Pregnancy and childbirth may be "beautiful," but not literally so. Aesthetically speaking, it's all pretty ugly, involving a lot of goo and gore and poop. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and sometimes the beholder is a crunchy doula or a narcissistic new mother who actually looks at a placenta and doesn't see a disembodied, dying human organ, but rather, crafting materials for a sentimental DIY project. In this day and age when everything is considered worthy of documentation, it shouldn't be surprising that "birth art"—in which people are getting creative with the science of labor and delivery—is now a thing.
What's getting really big is "placenta prints." It's basically exactly what it sounds like: bloody placentas imprinted on pieces of paper that people frame and hang up in their house somewhere. (Maybe the bathroom?) It's something that could be a DIY project, but there are actually several services that will not only turn your placenta into a piece of art, but will also encapsulate it so you can eat it.
Image via Jip's Page
Because the veins and cord of the placenta leaves it looking like a tree (sort of), people have begun creating "Tree of Life" pieces documented by STFU Parents, in which they paint the placenta.
Image via STFU Parents
Bored with papier-mâché belly casts? For just $1300 you can get your stomach bronzed. It makes a really nice decorative bowl, that can store virtually anything, from plastic fruit to an infant.
Image via Mama's Belly
Belly casts have been popular for a few years (Kourtney Kardashian did one on TV) but what the hell do you do with a big papier-mâché torso once it's done? Well, you can turn it into a birth announcement. Just slap some bow pasties on the titties and trim it with marabou. (Because nothing says "newborn baby" like the furry stuff found on sexy old ladies' bedroom slippers!) In fact, if you have the sonogram picture, you might as well add that. Grainy-gray goes with everything.
Image via Proud Body
There are actually tons of uses for sonogram photos.
Image via Missa Cherie Photography
People are even using their ultrasound scans as nursery decor. There are services that actually help with this.
Image via My Sonogram Art
Let's get back to placentas. Sometimes you can just pose umbilical cords into cute shapes for a nice photo op before you pop the sucker into a dehydrator to make some placenta jerky.
Image via Cafe Mom
Of course there's an Etsy business that makes personalized placenta resin pendants hanging from plumber chain necklaces.
Image via Etsy
And then there's the placenta teddy bear, "a crafty alternative for those who don't necessarily want to eat their baby's placenta, but want to pay their respects to the life sustaining organ."
Image via Inhabitots