Bear with me now. The recent NYMag feature The Placenta Cookbook is truly an excellent and informational read about how and why new mothers eat their own placenta. I must disclose that I have never desired to eat mine, but I do happen to still have a placenta in the freezer- it’s been almost three years and I just couldn’t decide what to do with it.
I had a homebirth, so it’s up to the parents or midwife to dispose of the placenta. It’s considered bio-hazardous waste and should be disposed of accordingly (as customarily done in the hospital)- unless the mother has other plans for it, like planting it under a tree or preparing it for consumption. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with mine. I was pretty sure we’d “plant” it, but we’ve never gotten around to that. My midwife was not supportive of eating the placenta or encapsulating it. She viewed it as cannibalism. I wasn’t sure what I believed about it all so I just went along with her cues and am fine with that decision. To be honest, I was relieved because I didn’t know if I could stomach eating my own placenta even despite the possible amazing benefits.
But, I read the article above, and do continue to hear positive stories of women ingesting their placentas through various concoctions and I wonder now, in hindsight, if I might have considered at least doing the encapsulation. Or maybe some artwork– I was ooohing and awwwing over my new baby daughter and missed my midwife showing my mom the “tree of life” on the placenta in my bathroom. I don’t know what can be done of it now- the placenta sitting in my garage freezer for almost three years now. All I know is that for some reason, some part of me is glad I at least kept it.
Learn about placenta encapsulation and more from Babble’s Top 50 Pregnancy Facebook Fan Pages!