Placentas are my thing!  I am totally fascinated with them. I'd love to hear from anyone and everyone on how to build a healthy placenta, what happened when you birthed your placenta, what did you do with your placenta after you birthed it, have you heard of any placenta recipes? Know anything crazy about the placenta? Am I the only crazy one who takes pictures of mine? Ever had a Lotus birth?  What was it like?  Please post pictures of your placentas!!! I love them!!!

The Placenta below is my last one at 42 weeks old

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What is a placenta?
A membranous vascular organ that develops in female mammals during pregnancy, lining the uterine wall and partially enveloping the fetus, to which it is attached by the umbilical cord. Following birth, the placenta is expelled.

What does it do?
- Provides nourishment to your baby.
- Eliminates waste from your baby.
- Exchanges respiratory gasses with your baby, allowing it to breathe through you.
- Secretes various hormones such as chorionic gonadotropin, progesterone and estrogens that help regulate and maintain your pregnancy.
- Blocks some (but not all) harmful substances in your body from your baby.
And so much more...

What does a healthy placenta look like?
-A healthy placenta should have the aproximate shape of a circle or disc
-Placenta should be about 9 inches in diameter
-1 inch in thickness
-Should weigh about 1 lb
-the umbilliical cord should attach roughly at its center containing 2 arteries and 1 vein
-Placenta should be dark blue/red or maroon color
-Vessels branch over the entire fetal side of the structure
-On the opposing side are lobules called cotelydons looking like a brain structure again red/bluse or maroon in color
There is some wonderful information about building healthy placentas in Nina Planck's new book, Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods.
As for me, I froze my placenta in a round plastic take-out container and 7 months later carried it onto a cross country flight in a cooler. My husband and I then thawed and buried it in one of my families most magical places. Fortunately it is a place that will always be in my family, so I feel great about the placenta nourishing the earth there. We then planted a flowering plant over it and now we visit it every year.
It is a wonderful reminder of the joy of giving birth. :)
I did not keep any of my placentas; in fact, I did not even see my first two. My third one (my first out-of-hospital birth) was difficult to birth, and we took a couple of pictures. My two daughters were FASCINATED by it, so we took one picture of them with it.
Do you still have that picture? Can you post it? How wonderful!!
I forgot to say that we did spend quite a bit of time looking at it with our midwife. It is so phenomenal that we are able to grow an organ during pregnancy. It is an amazing beautiful part of the birth experience and we felt it should be honored.

Karen said:
There is some wonderful information about building healthy placentas in Nina Planck's new book, Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods.
As for me, I froze my placenta in a round plastic take-out container and 7 months later carried it onto a cross country flight in a cooler. My husband and I then thawed and buried it in one of my families most magical places. Fortunately it is a place that will always be in my family, so I feel great about the placenta nourishing the earth there. We then planted a flowering plant over it and now we visit it every year.
It is a wonderful reminder of the joy of giving birth. :)
love this poem I found on the web, no idea who wrote it but it's GREAT!

Ode to my Placenta

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.

First I love your beauty,
So rich and warm and red.
Placenta you're my pillow
In my cosiest womb-bed.

Second you bring nourishment
And liquid from my mum-
When she eats well, then I eat well,
That's good 'cause I'm so young.

Third you take away my waste
And metabolise the rest.
It goes out through Mum's kidneys,
No work, no fuss, no mess.

Fourthly, you're a barrier
To keep our bloods apart,
For Mum and me are separate beings,
Though connected at the start.

Fifthly you're my advocate-
You tell Mum what to do.
Your hormones keep me growing
And that makes Mum healthy too.

Sixthly you bring Oxygen
Each time Mum takes a breath
I need a lot of clean fresh air
'Cause my lungs don't work yet.

Seventh you're my thermostat
You keep my womb just right.
Mum sweats for me in the daytime
And warms me up at night.

Lastly you're a treasure-chest
Of blood for when I'm born-
The extra mls that fill me up
To birth me in top form.

