Not very many people realize the genius of the placenta. It becomes a completely autonomous organ grown from a speck in a matter of weeks. It pretty much controls all aspects of the uterine environment attempting to ensure the best outcome for the baby -pulling nutrients from the mother if needed. The idea that when pregnant, in addition to a baby, we also grow a fully functioning genius organ just kind adds to the amazingness of it all.
It used to be that the placenta was seen as simple “medical waste” post birth. These days, however, folks do all sorts of things with it!
1. Yup, some folks really do eat it. If there’s a woman who manages to get through their entire pregnancy without a story about placenta paté popping up, I’ve yet to meet her.
2. Encapsulation is a pretty big thing in hipster Brooklyn and near various food co-ops around the United States. Basically, the placenta is freeze-dried, ground and encapsulated in a pill to swallow. It’s sort of like the kale chips of placentas – we don’t really have to admit we are eating kale if we’ve roasted and salted it and turned it into kale chips. It’s the same with placenta encapsulation – you can somehow manage to take your mind off the fact that you’re eating the placenta if it’s in a pill.
3. Hair products, face creams, and lotions may be created these days with placenta. Who knows what you are slathering on your face!
4. These days, there is a cord blood bank* that stores and banks the placental blood. Cord blood banking is used for treatments of certain cancers, with the blood most often used for siblings. The additional option of banking the placental blood allows a larger sample and thus possibly expands the ages and duration the sample could be use for.
5. Given that all the “low lying pharmaceutical fruit” has been plucked (according to my really smart neuroscientist PhD cousin-in-law), using placenta to figure out if there are new application possibilities seems valid.
6. Bury it. Many a tree or shrub has flourished from its rich fertilizer.
It’s 10pm – do you know where your placenta is?
*Blogger Etiquette: The only cord blood bank that banks placental blood is LifeBankUSA. They are one of the educational sponsors of www.birth360.com however they have no say in my editorial or creative content.