Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Childbirth is beautiful. Afterbirth is not.

8PP just reached its 100th post, and I haven't enjoyed writing anything disgusting or controversial in a while, so I figured I'd celebrate with a topic that is both...

The current trend of utilizing your baby's placenta.

I understand that the placenta is a miraculous organ that nourishes and sustains your little angel all throughout your pregnancy.  That doesn't change the fact that placenta is absolutely disgusting.  It's a bloody mass of meat and vessels that was once one of your internal organs.

One of the few things I remember from the drugged haze of my son's birth is being horrified by the placenta.  There is no scary movie monster or alien more disgusting than placenta.  And this is coming from a woman who made a cartoon monster out of her dermoid tumor.

So, needless to say, I'm really creeped out by all the ways childbearing women are saving and putting their placentas to use.

Some people, as part of tradition, save the placenta and bury it, planting a young tree on top.  That's not so bad, I guess.  It's kind of a pretty act, and I'm sure that nutrient-rich placenta makes excellent fertilizer.  (Though one website suggests asking a nurse to put it in tupperware for you, and to keep it in the freezer until such time as you can plant it.  Placenta in tupperware in my freezer would turn me off to leftovers forever.)  But, hey, my dental assistant sister wanted to keep and identify the tooth they found in my ovarian tumor, so I guess keeping former body parts isn't terribly gross.

Unfortunately, new moms are insane, and mompetition is at an all-time high.  So they couldn't just stop at placenta-burying.  Some moms are treating placenta like the best arts & crafts accessory since the glue gun.

Have you heard of placenta printing?  It's where you use your placenta like a giant, squishy rubber stamp, to make a painting that will be sure to be an excellent "conversation piece" in your living room.  "Why Tiffany, who did that fascinating abstract painting over the mantel?"  "Do you like it?  I pushed it out my hoo-hah."  "Smashing!  We just had one of Warren's kidney stones bronzed!"

That's still not as bad as actually keeping the placenta itself.  You know the picture at the top of this post?  That's a placenta teddy bear.  As in, someone tanned and dried a placenta like leather, filled it with rice, and made it into a teddy bear.  Remember Buffalo Bill from "Silence of the Lambs"?  This is what he'd put in his kid's nursery.

Speaking of "Silence of the Lambs", there's an even crazier placenta-trend that Hannibal Lecter would be down with.  Oh yeah...you know what's coming.  Placenta-eating.

To prove how sacred and special childbirth is, and how much they love their children and are in harmony with their own bodies, and blah blah blah, some of the worst mompetitors have taken to making their first post-labour snack their own newborn's placenta.  You know what?  Even Hannibal Lecter wouldn't do that.  He was a cannibal, but he never ate part of himself.

Yes the placenta is wholly edible and is high in protein and nutrients and yada yada yada.  So are lots of things.  Insects are wildly healthy for you, but most people don't eat them, because it's disgusting.  Actually, as part of an entomology class, we cooked and ate insects, and they really weren't that bad.  I would down a bucket of fried grasshoppers before I took a bite out of one of my own internal organs.  That seems like something a person would only do in "Seven", or one of the "Saw" movies.

Some popular means of preparing placenta include placenta burgers, placenta pizza, and placenta smoothie.  Mmm...meat and blood smoothie.  It sounds like the diet of a vampire recovering from gastric-bypass surgery.

Anyone out there know anyone who's done something crazy with their afterbirth?  Are you one of those people?  Had you never heard of any of these practices before, and are now furious with me for making you aware?  Please flame me in the comments section.  I desperately need something entertaining to cheer me up after all the disgusting images I saw while researching this post.

1 comment:

Megan said...

I see that the placenta teddy bear is kept behind glass. I can only assume that's so it doesn't develop a mind of its own and devour anyone who comes near.

Post a Comment