The placenta plays a vital role in supporting a healthy pregnancy.
This often-overlooked organ, which can be thought of as a silent hero, not only sustains the growing baby but also carries cultural significance in various societies.
With more and more mothers deciding to keep their placenta after birth, we’ve taken a look at ten things that parents can do with a placenta, from planting a placenta tree to making jewelry out of it, to making a donation or even consuming it.
Table of Contents
- A Brief Explanation of the Placenta’s Role in Pregnancy
- 10 Things To Do With Your Placenta
A Brief Explanation of the Placenta’s Role in Pregnancy
Before delving into the creative and symbolic ways to handle the placenta post-birth, it’s worth touching on its critical role during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is an intricate journey, and at its core is the often-overlooked placenta, a temporary organ with a critical role in supporting the developing fetus.
The placenta, forming early in pregnancy, serves as a vital connection between the mother and the fetus. Attached to the uterine wall, it facilitates the exchange of nutrients and oxygen.
Maternal blood, rich in essential elements, flows through the placenta, nourishing the fetus while removing waste products through the process of diffusion.
3 interesting functions of the placenta include:
- Nutrient and Oxygen Exchange: The placenta ensures the transfer of vital nutrients and oxygen from the mother’s bloodstream to the developing fetus, sustaining its growth.
- Waste Elimination: Besides nutrient exchange, the placenta plays a crucial role in eliminating waste products, and maintaining a healthy environment for fetal development.
- Hormonal Regulation: As an endocrine organ, the placenta produces hormones like human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), essential for pregnancy maintenance and ovarian support.
10 Things To Do With Your Placenta
1. Hospital Disposal
First up is the most common option – in many parts of the world, placentas are routinely disposed of by hospitals, who treat them as medical waste.
And it’s worth stressing that there is absolutely nothing wrong with going down this route!
However, chances are if you are reading this article, you are probably looking to do something a little more exciting or unusual with your placenta.
2. Placenta Encapsulation
Next up, you can delve into the world of placenta encapsulation, where the organ is dehydrated, ground into powder, and encapsulated.
Whether opting for professional services or exploring safe DIY methods, this option has gained popularity for potential postpartum benefits.
3. Planting a Placenta Tree
Why not symbolize the birth by planting a tree over the buried placenta?
This eco-friendly option connects the new life of the child with the growth of a living, breathing entity.
For optimal results, be sure to seek out and follow proper guidelines for burying your placenta.
4. Donation for Medical Research
Contribute to scientific advancements by exploring the option of donating the placenta to medical research.
Local institutions or research centers may use placental tissue for various scientific purposes.
5. Placenta Prints
Feeling creative? Then why not unleash your creativity by making unique prints using the placenta?
Capture its natural patterns on paper or fabric using safe, non-toxic ink for a one-of-a-kind artistic representation of this life-giving organ.
6. Placenta Art and Jewelry
Transform the placenta into meaningful and personalized art pieces or jewelry. Some artists specialize in creating keepsakes that encapsulate the essence of the birth experience.
7. DIY Placenta Salve
Harness the potential benefits of the placenta for skin healing by creating a DIY placenta salve.
Follow a safe preparation process, infusing the placenta into oils to make a balm believed to have therapeutic properties.
8. Placenta Burial or Ceremony
Honor the placenta by burying it in a special location or conducting a ceremony aligned with cultural or personal beliefs.
This symbolic act can be a meaningful way to celebrate the birth and acknowledge the role of the placenta.
9. Placenta Smoothie
For the adventurous, blending a small piece of raw placenta into a smoothie is an option some consider for potential nutritional benefits.
However, consulting with a healthcare professional and ensuring safe handling is crucial before pursuing this choice.
10. Artistic Casting
Commemorate the birth in a visually striking manner by creating a three-dimensional casting of the placenta using safe materials like plaster.
This tangible representation can serve as a unique and lasting memory of the special occasion.
As we explore the myriad options for what to do with the placenta after birth, it becomes evident that the choices are as diverse as the cultures and individuals who make them.
As with most things related to pregnancy or birth, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t exist, so ultimately the decision rests with you and your family.