What did you do with your placenta? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 47 Old 03-20-2002, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mine's been hangin' out in the freezer for 9 months,I want to plant a tree over it,but we are in an apartment,so I'll wait until we buy a house I guess.(Don't ask for ice cream in my place,you might open the wrong ice cream container : ).What did other homebirthers do?
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#2 of 47 Old 03-20-2002, 01:08 PM
 
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DD was born October 25 so I decided to plant it under a burning bush. I wanted something that would be in show on her birthday. I can't wait until next fall!

Funny story, after the birth, my mom walked into the bathroom and saw the placenta in the bathtub and just about freaked. My midwife followed her in and asked her what we wanted to do with it. Mom had never heard of 'doing' anything with the placenta!
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#3 of 47 Old 03-20-2002, 03:54 PM
 
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A wee bit of personal history.

I have a reputation as a 'brown thumb'. Soon after Robert and I moved to Virginia Beach I heard that the local mastergardeners club was giving away seedling trees to celebrate Arbor Day. Well free seemed about right, so I got a little Oak twig with roots.

Three years later when Bonnie was born the twig had grown to a hearty little sapling in a planter on a balcony. We were preparing to move cross country and knew that the tree wouldn't survive the trip, so I had already decided to plant it in view of our apartment. I couldn't think of any way to bring the placenta with us either, so I planted them together.

I will probably never get back there, so I will never know how Twig did but, in my minds eye, every year on Bonnie's birthday I can imagine her tree-twin growing taller and stronger too.
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#4 of 47 Old 03-20-2002, 03:57 PM
 
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Hey Saige,
It's funny you asked. I was just thinking the same thing the other day.
I have ds1 and ds2's placenta's in the freezer also.
I thought the tree would be a good idea but can't decide which type would be best.
I've heard some people actually eat it. (couldn't do it myself)
I'm looking for other's suggestions as well.
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#5 of 47 Old 03-20-2002, 04:48 PM
 
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We're about to take dd's out of the freezer and plant it with a "pink lady" variety apple tree on our land. I picked it out because its fruit is super tasty and it will be fun to make her special treats from her twin tree's apples, plus she was this amazingly gorgeuos bright pink color when she popped out, I'll never forget it..."Pinky" ended up being one of her pet names. I can't wait to watch the little tree grow with her, and make her a special little hang-out spot under it, and adorn it with chimes and charms and sit beneath it to meditate and send her my prayers someday...The tree will be nourished from the same placenta that she was...I wonder where/how the treeplanting tradition began, I know a lot of foljs who have done this, it just seems so perfect and sacred...
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#6 of 47 Old 03-20-2002, 04:59 PM
 
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DD was born in a birth center, but the midwife offered us the placenta. Can I still answer?
I wish I had made a decision to do something with dd's placenta before she was born. The midwife showed me the placenta after the fact, while I was still high newborn joy and post labor. She asked what did I want to do with it, and suggested planting it in our garden. The first thought that popped in my mind was how many dogs live in our neighborhood, and moreover, how we're just around the corner from a large wooded area with at least one bear resident. I passed on keeping it. I didn't want to invite bears. It didn't occur to me to plant it elsewhere, freeze it, or do anything else. All I could imagine was a big black bear, lured by the smell of fresh placenta, coming into our garden, digging it up, and possibly getting shot by the crazy neigbor next door. I have an affinity for bears, and didn't want one to come to harm because of me. Rational, huh?
If I'd thought about it beforehand I would have saved it, maybe even cooked up a little and tasted it, which is what a friend of mine did.
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#7 of 47 Old 03-20-2002, 06:48 PM
 
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I'm not sure I could sit down and eat but if I have another and I can find someone who will make capsules of it for me I would love to do that.
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#8 of 47 Old 03-20-2002, 07:19 PM
 
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We froze our until we got around to planting a tree with it. If I was to do it over, I think I would plant it somewhere other than our yard as we moved a couple years later and it makes me sad that someone is living there and we won't see the trees again.

