Nope, I still haven't written Ilse's birth story. Workin' on it. ;-) But I thought I'd write about something else in the meantime. Of all the comments/questions I received about my birth plan, there was one most common. What on earth can you want with the placenta? several people asked (in varying tones of panic). At the risk of alienating a few readers and frightening my family and friends, I've decided to tell you.
I wanted it for this:
- You might want to make a placenta print (which looks remarkably like a tree. Tree of life. Call it a birth tree, etc.) with the placenta as an art piece commemorating the birth. You can see a woman providing instructions on this here on YouTube. They can be quite lovely and a truly unique piece of artwork.
- Others may plant/bury their placenta. They may intend to hold a ceremony (and say a few words about birth/their child/motherhood) or they may simply dig a hole and perhaps plant a tree over the placenta.
- I'm on a forum where one mother, though vegan, cut up and fed the placenta to her dogs, believing that to allow it to be incinerated at the hospital was to unduly deny her pups a meal of ethically obtained meat.
- And there's always the placenta teddy bear. Seriously. Click here. (Or don't. I actually find this one mildly disturbing.)
[T]he placenta contains vitamins and minerals that may help fight depression symptoms, such as vitamin B6 ...[and] the placenta is considered rich in iron and protein, which would be useful to women recovering from childbirth, and a particular benefit to vegetarian women.
- Raw (which includes being frozen and blended into smoothies)
- Cooked (It's just meat, after all. Click HERE for actual placenta recipes to cook. Even if you're squeamish, don't worry: no pictures on this particular link)
- Dehydrated and encapsulated (I've found this is by far the most socially accepted way to consume a placenta, but it also costs money--about $300 in my city. That is, it costs money if someone else does it for you. You could give it a shot yourself and try it for free. See HERE or HERE for a tutorial on how to encapsulate a placenta at home)
- 1 cup juice (I prefer orange or pineapple but apple is also very good)
- 2-3 Tablespoons yogurt (whole fat vanilla is my preference)
- Mix of frozen berries
- 1-2 Tablespoon raspberries
- 1-2 Tablespoon blueberries
- 2-3 large strawberries
- 1/2 banana (optional)
- 4 pieces of frozen placenta