I’ve Got My Placenta Prints: What to Do with them Now?
For many women who seek encapsulation services, the question of what to do with one’s placenta prints is an easy one. These veterans of naturopathy have already cleared space on the wall and stand at the ready with candles and custom framing to enshrine the most organic ultrasound image they’ll ever own.
But then there are those of us who just broke into this arena of natural health and alternative medicine. We still take ibuprofen when we get a headache, and one day we’ll make our own cleaner from apple cider vinegar but until then, we’ll secretly still love our Clorox Cleanup. What about us? We’ve found one reason or another (from a long list of benefits) to encapsulate our placenta. Some of us were worried about postpartum depression after experiencing it with our first baby. Some of us just can’t shake the fear of a low milk supply when we go back to work. Some of us are going to need the extra energy after our 3rd baby in 5 years.
But I digress. We’ve already agreed on the benefits of encapsulation. Now, what are we New Crunchies supposed to do with this mixed media facsimile of our most amazing internal organ – our placenta prints?
That really depends on what your prints mean to you, and how comfortable you are with showing them off. Here are some ways other moms have displayed their own prints. Let us know what you’ve done with yours!
1. The Woman-Power Display
This display method is for moms who look at their placenta prints and are reminded of exactly what their bodies of love are capable of, as they may want a little reminder when they’re feeling low, that they grew a human life. These prints usually hang in the bathroom where you get ready for work, or in the walk-in closet where you hide to eat a snickers bar as you’re about to give up. They may hang on their own, or be surrounded by graphics and art with your favorite inspirational quotes. A Placenta Works client created a sanctuary above her bathtub, pairing the placenta prints from both her daughters. She displayed with an image she painted herself of a nursing mother, a project completed alongside the women in her mama tribe.
2. The Tribute to Baby Display
These displays are sweet, delicate, and full of memories. Moms pair their prints framed next to a the name of the one that it sustained, or maybe a birth announcement. Possibly next to a shadow box that holds the umbilical clamp, the first onesie, or the footprints of the tiny new one. It’s usually something you’ll find in the nursery where nursing sessions are accompanied by nostalgia of little toes pushing against pregnant bellies, and how gorgeous it felt to be very literally full of life.
3. The Homage to Family Display
The placenta print is unmistakably designed to appear as a Tree of Life. One of our clients grouped hers appropriately amongst several items that represented her family. A brooch from her grandmother, her own belly cast, and her placenta print hung as a familial tribute. This display called on the maternal bond that all women share and acted as a still-life photo album, the “Family Tree” front and center.
4. The Hideaway Display (no display picture – they’re hiding)
Let’s face it. Some of us just aren’t comfortable having to explain to every guest that walks into the house that yes, that’s our placenta hanging on the wall. As open minded as we all are, there are exceptions to our willingness to be the target of 21 Questions. Friends of our husbands. Co-workers. Our Mother-in-Law. For me, this isn’t this issue at all, but I’d still hang my placenta prints out of sight. Maybe in the walk-in closet to greet me in the morning. Maybe in the master bathroom, over a wall of candles. For me, it’s because it reminds me of the secret bond I shared with my baby. It’s the quiet musings in the middle of the night as my husband slept and I lay awake, stroking my belly and talking to whoever lived in there, and telling them how much love and happiness laid in wait for their arrival. For me, the placenta prints are the final love letter written between a mother and a baby who will never be that tiny again. The bond known only to those two peoples lives in that image, and I’d want to relish it forever.