When I was pregnant with Isla my midwife and I discussed the options for the placenta after birth. My initial wish was to have it encapsulated (which my midwife was able to do for me) but upon learning of my oversupply issues with Olivia she suggested I rethink my choice as consuming the placenta can boost your supply – which is why many women are eager to do it! So once Isla was born we froze the placenta and it’s now been taking up precious freezer space for three months.
Why not just throw it out?
There’s a few reasons I didn’t want my midwife to dispose of it for me – it was my baby’s first source of nourishment, her home, and it connected her and I for 10 months. For me there’s also the spiritual aspect of returning it to Mother Earth and I’d like to think it’ll help ground her for life. Tossing it in the bin just felt so harsh and sad. It’s quite an emotional thing!
Eventually we decided to plant it, and initially we were going to do this in a large pot with a citrus or rose tree but something in me wanted to return it to the earth properly. When Isla was about 6 weeks old we moved houses and we’re now on a large private blush block which seems a perfect place to plant it.
Over the weekend we got it out to defrost and come afternoon we headed down the back to start digging. We’d had a bit of rain lately so the ground was soft. We dug a 2 foot hole and placed the placenta in, right near a big Banksia tree. It needs to be this deep otherwise wild animals are likely to dig it up. We each had a tumbled crystal to place in with the placenta – a Moonstone, Rose Quartz and Unakite. I had used these crystals a lot during pregnancy and they all are fantastic for connecting with baby in utero. You can read more about what crystals are good for pregnancy and birth here.
We covered it up, lit some sage and placed some rocks on top of the site to help prevent wild animals sniffing around. We then took photos of us all, and Isla had just woken from a 2 hour nap for the occasion so it was really lovely. We all wished Isla a happy and healthy life and then went back to jumping on the trampoline!
I had a hospital birth with Olivia and her placenta was taken away by the midwife and disposed of in the hospital. I didn’t even think to do anything with it apart from getting a good look and some photos. But it is possible to have your placenta saved if you birth in a hospital. You’ll need to make sure your wishes for this are noted at the birth. Take it home and freeze it straight away if you’re not prepared to bury it straight away. If you have a home birth it’s obviously much easier to save the placenta – we used an old washed-out ice cream container and froze it on day 3.