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Eating the Placenta? Yuck! Ack! Gross!

post #1 of 113
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I had never heard of eating the placenta to help with PPD until about a month ago, on this forum.

My first thought was about how nasty that is, how disgusting, how can anyone do that? Blending the placenta in a smoothie? Gross gross gross!!!!! :Puke

But, now that I've had a chance to get over the shock and think a little bit, I'm worried that I will get PPD. I've always had problems with anxiety and maybe mild depresson, and I've heard that if you suffer from these things you are more likely to get PPD.

And also, I've read more posts on here about how much eating placenta helps with PPD, and humans actually used to do this thousands of years ago(is that true?). And so, I'm thinking about trying it...

I guess I'm just interested to see, how many of you are like me? I know some of the people who ate their placentas had to have thought it was as disgusting as me. How did you get over that? And when you ate your placenta, was it worth it? Did it help? If you had more than one baby with accompanying PPD, did you notice a difference when you ate the placenta and when you didn't? Was it as gross as you thought it'd be?

Your thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!
post #2 of 113
ha! I had never heard of it either and wondered what the purpose was...I'm glad you brought this up!
What's it like ladies? How does it help?
post #3 of 113
Ummmmm....yuck. Sorry, but yuck... postpartum--I won't have time to make a frozen burrito let alone freeze dry the placenta and encapsulate it... and that is the only way I could see palating it.
post #4 of 113
I ate mine in a smoothie, lots of red berries, cherry juice, oj.... I did not get ppd (and I was worried because I was depressed during pregnancy) and it stopped my hemorrage (sp) quickly.
post #5 of 113
I love meat, and also love raw meat. I don't like raw organs.. but honestly I would have eaten anything if it meant not getting ppd again. It was the most awful thing I've ever experienced in my life, and I think I'm carrying some icky skeletons. Eating the placenta wasn't gross.. I tossed tiny pieces in the back of my throat and swallowed with water, I could taste iron - like a penny in the mouth - but that was it, I didn't have to deal with texture or flavour or anything. Chopping up the placenta was gross. If you can get someone else to do it, it might help with your gross out factor.

With the first baby I had ppd for a long time. Honestly I had a really hard time staying alive.. I kept myself alive because I felt a responsibility to look after the baby. With the 2nd baby I had a post partum high that lasted for a couple weeks (as long as I was eating placenta). I was ecstatic, I felt wonderful.. happier than I had been in like, ever, I looked beautiful - my skin was great, I looked at myself appreciatively etc etc. I can't say whether it was all because of placenta or no, but if placenta makes you feel that good I kid you not I'd be in the market for placentas from any mammal.
post #6 of 113
I so wish I had known about this before I gave birth. I had pretty severe depression during the last half of my pregnancy, and my therapist actually told me that I was actually at less risk of developing PPD than most women. WTF???? I thought that since I wasn't really at risk at all, that I wouldn't do anything to prevent it, and didn't do any research at all. I am pretty sure I still have PPD, and am finally getting help for it. I was pretty euphoric for the first couple of months, but have slowly slipped down into a funk. It is not nearly as bad as some mama's experience, but if I had known, I definitely would have eaten my placenta. If I ever have another, I will most definitely do it if possible.
post #7 of 113
I swallowed a piece whole after my1st UC. I was hemmoraging.
I also read here that the chemicals in the placenta tell the body and brain to start contracting the uterus. i would definately do it again with my 3rd uc. (my 2nd, i didn't bleed.)
post #8 of 113
I was initially pretty grossed out at the thought, but I can now say that I've consumed my placenta. My midwife freeze dries it and puts it into capsules for a small fee (about $60). I was feeling a little PPD coming on, so I decided to take it. I'm so glad that I had her make the capsules. I didn't taste the placenta, so I can't help there, but I felt considerably better shortly after I started taking it.
post #9 of 113
Is there somewhere (online or not) where there is research on this? I'd be interested in reading about it...not sure if I would consider it myself, but I'd like to learn more.
post #10 of 113
I ate my placenta. Dh cut it up for me. I had some of it blended with fresh orange juice and strawberries (I couldn't even tell it was in there) and I swallowed a couple pieces. I will definitely do the OJ thing again, but it was hard for me to handle eating it straight. The texture was a bit much for me to stomach.

I didn't have even a hint of ppd, but I've only had one birth so far, so I don't have any basis for comparison.
post #11 of 113
I didn't eat it raw (kind of wish I had), but dried and encapsulated it. OK, had my partner cut up and dry and encapsulate it. I don't know if it helped, but I didn't have PPD, and I do have a history of bipolar depression, which puts me in a high risk category. I know it did something, because the day after the one day I skipped the capsules is the only time I had any bleeding after the lochia flow of the first few weeks.

