A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Placenta Crafts and More!

“It’s 2:00 AM. Do you know where your placenta is?”

I’m imagining a deep, slow, and serious tone for the voiceover… maybe James Earl Jones, or a Don LaFontaine impersonator.

Details. Anyhooo.

I’m getting ahead of myself, as usual. Let me back up a bit.

Pregnant women have a lot on their minds these days. In our information-overload society, they are bombarded with choices. Vaginal birth or planned caesarean? Hospital birth or home birth? Circumcision or intact? Cloth diapers or disposables? OMG, should I be teaching my baby to read?

Probably the last thing a woman who has just given birth needs to be thinking about is “What the hell do I do with my placenta?” 

I didn’t even know what the fark a placenta was the first time I had a baby nearly twelve years ago. I was young(er) and clueless. Didn’t do any research whatsoever. Just assumed that women had been having babies for thousands of years…what else did I need to know? (Have you met my triplets? Denial, Avoidance, and Procrastination?)

As a fancy-free first-timer, I can assure you that I spent more time and energy decorating my baby’s nursery than I did actually contemplating a birth plan or any postpartum details. The good news? My nursery was super cute, like Oh-my-God! The bad news? Holy shit – childbirth is hard and painful! Who knew?


My second time around on the Birth-o-Rama ride I actually did bring home my placenta in a Ziploc freezer bag. I just had no idea what to do with it.

So I stuck it in a bucket on my back porch for a few days and forgot about it while I was bonding with Mini-Me and icing my hoo-hoo.

Lord have mercy, you do not want to know how that story ended. Trust me.

But the young girls today are much more educated and conscientious than I was in my breeding years. Or at least my friend Mama Cloud is. I knew she was planning a home birth and so I assumed she’d also have some pretty spectacular plans for her placenta. 

I didn’t know what… the things people do with their placentas these days are pretty incredible. For instance, among other things, she could:

Dang. I must have missed the session on Placenta Crafts at Mommy College. Fuckin’ A.

Regardless of her choice, I knew she’d need a way to store that placenta until she was able to do whatever it was she was going to do with it. So, I designed a special gift for her baby shower that I thought would be practical AND funny.

Practical. Yes.

Funny, pretty much only to me. (And hopefully to you too, my twisted readers.)

Yes, I learned a valuable life lesson that day about gag gifts, and baby showers where you don’t know anyone but the mama-to-be, and ladies who take their placentas very seriously. Oh well. Live and learn.

I probably started off on the wrong foot by giving her a card with this on the front:

 But Mama Cloud had read and enjoyed the post I wrote about my favorite childbirth terms, so I knew (well, I hoped) she would appreciate the humor. She did. Well she said she did anyway…to my face at least.

Next up, the unveiling of my special, personal, handmade gift! I mean, what’s more personal than a storage system for your placenta?

Mama Cloud and I were the only ones laughing. Oh well. Luckily for me, she absolutely LOVED my gift and it sure came in handy! Would you like to see a close up of it?

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce:

The Placenta Keeper Plus:
For All Her Afterbirth Storage Needs

Just in case you can’t read the fine print on the back, let me spell it out for you…

Congratulations on choosing:

Placenta Keeper Plus

Exclusively distributed by The Bearded Iris
for all your afterbirth storage needs.

  • Air tight seal prevents spoilage.
  • Matching lids help you keep all your post-partum souvenirs organized!
  • Highly visible labels prevent your oh-so-helpful-hubby from accidentally defrosting your placenta for stew meat.
  • A variety of sizes to accommodate any placenta…small, medium, or large!
  • Ecnomical! Why pay pricey cord blood bank fees?!
  • Semi transparent containers give your placenta the privacy it deserves.
  • Neutral design to complement any decor.
  • Heirloom quality – a keepsake for generations to come.
  • Environmentally friendly – repurposed containers from local thrift store.

I’m so impressed with myself! And so that’s why I’m thinking I should start auditioning voiceover artists to hock my awesome product. I think I’m onto something here folks. Placenta Keeper Plus might just be my golden ticket! Remember, you saw it here first.

