Placenta Piggyback...JFF

Updated on January 17, 2013
M.P. asks from De Pere, WI
19 answers

Were you offered to look at your placenta after you delivered it? Did you look?
Did you do anything with it? (I don't want people to get blasted for answering this question, but I am curious. I know some cultures do various things with placenta...but again, don't want people to get blasted for being gross or weird so answer at your own risk)

ME: I was NOT offered to be shown my placenta. I did ask about it and asked to see it and the nurse brought it back for me. Not sure where it was - it was in a large bowl/tub when she brought it to me. I can't picture what it looked like, but I remember thinking it was interesting looking. I think the nurse and my husband were surprised I wanted to see it, and even though he doesn't have the strongest stomach, my husband looked at it too.

It is such an amazing moment to give birth to your baby and while some people might be "grossed out" by the placenta, I think it is just as interesting/amazing. After all, it was a major part of what nourished baby in utero and is pretty cool that our female body knows just what to do/produce to grow another human being :-)

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the answers ladies! I was reading another post and was just struck with this question and thought to ask! I am quite interested in the body, medical things, science as well, so I will definitely ask for more of a "lesson" next time.

I definitely was distracted by DS as well, and I think it was when they were really cleaning him, measuring, temperature, and all the tests that they initially do that I got bored waiting and decided to ask :-P

I was actually surprised at how large it seemed. Very interesting to read everyone's experiences. Like I said above, I think it is kind of a cool thing to get a glimpse of what is/was inside of me, but like some others, I don't know if I really need to KEEP it, let alone put it back into my body. But don't hold anything against those who do! Thanks again, all! :-)

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answers from Bloomington on

No , I was never offered but I would have gladly accepted a tutorial . I'm into stuff like that , though.

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answers from Washington DC on

i didn't, but i wish i would have. i think taking it home and planting a new tree over it is an awesome idea. i'm with you, it's a fascinating, vital connection between mothers' bodies and their babies. kinda sad to think of it being discarded as 'medical waste'.

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answers from Seattle on



"Hey! Check THIS out!" Was what I heard from my team.

And then began Phase 2 of the entire nursing staff coming in for a peek. (The first was my newborn holding his head up, looking around, and making eye contact & smiling. He was dubbed the 6mo old Newborn by my hospital. I was rather clueless at the time what the fuss was about.)

I was even more clueless about my placenta. Which my CNM held up and kinda walked around showing people.

Over 3' wide & over 20 pounds heavy.

(I lost 40 pounds the day my son was born. 10lbs of baby, 20+ of placenta, and amniotic fluid. It was the BEST feeling. Okay. Almost the best.)

I glanced at it. But was really beyond caring at that point. LOL... I JUST realized...Bet the OB part of my team was glad we didn't c-sect!!! That would have been a pain to extract!!!


My CNM & OB weren't crossing any boundaries waving my biohazards around or inviting half the staff in. I was in premed/prenursing while pregnant, and a total sport about being show n tell for students & new grads (high risk pregnancy to see up close).

After 1,000,000 months pregnant (well it FEELS that way!), they were totally used to my "C'mon in!" attitude & wiseacre jokes.

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answers from Kansas City on

It never even occurred to me to want to look.

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answers from San Diego on

With my first it was never offered at all. With my second I forgot and regretted it. With my third, when all was said and done, the midwife laid it all out and my 2 older kids as well as my husband and I got the most facinating lesson, showing how everything worked and everything. It was Amazing! We took some pictures of the placenta as well. I wish my husband had made a video of the midwife showing us, it really was the best! My boys got to learn so much that day and really enjoyed it. They asked so many questions. We have the placenta frozen still. We planned to plant it but we haven't been able to.

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answers from Dallas on

I didn't want to look, didn't need to. My baby was here, it served it's purpose. Honestly, I find eating it gross. We are humans. We are more evolved, and I don't want to take part in cannibalism. If someone else wants to, that's fine. I just don't believe in it for me. (And I don't even pretend to understand those that eat. I just agree to disagree!!)

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answers from Dallas on

My hubby was in the room and he checked it out first. I looked at it when I was a bit more "together" They had laid it flat on one of those little trays they use. It was very fascinating. It's a pretty amazing thing. I have a friend who had her kids at a birth center and they were able to take theirs home and plant it with a new tree for each child (she's very earth-mother ish :)

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answers from Jacksonville on

With my firstborn, I wasn't. The doctor didn't ask. He just flopped it up on my stomach and starting stretching it all out showing it to me. I was in shock about it I guess. I don't have a weak stomach, and yes it was interesting, but ewww I don't ever want to see another one, ya know?

The reason my doctor did this (he explained it at the time, but it was still pretty out of left field for me) was because I had a "bi-lobed" placenta. It was really kinda cool. I was not aware of it at the time, but apparently bi-lobed placentas often tear and it is dangerously important to ensure that the entire thing is discharged (obviously with any delivery, the entire placenta has to come out and if it doesn't you can have serious bleeding complications and infection, etc---but the bi-lobed thing makes it much more likely to tear and NOT all come out).
Mine not only all came out, but was intact. So he was pretty interesting in "showing it off", not only to me, but the nurses that were present as well.

