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Eating your Placenta to prevent PPD...

post #1 of 456
Thread Starter 
I'm planning on drying my placenta (16 weeks pregnant now), grinding it up in the coffee grinder and taking in capsules. I heard that it is an excellent post-partum tonic. In chinese medicine, they prescribe it for people who have low energy. I also think it would feel good to take something back after giving so much (baby.... fluids...placenta...) It is the only meat that comes from life, not death. Don't (vegetarian) cows eat their placentas?

I don't think I could stomache "Placenta stew" or "Placenta stir-fry". With my first baby's placenta, I ate a tiny little peice, and that was all I could. The rest, I gave to my cats. I wish I had preserved it instead.

Has anyone else done this? Does anyone want to do it when you have your baby?
post #2 of 456
I haven't eaten the placenta of my children, however, my husband was all for it. We agreed, with #1, we would take the placenta home with us from the hospital, freeze it, and then discuss what we wanted to do with it.........unfortunately, it was thrown away by a nurse by mistake:-( With child #2 we weren't able to take it home because there was something kooky with it and it had to be sent for some tests...blah, blah, blah.......so maybe we would have eaten it, who knows?! LOL!! My old employer said she made a smoothie out of one of her children's placenta and buried the other two in the front yard under a tree.

I have heard about the reasonings you had stated in your post.......if anything, it would be a great post partum iron boost. Many mammals eat the placenta of their young:-)

Honestly, the thought makes me a little quesy:-( But, hey, to each their own:-) My DH has mentioned eating menses (he gave me a scientific and historic reason why).....and I swear to God he isn't a weird-o!!! LOL!!

Good Luck on your pregnancy!!
post #3 of 456
I just can't do it. It's a bit too much like eating a part of yourself. I could probably swollow the capsules, but making them might push me over the edge.

I won't even debone a chicken. Uugh.
post #4 of 456
Hey, I'd eat my placenta raw if it'll stop me from getting PPD again!!

How do you dry it? we are planning a birth center birth, so we will be bringing the placenta home in a tupperware thingy. (Still have the last one sitting in the freezer : )

Can you tell me how to prepare it? Thanks
post #5 of 456
Thread Starter 


Well, water (love your username by the way!), I've never actually done it, but am planning on getting my placenta all cleaned-up (rinsed and dryed with a towel), then slicing it up in thin strips or squares (width-wise), and putting it in the food dehydrator. My dehydrator is supposed to work for drying meat, so I assume it will work. Then I *hope* it will get dry enough for me to grind it up in the coffee grinder, and I'll put it in vegi-caps (OO size), and take as many as I feel I need. And eventually use it all.

If you search on this forum for eating placenta, you'll find another woman who has suggested it here before. She did it, I think.

I know PPD can be a real drain on your baby's first months. You can't enjoy the little angel like you thought you would and that's why I want to try this. I don't know if you are interested in "raw foods" at all, but in this way of prepareing the placenta, you're not cooking it at all, but you don't have to "eat" it. KWIM?
post #6 of 456
Couldn't do it... I can't help but think that the placenta belongs to both my child and I so it would be a form of cannibalism to me... KWIM?

However, if it works, why not try it?
post #7 of 456
Thread Starter 
It does seem like a form of cannabalism if you look at it in a certain way (industrialized, civilized way) but don't vegetarian animals eat their placentas as well as the sac and cord? It's a way to survive so that the carnivores do not smell their young babies. And it *has* to have other health benifits for the animals to eat it up like they do.

I'm trusting my instinct on this one. I do not want to be depressed again after this baby is born. I feel it is the best healthy choice. I will not subject myself to "anti-depressants" unless I've exhusted all other avenues. Because I know that in my family anyway, anti-depressants don't work. Maybe it's our blood type.

I have this book that people around here call the "bible"; Healing With Whole Foods, By Paul Pitchford. It is an excellent reference, and in there he does talk about consuming placenta for mother's well-being, and states that in chinese medicine, which has been around for thousands of years longer than Zolaft, Paxil, or Celexa, they routinely PRESCRIBE placenta to people for various reasons, not just for after pregnancy.

Some books that I've read suggest making a placenta smoothie, as in raw placenta, mixed with berries and such, and taken like that. That, I don't think I could handle. I think taking the capules is the safest, easiest, smartest way to do it. The placenta will be preserved indefinately, and I won't have to take a anti-depressant drug (hopefully).

