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8 Amazing And Unusual Things To Do With Your … Placenta

Yes, it's a teddy bear. Yes, it was a placenta.

The placenta may be a bit gnarly looking– it’s a big, blood-filled, vascular blob. But it’s an impressive organ. It’s sustained your baby for 40 weeks, providing oxygen and nutrients and it’s a fairly literal symbol for the enmeshed connection between mother and baby. For these reasons, and the practical fact that a pungent, blood-filled organ needs to be properly disposed of so as to not attract vultures and the like, many past cultures have had ceremonial rituals for the placenta. In a modern American hospital birth the placenta is placed somewhat unceremoniously into a blue bucket on the floor. At some point it is taken away. This seems to be a fine idea for most people, but some others are interested in paying homage to the mighty organ.

I’ve long been fascinated by the placenta if only because bodily functions and organs tend to inspire both good jokes and a fair amount of awe. So, on that note (reverent, but not entirely serious) here are six cool, crafty, possibly bogus, potentially healing things you can do with yours:

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  • Make placenta art. 1 of 8
    Make placenta art.
    This one is from one of my all-time favorite bloggers, the late great CrabMommy. Her own mother made this lovely print. You can look to portlandplacentaservices.com for specifics on how to make your own "Tree Of Life."
  • Plant a placenta tree. 2 of 8
    Plant a placenta tree.
    This one is an Asian Pear Tree, the placenta is used to fertilize it. This is a lovely way to remember the birth of your child-- the tree will grow with her. For detailed instructions go to planetgreen.discovery.com
  • Make a teddy bear! 3 of 8
    Make a teddy bear!
    Yes. That's right. I found this at inhabitots.com and it truly is stitched from a placenta. "The Silence Of The Lambs" vibe is creeping me out, but wow, what craftsmanship!
  • Take a flattering picture of it. 4 of 8
    Take a flattering picture of it.
    I found this one at squatbirthjournal.com, where there are lots of stories about various cultures revering the placenta.
  • Make a pendant out of it. 5 of 8
    Make a pendant out of it.
    Etsy.com has lots of services to help with this. But you will need to cook and dry the organ to make it into pendant-ready powder.
  • Make it into a salve. 6 of 8
    Make it into a salve.
    This one was prepared by the folks at Pure Birth (purebirth.ca) and can apparently help with rashes and cuts. It's dried placenta mixed with various oils.
  • Make it into capsules… 7 of 8
    Make it into capsules...
    ... that, very anecdotally, may reduce mood swings postpartum due to the hormones and nutrients in placental blood. Google placenta encapsulator in your neck of the woods and you may find someone who will do it for you.
  • Make lasagna. 8 of 8
    Make lasagna.
    Oh come on, it looks good! Other mammals eat the placenta but mostly humans don't... still, fans of placenta-eating swear the good hormones will do wonders for mom and any other diners.

 

Not sure if you want to use your placenta for art? Here are 9 awesome things you definitely can do after birth!

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