Google “placenta recipes” and you will be shocked at the number of websites that come up with helpful tips. I know, I bet some of you reading this had no idea the recipes you were missing out on with your previous births! <— sarcasm there, I assure you.
When I was pregnant with my first, I somehow stumbled upon this idea (I think on a forum online) and read up on it a little bit. No, not because I actually wanted to eat one of my body parts but because I actually couldn’t believe someone else wanted to! The placenta is thought to be rich in nutrients that the mother needs to recover from childbirth. There’s even a name for the practice – placentophagia.
I would have to assume (yeah yeah I know what assuming does, I’m an ass, but give me pause here) that those who are excited about eating one’s own placenta likely are anti-medical-intervention as well so the idea of, oh I don’t know, being under a doctor’s care after delivery and following medical guidelines to gain nutrients after childbirth is probably wayyyyy out there.
Vitamins in your yummy placenta include B6 (which may help fight depression) and high levels of iron and protein.
I get that these are great nutrients anytime, especially after recovering from childbirth, but what’s wrong with popping a multi-vitamin each haze-filled morning after being up with the babe all night? Again, simply not good enough.
A Toronto Doula named Rene Cross will collect your placenta from the hospital (how’s that for take-out?) and for the low fee of $150 for her own clients and $175 for others she will prepare your placenta for consumption via pills (using a food dehydrator that she says makes the placenta smell like organ meat while being cooked…well I guess so!) The benefits (not scientifically proven but via word of mouth…you know, the best kind of research there is) include enhancing milk production, boosting energy and stabilizing mood swings. In this article in the Toronto Star about placenta pill popping, one woman claims she felt better in 4 days (though her milk production never improved).
I felt better in 4 days too. However, I had an IV drip of Demerol for 36 hours and a hearty dose of acetaminophen and ibuprofen to thank for that. Placebo affect much? Without any studies actually done, what other conclusion could the general public come to?
At least, at least, Ms. Cross isn’t charging an insane amount for her work. After all, the moms are supplying the (shudder) meat for the process so essentially they are paying her for the production and creation of the capsules.
If eating your own placenta is a little extreme for you, but you still have your darn placenta sitting in your freezer and are unsure of what to do with it other options include burying it under a tree in your backyard (nutrient rich placenta can help your garden grow, who knew?) or if you are the artsy fartsy type why not try your hand at placenta art? Smack that baby (the placenta, not the baby baby!) on a sheet of paper and create a placenta masterpiece.
I’m relieved that, at least for now, placenta consumption, placenta pill popping and art are a rare occurrence among the elitist au naturels. Wait, let’s not forget the Placenta Teddy Bear I posted about among other ridiculous parenting products I found in 2009.
Heck, even Tom Cruise retracted statements he made in 2006 to GQ magazine claiming he and Katie were planning on eating the placenta after Suri’s birth. If it’s too crazy for Tom Cruise…