Making crafts with your placenta .... Uh, yeah. File that under five words that will never cross Martha Stewart’s lips. Not even on April Fools' Day. Somehow I don’t think it’s going to marry well with the feature on rare jadeite and obscure shade plants.
On a certain level, I totally get doing things with your placenta. Women have been burying placentas since the beginning of time -- whether for spiritual reasons or for more earth-minded ones, such as fertilizing a tree planted in honor of the newest member of your family. I think, think, I even might understand freezing it, donating it, and … (I’m working on this part) eating it. But there are some things that I just can’t get down with, and those fall into two categories.
Let’s start out small -- and by “small” I mean “not as vomit-inducing.” The first category is stuff made to look like a placenta, for those people out there who ... okay, fine, I have no idea who these would appeal to.
Placenta Charm -- Take some Play-Doh and make a circle and some snakes. Stick it all together and, voila! Instant placenta. Your midwife will be bowled over with emotion provided she can figure out what the hell this is.
Knitted Placenta -- The perfect throw pillow for your new nursing chair? Something for your older kid to swing round over his head as he charges around singing a made-up song about pink aliens? The seller claims it makes a good educational tool. Maybe it does, but I still think it’s weird. Just show me a picture.
Crocheted Childbirth Doll -- Complete with detachable placenta, this doll is billed as something to be used to teach young children about childbirth. Now, today I’m all about natural childbirth. When I was 7, if you had even dared approach me with anything remotely resembling this and then told me that my mom was gonna poop out (because at 7, let’s face it, that’s what it seems like) a giant pillow of blood … well, I’d have been on the train to Schenectady faster than you can spell Schenectady (if you can spell it).
Okay, so those are the ones I can deal with, however questionable the taste level. But then I came across these, which, while I appreciate all the Earth Mother placenta-loving stuff, go a little over the edge:
Baby’s First Teddybear -- Literally. Alex Green constructed a Placenta Teddy Bear as part of an exhibition put on by [re]design -- which was to showcase the most innovative sustainable toys around. Well, it was certainly innovative, if a little Ed Gein/Silence of the Lambs. Green had to salt-cure the placenta and then treat it with an emulsifying mixture to moisturize it and make it pliable for use (must resist ”it puts the lotion on” joke). After the prep process was complete, the placenta was sewn into shape and stuffed. (With fava beans. Ahh! Can’t help myself!) And never fear, though Green’s website is currently down, I’m sure the placenta kits will be available soon. Or some weirdo will post a how-to on YouTube.
Placenta Pendants -- Keep your placenta close to your heart even after you birth it. Etsy seller doulahara uses vintage wooden checkers and your dried placenta powder to create each pendant. What’s that, you say? You haven’t dried and powdered your placenta? Never fear, doulahara can do that for you, prior to smearing the dust on a piece of wood and sealing it. Since only a small amount of dust is needed for each piece, feel free to send extra and have pendants crafted for your doula and OB.
Placenta Printing -- Remember how you used to use designs cut into potatoes to make cool stamped images out of paint? Yeah, this isn’t really anything like that. Except that your placenta is your stamp and the paint is ... I’m sure you can figure that out. Can’t you just see it now? You’d have the MOST unique birth announcements ever. No one will want to touch them but you’d win for originality.
Placenta Printing Part Deux -- Wait, wait! When you are done with your placental birth announcements, there is still one more craft you can do. Because, you see, big brother and sister totally need a t-shirt printed with placental blood. Or, you can save the placenta for a year or so, until your baby is old enough to wear his own damn placenta. Thingamababy has instructions on how to paint a “Wilson” a la Castaway. But I’m sure you and your crafty brain could think of even more, equally awesome things to paint. Placenta tie-dye, anyone?
Just in case crafts aren’t enough, you can also donate it to a canine search and rescue group (one placenta provides six months of dog training!), or you can dehydrate and encapsulate it, and bury at the base of a special tree, or eat it -- in the form of pizza, sashimi, or a smoothie! Tasty.