Placenta Hoarder Decides to Clean House

Jeanne Sager
9

riverPicture this: you hear a mom has just dropped two placentas in the river. Are you running for your phone to call 911? Or just nodding along?

If it's the former, put down the phone. The police interviewed her and have ascertained that all her kids are accounted for, and they're doing just fine. In fact she has no newborn babies at home -- her kids are all several years past birth.

The woman in question told police she had stored the placentas for several years and finally decided the river was where she wanted to place them.

Which leads us to those of you who didn't raise an eyebrow. Still convinced this is normal?

The days of the placenta being carted out as medical waste are long past us. There are women practicing placentophagy -- making meatloaf and scarfing placenta pills, which some experts claim will help ward off postpartum depression. We've heard of taking it home to bury in the backyard (sometimes called "planting" the placenta) and of course making teddy bears. And a new one that's come up recently: making placenta art -- throwing it on a piece of paper and framing the resulting splatter.

On a completely scientific level, it can even be taken by hospitals and used to make medicine used to treat Gaucher's disease, an inherited metabolic disorder that affects kids as young as 3 months (and usually claims them by 2 years old).

But this may be the first we've heard of storing the placenta for years by a mother (sending the placenta cord to a cord blood bank is a whole other ball of wax).

Let's face it -- even if you don't consider it medical waste, once that thing ceases to be floating around in your uterus, the clock is ticking on freshness. The women who plan to eat it generally report cutting it up immediately and/or drying it out or cooking it.

Storing it without the stink means keeping it cold. And unless you have a freezer tucked away in the corner that's empty and money to waste on an extra freezer running 24/7, years of placenta in the freezer means brushing past it every time you get the peas.

It's natural and amazing when it's first out of your body. Two years on, it's just that mass of brownish red taking up space. And it makes inviting any of your dinner guests to help you out by grabbing the ice cream a little awkward.

Do you plan on hanging on to that placenta?

 

Image via finchlake2000/Flickr


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