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Placentophagy?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok, so how's everyone feel about ingesting your placenta? eat.gif I'm kind of on the fence about it. I decided against it 5 years ago, but am considering it again. Right now, if I were to do it, I'd probably dehydrate and encapsulate it, but how much of the "good stuff" (and is there *really* any good stuff?) do you lose when you cook it that much? Almost every mammal eats their placenta, but does that have more to do with disposing of the afterbirth that could draw predators to the weakened mom and vulnerable offspring or are there other less obvious reasons why they do it?

The ick factor really isn't what's making me hesitant. I'm having a hard time finding hard facts about the safety or effectiveness. Here is some research, but there just isn't much out there:

http://placentabenefits.info/research.asp

Anyone have info they want to share, either way? Have any of you ladies ingested your placenta? I'd love to hear about personal experiences.
post #2 of 24

This question was just raised by my Doula last night!  She gave me the name and website for someone who does placenta encapsulation.  I had sort of decided against, for reasons similar to yours (just not enough information out there to support the potential benefits).  And the only way I would consider it is encapsulation.  So the ick factor does matter to me!

 

Other mammels may ingest their placenta for reasons other than protecting their offspring, but that is most definitely a reason.  They don't just eat the placenta, they eat ALL of the afterbirth (cord, amniotic sack, etc.).

 

I am still open to considering encasulation but would need to be convinced there's a good reason to do so.

post #3 of 24

I'm on the fence too!  I'm cheap and we are a bit broke, so I would want to do it myself if we did.  I didn't do it with DD.  I have a lot of friends who swear by it for helping everything postpartum.  

 

Then, I ran across this article from MotherLode:  http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/i-regret-eating-my-placenta/

 

It's really the only negative perspective I've seen from a mother who consumed hers.  

 

At this point, I have no real plan to do it, so it probably won't happen!  I might just keep and freeze it?  And decide what to do later?

post #4 of 24
I LOL'ed when I saw the smiley in the OP lick it's lips. eat.gif

I have debated about this long and hard, before deciding not to. I've emailed with several area women who do encapsulation, and talked about it with my doula, but decided it's not for me.

I am generally a cheery person and I have a great support system in place for after the birth, so I don't think I'm at high risk for PPD. Post birth I'm going to keep taking my HVCLO and BO caps, along with my prenatal, and call it good.

However, if you decide to do it, I applaud you. After all, it is supposed to be great for you!
post #5 of 24
I have no plans to eat mine myself, but I can understand those who might want to. The ick factor doesn't affect me personally, though I know my DH would be seriously grossed out. I do want to see the placentas this time though, I didn't see DD's and it isn't a huge deal, but I wish I had gotten to see it. I've more seriously considered planting it under a tree or something like that, but I know realistically it will never happen when I'm dealing with newborns and that's ok!
post #6 of 24
 but I wish I had gotten to see it. 

 

That was one of my favorite parts of the post-birth process!  My midwife saved mine in a little pink tub and gave me a whole tour.  It was fascinating.  And this was even in the hospital!

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastormama View Post

Quote:
 but I wish I had gotten to see it. 

That was one of my favorite parts of the post-birth process!  My midwife saved mine in a little pink tub and gave me a whole tour.  It was fascinating.  And this was even in the hospital!
Yeah, I definitely want to at least get to see them a bit, a tour would be even better!
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post

I have no plans to eat mine myself, but I can understand those who might want to. The ick factor doesn't affect me personally, though I know my DH would be seriously grossed out. I do want to see the placentas this time though, I didn't see DD's and it isn't a huge deal, but I wish I had gotten to see it. I've more seriously considered planting it under a tree or something like that, but I know realistically it will never happen when I'm dealing with newborns and that's ok!

Yes, it was pretty cool to see.  I was in a hospital last time too, and the nurse brought it right over for me to look at.  I didn't ask or anything, it must just be standard policy.

post #9 of 24
Yes, done it before and will do it again. I paid to have it encapsulated last time. This time, I think I'll do it myself. It seemed to make a huge difference in my mood and health postpartum, but of course, there are other factors that were different from birth 1 and birth 2. Both births went well and were homebirths with the same midwife.
No real way to know if the placenta was the deciding factor, but I'll be doing it again just in case.

