Monday, June 25, 2012

Fun With Placentas

Though I've been mildly obsessed with birth since I was 22 years old there are several things involved in the birth process that I put very little thought into.

My placenta was one of them.

I can honestly say that I was never going to do anything with my placenta other than throw it away.

I've seen that thing, I've been to a's disgusting.  The most disgusting part of birth.

What else was there to do with it besides throw it away?

Eating it sounded bizarre, placenta smoothies sounded disgusting, burying it and planting a tree where it was buried just didn't sound like "me".

So...into the garbage it was going.

Once pregnant I heard about placenta encapsulation... and I was intrigued but decided it was probably too much effort to arrange to have it done and not something I was THAT into and moved on with my life, still fully convinced that I would just be throwing the damn thing away.

I mean...I'm not THAT much of a crunchy hippie that I was going to ingest my own placenta.  Homebirth or not we have to draw the line somewhere right?

Or not.

San Francisco makes being a crunchy hippie just way too easy and when I brought up placenta encapsulation at our group prenatal appt this week I AM NOW FULLY ON BOARD WITH PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION.

Oh yes guys, I am going to eat my placenta in the form of pills.

It's going to be awesome.

Know what else I'm going to do with my placenta????

That's right...placenta art!

OMG I'm such a fucking hippie I can hardly stand it.


I don't have to "arrange" anything.  I just give birth (like that's the easy part).  And BAMN, placenta art and little encapsulated placenta pills are just presented to me. 

How could I NOT eat my placenta and make art with it?

It's obviously a no-brainer.

But IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, my midwives had some amazing things to say about placenta encapsulation, most important of which was the energy they give back to you because the placenta is like a big ball of iron and after lose a lot of blood.  Makes sense that iron would give you energy no?

There's some thoughts and theories, all unproven because no one wants to put money into this kind of research, about the hormones that are in the placenta helping to combat postpartum depression as well...but I'm on the fence with this part.  For me it's all about the iron!

Ironically, Cornfed decided to write about the same thing today, head on over to her blog if you want a first hand account of placenta encapsulation and their magic energy rejuvenating properties.

Anyone else having fun with their placenta and doing something interesting with it?


  1. Ack I haven't even read this post yet - just getting started but had to comment because i was going to write this EXACT thing today!!! I am sure you are in the same place as me, wondering if you should do the encapsulating thing or if it's the grossest thing you've ever heard....excited to read!

  2. haha, ok read it now. It is still something I need to look into, but I have heard good things and am leaning ever so slightly towards it....that said - I don't want any placenta art!!

  3. I'm having mine encapsulated too. :)

  4. I've thought about it but decided it wasn't a direction I could go. Not going to lie, it kind of weirds me out. BUT we are going to delay clamping the cord, which will give a lot of the blood left in the placenta to our baby.
    And haha, placenta art?? That's a new one for me!!

  5. How crazy! Scott and I were talking about this the other day, he was floored that this is a real thing! I think we may look into it more when we are actually pregnant!

  6. I just cannot get on the placenta encapsulation train. Not for me. But awesome for you to have cool midwives who just take care of it for you; that is a pretty sweet deal! And also, that is the best looking placenta "tree of life" art piece I have seen. Will you post a picture of what your placenta art looks like?

  7. I just read about this on The Cornfed Feminest's blog too. I was the first time I had ever heard of ingesting your placenta in pill form. The thought of actually eating it make me kind of queasy. I'm not even sure I could do it in pill form. I totally get the benefits though. Good for you for writing about it. I would love to see your thoughts on the topic after your baby is born.

  8. I'm looking forward to the encapsulated placenta pills.
    My husband thought I was crazy.
    We talked about it 3 years ago and then when January.Jones was in the news for doing it we laughed.
    The benefits are amazing - so we have heard.

    I went to high school with a guy, he was jewish so I'm not sure if it is in the culture or not, but his parents kept the placenta's from all the kids and put pieces into the compost and used it in the garden and they all swore by it.

    I have yet to see any downsides to this.

  9. Even after growing up in what I like to consider hippie land (Oregon) I still can't get in board with eating or otherwise ingesting a placenta. I find it absolutely fascinating though.. I can't wait to hear what your thoughts are on it post-baby.

  10. Definitely fascinating! Can't wait to hear more about this and see your placenta art. I must give this great thought!

  11. I don't know about the placenta art but I am most definitely doing encapsulation. It seems like such a no brainer with all the benefits and all I've got to do is pop a pill in my mouth. Sign me up!

  12. I think one of the first times I seriously heard about it was from Dear Baby G's blog and her follow up ( Definitely not something for everyone, but cool that some do it. Good luck with it!

  13. I actually did do a placenta smoothie w/Adelyn the first 2 days after her birth. But I ran into some pretty serious postpartum @ about 4 months & although the benefits in that area are debatable, I will try anything. So we are doing encapsulation hoping for longer term effects this time around.

    Now as for the placenta cool is that!!?? You'll have to put a pic of yours up when it's done!

  14. We had plans to save our placenta and bury it and plant a tree over it with Sadie. We even sought out the coolest tree we could find (banana)...but then when she got sick the hospital wanted it to do a biopsy to see if they could figure out what went wrong. We are SO GLAD we saved it, because without it we never would have known what made her so sick. But we are sad that we never got to bury it. However, we still have her banana tree.

    Good for you on being bold with your placenta!! Do what you want...and rock on with your placenta art! I'm going to ask my midwives if they'll do that for me, as I'm sure we won't be allowed to save it in a hospital birth!

  15. I would have to make sure someone crafty/artistic did the placenta art print. If I tried to do it I'm sure it would just look like a crime scene. Fortunately I'll have just pushed the baby out and will be preoccupied so maybe my midwife or doula will do it. Oh shit, I still have to find a doula.

    Thanks for the shout out, by the way! :)