Friday, July 3, 2009

Let's talk about... placentas.

This article is HA-lariously written and an engrossing read, though I know some people will be just plain grossed out, too.

It's a Time magazine article, written from a husband's perspective about his wife's choice to keep the placenta after birth and hire someone to dehydrate it, grind it up, and "turn it into capsules to help ward off postpartum depression and increase milk supply." (There's also an informative and entertaining video, put together by the story's writer, as the placenta is prepared.)

Yes, there are people who offer this encapsulation services right here in the Twin Cities. What do you think? Is this something you would consider doing?

Though you may choose not to eat your placenta post birth, many cultures do consider it a sacred thing. Some cultures (and many westerners) bury it outside so the placenta returns its nutrients to the soil and roots the child's spirit to its homeland. Some plant it simultaneously with a tree. Some women keep their placenta wrapped in bags, in the freezer, never quite sure what to do with it, but unwilling to throw it out. It's probably safe to say though, that most placentas are disposed of in a hospital's red biohazard bin.

Whatever you do—or don't do—with your placenta after birth, you have to admit that it IS a miraculous thing. It's a wild concept to actually grow an entirely new organ, for the sole purpose of supporting life. Then, when our babies are born and they no longer need it, our bodies dispose of this short-lived organ. What you do with it next is entirely up to you.

1 comment:

ilovecarob said...

I read in the book "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" that the Hmong culture and people highly celebrate their placentas & amniotic sacs. The word for it in Hmong is "Jacket." They believe it is the finest garment they will ever wear. It is buried under the dirt floor of the house they were born in. When they die, it is believed that they are to re-trace all the steps they took in life and go back to the home in which they were born, and put on their "jacket" once again before their spirit can ascend to heaven. Wow! What a sacred tradition.