What To Do With Your Placenta
Now I'm sure many of you are thinking "I can DO something with my placenta?!? The hospital doesn't just throw it in medical waste?". Well they will, but not if you ask to keep it. Okay okay, bear with me and try to forget about any 'icky' factor. There are actually a few things you can do with your placenta after your baby is born and the umbilical cord has been cut:
Placentophagy is the act of eating one's placenta and it has been utilized for centuries. It's been used in Chinese Medicine (mixed with other herbs) for over 1400 years. Many women will fry it up like they would an animal organ, or chop it up and mix with fruit to make a smoothie. If the idea of actually eating it sounds too hardcore there are other options too like encapsulation. Making pills out of your placenta has been trending for a little while now as there are reported benefits of increased milk supply, reduced risk of postpartum depression, and less blood loss.
I had a client of mine actually get her placenta encapsulated (there are some women whose job it is to go retrieve the organ, dehydrate it, and turn it into pills for you). It produced a regular sized pill bottle full; enough to last for about 3-6 months depending on how often/how many you take. She told me that she felt great after taking them and the days where she forgot, she would noticeably feel her mood drop.
Truth be told, there really has not been enough research done on placentas for us to have all the answers. The amazing outcomes women describe could actually just be a placebo effect. That being said though, there have never been any adverse reactions reported, so even if it is just a placebo effect, why not try? It very well could be magic medicine.
Make it into Art
How cool is it that our bodies create an entirely new organ to help nourish another human being? Pretty damn cool. If you decide against eating your placenta, but you still want to honour it in some way, you can make a print out of it. There are lots of women who provide services where they bring natural dyes and help you make an art print of your placenta. What a beautiful, entirely unique piece of art that would be to hang in your baby's room!
About 55% of cultures around the world have strong feelings about the placenta, the thought of just tossing it out as medical waste would be a shock to them! Burying your placenta in the ground, and even planting a tree over it, is a beautiful way to honour what was your baby's life support & connection to you for the first part of their life.
So as you can see you can do any of these awesome things with your placenta. Or not, that's cool too, because it's YOUR placenta, and YOU get to decide.
Let me know what you did with your placenta in the comments below!