Does eating placenta come with real benefits?
Bake, broil or barbeque? If you have ever considered eating placenta, how would you have it done? For many, the visual of eating placenta is cringe-worthy and bordering on repulsive—yet some women rave about it after experiencing the benefits. Let’s dig a little deeper...
Disclaimer: The video below of a father cooking a meal out of his wife's placenta is not for the faint of heart. Please use your discretion when viewing. Thank you.
Society is on a constant search for an instant cure for every possible ailment or pain. It’s no surprise then that eating placenta (your own) would have a following. Question is… are you convinced to give it a go if you can be on your way to a speedy postpartum recovery and allay your postpartum blues.
Yes, there is a scientific name for this act of eating placenta, in case you’re wondering. It’s called human placentophagy.
What’s in it for you?
Is all this a myth or a certain reality? We look into a few schools of thought.
Researches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) conducted a survey of 189 women who had ingested their placentas, over a period of three months. So what was the verdict? In a Foxnews report, a researcher of UNLV, Sharon Young shared: "Things like improved lactation, postpartum bleeding was alleviated, and postpartum recovery was either sped up or improved in general." In the aftermath of childbirth, it is a natural way of nourishing your body and mothers have experienced upsides.
In this particular study that was published in the journal Ecology of Food and Nutrition, a whopping 95% of women involved in the study reported a “positive or a very positive” effect.
In a BBC report however, Maggie Blott, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists claims that there is no medical reason to placenta eating. She shared: "Animals eat their placenta to get nutrition-- but when people are already well-nourished, there is no benefit, there is no reason to do it." Which leads us to another question, are the mothers in the above study experiencing a placebo effect?
To get yet another opinion on the matter, we look at a Fox report. According to Dr Lauren Swerdloff in Santa Monica, although she does not prescribe placenta for postpartum depression, she does understand the theory behind the potential benefits. In the placenta, as said by Dr Lauren: “there’s vitamins, there’s iron, there’s also lots of hormones…”
What is the worse thing that could happen in eating placenta? Are there risks and dangers involved?
There were some reported negative experiences from the study. Another member of the research team and a UNLV medical anthropologist, Daniel Benyshek, said: "(These) primarily had to do with the appeal – the appeal of the placenta itself even in capsules – and things like unpleasant belching."
Aside from belching, Dr Lauren Swerdloff shares: “I’m not sure if it’s sanitary—it goes through the birthing canal, then you’re going to be at risk of whatever infections might be in the canal.”
Placenta encapsulated into pill form
Your placenta can now be consumed in a capsule. There is much less mess involved than cooking it. Jodi Selander has a business in helping turn your placentas into a palatable capsule. Back in 2005, when Jodi Selander had her first child, she recounted: "It was overwhelming. My mood was poor, and I was exhausted. Everything felt so hard."
In an attempt to avoid the negative feeling again, Jodi did some research and consumed her own placenta to cure the postpartum blues when she had her second child. She has a special process of dehydrating and grounding the placenta into powder form to be encapsulated and ready for consumption. After all as Jodi says: “The placenta is an amazingly nutritious organ.”
Now, she runs a company known for placenta encapsulation resources and services for mothers in the Las Vegas vicinity. Watch the video to see how the dried placenta is ground up and made into capsules.
Sweet, savoury or in a smoothie— eating placenta your way is the way to go. There are numerous placenta recipes out there. It really depends on how you want it done once you have decided you want to consume it.
A smoothie? Yes, some women freeze their placentas into small blocks and then add it to their smoothie blend. Others ingest it raw and still others prepare it with a meal.
Watch the video below to see how a dad cooked up a storm with his wife's placenta.
Do partake in the poll below, we would love to know if eating placenta will ever be something you'd consider. Better yet, write in and tell us your experience if you have consumed your own placenta after birth. Email us at [email protected]