Your placenta is an organ that you grow with your baby. It attaches itself to the wall of your uterus and keeps your baby alive and growing by filtering nutrients from what you eat and drink, passing them on to baby through the umbilical cord. It also provides oxygen to baby and filters waste from their blood.
If expecting twins, you may grow 2 placentas, or they may share one.
If your baby is born vaginally, your placenta will be born shortly afterwards by your uterus tightening and releasing to move it down and out. If baby is born abdominally by caesarean, the placenta will be lifted out just after baby is.
Here are 10 things you can do with your placenta after the birth.
Please note that we are not endorsing these practices but sharing what people do with them due to personal beliefs, preferences and cultural practices. It is important that you do your research and do what feels best for you.
Make pills or tinctures from it
Encapsulating has become more and more popular over the years as more people are anecdotally reporting seeing benefits from consuming their placenta, but want to do it in a way that feels less carnivorous. To do this, you need to book a specialist in advance who will provide you with a freezer box and bag to store your placenta in. You’ll need to let your care providers know you’d like it to be put into there post birth and then let the specialist know once baby and placenta have been born. They then collect it within hours of the birth and freeze dry it, make it into powder and encapsulate it ready for your daily consumption.
A placenta tincture is made by infusing dehydrated placenta in alcohol. The preparation time is approximately six weeks. Placenta tincture may be used after the capsules are finished in times of stress, anxiety and emotional lows.
Read more about placenta consumption on Evidence Based Birth here.
There are many options here, smoothies, familiar food recipes and even gummy bears can be on the menu!
The Living Amniotic Membrane Donation Programme operates throughout hospitals in the UK at different times. Read more about it here and to find out if your hospital is running the programme too.