When I told my family and friends that I planned to consume my placenta, I was met with shock, horror and questions like, “Why on EARTH would you want to do that?”
No one around me had ever heard of placenta consumption. There were immediate assumptions that I would be eating it like a steak dinner or cooking it in the slow cooker which turns out, is something that can be done. A lot of people were horrified that I would be keeping my placenta after birth and carrying it out of the hospital in a cooler. They couldn’t imagine why. But once I explained the reasons I was doing it, their shock and awe turned to curiosity and interest.
Let’s first talk about just how amazing the placenta truly is. Your body created this organ for the purpose of sustaining your baby’s life while in utero. The placenta not only helps to give your baby oxygen and nutrients, it helps fight any potential internal infections that might harm the baby and also produces hormones to help support the pregnancy. It’s an amazing thing!
Now why on earth would someone want to eat it?
While there is currently no scientific studies done with placenta consumption yet, many mothers who’ve consumed their placenta report that they did not experience the baby blues or any postpartum depression. In fact placenta consumption has been around for hundreds of years in the eastern part of the world. Many women also say they’ve experienced an increase in their breastmilk and a huge increase in their energy. Eating your placenta will also replace some hormones your body lost during delivery. It also increases your iron levels very quickly leaving you feeling more energetic.
Another concern people had was the safety of eating an organ that was designed to filter out all of the bad stuff. The cool thing about the placenta is that yes it does act as a filter however unlike an air filter, it doesn’t trap waste or toxins in it. When the baby passes waste to the placenta, the mother’s body can remove it just as it does with other waste products in her body.
“But what if you have a c-section?” was another question I had received. No matter how you give birth, you are able to have your placenta saved for consumption. Just be sure to let your doctor know about your wishes before delivery.
Once the curiosity set in, they wanted to know how exactly I planned on eating it. I decided that placenta encapsulation was right for me although there are many other methods you can choose from such as placenta smoothies or as previously mentioned, putting it in the slow cooker.
Placenta encapsulation is performed by a placenta specialist who has taken a special course and has become certified to perform this task. Your placenta should always be prepared for preparation by a specialist to maintain the highest safety precautions. The placenta will be rinsed and then be steamed with lemon and ginger. This method is known as the Tradition Chinese Medicine method. After it has been steamed, your placenta will then be cut into small pieces and dehydrated for a period of 24 hours. After it has been dehydrated, it will then be ground down and placed into capsules that look similar to a nutritional supplement. The number of pills you receive depends on the size of your placenta.
Taste? I will admit I was slightly worried that I would be tasting my placenta or that the pills would give me a strange after taste. Personally, I found there was no taste at all but you may feel different.
If you’re considering placenta encapsulation, Fredericton Maternity offers this service by a trained and certified placenta specialist who performs this service utilizing the highest safety standards in the business.
Placenta encapsulations book very fast, so contact us today to secure a spot on our calendar!