Is there anyone else around here who has actually tried it, or has a positive story about it to tell?
post #8 of 456
Hmmm... I don't have a food dehydrator, do you think I could dry it in the oven, like on really low heat? Maybe I'll search more on this too...
post #9 of 456
Thread Starter 
Yes, I heard that you can dry it in the oven too, but I've never dryed anything in the oven, so I don't really know how it would work. I assume you would have to keep the door open a crack for the moisture to escape?
post #10 of 456
I don't think you need to crack the oven door, the moisture should come out the oven vent. You might want to try dehydrating some fruit first to test how long and how warm ( I think for an oven, 200F is the higest you should go for dehydrating....)

Please don't take my thoughts as a hit on you, I think that if you are willing to try it, you should go for it....
post #11 of 456
Hey,I dried dd2's placenta in the oven and ground it in a coffe grinder,I have the capsules,but it's hard to fill them!I did take some early pp,and I had the exact same insomnia I had during pregnancy.I have not used it since.I was very surprised at how little such a big thing makes...

It is SO empowering!I only got to grind,as I was in bed for the rest...I strongly suggest freezing it til you can do it or having someone who can do it for you ASAP.My midwife would have nothing to do with it,my mom did all the rinsing,slicing,dehydrating,etc..and said it was a very powerful experience.(this from a fairly conservative, mainstream-ish woman)

I suggest following a recipie found thru here if you do a search.I was very unprepared for the reality of DOing it.I had the recipie but never thought of securing the ingredients!lol!....

good luck!

I plan on becoming a "Placenta doula" preparing womens placentas for them post partum.

Oh yeah,we (mistake)cooked ours @ 300 for a while first,then dehydrated at 150 with door cracked for 2 days(lost track pp and all....)
post #12 of 456
There is just no way I could eat it in a smoothie or anything, but I think maybe I could take the capsules. However, someone else would have to do the prep work for me - I am way too squeamish at blood and such. Let us know if it helps!!

post #13 of 456
I've read that it is most effective when eaten raw in the first couple of days after birth. It somehow helps regulate hormones, preventing PPD.
I was open to it, but when I looked at the thing, I was completely icked out. No way.
Maybe next time I'll try the dehydration and capsules...
post #14 of 456
I was like mrzmeg. I heard that eating a bite of placenta could stop a hemmorrage. I trickle hemmorraged at my UC, and got the placenta up close to see if I could take a bite out of it. I just couldn't do it. I really looked at it and said "I'd rather go to the hospital and get pitocin". So, that's what we did. I wish that I would have known enough to make capsules out of it to take to prevent ppd. I may have changed my mind about eating it too, if I knew how terrible ppd was going to be.
post #15 of 456
I am going to freeze dry my placenta this time and put it in capsules to eat. My mw suggested it to me. I had PPD so bad last time that I refused to hold or nurse my baby...I would eat it raw if I could keep that from happening again. It was horrible. I am going to ask my mom to be the one to prepare it...I think it is a special thing and I want her to be the one to do it...

My mw said you start off take 3-4 capsules for a couple of days then you slowly taper off. She said that she has heard amazing results from doing this. I can ask for more details to post if you would like.
post #16 of 456
I happened to check out Peggy Vincent's website (author of "The Baby Catcher" ) and she had a link to this site on her FAQ. Who-da-thunk!

Placenta Recipes

T Patti Ramos (birth photographer featured in Midwifery Today a lot) has a nice Placenta photo page:

post #17 of 456
Thread Starter 
I found this on one of the site that tanibani posted about. Thanks Tanibani, BTW. I think I will prepare my placenta in this way, it makes sense to me to steam it a bit before dehydrating it. This is the site, http://www.geocities.com/virtualbirth/placenta.html And this is what I read in there....
Traditional Chinese Medicine Placenta Preparation
by Janneli Miller, Midwife

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, placenta is considered a powerful and sacred medicine, full of life force. Raven Lang, a midwife who studied Traditional Chinese Medicine, advises the use of placenta during the postpartum course to aid in recovery from childbirth. After the placenta is prepared it is taken in capsule form, 2 capsules at a time, with white wine. The wine is said to help disperse the energy of the placenta throughout the body. Women can take this dose up to three times a day, and continue until they no longer feel a need. Remaining placenta can be saved and used homeopathically for those times when the child undergoes a separation from the mother. For example, when first learning to walk, or when weaning, or when going off ory is made from qi and blood, human placenta used to augment qi and blood will help augment lactation.

