Eating the Placenta? Yuck! Ack! Gross! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 113 Old 01-15-2008, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

Heather, Vegan Dietitian, Wife to DH since 9-04, mom to Pepper : and mom to born 10/09
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#2 of 113 Old 01-15-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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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?
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#3 of 113 Old 01-16-2008, 04:06 AM
 
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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.
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#4 of 113 Old 01-16-2008, 04:24 AM
 
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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.
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#5 of 113 Old 01-16-2008, 05:54 AM
 
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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.
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#6 of 113 Old 01-16-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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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.

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#7 of 113 Old 01-16-2008, 07:47 PM
 
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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.)

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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#8 of 113 Old 01-16-2008, 08:08 PM
 
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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.

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#9 of 113 Old 01-16-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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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.
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#10 of 113 Old 01-16-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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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.
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#11 of 113 Old 01-16-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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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.
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#12 of 113 Old 01-16-2008, 11:16 PM
 
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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.
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#13 of 113 Old 01-17-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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I didn't eat it but I did dry it and encapsulate it. I'm so glad I did.

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#14 of 113 Old 01-17-2008, 12:23 PM
 
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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....
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#15 of 113 Old 01-17-2008, 12:52 PM
 
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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?
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#16 of 113 Old 01-17-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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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.
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#17 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 12:25 AM
 
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So it's out of the question if you are considering having an epidural during labor, right?
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#18 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 02:53 AM
 
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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.

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#19 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 02:58 AM
 
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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.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#20 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 03:04 AM
 
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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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#21 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 03:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Night_Nurse View Post
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.
Yup. Washington State. We're a little different on the Left Coast.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#22 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 03:35 AM
 
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Yup. Washington State. We're a little different on the Left Coast.
OT but awww man, my dh & I really want to move there. We love how people in WA think & we love the no personal income tax and how your state's Medicaid doesn't pay for circumcisions.
But...it gets so cold there! :

Back OT - that is great that hospitals in WA offer the placenta to pts that want it!
Maybe the south will catch up (one day).

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#23 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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OT but awww man, my dh & I really want to move there. We love how people in WA think & we love the no personal income tax and how your state's Medicaid doesn't pay for circumcisions.
But...it gets so cold there! :

Back OT - that is great that hospitals in WA offer the placenta to pts that want it!
Maybe the south will catch up (one day).
WA medicaid also pays for MW home deliveries, too.

Only they don't call it Medicaid, they call it "Medical coupons." I had it with my 4th pregnancy and I couldn't grasp the name of the program. I just couldn't say the words, they sounded so lame. They still do, but I've lived here long enough now I am used to it.

On a topical note, I was so grossed out by the idea I steered away from all the discussion with as much repulsion as if they'd been discussing the eating of diapers. "Just don't go there, sicko..."

Www.placentabenefits.com has the research and information in an orderly format. I didn't use her kit but I did encapsulate mine. It was a little time consuming, but honestly, it was so so worth it. I, too would have done ANYTHING to avoid PPD and I am not a western-medicine consumer, I probably would have cracked my noodle before ingesting prozac or zoloft or anything. I am just not a medicine taker.

After the birth I did cut off a little piece and dipped it in granulated sugar, it looked like a gumdrop. I placed it on the back of my tongue and swallowed.

It was as light as air and had absolutely no flavor.

I think if I ever have another (which I don't plan to, six is enough) I will just cut it into teeny pieces and freeze them because I think raw is best. Then I'd swallow those like pills. The whole smoothie think I think would make me vomit. I heard though that you can't taste it at all. I would know, though.

Good luck, PPD is a horrible hell of an existence and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I think that i probably would eat dirty diapers if it would keep me away from ppd.
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#24 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 12:12 PM
 
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I also thought it was yuck! But I think I would consider it. Actually I am considering it for my next. Freezing it is a good idea.

How much do you have to eat at a time?
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#25 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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I had mine encapsulated by a doula affiliated with my birth center. My midwife gave it to her and she dropped the capsules at my house. I think eating it made a HUGE difference for me (see my sig).
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#26 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 02:26 PM
 
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but honestly I would have eaten anything if it meant not getting ppd again.


Here is a study looking at the affects of placentophagia on mice. http://cogprints.org/757/00/gustibus.htm. It can help with milk production and RH factor. We are the only primates that don't consume the placenta.

I had mine dried and capsulated, my MW knows a woman that does it, so the benefits may have been muted a bit vs eating it fresh.

I don't think it is gross. It was a part of my body. I think it is way more disgusting to see some of the things people eat and consider a delicacy-for no reason really. Like escargo yuck. I didn't get PPD this time. I don't know if that is because of the placenta or because of other factors. My situation is different than the first time. I was anemic with DD and I was working full time. So there were other factors that could have contributed that weren't there this time.

:
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#27 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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I am totally grossed out by the idea of eating placenta. I don't eat much meat (I was veg for 6 years) and any type of raw meat really grosses me out.

I had really bad PPD with my first son, and it was HELL.
It ruined so much of his babyhood for me...I was miserable and hated life.

When I was preg this last time I decided that it would be worth it to eat the placenta, no matter how gross it might sound.

My MW cut it up for me and put it in plastic baggies. I froze the baggies and would thaw them out one at a time. Each contained enough placenta for 2 smoothies. I put lots of strawberries and other fruit in the blender, and dumped the placenta in right out of the baggie without touching it (the placenta) and blended. I could not taste it at all. It definitely felt like "Fear Factor...The Home Version" or something...wheres my 10 grand for eating this??!!

BUT it helped me SOOOOO MUCH!!!! I have had NO Depression this time!!! I have been so happy and energetic and everything has been so perfect, even thought there have been some really stressful things happening in my life (nearly lost our home...etc) I have been coping better than I would even if I wasn't postpartum.
I also had very little lochia bleeding, healed very quickly and had very high energy. I really think the placenta made all the difference in the world.

It was so worth it to eat it, and it was NOT gross in a smoothie, and it felt so totally right to consume it. I also feel like Silas (My Baby) got benefits from the placenta through my breast milk. I really believe that humans are supposed to consume the placenta, but our society is pretty grossed out by it.

Bon Appetite! :
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#28 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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Placenta stirfry with an ice cold beer . . . yummy
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#29 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eshanamama View Post
Does the hospital let you take it home?

they offered it to use here in CT. it was really nonchalant...:So, do ya want the placenta?"

i was so taken aback i said no, but i kick myself for it now.
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#30 of 113 Old 01-18-2008, 10:29 PM
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