My second postpartum period was definitely easier, except for the afterpains.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastormama View Post

That was one of my favorite parts of the post-birth process!  My midwife saved mine in a little pink tub and gave me a whole tour.  It was fascinating.  And this was even in the hospital!
Since we waited a couple hours after birth to clamp and cut the cord, I got up close and personal with my placenta. My midwife floated it in a little pink plastic tray in the tub until we were ready to get out. It looked really cool!
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeagleMommy View Post

Yes, done it before and will do it again. I paid to have it encapsulated last time. This time, I think I'll do it myself. It seemed to make a huge difference in my mood and health postpartum, but of course, there are other factors that were different from birth 1 and birth 2. Both births went well and were homebirths with the same midwife.
No real way to know if the placenta was the deciding factor, but I'll be doing it again just in case.

My second postpartum period was definitely easier, except for the afterpains.

Are you going to do the Traditional Chinese Medicine method where you steam it before dehydrating it or will you do the raw method where you dehydrate it at a lower temp without steaming first? If I do it, I'll do it myself, too. I found directions that didn't look too hard (more time consuming than difficult) and my mom said she'd help me with the process since she'll be up here for the birth and to help out afterwards.

My husband is more on board this time. It was funny, years ago he said he'd never kiss me again (joking, sort of!) if I ate my placenta. Last night I talked to him about it and told him I might and he said "Oh yea? That's cool. What's it do?" He's turned into such a crunchy daddy. I love it!
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastormama View Post


Then, I ran across this article from MotherLode:  http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/i-regret-eating-my-placenta/

It's really the only negative perspective I've seen from a mother who consumed hers.  

I saw that also! It was the only really negative thing I've seen, too. My friend did stop taking hers because it was causing her to have stronger afterpains. She was also very sensitive to RRL and couldn't drink any tea or take the capsules during pregnancy. As far as the afterpains in general, I wonder if they are stronger when taking the placenta capsules and that's why many women say they bleed for a shorter duration postpartum. Hmmmm...
post #13 of 24

It was something I struggled with deciding on (I'm a lifelong vegetarian) but I've decided to go for it and have mine encapsulated. I figured it can't hurt and if it helps then awesome! I've heard it helps increase milk production and I'd love to produce enough to donate this time. 

post #14 of 24

I've heard amazing things about it. I was lucky enough to be gifted with placenta encapsulation for this babe. We are going with the TCM method, but she is also doing a tincture for me with small pieces from different parts of the organ, which can apparently be used throughout life for multiple benefits. I am PSYCHED about it  :)

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilsBabyMama View Post

Are you going to do the Traditional Chinese Medicine method where you steam it before dehydrating it or will you do the raw method where you dehydrate it at a lower temp without steaming first?


I'm planning on dehydrating it raw. I imagine it will be much like dehydrating liver for my dogs as treats. Strong, but not unpleasant smell.
post #16 of 24
I've known about this for years but could never wrap my mind around it. I didn't do it with my first - that placenta is buried in our yard nourishing an apple tree. I found the postpartum tough last time - it took forever for the bleeding to settle down. So I've decided to go for it this time. I'll do it myself the TCM way. I think steaming it is a good idea if it's not dehydrated right away, to ensure it's safe to take. Just my opinion on it. I've heard it can help cut down on bleeding time, help milk production, mood, etc. A friend of mine had hers encapsulated and I was blown away by the energy in her voice at 7-10 days postpartum. She said she found it helped her a lot hormonally. If she forgot to take them a day, she felt way more susceptible to hormone swings. I love these forums for this reasons - you will find few discussions about placentophagy on most forums, but not on Mothering!
post #17 of 24

I consumed mine last time. I was just going to have it encapsulated, but ended up consuming some of it raw in the first few days post-partum. I had a pretty significant hemmorhage delivering my placenta (it came only partially detached and had to be fully detached manually - OUCH!!!!), so I knew I needed a good dose of it and had some in smoothies in the hours and days after the birth. I know that has a major ick factor, but I honestly didn't even notice it - probably due to the chocolate ice cream and bananas, and it was all prepped by my mw and xh. I had the rest of it encapsulated and ended up taking those quite a while later (maybe a year) just when I was feeling compromised (cold, mastitis, fatigue) and can't really say they had a huge effect, but I don't know if those things would have been worse without the caps...

 

This time I plan to encapsulate it again, although I don't have a plan in place and am kind of feeling lazy about it, tbh. I don't want to do it myself, so we'll see what comes together. I am not feeling like this is a really important thing this time, so who knows, it could get planted if I don't get it together. I would consume it raw again if I felt I needed it, but I am really hoping that will not be the case this time around.

post #18 of 24

I encapsulate placentas! Though I didn't get my first one done. I had just found out about it and didn't really have anywhere to go with it by the time dd was born so it went away in the trash :( Encapsulating for me started when I attended a friend's home birth (just under 2 years ago) and she wanted help with it, so I figured out how to do it and word spread from there. Pretty soon, I had my own supplies and just started offering the service. I'll be encapsulating my own after this birth and am excited to see how I feel. I had ppd with dd, which I fixed using homeopathics, so it would be cool to avoid that again.  

