eating placenta

As weird as it may sound, the fact of eating placenta, known as placentophagy, has got a lot of buzz recently.

Such a trend has gathered support from many mums who have tried it, including celebrities, whereas it hasn't reached any scientific consensus on whether eating your placenta can be beneficial. Before we get deeper into the subject, it's convenient to remind you that the placenta is the foetal organ that connects the growing baby with you, allowing that nutrients and oxygen pass from your blood into the foetus. The placenta is also in charge of producing your baby's hormones and fostering his immune system.

Is eating placenta just a passing fad? Or is it going to remain, owing to the advantages defended by its proponents? Let's find out more information regarding such a curious 'movement'.

Eating placenta: Why do people do it? 

Historians have revealed that, in ancient cultures, the placenta was used to treat infertility, boost lactation and even male impotence, while nowadays it's sold as a traditional medicine in some eastern countries. The advocates of placentophagy point out that, as the placenta provides protein, vitamins, minerals and fats to the baby during pregnancy, it can be a bonus for your after-birth diet as well. On top of that, they say that we just have to think that most mammals eat their placentas, so we should do the same. However, scientists consider that animals do so to remove the blood smell that could potentially attract predators.

Benefits of eating the placenta

The, let's say, 'modern theory' about eating placenta is that it can raise your energy after giving birth, along with increasing the production of breast milk and stabilising your hormone levels. That is supposed to make you less likely to suffer from baby blues, postpartum depression and insomnia during the first weeks after delivery. 

Moreover, eating your placenta is meant to speed your recovery from birth, make up for any iron deficiency in your body and strengthen the bond with your child.

Eating placenta: How to do it

First of all, you'll have to check your hospital's policy regarding the afterbirth, because some treat it as bio hazardous waste. If you want to keep it, write it down in your birth plan and arrange it in advance with your doctor or midwife. Once you've got their 'ok' and have pushed the placenta out of your uterus, keep in mind that it goes off, like any other meat. That's why you should either freeze it, cook it right away or have it prepared by professionals, some of which are midwives.

Eating placenta: Recipes 

Yes, you've read it well. Some people get adventurous when eating placenta and come up with creative recipes that you would not imagine. For example, one of the most popular ones is placenta encapsulation, which consists in dehydrating the placenta, grinding the meat into a course powder and turning it into small placenta pills or capsules that can be swallowed, like a vitamin or a supplement.

There's a more 'traditional' way of preparing the placenta by cutting its membranes away and then cook it like if it was a piece of meat, for example, in stews, mixed with sauce for pasta and even for desert, keeping it frozen to make a unique smoothie.

Although some women report very positive experiences out of eating placenta, you should take some precautions if you decide to follow the trend. Monitor yourself while eating it and, if you start to feel sick once it kicks in, stop. Do the same if you are taking placental pills and notice any unusual symptoms.

Well, what do you think? Are you seduced by the idea of eating placenta? The debate will probably go on and on, but after all, this is a personal decision. If you really think that those benefits are worth trying out placentophagy, go ahead. Just remember, though, that there's no scientific evidence that supports it.