Here's a link about cows eating their placenta. According to that article, humans and camels are the only placental land mammals who DON'T practice placentaphagia.

I think PPD has a lot to do with a lack of social support in this soceity, which placentaphagia does nothing for, but for the chemical component, I think it helps. Other than knowing that the placenta contains high level of nutrients and hormones, I'm not sure there is much (or any) research on the effects of placentaphagia on PPD. We're kind of out beyond research here.
post #12 of 113
I had read about this here while I was pregnant,and I was so depressed during the pregnancy I would have tried ANYTHING. However,I had placenta previa,and it separated,ruptured,DS & I almost died....was not much left of it,so that option was out.
post #13 of 113
I didn't eat it but I did dry it and encapsulate it. I'm so glad I did.
post #14 of 113
When I first heard about it, I was definitely grossed out. I did a lot of reading about it. Like Arwyn said, mammals eat their placentas. I believe it was the Chinese who would make a stew out of the placenta for the new mother to eat. It makes sense. I know that placenta can stop a hemorrhage really fast. Even just tucking it in the lip.

I've never done it. I've had pretty bad PPD with my last 3 births and one of my miscarriages. I know a lot of it was lack of support but there was hormonal imbalances there too. Personally, if I have another baby, I'll eat it. I want to do anything to help me feel better....
post #15 of 113
I always thought it was "gross" too . . I wouldn't be against eating my placenta in theory, but in practice? I don't know. What is the encapsulating process like? Does the hospital let you take it home?
post #16 of 113
I'm one of those that's a vegetarian because meat squicks me out - doesn't matter how well it's cooked, I KNOW where it came from and what it is. Uck. Yack. No. So the very thought of eating my placenta makes me squirm a bit. I bow to the women who just down a hunk like it's a piece of warm bread.

BUT.

I had PPD/Anxiety after DS, on top of dealing with social anxiety and other issues my whole life. I know I'm at risk for a repeat.

Ideally, my midwife for the next will be able to dry it and encapsulate it (I'm in the interviewing process now, and that's a big point for me), but if push comes to shove, I'll suck it up and trust my body to recognize the process and not lose it.
post #17 of 113
So it's out of the question if you are considering having an epidural during labor, right?
post #18 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by eshanamama View Post
Does the hospital let you take it home?
No hospital I've ever worked in has allowed it. It's treated as medical waste but sometimes it's sent to pathology if the doc thinks it looks odd. Where my dh used to work, they stored and sold the placentas!
But if you're delivering in a hosptial you could always ask your OB if you could keep it. I wouldn't say you were going to eat it to an OB because they won't understand. They'll tell you if you get depressed come back for a paid office visit and they'll put you on some nice Prozac or something.

Now my 2nd baby was born at home. I had severe ppd w/ #1. I told my mw about the ppd & that I wanted to keep the placenta (it was for planting w/ a tree but I didn't tell her why I wanted to keep it). She never once mentioned eating the placenta helping w/ ppd. I kind of wish she would have brought it up. I never knew about it back then. It turned out I didn't have any ppd so it wasn't needed but it still would have been a nice option to know about.
Since I've never eaten placenta I can't really say, but couldn't you stick a small chunk inside a cube of cheese or in a spoonful of jello or something to mask the taste/texture? I think psychologically I could handle swallowling in one big gulp better than drinking an entire glass full of it.
post #19 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Night_Nurse View Post
No hospital I've ever worked in has allowed it. It's treated as medical waste but sometimes it's sent to pathology if the doc thinks it looks odd. Where my dh used to work, they stored and sold the placentas!
But if you're delivering in a hosptial you could always ask your OB if you could keep it. I wouldn't say you were going to eat it to an OB because they won't understand. They'll tell you if you get depressed come back for a paid office visit and they'll put you on some nice Prozac or something.
I always offer the placenta to my patients to take home.

But I have to say I'll stick with my Prozac, thanks.
post #20 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmama View Post
I always offer the placenta to my patients to take home.

But I have to say I'll stick with my Prozac, thanks.
Do you deliver in a US hospital? If so, maybe it's just a hospital policy thing. It would be nice if all hosptial's offered it. I've just always been against policy at every place I've worked due to it being coined "medical waste". It may even be state law where I live. Not 100% sure because it doesn't come up that often.

And for the record, I wasn't slamming anyone on Prozac or any other meds, I don't want it taken that way. I just meant if someone wanted to use the placenta to naturally prevent ppd, a mainstream OB in the US is not going to be on board w/ that (never one I've met). He or she will most likely want to prescribe office visits and prescriptions because, well, that helps fund their salary.
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