Gross placenta story:
When ours was in the freezer we were gone for a week and the circuit breaker tripped. Everything in our freezer thawed, including the very bloody placenta. Unfortunately, the bag it was in wasn't sealed well and there was a major pool of blood on the bottom of the freezer. We did our best to clean up the blood but it was impossible to get it out of all the cracks and crevices and the smell... When the guy came to fix the freezer the drain was full of blood and I think he was wondering... I couldn't bring myself to tell him what it was... Yuck! So make sure those bags are sealed tight.
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#9 of 47 Old 03-20-2002, 07:48 PM
 
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my first two placentas were just disposed of by the midwife--I had no idea that anyone did anything with them at the time. With my third, I wanted to plant it with a tree but our yard is too tiny for a tree so I planted it with a rose bush. That was the only year the rose bush bloomed.

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#10 of 47 Old 03-21-2002, 01:17 AM
 
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well, our two placentas have followed us on a few moves now (DD"s--3 and ds's--just once) they're in plastic bags in the freezer. Don't know what we'll do w/ them.
Ds's was a lotus birth so his was pretty well preserved by the time we froze it but didn't know what else to do w/it. Kinda wish I woulda planted them where each kid was born but we didn't do it and now we have some fellow travelers w/us...for good it seems. In fact when ds was born, some great friends of ours brought lots of food including some marinating meat....they put a piece of paper on it saying "not placenta " since they knew we had dd's in the freezer and we're going to keep ds's too!!
Maybe when we buy land in a few years, we'll plant it there?? If we're staying a while that is. I just hate the thought of leaving them anywhere if we moved again though. I'm attached (as my babes were I guess!!)
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#11 of 47 Old 03-21-2002, 04:40 AM
 
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Hi! Wow! I didn't realize how many others have a placenta in their freezer...!!! Now I don't feel so Frankensteinish... I kept mine in the freezer, not for tree fertilizer, but to use as a hands on specimen for my midwifery studies (and my own curiosity). I had birthed 4 placentas, but this was the first that I actually got to really look at! We put it in a ziplock in the fridge, and a couple days after the birth I took it out to look at it, and check out the membranes... it is really an amazing opportunity to look at such a specialized organ! I poked, prodded, rinsed it, pulled apart the membranes, and then froze it for later. It is still there, I plan to try to make slides off of it and check out some of the cell structure! 8)

I don't really have an interest in eating it, but one lady said it tastes like prime rib...

Somehow I feel better knowing I am not the only one with a placenta in my freezer!

The Lord bless you!
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#12 of 47 Old 03-23-2002, 04:26 PM
 
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I'm due with my first baby in 3 weeks!

My midwife will freeze dry it, and stuff it into pills for me. She says that the placenta can be used for Post Partum depression OR as a natural 'cure' for menopause!

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#13 of 47 Old 03-23-2002, 05:16 PM
 
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yaboobarb, that's interesting--I've never heard of that--mind if I ask who your midwife is? (I'm from Jersey too, there aren't that many around here.)

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#14 of 47 Old 03-23-2002, 05:24 PM
 
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Joan,
e-mail me at yaboobarb@yahoo.com, and I will telll you!

I am new to chat boards... so I don't know about posting her name... ( I don't think it matters but I would feel more comfortable by e-mail!)
Thanks!

Barb

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#15 of 47 Old 03-23-2002, 05:40 PM
 
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My midwife (also in NJ) gave me a recipe for freeze-drying the placenta and grinding it up into a powder. You can buy empty capsules at the health food store or online and stuff them yourself. These can then be taken as hormone replacement therapy after you reach menopause. I'm not at home, but will return later to post the instructions.
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#16 of 47 Old 03-23-2002, 09:22 PM
 
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Mine's in the freezer, almost 2 years now, because dh never got off his ass to take it to the hospital for disposal, and never buried it either. Dd could carry it to the hospital herself now! It will be buried by the summer.
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#17 of 47 Old 03-26-2002, 08:16 PM
 
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Mine is also in the freezer. It'll have been there 3 years this July
We rent the house we live in, so I didn't want to plant it here. We have bought land up in Canada which some day will have DS's placenta buried under a tree up there. We have rented the house out there so now is not the time but some day...
This placenta will have a plane ride!
Speaking of plane rides, five years ago I brought my best friend's placenta back to Calif from Colorado with me in a little lunch bag thing on ice!! She had a hospital birth there and I couldn't bear the idea of them just taking it away. She didn't want it, so I brought it home and buried it in the back yard and planted some beautiful California White Sage on top of it. Which is thriving. And this particular area is not really conducive to that herb growing so well.
It usually needs to be more arid, on the mountain. We have more of the ocean weather. So that is pretty cool, I think! I have a little medicine place for her (my friend's youngest DD) when she comes to town.
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#18 of 47 Old 03-26-2002, 10:00 PM
 
