A growing number of postpartum women are consuming their placenta after birth in three forms:
2. Formed into pills or “placenta capsules” : Video on making pill out of placenta:
3. Cooked – How to cook placenta: Interesting video on a women cooking her placenta AND eating it:
Table Of Contents
Can you eat your placenta?
Placenta encapsulation benefits:
Some people believe that hormones and nutrients in the placenta have some beneficial effects on the mother.
The prevention of postpartum depression, pain relief, enhanced milk production, and resumption of normal menstrual periods are some of the claimed benefits.
There has been very little rigorous research about the composition of the placenta.
What are the benefits of eating placenta… well what research there is does not support the claimed benefits.
The safety of the practice has not been established.
The practice has become much more common since the establishment of an online business:
There are now more than 300 “certified” placenta encapsulation specialists.
They were trained by the founder of the business.
What criteria (if any) are required for “certification” is a mystery.
The practice captured the interest of Dr. Daniel Benyshak and doctoral student Sharon Young, researchers at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas.
They have discerned and published some interesting facts.
According to Benyshak and Young:
- Placentophagia is common to all land mammals except camels and humans.
- Of the 180 societies studied world-wide, none have a tradition of consuming the placenta.
- During the late 70’s and the 80’s, interest in placentophagia grew, along with the home birth movement.
- Placentas usually weigh between one and three pounds, enough to make 100-200 pills or capsules.
- The placentas function is to nourish the fetus. It is known to contain iron, estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, testosterone and other substances.
- The majority of women who ingest their placenta do so in pill form. Some cook it in food, blend it into a smoothie, or eat it raw.
- The University of Nevada – Las Vegas researchers surveyed 189 women who had ingested their placentas during 2010.
Among the respondents, 91 percent were United States citizens, 93 percent were white, 90 percent were married, and 58 percent had a household income greater than $50,000 per year.
image credit goes to http://www.pensacolaplacenta.com/benefits.html
The positive effects the women reported were increased energy, improved mood, and enhanced lactation.
The adverse effects they reported were unpleasant burping, headaches, and an unappealing smell/taste.
What Is The Placenta Made Of?
The composition of the placenta is not entirely known, nor is there consistency in the composition.
When does the placenta form?
The placenta will form around your 8 week mark and your morning sickness should subside around your 13th week but not always!
It could be likened to fingerprints – no two are the same.
It is unknown what environmental toxins may be harbored in the placenta.
It can be adversely affected by the mother’s systemic disease, such as diabetes, pre-eclampsia, hypertension and others.
There are disorders primarily of the placenta, such as placenta accreta, placenta previa, and abruptio placenta, all of which could make it difficult, if not impossible, to use for consumption.
Well, I am getting mixed responses. Some women regret it and some swear by it.
Below a mom describes that this sort of was worth it:
There occurred a frightening discovery; it may be a game-changer.
A placenta was found to be infected with Zika virus, which is known to cause fetal microcephaly.
It can be spread by sexual contact – a pregnant, or trying-to-conceive patient has no way of knowing if her partner is carrying that virus or another.
Even for women with very little chance of exposure to Zika virus, this discovery serves to inform women that it is not possible to know entirely what organisms or agents, safe or unsafe, may be infiltrating their placenta.
- Selander J, Cantor A, Young SM, Benyshek DC. Human Maternal Placentophagy: a survey of self-reported motivations and experiences associated with placenta consumption. Ecol Food Nutr. 2013; 52(2):93-115
- Coyle, CW, Hulse KE, et al. Placentophagy: therapeutic miracle or myth? Arch Women’s Ment Health. 2015 Oct; 18(5):673-80