 

There's lots of potential good effects that come with consuming your placenta. I wouldn't advise mixing any herbs with your encapsulated/tinctured placenta. If you want to take herbs, take them separately. That way you keep your placenta pure. For example, if you mix postpartum or milk enhancing herbs with your placenta, that's probably not a good thing to take when you want to use your placenta for PMS symptoms (or menopause)!

 

I am happy to share my worksheets with any of you if you'd like, just pm me your email and I'll send them your way! I have a smoothie recipe, TCM and raw instructions, and tincture instructions, which pretty much covers everything. The process is pretty easy. Below is my general home-handout for Consumption/Info. I always make sure to tell women that they may not necessarily react well and may have to adjust the dosage until they find something that works best for them (I have already had clients take more/less than my recommended starting dosage of 2 pills 3x/day. It's a very personal dosage regimen). P.S. I encapsulate using vegetarian caps, size "00".

 

 

Benefits of Consuming your Encapsulated Placenta


  • Decrease in baby blues and postpartum depression

  • Marked improvement in overall feelings of happiness and well-being.

  • Recover more quickly from birth

  • Assist the uterus in returning to its pre-pregnancy size

  • Increase in breast milk production

  • Increase in energy

  • Decrease in length of postpartum lochia flow

  • Increase your iron levels postpartum

  • Decrease in insomnia or sleep disorders

  • Aids in balancing hormones

Directions

Take TWO Placenta Pills three times each day for the first two weeks postpartum. After two weeks, you may then simply take two pills as needed.

~To store your placenta pills long-term, place in the refrigerator. You can use them to:


  • Help increase your milk production during growth spurts

  • Combat mood swings

  • Ease PMS symptoms after your cycle returns

  • Remedy discomforts caused by menopause

Notes About Placenta Capsule Consumption

~In Traditional Chinese Medicine, some practitioners caution against taking a tonifying medicine (and placenta is in that category) when there is "heat from yin deficiency" ie; a fever or infection, so as not to tonify (strengthen) the pathogen. There are also other TCM practitioners who don't think this needs to be a precaution. Your best option is probably to continue taking the placenta pills. If you feel that your illness is worsening, discontinue use and resume when you are feeling better.

~If you feel that the effects from consuming your placenta are too intense (such as feeling over energized or hormonal-probably in a good way), decrease the dose until you have reached an effect that you are comfortable with.

~Occasionally, newborns can be very responsive to placenta pills. Normally after the birth, your newborn may experience swollen breast buds (perhaps with milk leaking) and girls may experience a “mini period”. Some women have reported that taking placenta pills causes these symptoms to persist. Decreasing dosage or discontinuing use will allow the excess hormones to filter out and symptoms to cease. Use your own judgment and experiment with the dosage, decreasing as necessary. Resume consumption with a small daily dose and work your way up.

~Some women feel the effects of the placenta pills are better balanced if they take food or drink (other than water) when they take their pills.

~Some women report that the energy they get from taking the pills causes them to have some trouble falling asleep in the evening. If this is you, consider taking the pills earlier in the evening or skipping the dose all together.

Enjoy your baby moon and placenta pills! If you have any questions or would like to share your experience with taking the placenta pills, Please contact me!

post #19 of 24
I plan to have mine encapsulated. I am a vegetarian and I really don't think I'll want to do it myself. I'm asking around if friends are interested. I did have some post partum issues last time that I didn't admit to at the time. PE seems like a good place to start.

I watched my momma rabbit eat it and that kind of made it easier to watch and understand an herbivore. She had such an insatiable appetite then too. It could have been to prevent predators but it really seemed like part of the replenishing process. I bred my rabbit again so hopefully we'll get to see another birth before my own. See if I get any new insights this time.

But it seems like the thing to do. If I had any taste for flesh I'd eat it instead but it would also be great if they help at menopause. Better to encapsulate and not use it than to miss the opportunity and wish you had.
post #20 of 24

I am planning encapsulation too.  I was so shocked when I mentioned it to DH and he was so nonchalant about it.  But he only asked why and when I explained his response was 'Oh ok'.

 

Since I cant stand liver, I don't think I could stand to eat it.

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