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OK, ladies, the long awaited placenta recipes:

Placenta Powder
Can be used to enhance your immune system, aid lactation, increase endurance, and as hormone replacement during perimenopause. Take 1-6 capsules per day as needed.
~ Placenta
~ Half a lemon
~ Fresh ginger root
~ Chili pepper
~ Steamer and baking sheet
~ Coffee grinder, blender or food processor
1. Rinse placenta with water.
2. Place in a steamer with fresh ginger root, chili pepper and half lemon.
3. Steam for 15 minutes on each side, until no juice runs when pricked with fork.
4. Slice thinly like "jerky."
5. Bake in oven on lowest setting (220-250 F) for several hours or dry in food dehydrator.
6. Grind to a powder in coffee grinder, blender or food processor.
7. Put powder in gelatin caps or spoon over your food.
8. Freeze for long-term storage.

Placenta Essence
This is like a tincture or Bach Flower essence. Take seven drops under the tongue twice a day for up to three months postpartum. Also can be given to baby as his/her own "Rescue Remedy."
~ Placenta
~ Vodka
~ Spring or distilled water
~ Glass bowl or jar with lid
~ 1-2 oz. bottle with dropper
1. While placenta is still vital, cut off a small piece and put it in a jar of water, cover with lid.
2. Leave in direct sunlight for 4 hours. The water absorbs the vibrational properties of the placenta.
3. Remove and discard the piece of placenta. The water may look like herbal tea, which is normal.
4. Add alcohol to preserve the water: 50% alcohol to 50% water.
5. Store it in a glass mason jar. This is now the "Mother Essence."
6. To use: fill the dropper bottle with half water and half alcohol. Add 7 drops of Mother Essence.

The first recipe can be used for your frozen placentas, whereas the second needs to be done soon after the birth, while the placenta is still vital. My placenta got left behind in a friends freezer when we moved. Soon I'll retrieve it and do the former as this will most likely be my last child. I'd like a natural alternative to hormone replacement further on down the road...
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#19 of 47 Old 03-29-2002, 05:31 AM
 
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:LOL This topic came up at my last LLL meeting. Almost everyone there still had their placentas in the freezer, even some of us who had given birth in the hospital! It sure made me feel better knowing there were others like me out there. My husband thinks I'm strange for keeping it, but I want to bury it somewhere special and maybe plant a tree over it. I've been wondering though...will I have to thaw my placenta before I plant a tree over it?

Did any of you dry the umbilical cord for a keepsake? What shape did you dry it in? My midwives talked about it before I gave birth, but I forgot about it until after the placenta was frozen. I wonder if it is still attached to my placenta and if I can dry it out now? Hmmmm?

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#20 of 47 Old 03-30-2002, 09:58 AM
 
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My dd's placenta is in the freezer(3y).I have been debating planting it this summer with some type of fruit/medicinal tree/shrub at my moms(we have a condo).
I was wondering for those who have thawed a placenta after 3 or more years what condition it was in.I was kinda hoping to show it to dd,but figured it might just be one big smelly mush ball once it thaws.
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#21 of 47 Old 03-30-2002, 11:34 AM
 
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The reason I wanted to thaw it was to show/explain to dd where she had come.You know the various parts and all.I guess I will just have to wait and see.Ofcourse I can show her the siblings placenta if hers is all mushy
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#22 of 47 Old 03-30-2002, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great ideas! I love the reciepe,too!
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#23 of 47 Old 03-30-2002, 02:11 PM
 
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Hi Sara -
Be forwarned that thawed placenta is really, really different than what it was like at birth! During a class last week we thawed out 4 placentas that I had seen at the births, and I was kind of thinking it would be like reuniting with old friends (I'm mesmerized with placentas, I admit). I was disheartened to see that they were all gunky and friable and came apart really easily (which was actually kind of good to see the layers of the membranes). And the smell was definately not like it was pre-freezing.....
Just lettin ya know it will be a bit different!
happy thawing,
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#24 of 47 Old 04-01-2002, 03:04 AM
 
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Y'all are so comforting!
I've been feeling like a flaky weirdo for having DD's placenta in the freezer for 16 months now!

a coupla questions:

Has anyone heard of eating placenta immediately after birth to stop hemmorhaging?

