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What did you do with your placenta after birth?

Rebecca, my FaceBook friend, posts the best links.  It is through her that I read a lot of interesting articles, and happened upon this article by Joel Stein Afterbirth: It's What's for Dinner. It is a humorous take on his wife's desire to "eat her placenta".  I don't even think I even took a peek at the placenta much less ever thought of taking it home with me from the hospital. It's not the first time I've heard this and in Portland, I'm certain it's something much more common than in other parts of the country. Have you heard of this? What did you do with yours? Also, don't miss the brief video whereby Joel interviews the lady that turn's his wife's placenta into pills, however, beware that it is not for the squeamish:

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I saw my placenta, it was AMAZING! Apparently it's really good for you and if you think about it, it is what kept your baby alive and healthy. My midwife asked me if I wanted to keep it and I considered planting it in my yard but thought my dogs would find it first (ick!).

I had mine turned unto capsules and I took them postpartum. They helped so much with my energy and mood. Wendy with Vivante Midwifery dried and encapsulated it for me. I am so thankful I made the choice to consume it and that capsules are within my comfort zone.

I was in awe to see where my little ones grew up before birth. They are amazing organs and I wish not only midwives, but docs to would give you the chance to inspect them more often. I remember when I was 14 at my brothers birth and the doc should me all the parts of the placenta. it was fascinating to me even then.

The first time around I was bleeding heavily birth and was given a nibble of the placenta. Apparently it helps with such things. My midwives and I did talk about cooking and eating it, but at the time, I wasn't up for that so much. So, I kept them in the freezer for a long time until we had an appropriate tree to plant them with. Now each of the girls has their special tree outside that they helped give life to.

You know it's so sad but I didn't even consider what to do with the placentas when my sons were born. I love the idea of planting them, and the capsule idea would have been wonderful as well especially since I had postpartum after my first son. My husband did take a beautiful picture of my placenta when my youngest son was born, it is pretty amazing. I had a new mom friend over for a playdate when it flashed up on our computer, my husband had all of our pictures loaded so I could look at them. She looked me at like I was an alien and I just said, "Oh, yeah, that's my placenta!" I do recall that after Gabe was born I heard the Doctor say, "Look at that placenta, it's beautiful, one of the most perfect I have ever seen." But maybe I just imagined that.

My son is 5 and we still have his in the freezer! We really need to get a tree.

My daughter was sadly born via c-section and while placentas aren't something I think about much or had plans for, all drugged up during surgery I asked the doc "how was the placenta?" hoping to get a clue about why I ended up in surgery. He said "it was there." Yet another lame memory from her birth. Apparently it is a really long process to get possession of a placenta that was birthed in the hospital as it is considered medical waste.

Fathers perspective: I take a multi vitamin so Im pretty good on nutrition and if my wife attempted to serve that up one night I would see that as a sign to spring for take-out.

I am going encapsulate and ingest mine in pill form too.

I had such a hard postpartum with my son I am definitely willing to try it.

My midwives are doing for us too.

We saved and planted our oldest daughter's under a tree in the yard. The second one is still in the freezer 2 years later and waiting for the next tree to be planted in the fall. Our eldest got to touch and hold her little sister's placenta after birth (gloves and midwives were involved) and she loved it.

Not sure I wold be up for the eating but you never know with #3!

I had my son via c-section at Kaiser Sunnyside. The nurse did come into recovery while I was nursing my son for the first time and she asked if I wanted the placenta. I looked at her confused as I was trying to get my son to latch on. I said "no thanks" being preoccupied but I think I would have liked to at least look at it. After a 40 hour labor that ended in a c-section I was too exhausted to make decisions, I was just in awe of our little wonder. I think it is nice that they at least offered it and she had it in a container too. She said a lot of families plant them with trees. I think we might do it next time around. But just so you know the wonderful labor and delivery nurses at Kaiser offer the placenta to the families even with c-section. I had amazing nurses!

Since we are renters, we are planting a tree with our placenta, on the spot where he was conceived. I won't say where, since it is public property!
We forgot our first childs placenta at the birthing center. She was conceived in a Travelodge in San Francisco, so we couldn't really plant a tree there anyway!

