle and care for this wise organ at the roots of motherhood, and life itself.

Placenta Wit: Mother Stories, Rituals, and Research
edited by Nané Jordan
Demeter Press

Table of Contents

Introduction
Nané Jordan


PLACENTERRE I

1.
Placenta Consumption: Fourth-Trimester Energy Force and Source of Empowerment
Jonelle Myers

2.
Beyond the Birth Room: Building a Placenta-Positive Culture
Amy Stenzel

3.
Slightly Inappropriate, but Really Brilliant
Nicole Link-Troen

4.
“I’m just going to give you the injection for the placenta”:
Active Management of the Third Stage and the Myth of Informed Consent
Alys Einion

5.
“Placental Waste”: Wild Boys, Blood-Clot Boys, and Long-Teeth Boys
Barbara Alice Mann

6.
Discourses of Love and Loss: The Placenta at Home
Emily Burns


Artful Pause
Photographic artwork by Jodi Selander and Catherine Moeller


PLACENTERRE II

7.
A Medal for Birth
Molly Remer

8.
Planting our Placentas
Farah Mahrukh Coomi Shroff

9.
Circling the Red Tent
Alison Bastien

10.
Hélène Cixous: Matrix Writrix
Marie-Dominique Garnier

11.
The Amazing Placenta
The Placenta’s Behavioural and Structural Peculiarities
Amyel Garnaoui

12.
Placental Thinking: The Gift of Maternal Roots
Nané Jordan


Artful Pause
Artwork by Amanda Greavette and Nané Jordan


PLACENTERRE III

13.
Bledsung of the Placenta: Women’s Blood Power at the Sacred Roots of Economics
Polly Wood

14.
A Placenta by any Other Name
Valerie Borek

15.
“Baby’s Life is in the Placenta Only”: Hearing Dais’ Voices in India
Janet Chawla

16.
Placenta Wit and Chick Lit:
A Close Textual Analysis of “The Lost Journals of Sylvia Plath” by Kimberly Knutsen
Judy E. Battaglia

17.
Snakes, Berries and Bears: A Father’s Placenta Story
Chris Cordoni

Nané Jordan, PhD, is a scholar-artist-educator and mother of two teenage daughters, with a working background in pre-regulation Canadian midwifery and postpartum doula care. She is currently working as a sessional lecturer in art education at the University of British Columbia, and was recently a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in women’s and gender studies at the University of Paris 8, France. Her love of placentas continues through her birthwork, art, and writing, as does her research into mothering, feminist arts, midwifery/birth, women’s spirituality, and transformative education. Nané has published widely on these topics in a number of anthologies and journals. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and daughters, where she takes opportunities to admire the placental roots and branches of West Coast trees.