We don't often think about the versatility of the placenta...but recently I have come across some uses for the organ that helps protect us and provides nutrients to us while we are in the womb.
In recent years the process of giving birth in the United States has become more and more a political and ideological conversation. A resurgence of midwifery has occurred in light of obstetrics becoming one the medical specialties with the highest rate of malpractice insurance. No one wants to be responsible for anything happening to a pregnant woman and her child, and for many the process of birth has become a increasingly medicalized process with increased interventions. In some cases these interventions range from convenient to life saving and in others they may indicate a need for reform as discussed in the documentary "The Business of Being Born."
As more and more women are turning to other forms of knowledge to help them with natural labor as well as stave off postpartum depression, women are also eating their placentas. The placenta has long held an important place in many cultural traditions. New York Magazine just released an article about several practitioners teaching women how to prepare their placentas for ingestion and the believed benefits of this process. It also details some of the political barriers for women wishing to obtain their placentas from hospitals following birth.
And if you choose not to eat your placenta, the artist Alex Green can probably show you how to transform it into a teddy bear.Thanks Trendhunter!