Placenta Art – A Personalized Pregnancy Keepsake

By in Pregnancy & Labor on 05 September 2010

Making placenta art is a unique and personal way to preserve a memory of your pregnancy forever. Keeping the placenta after delivery sounds weird but it is not uncommon. Many moms who feel attached to their placenta take it home and keep it frozen for months after giving birth, not sure of what to do with it.

This project is easy but may be a little messy to do. It yields a fascinating tree-like print similar to the Tree of Life – to think that the placenta once played an important role in keeping the baby’s life. Aside from crafting a piece of art you can show your child in the future, making the placenta print gives you a chance to reflect on your pregnancy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here are the steps to make a placenta print:

  1. Wash the placenta with cold water to remove the excess blood. Pat it dry.
  2. Place the placenta maternal side down (umbilical cord side up) on an old towel. The fetal side or umbilical cord side has the intricate network of veins you’ll need for your print.
  3. Apply the paint on your placenta. Earth colors are your best choices, but you can experiment with different colors as well. Painting the big veins with a different color creates a more distinct print. Some people make a first print using the blood left on the placenta. This option is entirely up to you.
  4. Place the canvas paper on top of the placenta and press on it gently to create a print. Lift the paper carefully to reveal the imprint. You may need to make several attempts to create a print you’d be proud of so it is better to buy extra canvas paper.
  5. Allow the paint to dry. If you did the blood print, try to use a blow dryer to speed up drying and prevent attraction of flies on your print.
  6. Repeat the procedure on the other side of the placenta. You may print both sides on one piece of paper or separately.
  7. Frame the placenta art and hang it up on your child’s room together with his hand and foot print. This will surely make a great conversation piece for the baby’s visitors.

Wrapping up

Disposing the placenta may be easier than taking it home from the hospital. Every Hospital has its own rules and procedures with regards to placenta release (some hospitals may not even allow it). But it is not a problem for those who choose home birth. After creating your placenta print, you can bury your placenta in your backyard and plant a commemorative tree over it. A placenta is rich in nutrients so it makes a very good fertilizer. It is amazing to see a tree grow as your child grows.


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