I first heard of making placenta into medicine from Raven Lang at a MANA convention in 1984. I have been making it for all my clients since. I do it as a routine, and have only had one client not want it. For all you who are
ROFL right now, let me say that the placenta is prepared into a powder and encapsulated, so it's not so undesirable. To prepare, it must be cooked. Cooking in TCM is an integral part of the formation and action of the medicine. Raw is generally considered cooling, so raw placenta is cooling, and I wouldn't recommend it as a general rule. Also, none of the actions of human placenta as I am describing it can be attributed to the raw placenta. Cooking it is part of making it what it is. To cook, wash excess blood from the placenta. Place it in a steamer over water. Place with it fresh ginger slices, half a lemon and a hot pepper. Steam for 15 minutes, turn, and steam 15 more minutes until no juice comes out when pricked with a fork. (Steam over low heat, it has a tendency to boil over and that's a mess.) The membranes and cord may be cooked with the placenta. It is helpful to turn the placenta to "Schultz," i.e., wrapped inside the membrane when you cook it. It will shrink tremendously, and wrapped in the membranes makes it easy to deal with for the next step. After steaming, slice the placenta in 1/8" strips, similar to making jerky. Slice
as thin as possible. Place the strips on a cookie sheet (over aluminum foil if you're squeamish) and place it in an oven on the lowest possible setting for several hours until completely brittle-dry. (Again like jerky) Using a food
dehydrator is even better, but will take longer. Powder the strips in a coffee grinder, and encapsulate. I advise clients to take two capsules three times a day for two weeks postpartum. It can be kept indefinitely, but is best kept in a freezer long term (like any meat to school or daycare.

I have been preparing and giving placenta to women for 10 years. It is not recommended for everyone, but women who do want to take it have reported that they **do not have trouble with postpartum depression** and seem to heal quickly from any trauma experienced because of birth.While it is difficult to say that the placenta is responsible, there are physiological reasons that may be at work. The placenta is full of natural oxytocins which are responsible for contracting the uterus and minimizing postpartum bleeding. Also it contains hormones which have recently been shown to help in the relief of postpartum depression. Women who use placenta have said it makes them feel nurtured. It takes about 12-16 hours to prepare the placenta according to the recipe advocated by Raven Lang.

The preparation is not difficult but Raven noted that one must keep in mind the powerful and sacred nature of the organ you are working with at all times. I am honored to do this work and enjoy preparing the placentas for homebirth women. If you choose to prepare it yourself, the recipe follows.

Gently rinse the fresh placenta (it must not have been frozen, the fresher the better), keeping as much blood as possible. Steam the placenta for 15 minutes, then turn it over and steam for 15 more minutes. In the steaming water you must put a jalapeño pepper, some fresh ginger root and a slice of lime. When the placenta is finished steaming
slice it into thin strips and place these in a dehydrator or your oven at its lowest temperature. Dry the strips until they are completely dry, they should snap. This generally takes about 8 to 10 hours. Your house will smell like placenta (women like this smell but men generally find it unpleasant). When the slices are completely dry, break them up into smaller chunks and then grind them into a fine powder. Raven noted that any energy you have while
working with the placenta will be absorbed into the medicine, so please keep yourself centered. This also applies to your mode of grinding-if you use a blender or electric grinder your placenta will have "blender energy" (direct quote from Raven!). A mortar and pestle can be used or a hand grinder. Raven said you can also put the pieces in a paper bag and pound with a rock. When you have powdered the placenta keep it in a cool dark place in a glass jar tightly capped. It will keep indefinitely this way.
post #18 of 456
Thread Starter 
post #19 of 456
I ate my placenta and bypassed the whole PPD. I just dried it and encapsulated it. I figure if my baby can live off of it,it couldn't do me much harm. I think it's good for the baby too if you're breastfeeding. I came across a placenta lasagna recipe but I don't think so. A pill will do just fine, thanx!
post #20 of 456
I am sure glad to find this thread! I am planning to do the same thing after my next baby is born!
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