Sure wish I had had one of those when I brought home my placenta 8 years ago. Maybe then I could have safely frozen it until I was ready to deal with it. {Sigh} Another mothering opportunity out the window (writes the mother whose children are on their 4th hour of TV for the day so I can blog. Nice.)

Epilogue: My dear friend Mama Cloud had her Placenta Keeper Plus ready to go when she birthed her beautiful son at home. And a few minutes later when she delivered her placenta, it went right into one of those handy dandy containers and into an ice-filled cooler on the front porch. And no, I don’t know which size she used, but thanks for asking.

The next day, a volunteer from a local Search and Rescue Dog Training organization came to pick it up. I bet he was awfully impressed with Mama Cloud’s professional placenta packaging! Yes indeedy, yet another thing you can do with fresh placenta is donate it to help train Search and Rescue Dogs to find missing people! Incredible! Wish I had known that when each of my three babies were born. Mama Cloud – you rock. What a cool thing to do!

I’m a little bummed I won’t be able to taste some of her encapsulated placenta or get a placenta printed thank you note, but I sure as shit am glad Mama Cloud didn’t make that thing into a teddy bear. “It puts the lotion on the placenta.” {Shudder.}

entrepreneurially yours,

-Iris Beard, Inventor of Placenta Keeper Plus


  1. Barefeet InTheKitchen

    Shut. Up. You actually brought your second placenta home? And then left it on the porch?? I’m kinda surprised a neighborhood pet didn’t find it. Your shower gift is priceless. Where the heck were you when I was receiving onesies and hangers and packs of diapers? My gosh, that gift is truly awesome. I am way beyond tempted to beg a friend to get herself knocked up again, just so I can gift this to her.

    • The Bearded Iris

      No lie – brought it home. Put it in a bucket on my screened in porch (hence the foiled animal foraging). It rotted. I’ve opened packages of chicken livers on sale that smelled better than that thang. Poor poor placenta.

      Too bad I didn’t know to eat it or make art out of it… I had wicked postpartum depression with that kid. Probably would have helped. Damn.

  2. Allysgrandma

    OMGawd….you obviously never LIVED in Humbodt County. Saving your placenta has been dirigour…or however you spell it since I had my first 32 years ago! HAHAHA Send some my way, there are people here who would take you totally seriously! This could be your niche! Please just remember the little people when you get there!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Hahaha! In Humbolt Co., they probably SMOKE THEIR PLACENTAS! Oh Cheryl, make up the guest bed…I’m coming to visit, and I’m bringing my placenta bong.

  3. Sue from Livin In Duckville

    Ok… I’ve birthed 3 chillens – 3 ways…. Bigfoot – using drugs (No, not MY drugs – you know those ones they GIVE you at the hospital) – And you can STOP saying you now realize where all his problems started…. The Princess played jump rope 3 times with her cord & so I ended up having an Emergency C-Section (That’s where HER problems started)…. The Lego King was all natural… 19 hours of strong contractions every 3-4 minutes (NOW you know what’s wrong with ME)….

    But the placenta prints?…. Ummmm… No thank you…. I watched the video … gross (to me)…. Eating it?… NO WAY!!! …. Planting it? I could probably do that… Giving it to the Search & Rescue… that’s cool too….

    Congrats to Mama Cloud. And one last thing…. when you become really rich & famous with your Placenta Keeper Plus… will you still remember us? Send us loving & hilarious blog posts? I hope so… ’cause we’d miss ya…. but hey… we could send out the Search & Rescue Dogs!!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Sue – I love how your comment reads like a short story and ends with the tie-in to the Search & Rescue Dogs. Impressive!

      My three babies were birthed three different ways too, but that is a topic for another day 🙂 Thanks for the meme prompt. I feels a story brewing.

  4. Liza Martz

    O. M. G! I am so glad I had my uterus removed so I won’t be tempted by the Placenta Keeper Plus. Wait, I could have used it to store my uterus.

    • The Bearded Iris

      DOH! Spin off product: “Uterus Keeper Plus”

  5. Dizzy Desi

    Hilarious! I’m usually the one offending others and no one getting the funny…You are such an inspiration. I fell for the cord blood nonsense and still give away $50 a year to prove it. It probably has freezer burn or something by now…Never even considered the placenta?? BTW You have to wonder about someone who rejects clean hospitals with lots of helpful people offering excellent drugs. If they hadn’t kept waking me up constantly, I would never have come home.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh I hated being woken up in the hospital every time I fell asleep! What is wrong with those bitches?

