Intended for healthcare professionals


The placenta as the tree of life

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 16 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i3805


As an embryo, and later a fetus, our needs are automatically satisfied. But with birth, we lose our home (womb), friend (placenta), and lifeline (umbilical cord). This is a profound and haunting loss, and all behavior is an unconscious attempt to recreate the intimacy and sufficiency of prenatal life. 

Competing interests: No competing interests

01 December 2016
Hugh Mann
New York, NY, USA