Updated: Jul 29
It's that magical moment you've been waiting for- your baby is here! Your first thought probably isn't, 'Now- what about that placenta?!'
So, before the time comes, here are some ideas for honouring the amazing organ that helped to sustain your baby before they made their way earth-side- 5 things you can do with your placenta after its birth.
Optimal cord clamping
What is optimal cord clamping? Waiting until the umbilical cord stops pulsating and becomes white before it is clamped and cut.
This allows all baby's circulating iron, oxygen and stem cell rich blood to move from the placenta to the baby.
Baby makes a gentle cardio-pulmonary transition at birth and the parent-baby dyad is protected, enabling the benefits of skin to skin contact and initiation of breastfeeding if the woman/birthing person chooses.
Ask to see it
Your midwife will be happy to show you your placenta and explain the different parts of it... the side that was attached to you and the side that was facing baby in the uterus. Yes I am biased but they are so interesting!
You have a few options when it comes to keepsakes:
You can take a photo
Placenta prints are VERY easy to make, as is shaping and drying out the umbilical cord.
Some breastmilk keepsake jewellery companies (like Eternally Cherished) can also use placenta in their makes-using fresh placenta or dried powder from placenta capsules.
Don't have the desire to use or consume your placenta but feel it's too sacred to dispose of at the hospital?
You could plant the placenta in some earth or in a pot. This symbolises a baby's link to the earth in certain cultures, but some modern parents like the idea of planting their placenta alongside a tree/bush in their garden that will grow with their baby.
It's a sweet visual reminder of how mum/birthing person and baby
were once physically connected to one another.
Of course, you can also consume your placenta, replenishing lost hormones and vitamins post birth.
Feedback from many mothers show that consuming your placenta via smoothies or capsules may help with:
Balancing moods, lessening the baby blues Giving you an energy boost
Targeting healing sites to support recovery
Encouraging a healthy milk supply