      OMG, your freezer burn comment made me laugh!

      I totally get the home birth thing, I was just never brave enough to do it. Maybe in my next life.

  6. Anne @ Domesblissity

    I can just imagine, channel surfing one day, stumbling across the home shopping network and hearing that annoying voice-over guy saying “Placenta Keeper Plus? Not $299. Not $199. Not even $99. Just 3 easy payments of $19.99. But wait, there’s more…..” I’ll turn to my husband and say “ah yes, Iris. She made it! I knew that woman when she was a suburban mommy blogger.” LOL The comments from the guests are priceless (and typical).

    Anne xx

  7. Christy

    You teach me something new every time. I feel enlightened! Too bad I didn’t find out about placenta crafts sooner. However, knowing how I put off craft projects, the placenta from my youngest child’s birth would be over 10 years old now and seriously freezer burned. Probably not good for a print or a Teddy bear.

  8. Bernie Bickers

    1) Please, please, please tell me that the bucket on your back porch and the bucket that earned bucket-head his moniker are not, in fact, one and the same.

    2) I need a bullshit check on the whole placenta/dog sniffing thing. It is July here in NYC, so just 30 seconds on the Downtown #6 train to Brooklyn Bridge will give any dog all they need to know about smelly humans – all in a (typically) placenta free environment. We can call it Sniff U.

    Anyhow, sounds like a scam to me, just someone trying to save on kibble and Beggin’ Strips (TM).

    3) You are one funny F-er!

  9. Alison@Mama Wants This

    Hahahahahaha!!!! That is brilliant, truly.

    Kinda gross, but totally brilliant.

  10. Katybeth

    Brilliant. Waldorf moms have been known to knit placentas into sweaters. Just kidding. Maybe. I have no idea what happened to my placenta. I never gave it another thought. And when I first heard the word I thought they were talking about that fried Spanish dish… My sex education was not great.
    Your shower gift will be remember for much longer than the hand painted onesies

  11. Jellyhead

    Iris, you rock my world. Can you please present us with Placenta Week? You know, cover one placenta awesomeness a day for a week.

  12. Mary

    I just died. Can you imagine?

    For my next c-section, I’ll hand that to the doctor beforehand. When I’m out cold and you get to the placenta, could you plop it in this thing please?

  13. Lyndal

    Bahahahaha! My only memory of placenta related incidents was the very perky midwife asking me if I’d like to see my placenta and me, suitably drugged to the eyeballs, responding “no, that’s fine, you keep it, I’ll just take the baby thanks”. But dammit, if I’d had a Placenta Keeper I would have had her pop it in there for the long journey home!

  14. Made in Suisse

    OMG you’ve outdone yourself there!! I have to spend the rest of the day looking up more placenta weirdness online!

  15. Rebekah

    Can I order one directly from you? Are you considering expanding this into a MLM venture, a la Pampered Chef? If so, I want in on the ground floor. I see big money in your future.

    Also, I like the whole set of nesting PKPs in the photo – for small, medium, large, and holy frick.

  16. LoSRSqred

    Still laughing!! You might copyright that idea before Martha decides it’s the next best thing. Is the YouTube QVC take-off in the making? So glad to have found you…

  17. Julie @ mamamash

    We would like to offer you a special deal on advertising space for your new product. Please contact us at fuckinnasty@grossbutusefulshit.com.

  18. FiveOGrrl

    OMFG. I just got to see a placenta on the 20th! it was so amazingly jellyriffic. I got to cut the cord too! I should have kept that for your farts and crafts. Or you could have made some “organic” dog biscuits for Ike. Maybe some placenta pops cause it’s hot outside…no? BTW…… Keep those buckets away from Buckethead. Don’t they use them to make the “pill”? I have always heard that.

  19. Heather

    OMG!!! You make me want to have another child so I can store the placenta… Ahhhhhhhlllllllll-most!!!! I made them clean my daughters off thoroughly before they could even put them on my chest, I sure as shit don’t want to take home something that belongs in my innards in a ziploc baggie!!!!

