My Fabulous Life

Sorry Placenta, It Ain’t Happening.

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…


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    • Now THAT is cool. I’d donate my placenta for cadaver training being that it’s a bloody mess of human tissue….

  • Did you say polenta or placenta? Lol super duper gross. I won’t even eat liver and onions, so my own placenta, even in pill form, most definitely doesn’t interest me.

  • Why did I do it? Why, oh why did I click on the link to see the placenta teddy bear? WHY DID YOU MAKE ME DO IT, TENILLE???????

    Ugh. I shudder everytime I think of that image (which is now seared into my brain.) I think the technical term is “heeby-jeebies.”

  • Appetite… GONE! Possibly for a week…. But I have to admit, I did laugh at the ridiculousness. I mean, Placenta Teddy Bears?! I know the link is taunting me to click it, but I REALLY don’t want to…

    Oh what the hell…

      • For the record, it takes 3 link clicks to see the teddy bear, lol…so you have to really want to see it to actually view it from here! 😛

        You like the torture! Now play nice or I’ll hide that teddy bear under your bed.

  • When I was a kid, my aunt did a natural childbirth at home, my uncle was her midwife and after delivery, they fried and ate the placenta.

    • What the hell, when you fry anything doesn’t it kill most of the nutrients?! Now THAT wasn’t very smart of them now was it.

      “Dammit I had to eat a placenta and after all that I find out we fried out all the nutrients!”

  • The teddy bear is just the final ICK on that cake for me.

    Please PLEASE tell me that didn’t have anyone else wondering if someone somewhere baked their placenta into a cake.

    Again, ew.

  • lol, I totally agree with you that is effin sick….but you are sooooooo funny. I couldn’t stop laughing when I read this! Thanks for the gross info and the good laughs :).

    • 🙂 Thanks Carmen…I’ll take my show on the road some day. 😉

  • Oh my gosh, once I accidentally saw a picture from one of those “recipes” and it’s seared in my memory now. It’s the stuff of nightmares. Nightmares! I just can’t with that. I’m all for being crunchy and natural living and all, but this is just too much.

  • OH yes I also clicked through out of some kind of morbid curiosity to see said placenta bear……I have no words……I am just plain grossed out!!!! I have heard of people who do actually eat the placenta but the teddy bear just brought this to a bad place. (not that eating it isn’t a bad place but at least if you ate it, it would no longer exist) I may not sleep tonight!

    • OK so many readers are commenting on this “placenta bear” I need to see…how did I miss the link LOL…I am going to track it down now! How dare you get my curiosity up like that LOL…

  • I’m not really a meat eater, but when I was little and we used to have litters of puppies the mother would always eat the placentas. I suppose it’s normal in the animal world.

  • I saw this title earlier today but had just eaten. Being 38 weeks pregnant, I don’t think my barf tolerance threshold is very high to begin with.

    I’m not clicking on any links though, this post is as far as I go into crazy 😉

  • If eating the placenta isn’t for you, that’s ok.

    But women have been doing it for centuries. Just because the medical community hasn’t done research on it, doesn’t mean the health benefits are bogus. While I haven’t eaten any of my placentas, or wanted to for that matter, I don’t think such sarcasm and negativity is warranted. It is your blog, and your right to post as you see fit, but if it isn’t up your alley, why even blog about it? You already made it clear you won’t be blogging about breast feeding because you choose not to breast feed (and there is nothing wrong with that); but if you don’t feel comfortable blogging about that debate why try to start one with this incredibly personal choice by slamming it?

    • anon ~

      Since you asked a question I’ll respond, even though since you posted anonymously you will have to keep checking back here to see if I responded, which you have been doing periodically – yes I can see your IP coming back to check the post over and over. Yep, even though you post as “anon”, I can still follow your IP and well…now you and I both know who you are (whoopsie!)

      Why post about eating placentas and “slamming” it? Because, as you said, it’s my blog…and well, I think it’s gross. I also think other things are gross and might post about them as well.

      Am I starting a debate? Not really. I don’t think many of my readers would join in a debate on whether placentas are yummy or not…wrong blog for that I think.

      I normally don’t allow anonymous comments on my blog – simply because if I have the balls to post something you should as well to leave a comment…but since I already discovered who you are I figured I’d allow your post through.


  • OK I went in search on this infamous Placenta Teddy Bear and I sit here in sheer astonishment that SOMEONE dreamt that up in their head and THAN continued the thought into ACTION… yup I sit here open mouthed and speechless…and for any one who knows me that is RARE!!! OMG…..

  • That’s just disgusting. I had to stop reading because I was getting so grossed out! Kuddos for having the stomach to write this rofl.

  • Just read this and I do have to say that the reason animals eat the placenta is to get rid of the evidence of birth to keep her babies safe from predators…. just saying, we don’t exactly have that problem as humans so I am not sure why someone would want to eat their placenta.

  • I have been reading you for a while and I have purposely avoided this post because I had an inkling what it was about. I mean, I grew up on a farm and saw lots of births, raised puppies, AND had 6 kids & got to witness 2 grandkids born. I have seen my fair share of placentas. LOL :0 I have even heard of using it to plant under a tree you might plant to memorialize the occasion. But seriously, isn’t eating a human organ cannibalism? Even if it is your own?
    I will be using this post as a gateway to starting a new diet. I should be 25 lbs lighter in NO time considering I am almost gagging and I shall NEVER forget this . uggghhhh!

    Even so, I enjoyed your semantics very much…funny topic even if others take it seriously out there.

  • I had never heard of it until my husband and I went to our two day birthing retreat when we were expecting our first child in March this year. We did a lot of research and discovered this is very common among “Natural” parenting. I had joined several of these parenting groups to gather information and different opinions. Most mama’s I talked to just cut it up and throw it in the blender with their smoothies! I did have mine encapsulated. Initially I was totally grossed out but the if the benefits were at all true I am in!! I didn’t have any post partum which was my biggest fear.. I will do it again. I like to tell people I ate my placenta. The look is priceless.. however they have been curious and when I plead my case…the shock goes away pretty quick. I have gotten a lot of people who ask me for more information and who I used. I am 38 (First time mama). My husband was the one who really encouraged me. I couldn’t even watch live births without gagging. Just my experience.

  • ick..ick.. and triple ick… thank goodness they didnt have a pin it button on the placenta bear…. …. and what board would you post it under…off to search etsy….

  • I actually plan on doing placenta encapsulation, I think it’s a bit tamer than eating it. My thoughts are heck why not haha figure would try it to see if it could really help with milk production and ppd. I mean I’ve eaten a McD’s hamburger so I’ll go ahead and try a pill made from something from my body lol.

  • When I first moved to Vancouver about 40 years ago, my brothers girlfriend was going to a placenta party. It wasn’t just the mother that was going to eat the yummy meal though. It was a group of hippy freak friends that were to be a part of the baby’s life.
    I had just moved from Saskatchewan, so you can imagine my response. YUCK! What kind of sick freaks you got living in here in B.C.?
    Now I realize, its just the normal lot they have living on Salt Spring Island. lol