Saturday, December 18, 2010

What do you do with the stuff?

When Rene's colleagues learned that we were planning another homebirth, he was approached by a couple of curious females with a question I'm sure many have wondered about.

"So, after the home birth...what do you do with all stuff?"

Meaning, I presume, the placenta etc. I know most people have this image of birth as this huge, messy, bloody ordeal. Really there isn't a whole lot of blood and it's nothing a few chux pads can't contain. Clean up is as easy as this - throw old chux pad in trash, put new chux pad under butt. It's simple really. Water birth is even easier, it's all in the water and you just drain it away. We use a pool liner that you can throw away when used and buy a new one for the next time. :)

Then you are left with a clean house, a lovely new baby and a placenta. Last time we stuck the placenta in the freezer, where it still remains, and we hope to one day plant it under a tree or something. We don't own our house yet, we'll probably hold onto it until then.

But this time, I've been reading about all the wonderful benefits of ingesting your placenta. Yes, I said it. I can't even be bothered listing all the benefits here just now, because I have more important things to do, like snuggle with an amazingly adorable 5 (and a half) day old baby boy. But seriously, google it and read all about how it can help protect against postnatal depression and help with milk supply and so much more.

Many women enjoy the benefits of placenta by slicing off a chunk and putting it in a smoothie. This is especially useful as a quick fix shortly after giving birth, especially if you are having a lot of blood loss. There are also tons of recipes out there including placenta pate, placenta stew and even placenta pizza!

I must admit, I'm not quite *that* crunchy yet. I wasn't ready to go there this time. I know, for shame, huh? But luckily for me I came in contact with a woman who will encapsulate your placenta for you! Which basically involves dehydrating it, grinding it into a powder and then sticking it in little capsules.

Before any of your get cheeky about how I'm a vegetarian and placenta is technically meat, remember that no animal had to die to make my placenta, so keep your wisecracks to yourself thank you very much.

You take a few of the capsules a day and they are like little pills of magic happiness. Seriously, I feel awesome. The first few days after the birth were a bit of a blur, I didn't get much sleep and was crawling through the days. Then baby started to sleep and I started taking these magic pills and I feel AWESOME. I woke up yesterday singing, "I'm walking on sunshine...yeah" and today singing Top Of The World by the Carpenters. Seriously I did.

Local gals, I encourage you to check out Mary Cleveland's page for more info. She is also a doula, a mother and a beautiful person inside and out.

And she also dried up the umbilical cord into a heart. How precious is that?! What a beautiful keepsake. So, I know that one day when Alasdair brings home a fiance and I pull out the heart shaped umbilical cord to show her, she might be a *little* freaked out and might hear horror movie sound effects going off in her head, but it's all good, right?

So that's what we do with the "other stuff". Isn't it awesome?


lady mommy said...

no comments?? I will comment! I think it is incredible that science can now prove the worth of what women have done in many cultures since the beginning of mankind. I think you are very brave for stepping out and sharing some not-so-culturally-acceptable practices that work well for your family. I also think that woman is amazing for what she does! Keep up the good work of being a wonderful mommy, I can wait to meet my little one. Still not gutsy enough for a home birth, mostly because I don't believe my hubby wouldn't handle it as well. Maybe someday he will be well trained like your Rene and I can take a chance on it :) God bless you this week, have a glorious Christmas with your wonderful ever growing family!

Lynette said...

That is amazing...I would have never thought of that as an answer. But your right our culture is pretty cut and dried in our beliefs lady mommy. Congrats on your newest lil one. Keep safe, happy and filled with joy.

Morgan said...

Yea for you for posting this! I plan on saving this new one's placenta and encapsulating it too. I'm anxious to see if I feel different postpartum with it. The science behind it is amazing and placenta is full of so many good hormones and nutrients for a recovering momma as she waits for her endocrine system to pick back up where it left off before the placenta was created in the first place.

Glad to hear your recovery is going well <3

Riahli said...

I almost did that, but felt great afterwards and never got around to's still in my freezer. I think it's a wonderful thing to do and have heard amazing things about it as well, our good family friend was a midwife and she often did the placenta in capsules thing for her mommy's. I'm glad it's working so well for you, amazingly wonderful! :)

Anonymous said...

You never cease to amaze me!! I don't know if I could stomach eating a placenta that came out of me. I saw Lydia's. But, hey! I have heard it's good for you. The capsule idea sounds good. Bit less gross than placenta soup. :)
- Sonia

Mary said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful complements Niecey!
It was my pleasure to do that for you, I'm so glad they helped you!!