Sorry my initial thought is ew, ick! I had no (still have no desire) to see my placenta after birth and the thought of eating it makes me queasy but to each their own!

Cats eat their placenta, which makes sense to me becuase they are hunters and it would take a lot of energy to go out and replenish their energy after birth. Considering that we have plentiful resources for getting nutrition in an appetizing way I think that it is unnecessary to eat your placenta.

still in the freezer...son is 2 1/2.

I seem to be filling my freezer with mine. Every once in a while my husband will open the yogurt container with my son's when he is hunting for dinner possibilities. I hope to defrost them both and put them into our bamboo garden. Maybe this fall...

I planted my son's placenta on his first birthday, and like many others, still have my almost 2 year-old daughter's in the freezer. I didn't know enough about encapsulation at the time, but I think I should have done that given my body's reactions to the postpartum periods. I do like the idea of planting it under a tree though.

Placentas also make beautiful prints. I wrote about all three of those options on our blog (http://nurturepdx.blogspot.com/search/label/placenta).

I think placentas are so very magnificent with all they do during the pregnancy and their potential postpartum benefits.

Antieater, If cats eat their placentas postpartum, I wonder if it is for more reasons than just the nutrients...maybe they need the hormonal benefits as well; in which case it makes sense for us to encapsulate and consume ours as well.

I didn't take my placenta home from the hospital with me, but I did get a good look at it and my midwife sort of stretched it open so that I could see where my daughter had resided (woohoo for Ellen at OHSU!). I thought that was pretty awesome! They asked me if I wanted to take it home but I told them I wasn't that crunchy! LOL I was a little loopy from the blood loss I experienced. I am hoping for a homebirth the next time I go to have a baby so I might consider keeping it and burying it some place special.

Mychelle-

Perhaps but I don't think you get hormones through food I think your thyroid has more to do with it.

I didn't get a good look at the placenta with either of my boys' births but the docs both times showed my husband and he said it was pretty amazing. I'm not really sure why I wasn't in on that, I obviously had other stuff going on too, I guess. No real thoughts on taking it home with us although I do like the idea of planting it with a tree.

It looks like purple flank steak from what I recall and I miss Portland!

Yes, purple flank steak, indeed!! :) Had a c-section, but had absolutely no negative reaction by hospital staff when we asked to see it--and it was pretty amazing, but not something I'd put in the fridge!

Oh the things I have never even heard of! This is fascinating...
My midwife DID let me have a look at the placenta after the birth of both my children, and I was happy to take a peek for curiosity's sake. But I'd never heard of having it made into pills. What an amazing idea!
Wish I'd known about it...

we planted our daughter's under a cherry tree in the front yard. At the hospital (OHSU) I encountered no negitivity or suprise when I asked to save it.

humans are the only mammal that don't regularly eat their placentas. the deer of the forrest, the cows of the field and other gentle herbivores gobble up their placentas - and not to "hide the evidence" from potential predators either or they would make an effort to clean up the other birth fluids. my friend who has goats and sheep says that if the mamas don't eat their placentas, then they are more likely to reject the baby and have a lot of problems with her milk.

whether it's hormones (western medicine), Qi and Essence (traditional chinese medicine) or something else, the benefits a mother can get from her placenta are not something she could just get in some old vitamin supplement. consumption of the placenta is associated with increased lactation, quicker postpartum recovery and avoiding postpartum depression. i prepared and consumed my placenta after my second child and it definitely made a difference for me compared to my first time.

because of my experience, i offer placenta services to other mothers as well: i make beautiful "tree of life" placenta prints, placenta tincture with the option of placenta homeopathic remedy as well as placenta encapsulation. i also help inform mothers how to get their own placenta home from the hospital - some hospitals are very accommodating (OHSU or Good Sam) while others (Providence hospitals) can be rather difficult. whether you choose to make art with it and burry it, consume it or make medicine out of it, every woman should at least have the opportunity to utilize her organ however she desires.

