Women spend week after week reading about how big their baby is now; what part is growing and developing; can he hear me yet; can she feel me when I push against her? You may just catch a note at week 4 that the placenta is starting to form and maybe a little note in week 9 that the placenta takes over the critical job of producing hormones… So when during week 10 the kidneys and intestines are now developed enough to start functioning, and by week 15 your baby can pee and his lungs have started to develop, where’s the mention that the placenta is completing these jobs until birth? Nothing, nada, zilch.
Then during your 20 week scan the emphasis is on where your placenta is laying… ‘Hmmm, I think you may have a slightly low lying placenta, let’s book you in for another scan and speak to your consultant about a caesarean section’ (which will now be respectively referred to as a c-birth). And suddenly for some women the placenta becomes the bad guy. Just like that.
Or the myths surrounding the birthing of the placenta, most recently I had a client who wasn’t too sure about a pool birth as “I will have to stand up so that the midwife can catch the placenta as it’s not allowed in the pool”…. Women are often heard saying that they have no idea if they were given drugs to birth their placenta and that it’s normal for the placenta to be ‘tugged out’. This is not normal ladies, these are not true, and you can be left to birth your placenta as naturally as you feel is right.
We need to take more time understanding and choosing how we want our placenta’s to be dealt with, should these fabulous organs that have nourished our unborn babies be tossed to one side without a second thought. Or should we give them the respect they deserve, and maybe even start using them to their full extent?
Research is currently being undertaken to prove the nutritional value of the human placenta, but as thousands of testimonials show (across the world) the benefits are fabulous and we need to sit up and listen to the women who have consumed their placenta in an effort to improve their post natal experiences. The consumption of placenta is thought to increase milk supply, aid rapid healing to any damaged cells and tissue, help balance hormone levels and improve energy levels. I truly believe that if more women had an increase in energy, milk supply and a decrease in post natal bleeding then the new born period would be an easier and happier time for the whole family. Would this help the fight against post natal depression? I don’t know, but I do know that these are things most new mums struggle with, maybe having less strain would help lift the fog?
It is well known that Robin van Persie had horse placenta injected into a muscle tear to help speed up the healing process, but now Glen Johnson and Fabio Aurelio have also been reported to have tried the treatment. Similarly, Simon Cowell and Victoria Beckham are reported to receive sheep placenta facials. Is it ok to use the organ of another animal to help aid in healing our cells yet not take advantage of the situation when we need it most, when we have birthed?
So what about the “ick” factor? Ask the mum’s that have suffered with morning sickness, that have just pushed a baby out, that may soon have to deal with weeks of maternity pads and that have hundreds of stinky nappies to face… “ick” factor, oh please there isn’t one, what are you a woman or a mouse.
Let’s start to take the time, the thought, the energy to give our babies lifelines the chance to continue their powerful work, let’s reclaim our placentas.
P.S. Mice also eat their placenta…