Placenta. What To Do After Birth, With The After-Birth

Now, some people are really grossed out when it comes to the subject of placentas.

When Willow was born, the midwives at Bedford hospital asked what we would like to do with our placenta. As legally it belonged to us, the decision to throw it or keep it was also down to us.

We decided to keep it. We bought a willow tree just before Willow was born, and we had the idea to bury the placenta under the willow tree to ‘feed’ it. That was our wonderful (if not a little bit hippy-like) plan.

All wrapped up in the alien world of looking after a new baby, we totally forgot about our placenta, sat in a fridge somewhere in the hospital. That was until we received a phone call from the midwives, 2 weeks after we had left. The midwife on the end sounded a little nervy when she asked us to come pick it up as it was “going a bit smelly!”  We told her to just chuck it… bleugh!!!!

People use placentas in many different ways, and it is becoming more and more popular to keep and use them. Here are a few ideas of what to do with your placenta once you have managed that third stage…..

1)      Eat It- the most famous thing to do with it. Also known as Placentophagy.  Some even believe it prevents post-natal depression! Packed full of nutrients, proteins, stem-cells, and oxytocin it really does work wonders. I have had friends say how amazing they felt after delivery from making a Placenta Smoothie!

2)      Dry It and Encapsulate It- As a lovely nutritional supplement, swallow with orange juice (maybe).  Supposedly minimises post-partum bleeding, beats baby-blues and increases Iron levels.

3)      Bury It- Like we were going to do. Just make sure its 6ft down deep. Some sort of law states this, plus you don’t want foxes (or your boxer dog) digging it back up again.

4)      Make It Into A Teddy Bear- Seriously… Look!

5)      Feed It To The Birds- just place on your roof and wait for it to be eaten. They do it in Yemen.

6)      Make Art! – Some cover the placenta in paint, and make prints onto canvas. Making a beautiful ‘tree-like’ image from the imprint of the veins, and the umbilical cord as the trunk. Andy Warhol anyone?


placenta painting
Placenta Art by Patience.