Whenever you get on Google Images, there’s a bigger chance you’d search for cute photos of newborn rather than a placenta. But mother photographer Emma Jean Nolan wanted to show a unique shot of a newborn baby, so she took a photo of her Maori child named Harper—with the placenta still attached to his body. To make the shot even more special, she arranged the uncut umbilical cord and spelled the word LOVE with it.
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The photographer told Bored Panda, “I aim to empower and inform women through my artwork and to show the world the beauty of life and motherhood in all its forms. Birth is beautiful, raw and awe inspiring, it never loses its magic no matter how many you see.”
Through the photo, Nolan wanted to give physiological birth a new look as people do not usually see babies who are still connected with their placenta. Nolan added that Western culture describes placenta as disgusting, that is why it is almost always just discarded, without even realizing that if not for it, none of us will be here now.
Placenta has a spiritual implication in Maori culture. For the Maori, placenta relates to the Maori term whenua, which also means “land,” and the umbilical cord is considered as the link between Mother Earth and human. Harper’s placenta is going to be the third one to be buried in his mother’s hometown in New Zealand under a native Tortora tree.