  20. Dawn@LightenUp!

    Good grief woman. You really are crazy.
    Marry me.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Yes! I will. Let’s wear matching Spanx(R) wedding gowns and have a Fisher Price Little People ring bearer. Of course our cake will be make by Isaly’s and we’ll serve Iron City Beer. The end.

  21. KC

    Iris – this was hilarious! I had to stop snorting with laughter as I was reading it because it attracted the attention of my 7 year old who then wanted to know what I was laughing at – “Oh – just a funny story about placentas dear..”

    Reminded me of a friend of mine who buried the placentas of her three kids – each with their own individual tree. They went to great lengths to explain to the kids as they got older that they had planted a tree for each of them and the tree had been nourished by their placentas. Only problem was one of the trees kept dying. The second child became increasingly concerned as she got older that her tree was always dying. Cue my friend and her partner sneaking out into the yard in the dead of night to dig up the dead tree and replace it with a new one. They did this three times before they finally moved house – ostensibly for more space but I think it was actually to escape the placenta tree saga.

    • KimB

      This made me LOL! Definitely adds to the blog! Thx for sharing!

  22. AlexandraFunFit

    Ewwwwww. Yeah, for my first kid, no-one told me about the placenta thing either. Then my younger sister said (about a day before I gave birth), “Oh, yeah, after you give birth to your baby, and piece of flank steak comes out of you.” Icky. Tried to change my mind, but my legs couldn’t reach each other to cross tightly.
    And I voted for you again, Miss #21!

  23. Alexis@TroublesomeTots

    Brilliant shower gift! The woman keeping gift notes is hysterical, “Iris – scary card.” Nice.

    This reminds me of my all time favorite Joel Stein article from Time magazine. Afterbirth it’s whats for dinner. Worth checking out:

  24. Ann

    My kids are all a bit older so maybe that’s why I was never offered my placenta as a little after-birth goody bag. All I can say is, “Thank God!” This is one of your posts where I’m going to force myself NOT to click on the links…

    Off to pick up veggies at the farm! ;0)

  25. Kristen Kotrlik

    Why weren’t you at my last baby shower???? Bitch, you would have fit right in. That Placenta Keeper Plus would also be good to keep your wedding cake fresh as the day you got married….

    • The Bearded Iris


      And you could use the extra large bucket as a chamber pot to avoid ambush squirrel bites on the ass.

      Invite me to your next baby shower! I’ll bring the bloody Marys.

  26. Laura


    I gave birth to my second son in Singapore and the entire staff was horrified that I didn’t want to keep my placenta to whip up a tasty omelet at home like the locals. There they have nice little doggy bags for east transport…might want to keep that in mind for your overseas clientele.

  27. Ellen at Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

    O.M.G! I saw some crazy shizzle in the delivery room, but I might have continued practicing OB if someone had brought in a placenta keeper that awesome. And I truly appreciate the thoughtfulness. While I realize that your friend had a home birth, most people who are planning on keeping their placentas come completely unprepared on how to transport them home from the hospital.
    And they start obsessing over it while you’re trying to sew the 15 destroyed bits of their va-jay-jays back together. It’s like, “Do you want me to concentrate on matching the pieces or do you want me to box up your placenta like a Chinese restaurant counter clerk?”
    And the outrage is palpable when the nurse brings the “ugly twin” back to them in a biohazzard bag with the information that it doesn’t have to go home, but it can’t stay here.
    Your invention and a cooler of ice could save all of this awkwardness. Spread the word, I say, you are on your way to becoming a placenta-niche blogger. Where is your badge for that?? (I want one.)

    • The Bearded Iris

      This comment made me laugh for so many reasons, Ellen! The Chinese restaurant bit, the 15 destroyed bits of va-jay-jay, the ugly twin, the biohazard bag… I wish you were my OB! Maybe if I had had an OB with a sense of humor like yours, I could have been the next Michelle Duggar. I would have gotten knocked up every year just to spend quality time with you.

      • Ellen at Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

        Oh but alas, if I was an OB I would no longer have a sense of humor or even be tolerable to talk with. So enjoy me here without the copay and the swollen ankles. 😉 Ellen

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