Anyone know of specific plants/trees that would especially thrive on placenta? any that might not like it??


They're so cool. I wish I'd gotten a better look: our midwife showed it to me just a little while after the birth, when I was bone tired,
and by the time I was rested enough to want to really look at it, someone had put it in the freezer!
Oh well, I'll just have to grow another.

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#25 of 47 Old 04-02-2002, 12:15 AM
 
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omg saige....Cameron's placenta is in MY freezer too....lol maybe we ought to bury both our kids' together and they will share a special bond or something...lol!
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#26 of 47 Old 04-02-2002, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL Earthymama!!! I'm surprised we never discovered them in each other's freezers!!!!! I feel better though,Cameron's older then Willow!!!!! (Whatcha wainting for?)
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#27 of 47 Old 04-02-2002, 09:21 PM
 
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My son's (first one) hung out in the freezer for about 2 yrs, because we intended to plant it under a tree and never got around to it! We kept thinking, well, let's wait until we have a place of our own(owned) and we never did. Sort of awful, but when we moved out of our house, DH went back to clean out the fridge on our last day and the new owners/corporation who bought it had removed everything from the freezer and dumped it on the counter. Needless to say, none was worth saving, much less say that bag full of placenta
Second time (dd) I told the midwife when she asked, "Put it in the freezer; I'll throw it out later,"lol! Too true.
Sigh. I wish we HAD planted them, but in the grand scheme of things, oh WELL! Kim, mom to Forest, 10 and Lily, 2.5
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#28 of 47 Old 04-03-2002, 12:50 AM
 
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strangely i am waiting for the right time lol. i dont feel like i can just thaw it and do it....i m going to come across a ritual or recipe or something that will just grab me and scream this is it! and then i will know its the right time.
or we will be moving and mr earthy will evict it before i see whats happened
:
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#29 of 47 Old 04-08-2002, 02:17 PM
 
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We saved Isaiah's in the freezer until his first birthday!!! On his b-day we took it to the mountains behind our house and planted it on a hillside overlooking the whole valley (this is one of our favoirte places to go walking and seemed like the perfect place to nourish with his placenta). Dh and I each said our prayers and then we covered the hole and placed some rocks on top.
We also wanted to plant it with a tree on our property, but I really wanted to have the ceremony on Isaiah's first birthday, and he was born in November, so, it would not have been good planting time. I didn't thaw it out though, but the midwife did show it to me after the birth and pointed out the tree of life on it made by all the blood vessels!!!!
Just a funny story to share:
I was at my SILs house for dinner when Dh and I went home in Oct for our wedding. There was a woman there who was about 7 months pregnant at the time. Everyone began asking me about Isaiah's birth (they were all so amazed that it was drug free and totally natural). My other SILs boyfriend asked my how I birthed the placenta since Isaiah was born int he water. I began to tell him, and the whole rest of the dinner table that I birthed the placenta on the bed yadda yadda yadda. I got to the part about how we kept it and took it home and had it in the freezer still. Everyone at the table FREAKED (and DH was gone playing with all the kids, so no backup:mad: !!!). I began explaining how many cultures kept the placenta and how there was no way that I was going to throw something in the trash that nourished my son for 9 months!!!!! (they were all so grossed out and just laughing and totally making fun of the situation ~ honestly I almost cried they were so horrible about it ~ I just chalk it up to ignorance though!!), then the soon to be dad came up and began telling the others how some folks eat the placenta, I guess that saved some face for me in my in-laws eyes. When I told Dh about the whole thing he seemed happy he was out of the room, but also felt bad that he wasn't there to stand by me. It still comes up at family gatherings to this day
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#30 of 47 Old 04-08-2002, 03:11 PM
 
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I hope I didn't miss this already being mentioned in one of the above posts, but have any of you ever made a Tree of Life print with your placenta? My friend was plannning to do one but she ended up having to go to the hospital for an emergency cesarean and didn't get the chance. I've never seen one but it's sounds so interesting. I'm thinking about doing one, before either planting or freezing it.
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