In a recent skim through of environmentally friendly e-newsletters in my inbox I came across one headline that I could not skim past. What in the world is a Placenta Teddy Bear? I had to click through.
A Placenta Teddy Bear, designed by Alex Green, is exactly what it sounds like. It is a Teddy Bear made out of a cured placenta. The placenta is cut in half and cured with salt. Once it dries it is treated with a mixture of something called tannin and some egg yolk. This mixture makes the placenta soft and easy to shape into teddy bear form. What!? Why!? Why!?
According to Inhabitot, the Placenta Teddy Bear is an alternative to eating ones own placenta after giving birth? Yes, some women eat their placenta after giving birth. It is believed by some to contain an abundant amount of vitamins and nutrients that are beneficial to new mothers. It is also believed that it helps prevents postpartum depression and encourages milk production. There is no scientific proof to prove this, but there are people that swear by this and it is also important to note that many animals do this after giving birth.
This sounds like something out of a horror movie right? Well, it isn't something I would personally feel comfortable doing, but I can understand the reasoning behind it. I cannot however understand the Placenta Teddy Bear. Do I really want to see a dried up placenta shaped into a teddy bear in the hands of my children or instead sitting in a glass jar on a shelf in my home for guest to talk about? No, not personally. Though I have to say this bear would make for a great Halloween conversation. It would start something like this, "Would this be a creepy Keepsakes gift for the child born October 31st?"
Are there no other eco-alternatives for the use of the placenta? Yes. I like the idea of burying it in a hole in the ground along with a tree seedling in honor of my child or children. I also like the idea of using the placenta for research in an effort to find cures for such things as cancer or other illnesses.
For more on the Placenta Teddy Bear take a look at Doing It For The Kids. The Doing It For The Kids exhibition is where the Placenta Teddy Bear has been showcased. It is an, "exhibition of sustainable play design. The project explores play types, the importance of play in child development, how toys help mould our kids' values and how they impact on the environment. The exhibition will present examples of sustainable toys and other play resources that inspire designers, educators and parents to be more critical and creative." Also take a look at some of the other sustainable toys concepts on the site. The recycled Frisbee is a neat idea and I think the Swing Arm is so sweet.
There is more on eating a placenta here. Here are directions for painting with a placent and this is a video about turning a placenta into pills. Watch below if you dare. Warning it is a little graphic.