No, we didn't do anything with it. It was just medical waste after show and tell was over.

With my daughter, I don't recall it even being mentioned. But, it was the same doctor, so perhaps he knew I had been there and done that with one far more interesting than "the usual". ha ha

FWIW, it reminded me of a big cow liver. And it was HEAVY. Good grief that thing was heavy---like a slab of meat. :(

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answers from Portland on

My daughter had a water home birth and we were all busy oooing and ahing over the birth when she delivered the placenta. The midwife did ask if we wanted to look and all of us, even the children ages 8 and 10 looked. It was interesting, sort of spongy and whitish as I remember. Since it was delivered in water it wasn't bloody.

My daughter had her midwife dry it and make it into tablets which she took.

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answers from Phoenix on

My doctor offered to show me mine after both births. He went over the anatomy of it and the cord, what does what and what he was checking and why. Very cool!

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answers from Baton Rouge on

Was I offended by the sight of it? No. Did I get a guided tour of it and an explanation of how it worked? No, and I would have cut one short had it been offered. I know what the parts are and how it works. Did I want to keep it? No. I had no more need for it - it had served its purpose, and AFIC, was nothing but medical waste after my daughter was delivered. I didn't want to keep it any more than I wanted to keep my gall bladder or my tonsils after they were removed. I'm not sentimental about body parts. I didn't keep my daughter's baby teeth when they fell out either.

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answers from Miami on

Well, I looked at my mine because the nurse actually stuck it in my face, so-to-speak, but I wouldn't have thought to ask. All I could think of was my baby having just been born. It reminded me of a very large beef liver. Yuck. I hate beef liver. (I do like chicken livers, but they are nothing like beef liver!)

I did nothing with it, and didn't give my placenta a second thought.

It IS wonderful to think of that we can grow a life inside of us, but that doesn't mean I want to do anything with my innards afterwards!!


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answers from Seattle on

My labor was a few days long and I very tired, so I didn't take as much interest as I would have if I were in a right state of mind. My midwife showed it to me and said it was a beautiful, my sister made goofy faces and started snapping pictures, and I snuggled my baby and nodded. I think my mom was the one to put it into a labeled tupperware container that went into the freezer. My friends cracked up when they stumbled onto it by accident, "Oh, is this pasta No it is not. It's a placenta."

We planted it under a maple tree.

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answers from Seattle on

I delivered in a hospital with a midwife, I was asked if I wanted to look and I did. I have a strong interest in science, so it never occurred to me not to look. My midwife showed me both the maternal and the fetal side and pointed out different features, such as the insertion site of the umbilical cord and the fetal membranes. It was interesting, I wish I had taken pictures.
But no, other than that we did not do anything with it.

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answers from Norfolk on

I wasn't interested in seeing the placenta - I only had eyes for my baby.
My husband saw it - he said it looked like liver.
It was disposed of as medical waste.
We don't grow our kids placentas - it merely attaches/grows into to our inner surface of the uterus.
The placenta develops from the fertilized egg - roughly half becomes the life support interface while the other half goes on to become the baby.
The thought of eating it just grosses me out.

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answers from Dallas on

I got a guided tour of all three of them. I was interested in the story they had to tell- the tiny little calcifications just starting on one, the extra lobe on another- stuff like that. All of mine were born at home and that's much more common.

Two of them are buried in the backyard, and one is in the freezer- I should plant it in the spring.

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answers from Portland on

I saw my sis-in-laws when she delivered it after she delivered my nephew and it was interesting looking, but I wasn't really looking close, I think the nurse just took it away.

I had an emergency c-section the first time and we were more worried about the baby being ok than thinking about the placenta. And the 2nd time the baby was fine, but the novacaine in my spine wore off so they put me under and I woke up in recovery without any pain meds, so nope didn't think about it.

And, really its pretty ooey but the other ladies made it sound kind of neat from a scientific point of view.

But, those people who cook it and eat it and all that stuff, sorry, but yuck! I don't think I could handle that at all!


answers from Los Angeles on

I had the same doctor with all 3 of my kids and my doctor asked me after the birth of each of my kids. I declined with all 3, I was not that interested and was more focused on my babies! To be completely honest I didn't even want to look at my own babies until they were all cleaned up, I looked but I vividly remember holding them, admiring them and while being in complete awe of them, thinking to myself 'why do they show you before they are all cleaned up and cute'?

Husband looked at all 3 and got a good lesson with the first one and then inquired to how each of the following 2 looked...but he is curious about all things science.



answers from Washington DC on

Well I was watching that Tia and Tamera reality show last night and after Tamera gave birth she kept hers. She had some encapsulated and the rest added to alcohol. She apparently takes both as a supplement. According to her it has healing attributes and some other stuff. I found that gross!

I had two c-sections and never saw anything going on let alone the placenta. I think it would be interesting to see, but I heard it stinks.

A family friend kept the placenta from all her children and planted it in her yard. I'm not sure why.

ETA: So I just read your other responses and now I'm kinda interested. If I have another I may ask to see it. I will never touch or eat it though! Although if it looks gross I will never want another baby just thinking about it being inside of me, so maybe not :P

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