So please don't cut my cord too soon
And don't pull on it too.
I'll call for my placenta
When I am safely through.

And when you see this wondrous thing
That grew me up so well,
Say thank you to God
Who made us from one cell.
With my third baby (a boy 9lb 4oz) it was my first out of hospital birth so I actually got to see my placenta, which was the neatest thing ever. It was huge. It looked like a tree. The veins that ran through it looked like the branches and the umbilical cord was the trunk. Now I know why they call it The Tree of Life. Then I ended up delivering a second placenta which we determered was my sons twin that didn't develope. My midwives said that we were lucky that my body didn't reject both of the babies. Because I was supporting two placentas I ended up having to have iron shot twice a week to keep up with demand on my body. Then with my fourth baby (a girl 8lb 6oz) at the base of the placent where the cord attaches, the Wharton's jelly that covers the cord didn't completely cover all of her vessels and yet again my midwives told me that we were lucky to still have her as well. If she had turned just right she could have torn a blood vessel and her and I could have been lost. My midwives wish they could have seen my first two placentas to see how strange they were.My first two kiddos are girls, my first 6lbs 10oz, and my second 6lbs 14oz. :)
Yes, you are crazy to take pictures of your placenta! Maybe as crazy as me...my midwife took the placenta, had it freeze dried and put into capsules. I took them for several weeks as she stated it would help me with my postpardom recovery. I didnt have any depression so maybe it worked. I felt really healthy the whole time.
Do you have a picture can you post it please?

I have a story. My third baby was born at home in March, 11 days late. My sister in law overheard the midwives talking in the kitchen after the birth, saying how horrible the placenta looked. They thought it had all come out of me, but apparently there were a lot of thick calcium deposits all over it and one of the midwives said she'd never seen anything like it! Yikes. A few days later I started feeling very bad - fever, chills, malaise, and eventually - TMI warning ***************** I passed several chunks of rotten placenta at 3, 4 and 5 days postpartum that I had retained. I had to go on antibiotics and methergine. I have attatched a picture of the aforementioned placenta for your viewing pleasure. :) We threw it away. We've always rented whenever I've given birth, so we haven't planted any trees in the yard or anything.
Wonderful Briana! I really needed to see that! This story is very similar to what got me obsessed with building my placenta this pregnancy! I should mention that the placenta posted above was a 42 week placenta as my son was 15 days over his "due date" . I wanted to add one of the things I did to create this beauty was taking a daily green shake for 21 day, probably more. The recipe is as follows:
I thought I'd share my favorite green shake recipe: I have a crazy power blender to make this but I can give directions on a regular blender too. It made me feel tons better when I was in the early stages and gave me lots of energy toward the later stages.
1 Cucumber- this is just plain yummy, very alkalizing for blood
1 avocado- lots of omegas and helps balance hormones
1 lemon peeled- Vitamin C and gets rid of retained water
1 hand full of greens- I used spinach or kale most of the time both have lots of chlorophyll, B vitamins, iron
1 apple- to sweeten and for the extra fiber
a couple shakes of cinnamon - to help stabilize blood sugar
2 packets stevia to sweeten it up
and 1 cup water
Blend baby blend!
I'm at 37 weeks and plan to encapsulate my placenta. A lot of home birth moms in my community swear by their 'happy pills', saying that taking their placenta capsules help them have more energy, increase milk flow for breastfeeding, and keep away any 'blues'. For more information about this you can visit PlacentaBenefits.info.

I can't say I've done anything to specifically build my placenta. Nothing other than plain 'ol good nutrition! This is my first baby, but I definitely plan on taking a close look at the placenta when we're all done. Jodi, who is coming over to prepare the placenta capsules (BTW you can hire someone to do this or order a do-it-yourself encapsulation kit) told me that the 'baby side' of the placenta looks like an amazing root system--she called it 'the roots of life'. I like that.

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