Donating your placenta - what to think about? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 08-07-2008, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a homebirth and have had the placenta in my freezer for almost a year now. Not really sure what to do with it. We live in an apartment, so the bury it under a tree thing doesn't really work, and I'm at a loss for other ideas.

So an acquaintence of mine trains rescue dogs that work with the police to find people when they are lost or bodies for murders, etc. She mentioned that they are always looking for body parts to be donated to train the dogs to find people and human remains. So I was thinking about donating the placenta to the search dog group. I feel like it would be a good cause, but I'm still a little uneasy about it for some reason. Also, are there any legal considerations? Thoughts? Other ideas for what to do with the placenta?
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#2 of 19 Old 08-07-2008, 02:22 PM
 
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I think that after a year sitting in your freezer it would smell more like what ever foods you have in there rather than a person.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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#3 of 19 Old 08-07-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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Heh, that's a new one!

I think I'd go for it. It sounds like a worthwhile cause, so unless you want to keep it in your freezer until you have somewhere to plant a tree, it's doing more good "going to the dogs". (Okay, I couldn't help it, forgive me!)

I have heard of people being sad, though, when they have a second child later on, and that child has their placenta planted under a tree, and the first child doesn't. You could still plant a tree for the first child, of course, sans placenta. But it's something to think about.

We donated ours (for the stem cell blood), and I haven't regretted it.
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#4 of 19 Old 08-07-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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I am trying to have a homebirth and yet avoid having to dispose of my placenta. The absolute last thing that I want is to have it in my freezer for years! At my next midwife appt I'll ask if there's any way she can just take it with her when she leaves... short of that, what options have y'all thought of? I had never thought of donating it to train police dogs, for example I have no yard and so I can't bury it under a tree or a plant... I would like it to just magically disappear! Maybe I can find someone who'd put it into capsules JUST SO I COULD GET RID OF IT
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#5 of 19 Old 08-07-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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I'm a dog trainer. I think it's a great idea and a great cause! It may smell somewhat like the food in the freezer, but to a dog, it will still smell more like a human body part and blood. Many donated "parts" probably have picked up some other smells, too--perfume, aftershave, drugs, cleaners, even the smells from the investigators. There won't be anything w/100% "pure" smell. The trainers just have to do the best they can. They often have to use rotting meat or animal carcasses, as opposed to human remains.

If you feel good about it, I'd ask if they can use it. Cadaver dogs and their handlers do families who have lost loved ones a huge service by helping them find some closure during a difficult time.

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#6 of 19 Old 08-08-2008, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Cadaver dogs and their handlers do families who have lost loved ones a huge service by helping them find some closure during a difficult time.
mrsfru
OP here - I like that thought - thanks! And you what else just occured to me? My LO LOVES dogs - "dog" was her first word. That makes me feel even better about it.
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#7 of 19 Old 08-08-2008, 09:06 PM
 
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or you could donate it to a midwifery or med school for training of placental inspections.
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#8 of 19 Old 08-08-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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or you could donate it to a midwifery or med school for training of placental inspections.
That's what I did with DS3's placenta. My midwife was a teacher at the local midwifery school and she took it for classes.
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#9 of 19 Old 08-09-2008, 03:51 AM
 
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or you could donate it to a midwifery or med school for training of placental inspections.
We were going to do something similar to this. My midwife is a medical anthropologist with a small lab in her department and she is always on the lookout for placentas.

I think the dog thing sounds super, but just FYI for others looking to do something with their placenta, ask around your local universities, someone there probably would love it.

S, mama to boy M(6/07) and baby girl R(7/10). We do all the good natural family living stuff!
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#10 of 19 Old 08-10-2008, 09:08 AM
 
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We have the rescue dog training program here too. The MW asks the birthing family if they are keeping or disposing of their placenta or if they would allow her to donate it to that program. They prefer "fresh" placentas because the hospitals dump them in formaldehyde immediately, rendering them unuseable. Even fresh "frozen" would be preferable to that, so I say donate it if you are at all supportive of that kind of program. Call your local police dept.
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#11 of 19 Old 08-10-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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I think it is a great idea to donate it to the rescue dogs. This is the first time I ever had to think about how to dispose of the placenta in a homebirth. I'm so glad you brought it up.

Shanese mom of 2ds
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#12 of 19 Old 08-10-2008, 02:34 PM
 
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I did that with DS' placenta! A friend of mine trained SAR dogs and she took the placenta, it was divided up into 99 vials of training scent for the dogs. (This was in 2004) Those dogs went on to work several missing person cases in SE Georgia and NE Florida, and then help with body recovery after hurricane Katrina.

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#13 of 19 Old 08-13-2008, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses! We decided to go ahead and donate the placenta to the rescue dog group and we're pysched that it will be used for such a good cause. Since DD is such a dog lover ("dog" was her first word!), I think she would be happy about it too.
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#14 of 19 Old 08-26-2008, 03:09 AM
 
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OMG- I love the idea of doing this (I have no desire whatsoever to eat my placenta in any form, and any tree I planted would likely die, rendering me incredibly guilty)... but I just can't seem to picture myself calling the local police department

"Um yeah... I have a placenta here, did you want it?"

LOL! Any more tips on who to call? I haven't looked, but is there likely a specific search and rescue number, or would you call just your local community office? That might really freak them out.

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#15 of 19 Old 08-26-2008, 04:14 AM
 
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I want to do this but I don't want to make cold calls about it either.
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#16 of 19 Old 08-26-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SiobhanAoife View Post
Maybe I can find someone who'd put it into capsules JUST SO I COULD GET RID OF IT
You could encapsulate it and save it for menopause. I've heard of that.
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#17 of 19 Old 08-26-2008, 05:57 PM
 
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I donated mine.

My pediatrician works with an organization that trains rescue dogs and asked at our first appointment if we would like to donate our placenta. We thought about it and it seemed like a great idea since I didn't want to consume it or toss it.

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#18 of 19 Old 08-28-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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I think it's really neat about using placentas for SAR training. I plan to offer that as an option for families who won't be keeping their own for burial or encapsulation... many families don't want them and at least they can continue to be useful.

My two placentas are still in the freezer after 5 and 2 years... someday I will have to decided what to do with them!!
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#19 of 19 Old 11-03-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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Don't many midwives-in-training dissect placentas? I seem to remember reading about a way to donate to them.. anybody have any information on that? What about AAMI?

~e, wife to my sweet T , mama to my turtleman (12) , sunshine (9 ), and monkey (6)
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