Friday, December 7, 2012

What shall we do with our placenta?

I thought it was worth returning to the Active Birth Course. It merits more than just a mention in a post.

In summary, it was a brilliant course, with some great practical advice on managing pain and staying calm. I enjoyed saying ‘my baby fits my pelvis perfectly’ many times over, and watching videos of babies being born to blissed out Russian ladies in Black Sea rockpools.
 (Warning - this video shows actual babies being born. Do not watch if you are easily freaked out).

I was grateful for the experiences shared by Janet Balaskas, the coach, who pioneered the Active Birth Movement in the ‘70s, and the midwives there. Sayings like ‘first come the poops, then comes the baby’ are easy to retain and ensure at least I won’t be surprised if, well, that happens.

But there were some aspects which left me cold. I pretended I was into it, but when we were on all fours, roaring like lionesses, I was totally faking it. I didn’t feel like a lioness at all.

And the placenta chat, well, that horrified both of us. Who knew there were so many options? As a bare minimum, it was recommended that we take a moment to ‘recognise’ what the placenta has done for us and our baby. After all, it’s been her constant companion in the womb. Some people think it’s nice to take it home still attached to the baby. Apparently you can get these ‘lovely little bags’ to keep it in. How nice for the baby to have her constant companion tucked into her Moses basket next to her – and how lovely for everyone who comes to meet her, to also get to meet little miss placenta too. Once it is detached, you might want to bury it in your garden and plant a rose bush in it. Or have it freeze dried for your own consumption. Delicious.

While everyone else was writing down the name of the placenta drying service, TLOML and I were sniggering with disbelief.

Overall, though, it was a great course: the perfect mix of education and entertainment.

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