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5 Surprising things you can do with your placenta

Naomi de la Torre is freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom with two delightful boys, ages three and six. Naomi has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, is a self-proclaimed salsa diva, and can make a killer octopus ...

Fun with Placentas

From stuffed animals and soothing face creams to smoothies and art for your wall, learn more about the strange and surprising things you can do with your placenta.

Sure, we all know it nourishes your growing fetus while inside your belly, but who knew placenta had so many interesting uses after birth?

Make a smoothie

Benefits include prevention of hemorrhage, hormonal regulation, lowered risk of postpartum depression and increased breast milk production.

Believe it or not, placenta eating has been practiced for thousands of years all over the globe. According to certified nurse midwife Dinah Waranch, "Moms can receive many physiological benefits from eating placenta including prevention of hemorrhage, hormonal regulation, lowered risk of postpartum depression and increased breast milk production." One of the most popular ways to eat placenta is to make a smoothie, which can help mask the taste. Others prefer to cook it up into a variety of tasty dishes like placenta fajitas, placenta chili, placenta lasagna or simply swallow it down raw. (Gulp!)

Placenta eating: Bizarre or beneficial? >>

Pamper your skin

Looking for a skincare secret to smooth those fine lines and keep your face looking youthful? The answer might be… inside your belly? Some companies such as Mila Skin Care, Shiseido and Progressive Beauty Products use placenta as an ingredient in their skincare products, claiming this organ is rich in antioxidants, proteins and amino acids, which have the power to magically rejuvenate the skin.

Cuddle it all night long

Crafty much? Designer Alex Green created a fun placenta craft to turn your afterbirth into a cuddly teddy bear. The Twin Teddy Kit "celebrates the unity of the infant, the mother and the placenta" and contains an emulsifying mixture you can use to make the placenta pliable before you craft it into your very own one-of-a-kind teddy. Awwww...

Hang it on your wall

Feeling the placental love? Honor the life-giving force that nurtured your baby by using it to create a placenta print -- a unique piece of art made by pressing the placenta against paper. Too squeamish to do it yourself? You can order a print from Tree of Life Placenta Services to hang on your wall or as a special keepsake for friends and loved ones.

Encapsulate it

Placenta encapsulation is perhaps the most common thing to do with your afterbirth. For those who aren't sure they can stomach the thought of eating their own placenta as a meal, the pills are a popular option. Proponents claim you get all same the benefits, most particularly a hormone boost that helps to ward off postpartum depression. You can even get your own DIY placenta encapsulation kit online or send it to a placenta encapsulation specialist to have it done for you.

Tasty ways to eat your placenta >>

Watch a video on placenta encapsulation

More postpartum tips for new moms

What to expect at your postpartum checkup
Postpartum fitness tips to bounce back after baby
Sex after baby: Will it ever be good again?

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