So, before continuing, this is going to be gross. Probably more disgusting for the guys, but it's pretty nasty for girls too. (How often is something more gross for a man than a woman.) So, you've been warned, this is gross, and possibly/probably borderline offensive. You don't have to read it. But, I know (because I've read warnings like this on blogs, right before the really good topics) that now that I've said that, even if you weren't interested before, now you are. I should have titled this, "Our day at the park," and had pictures of my kids on swings. Then you wouldn't be so curious about what this is about. But, seriously, it is gross. And it'll probably be long, because this is a topic with which I have issues.
When you're pregnant, you get lots of questions, some that seem normal, some that seem a little too personal, and that you'd rather not answer. "Do you know if it's a boy or girl?" (yes) "Do you have a name?" (yes) "Do you plan to breastfeed?"(if I can) "Do you plan on circumcision?" (definitely not if it's a girl..) Anyway, lots of questions. So, the other day on my "mommy board" the topic of placenta came up. I've never actually seen any of mine, and I'm fine if I live my life never seeing a placenta. So, imagine my surprise when I was asked (in earnest) if I planned to save and eat my placenta.
I admit lately I've been thinking a lot about what I want to eat right after having the baby, and in the few days after having him. (Why does it seem like so much of my thinking revolves around eating... hmm.. that'll have to be another blog entry.) The things I had in mind were cinnamon rolls, I thought I could start rolling the dough in early labor, and by the time I'd had the baby, they'd be done rising, and someone could toss them in the oven and bring me some. I also had a few fantasies about Bajio, Great Harvest Bread, and the Chinese restaraunt in Blackfoot that is the only place I'll get sweet and sour chicken. I also remembered my sweet brother who brought me pretzels covered, no - drenched, in caramel and dipped in chocolate right after I had Essi. That was so nice. What more can you ask for right after pushing a baby out? It was before he was married, and after he left, I told my husband, "He's definitely ready to get married." (I think I'll love you forever for that Ammon! What'll I do this time while you're in Switzerland?)
Anyway, NO!!! Even with all that thinking about my first post partum meal, eating my placenta never crossed my mind. (And I consider myself somewhat open minded. I'm all for natural healing, homebirth, etc. I think if that's what you want, it's great! But this seemed just a little over the line to me. It seemed so revolting that I was amazed anyone had thought of it. It seemed too close to cannibalism to me, though according to wikipedia that is debatable. You'll have to decide for yourself. Oh, and I guess it's considered a great form of protein by some vegans.)
Anyway, apparently, it's very beneficial for a new mother. A quick google later, I'd learned "Eating the placenta can curb postpartum depression, replenish nutrients, increase milk production, and slow postpartum hemmorrhage." "Eating the placenta enables the mother to "reclaim" vitamins and put them to use in her own body."
I guess the biggest benefit though is helping through post partum depression and baby blues. I submit that it could not possibly be as effective as a big box of chocolate truffles, maybe some fudge, cordial cherries, toffee, and perhaps some sugar cookies. I guess it's good my last baby was born right after Christmas. This one will luckily come in the fall, so I'm planning a nice post-partum depression first aid kit of zucchini bread, pumpkin bread and/or cookies, banana chocolate chip bread and cinnamon rolls. Also some hot chocolate and the above mentioned truffles. Then I'll start my post-partum weight loss efforts. (groan.) You know, I think that's the cause of post partum depression right there. You have the baby and look down, and not only are you bleeding (no one told me about that) but you are left with something that is not your body. I think that would send even the most emotionally secure woman into a case of post partum something. Then you have a baby that you don't know exactly how to take care of, big old heavy, full, and painful breasts, that somehow you're supposed to feed your baby with... Toss in several nights with no sleep.. But, I digress. (I always seem to do that when I start talking about food. hmm.. But, back on topic, notice I didn't at all mention that I would even consider turning to placenta in those dire situations.)
So back on the placenta topic. In the same google, I found a TON of placenta recipes. Who knew?!? There was placenta lasagna, placenta spaghetti, placenta roast, placenta stew, and placenta smoothies. Umm... barf!! (And who'd want to cook right after having a baby anyway.)
Anyway, it was while I was doing this that I started talking to my little brother on google talk. I thought it was a funny conversation, so I'm sharing it. (Without his permission.. I hope you don't mind Daniel!)
daniel: Lol. And what are you up to?
Tenise: You don't want to know.
Tenise: But, I'm going to tell you anyway. I was asked if I planned to eat my placenta. I've been researching it, and it's revolting, and there are tons of recipes online for placenta smoothies, lasagna, burgers, stew etc. It's so gross. Anyway, the answer to the question of whether or not I'll be eating it is a resounding NO!!!
daniel: Why not. It's a part of you and your son Maybe you should frame it in his room Or make it a key chain
(okay sassy pants... let's see how you like this turned on you!)
Tenise: In some cultures, it's tradition that the family eats it. If you wanted to come over for a celebratory dinner after his birth, I'm sure we could whip you up a smoothie or a burger...
(me waiting for him to be gagging with me...)
daniel: Can I have both? Maybe wait for the next kid
(What?!? I knew he was kidding, but seriously, this is gross!!)
Tenise: Some people do save it. Others do paintings with it. I guess there are lots of things you can do with it. But, I think you just can't legally throw it away. My kids are big, and usually bigger kids have bigger placentas... we could probably get both for you.
daniel: Nice. Seriously you can't throw it away?
Tenise: I read that legally, you can't throw it away in the normal sense. (Most people in the US never even see their placenta, so it's not an issue.) The most normal thing I've read to do with it is bury it, then a year later, plant a tree over it. But, I seriously doubt that anyone would know if someone threw away placenta. And if they did find out, I really can't imagine them trying to locate who did it. It's just something I'd prefer not to even think about. With my first two, I never even saw the placenta. Anyway, fun that you're going canooing!
daniel.fife: What did mom do?
(Me lighting up and seeing my opening... Two can play at this game...)
Tenise: Well......... The only time we had real meat in lasagna was after each baby...
(Which is entirely true. My mom always used alternate forms of meat while we were growing up. We had lentil lasagna, and spaghetti, and instead of meat loaf wheat loaf... After a baby, the relief society (Women's organization) would always bring dinner, but little brothers with no babies probably wouldn't link that together! )
daniel: Ok now you grossed me out! Haha
(FINALLY! You'd have thought the word placenta would have done it.)
daniel: The rest of the times it was just lentils. No wonder dad wanted so many kids!
Tenise: I thought about the lentil thing!
Tenise: It was Sis. M's lasagna though, so we were fine. No, usually the hospital just does something to them, and they disappear. Unless you specifically ask for it or something.
daniel: Lol. Sadly one can't forget such scarring memories
Tenise: Yeah.. But, after all those placenta recipes, lentils are sounding pretty amazing.
daniel: Haha. I don't know. I actually saw lentils at an Indian restaraunt. I passed
Tenise: Funny. I've used lentils in soups. I never thought I would, but they aren't bad. I like them now. But, I don't use them that frequently, and not as a main dish.
daniel: Ooh. Disgusting
Tenise: Yeah, coming from my brother who was asking for placenta smoothies and burgers a couple minutes ago.
daniel: I bet you make your kids swallow oatmeal and 6 grain too!
(Ha ha ha ha ha! You've got to love a brother who is more grossed out by lentils, oatmeal, and six grain cereal than eating his sister's placenta! LOL! I knew he was kidding, but that just was too funny to me.)
Well, now I forgot where I was going with this whole blog entry. (Blame the pregnancy brain...) But, to answer the question, No, I don't think I'll be partaking of that particular delicacy.