I think that we don't eat our placentas because we can go to trader joes or burgerville when we are hungry........I looked at both of mine. pretty interesting and amazing, but I would never ever eat it unless we absolutely had to and even then, probs not. sort of like the family horse or pig or pet.

Huh, I am amazed at how many people are piping up as having it in their freezer. Interesting. To each their own. I see nothing wrong with it at all, but it's not my cup of tea. I am a bit squeemish at things bodily, so I didn't even look at mine. I did have some post partum issues after the twins though. Huh - interesting theory of what might have worked to prevent it, but I still don't think I would have been compelled to try it. I am vegetarian, too, so it's just not all that appealing to me.

If you had asked me halfway through my pregnancy what I was going to do with the placenta, I would have given you a blank stare. Then one night, reading threads at the Mothering.com forum, I came across a post and pages of comments about placenta consumption. after a few hours, my mind was made up. The benefits sounded terrific.

I'm not ashamed to admit I ate the placenta. The midwives helped the first few days and then my amazing husband did the rest for a week at home - they made me fruit smoothies in the blender with small pieces of placenta each morning. They were perfectly fine tasting - I couldn't tell anything other than fruit was in them.

I credit eating the placenta with the absence of post-partum depression for me. I also felt energetic and upbeat every day that I drank a smoothie. It wasn't gross for me and was well worth staving off PPD, just like others who have done the same say.

Oh, one other thing, to mummytothree:

I read somewhere that placenta is the only meat you can eat where a living thing didn't have to die first. So, I can't see how it goes against vegetarian principles.

I wonder if the heat involved in the encapsulating process (or even cooking it) would destroy the hormones or whatever it is that makes the placenta so helpful to new moms?

It would seem that one could not establish a causal link between ingesting the placenta and preventing postpartum depression. Someone would have to know that she were going to develop postpartum depression and then control for any other influencing factors.

to E: having PPD with a previous child, personal and family history of depression, stressful life situations, etc are all factors that strongly predisposed me to have PPD with my second. i knew it was coming, i could feel it coming but i was not just going to accept my fate. there is tons of anecdotal evidence linking placenta consumption with less or no PPD occurrence or reoccurrence for those with risk factors. there is also currently a large scientific study being done on this very question.

to jd: some people choose to ingest the placenta raw for this reason (there are a variety of methods). old-school midwives know that taking a piece of the fresh, raw placenta and sticking it in the cheek of the mother will help with postpartum hemorrhage. this works because of the readily available natural hormones but also for some unknown factors. honestly we don't totally know why or how placenta consumption works - some speculate it has to do with the hormones but in traditional chinese medicine, they believe it works based on entirely different principles. since the larger body of experience is anecdotally based on methods that involve some degree of gentle cooking, you can't just assume it won't work: ie, 3,000+ years of chinese medicine isn't automatically wrong because it doesn't fit neatly into a (>150 year old) western scientific grid of hormones + nutrients = all you need.

I first heard about dehydrating the placenta and turning it into capsules on a TV show, and at the time, I had a friend who was really struggling with PPD. When they said one of the benefits could be preventing PPD, I wondered if the idea had ever been suggested to her (no, is the answer). Now that I am pregnant myself, I'm terrified of going through what she went through, and I'm thinking I would like to try this! But, I'm kind of a wimp and would be more comfortable hiring someone to do the "dirty" work. Does anyone know anyone in the Portland area who performs this service for a reasonable fee? I am due in early April 2010 and would like to plan ahead. If so, please contact me at abbiesagebiel@hotmail.com. Thanks!

google Vivante Midwifery. one of their midwives can do it-it's called placenta encapsulation and it's on their website.

Any mamas who posted above (or others!) who did eat their placenta (in whatever form) or planted it, or did something otherwise meaningful with it and would like to talk about it for an upcoming Portland Family piece via phone or email interview, please contact me at : larsenstacy@comcast.net
Thanks!

it is kind of canabalisuzum . I'm just shoct of what people can do
You can't eat ograns from you body . It mean to feet the baby and after that it finish its job .We are not animales

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