So you just don't want to eat your placenta? We get it, it's truly not for everyone and we are here to spread the word about how awesome the benefits of encapsulation and placenta ingestion can be, but we aren't going to shove it down your throat (get it??! Ha!). But you do want to do something with it, it's just too wasteful to throw it out, or let your hospital harvest the stem cells (creepy), or sell it for shampoo (we aren't kidding). So let's talk about how you can make use of your placenta and honor it without actually eating it.
1. You can bury it. This might be the most popular option here for the non-placenta eaters we know. It sends all that vibrant energy and life giving nutrients back to the earth, which in turns sustains life for all of us. Some families plant it with a special tree. Some families wait for a special time to bury it, whether it be when the mothers first period returns, when baby is weaned from the breast, baby's first birthday, or other significant times of transition. Read all about placenta burying in this specific blog post: Placenta Burial
2. You can donate your placenta. Have a love for education and medical/sciences? Donate your placenta to a local midwife, doula, placenta specialist, childbirth educator or midwifery school. They are always looking for the real deal to show students what a placenta is, how it functions, looks and feels. Midwifery students may practice umbilical cord clamping and cutting and practice placenta delivery techniques. Doulas and childbirth educators and students may learn and practice proper placenta examination (there is SO much your placenta can tell us!). Whoever you donate it to will likely store it in a freezer until it's needed for learning so if you want to freeze it in your own freezer before deciding how to get it to someone, it's safe to do so. Curious about what ends up happening with your placenta? Ask the person you donate it to if they would take pictures or make a written record of their findings while getting a close look.
3. You can still use your placenta for personal use without ingesting it! Yes, it's true! At My San Diego Placenta, we make a placenta salve that you can use on your skin. Your skin is your body's largest organ so you would still have the benefits of absorbing nutrients with the salve without it going through your mouth. We use a small amount of dehydrated placenta powder and infuse it into a unique blend of oils that help hydrate, protect and nourish your skin. It's great for any type of skin but especially helpful for women who suffer with eczema, dermatitis or other skin sensitivities. Bonus is that it is also completely safe and highly recommended for babies sensitive skin issues, too! Including diaper rash. Because utilizing your placenta this way requires such a little amount of it, you can have a few salves made and still bury or donate your placenta afterwards.
4. And lastly, you can have keepsakes made of your placenta to commemorate it without eating it. We offer photographs, a thorough examination report, placenta prints (see why you should get placenta prints here) and a cord keepsake. The placenta prints can be done on watercolor paper or canvas. The cord keepsake is the umbilical cord dried into a shape, usually a heart. We provide a box with a see-through lid so you can see it without touching it (appreciated by many). These are all things we offer complimentary with any placenta service, but some families just prefer the keepsake records and not ingesting their placenta at all. In this case you can also take advantage of the placenta salve; and still donate or bury the rest of your placenta.
If you have been thinking that the placenta is just not your thing, think again! There are so many ways to honor, commemorate or just make use out of it without having to actually eat it. If you are on the fence about eating it and just not ready to commit by the time your baby is born, freeze your placenta- we can always make use out of it frozen, even for consumption. Do you have any questions for us? Did we miss something? Let us know if YOU have an idea for placenta use that we haven't thought of yet! Email or call us anytime, we would love to hear from you.
Tiffany Alblinger has been a birth doula since becoming a mother 2010 and has been providing placenta encapsulation since 2014. She especially had enjoyed writing about birth and placentas during her 6 years of birth work. Tiffany happily serves all of San Diego, but provides the speediest placenta encapsulation service to the Encinitas, Carlsbad, Del Mar and Poway areas. Contact her today about placenta encapsulation!