I’m a birth photographer from South Wales and I figured I’d compile a list of 16 remarkable things you can do with your placenta!
Keep reading to find out what’s made it on to the list…
I’ve also included handy links so there no need to lose hours of your life scrolling around the vortex of Google to find out more about them!
Some of them might surprise you, they surprised me!
To clarify, this isn’t a blog about what you should do with your placenta, it’s just me saying – “Hey, check these out!”
So, what’s made it on the list?
1. Make it into a fruit smoothie – this can consist of a piece of raw placenta blended with some fresh fruits like berries, bananas, apples and some spring water. Click here for some placenta smoothie recipes!
2. Encapsulated it – this involves steaming, dehydrating and grounding the placenta to make easy to swallow pills. This is quickly becoming a popular choice if you’re considering consuming your placenta. Jenny Wren at Mama Bird offers a placenta encapsulation service in South Wales – Click here to find out more!
3. Tincture it: This is where the grounded placenta is mixed with some alcohol and is taken as drops. This can help to ease the uterus contracting back. To find out more about tincturing your placenta visit Lisa Doula at Birth Roots she offers a Placenta Tincture Service and is based in South Wales!
4. Put on some gloves and inspect your placenta. Just add this to your birth plan so that your midwives can lay it out ready for you. It’s an incredible organ, so why not take the opportunity to explore it!
5. Make some jewellery with it: Yes, I was surprised to find this one! I found a UK company based in Brighton called Grandmother Turtle that offers this service – Take a look here!
6. Donate your placenta: The blood that still remains in the placenta and throughout the cord is full of stem cells. However, it is advised to wait for white before cutting the cord. Whatever is left may be used for research and development but only if you’ve given your consent to do so. Here’s a link for more information!
7. Make it into a Salve: A placenta salve is a balm which can be made using organic beeswax, nutrient coconut oil, essential oils, and mixed with your placenta. This is often used to heal cracked nipples and all sorts. Here are some handy recipes to make your own!
8. You can photograph your placenta: Whether you hire a professional birth photographer or you capture a snapshot on your phone, at least take a photograph of it. They’re truly fascinating and so beautiful in my opinion!
9. You can bury it in the garden and plant a tree on top of it. It’s advised to dig down at least 12 inches and add soil between the placenta and root of the tree. Popular trees include Maple Trees, Fruit Trees, Tulip Trees and another one is the Lilac Tree. To find out how to bury your placenta and plant a tree above it – take a look here!
10. Let the Hospital, Birth Centre or Midwives take care of it. If your placenta is something that doesn’t interest you, the midwives attending your birth can dispose of it for you. You’re not obligated to do anything with it!
11. Freeze it: If after nine months you’re still unsure what you want to do with it? Why not just freeze it until you’ve had more time to think about it. There are plenty of freezers out there with placentas in them!
12. Umbilical Cord Art: Yes, this is a thing too. Some people use the cord to spell out the word “love”. Once left to dry, you can then frame them. Making the shape of a heart is a popular choice too. Click here to see some examples!
13. Make a Placenta Print: I’m a sucker for these and offer them as part of my service! They’re becoming increasingly popular. The shape and detail of the placenta make a stunning “tree-like” print which once dried looks beautiful framed! Here’s what you need to know to make your own!
14. Just take a quick look: Even if you decide you’d rather not do anything with your placenta or have a rummage around, at least request to see it before it’s disposed of. It’s an incredible organ that you made also it was your baby’s first home.
15. Lotus Birth – First of all this is when you leave the umbilical cord connected to the placenta until they separate naturally. This can take up to 3-10 days. Here’s an article I found that outlines the benefits, risks and other things to consider.
16. Make a teddy bear with it: Yes, you read that correctly! I have to say this is the most bizarre one I’ve discovered (and to be honest, it looks like something that came right out of Hammer Horror movie, it’s that stitching…) Captured your curiosity? Here’s what one looks like complete with instructions to make your very own! Show me the Placenta Bear!
And this concludes my findings!
I hope this has given you some ideas. Be sure to add what happens to your placenta to your birth plan so everyone knows your wishes!
If you’re aware of anything else you can do with a placenta, get in touch and let me know – I’d love to add more to this list!