It’s not weird or freaky or gross, it’s science.
”Giving…placenta to a new mother following birth has become standard protocol among a growing number of midwives in the United States. By nourishing the blood and fluids, endocrine glands and organs, Placenta will …reduce or stop postpartum bleeding, speed up recovery, boost energy and relieve postpartum blues.” Homes, Peter. 1993. Jade Remedies, Snow Lotus Press, 352.
The placenta is composed of beneficial hormones, chemicals, iron, and proteins. These healing substances include:
Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone: Contributes to mammary gland development in preparation for lactation; stabilizes postpartum mood; regulates post-birth uterine cramping; decreases depression; normalizes and stimulates libido.
Prolactin: Promotes lactation; increases milk supply; enhances the mothering instinct.
Oxytocin: Decreases pain and increases bonding in mother and infant; counteracts the production of stress hormones such as Cortisol; greatly reduces postpartum bleeding; enhances the breastfeeding let-down reflex.
Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF): Stimulates the production of your body’s natural opioids, including endorphins; reduces pain; increases well-being.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: Regulates the thyroid gland; boosts energy and supports recovery from stressful events.
Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH): Low levels of CRH are implicated in postpartum depression. Regulation of CRH helps prevent depression.
Cortisone: Reduces inflammation and swelling; promotes healing.
Interferon: Triggers the protective defenses of the immune system to fight infection.
Prostaglandins: Regulates contractions in the uterus after birth; helps uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size. Anti-inflammatory effects.
Iron: Replenishes maternal iron stores to combat anemia, a common postpartum condition. Increases energy; decreases fatigue and depression.
Hemoglobin: Oxygen-carrying molecule which provides a boost in energy.
Urokinase Inhibiting Factor and Factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG): Antibody molecules which support the immune system.
Human Placental Lactogen (hPL): This hormone has lactogenic and growth-promoting properties; promotes mammary gland growth in preparation for lactation in the mother. It also regulates maternal glucose, protein, and fat levels.
For more research studies and information you can visit: http://www.placentawise.com/research-studies-supporting-placenta-encapsulation/
And this I just love. Here are some of the rituals and customs of other mothers around the world. (via birth.com.au)
You may choose to bury yours under a tree or have a Lotus birth if you wish. Eat it, bury it, burn it or make art with it. Whatever inspires you do that. You grew a little house for your baby and it belongs to you!
A tribe in Arizona dries the cord, and places beads onto it so the child can rub or bite it when teething.
Aborigines used to make necklaces from the cord for the child to wear, representing growth and aimed at warding off disease.
In Kenya, Masai midwives chew the cord with their teeth to separate the cord from the placenta. The midwife then pronounces, ‘you are now responsible for your life as I am responsible for mine’.
In Yemen the placenta is placed on the family’s roof for the birds to eat, in the hope that it will guarantee the love between the parents.
In Malaysia the placenta is seen as the child’s older sibling and thought that the two are reunited at death. The midwife carefully washes the placenta, cord and membranes and wraps them in a white cloth to be buried.
In Nepal, the placenta is given the name ‘bucha-co-satthi’ – meaning ‘baby’s friend’
The Tanala people of Madagascar observe strict silence throughout the labour and birth and as the placenta is being delivered. When the placenta comes, everyone present claps and shouts “Vita! Vita!” – meaning ‘finished’.
In Sudan the placenta is considered to be the infant’s ‘spirit double’ and can be buried in a place that represents the parents’ hopes for their child (e.g. close to a hospital to become a doctor).
and … in two NYC area Hospitals *Weill Cornell, UES and Downtown it will be put into a plastic bucket after you deliver and will sit in pathology for a week minimum before being tossed as waste unless you sign release papers for YOUR placenta. Ask me and I will arrange for a pick up, encapsulation and delivery to your home.
PLACENTA LEGAL RIGHTS
“New York Law on Placenta Release: NYS regulated hospitals and medical facilities may, at the request of a patient or patient’s representative, return a healthy placenta for disposition by the patient without violating any NYS public health law or regulation. NYS does have regulations (10 NYCRR section 405.24(d)), requiring hospitals to implement waste management programs in compliance with the Public Health Law Article 13, Title XIII for regulated medical waste. Regulated medical waste is defined in the Environmental Conservation Law section 27-1502(2)(b) as waste generated in the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings and includes “human pathological wastes, including tissues, organs, body parts and body fluids that are removed during surgery.” However, waste material is material that is being discarded. If a placenta is not discarded but rather used for medical/religious/cultural purposes, then it is not classified as waste. There is no provision in statute or regulation expressly prohibiting the return of a healthy body part to a living patient.”