Molly Mathews

My name is Molly. I have been married for 5 years and have two children. A 10 year old step-son, a 2 year old daughter and I am currently 26 weeks pregnant with a boy! I live in the town I grew up in and have a large family that I see often. We all live close to each other right now and I hope it stays that way as we draw a lot of support from one another. I have been a nurse for 6 years, mostly in the emergency department, and I love my job. Since young childhood I dreamed of being a nurse and a mom and here I am both! I couldn't have imagined how difficult the journey would be but neither could I have fathomed the Joy that would come from both. Becoming a mom has made me into a better person in many ways and a bit of a crazy worry wart in other ways! Having support from other moms who have been there before or are there with you makes all the difference in the world!

kelly-mulder

Eating the Placenta

The other day I was reading some posts on a What to Expect pregnancy forum. A woman posted that her birthing center was sending her placenta home with her –on ice. She wanted to know what she was supposed to do with it.

I was really surprised by the responses she got as many women had an idea of what she should do with her placenta. I am wondering if you would be surprised, too.

Did you know some people eat their placentas? I don’t mean to offend anyone who has ever eaten their own placenta but when I picture eating a placenta a scene from Dancing With Wolves comes to mind. It’s the scene where the Native Americans kill a buffalo and then cut the heart out and eat it. I just remember blood dripping out of the Native American’s hand and blood getting smeared all over his face. Thinking about this is making my stomach churn even now.

So why would someone want to eat their own placenta? Well, apparently it is an excellent way to restore the vitamins, minerals and hormones back to your body. It is believed to help fight off post partum depression and create a quicker return to ‘normal.’

Some women suggested cutting it up, freezing it and putting chunks of it in a smoothie daily. Other women recommended having it encapsulated. For encapsulation the placenta is dehydrated, ground up and then put into pill form. You can also look up recipes online for cooking a placenta.

While I found all of this information fascinating, I personally couldn’t find enough scientific research to make me want to eat my baby’s placenta. But what about you, would you eat your child’s placenta?

 

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17 Comments on “Eating the Placenta”

  • Katie August 4th, 2011 8:53 am

    GROSS! I would never eat it. That is about the sickest thing I have heard in a while! lol

  • toni August 4th, 2011 12:09 pm

    that is gross…. and while I am sure it has those nutrients, and is very good for you ( did you know cows do this??) I still could never. EWWW!

  • Jessica Brown Jessica Brown August 4th, 2011 1:58 pm

    you’re probably going to think I’m gross but if it was in pill form then I could probably do it… mine was abnormally large they told me, never gave me an option of eating it though haha Mine would have made A LOT of pills I’ll bet lol Interesting post, nasty picture lol Brings back memories of the delivery :)

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly August 6th, 2011 3:25 pm

    Katie, You should have seen my sister’s boyfriend’s face when my family had a discussion about this topic. He definitely agrees with you!

    Toni, I had NO idea cows ate their placentas! It makes me wonder if other animals naturally do it and why they do it. Do they want to clean up the blood, etc so it doesn’t attract animals who would prey on their baby?? My brother-in-law didn’t believe me when I told him what you said. So he googled it and guess what he found. He found a ton of videos of cows eating their placenta. I couldn’t watch.

    Jessica, I definitely agree with you. If I had to do it, it’d definitely do it in pill form. There is no way I could chew and swallow my placenta!

    Thanks for commenting ladies!
    Kelly

  • toni August 6th, 2011 6:44 pm

    They do it because their bodies crave the nutrients, it also it gives them some energy after labor, as well as survival so other animals don’t smell fresh blood. Yes, I am sure most animals do it. I could not watch it either, I’ve seen it in person, and I am sure for some reason it is MUCH grosser online!

  • Andria September 13th, 2011 2:00 am

    Cats and Dogs do as well.

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly Mulder September 13th, 2011 7:43 am

    Andria, Do they really!? That makes me even more curious about the science behind it. I think more research needs to be done into it. I looked around online and couldn’t find any good scientific studies. Thanks for sharing!

    Kelly

  • Cassy Fiano Cassy Fiano November 10th, 2011 7:04 pm

    It’s actually an urban legend. There’s no actual medicinal benefit to eating the placenta.

  • Cassy Fiano Cassy Fiano November 10th, 2011 7:04 pm

    People still do it, though.

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly November 14th, 2011 5:42 pm

    So Cassie, have you researched eating the placenta as well? Well, tried to, I mean. Maybe you were more successful than me but I couldn’t find any good scientific research that said eating your placenta was beneficial. It was one of my more annoying researches because I couldn’t find good evidence either way. Thanks for sharing! and CONGRATS on your newest growing addition!

    Kelly

  • Cassy Fiano Cassy Fiano November 14th, 2011 8:57 pm

    Thank you! We’re very excited!

    And yeah, there’s no real evidence that it’s beneficial, and if you think about it, there’s nothing about eating your placenta that makes sense. The only part of it that is sort of true is that it can boost your iron levels, but that’s because it’s human meat. If you cut your leg off and ate it, your iron levels would probably increase then too LOL. Eating any meat would do that. There’s nothing unique about the placenta there. And the other claims, about fighting PPD and boosting milk supply, well, there’s no scientific evidence whatsoever that’s true. I mean, people can do what they want but… that’s a pretty gross thing to do as far as I’m concerned with no evidence that it works!!!

  • Cassy Fiano Cassy Fiano November 14th, 2011 8:58 pm

    And yes, animals do eat their placentas, but not higher order primates which are the closest to humans. The animals that do eat their placentas also eat their own poop. Enough said. ;)

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly November 20th, 2011 11:49 pm

    So interesting! Thanks for sharing Cassy!

  • Ingrid December 31st, 2011 11:51 am

    i’m not sure that I would do it, because there are non-placenta vitamin supplements available to restore the nutrients leeched out by supporting another living being with your own body, but I do believe there are benefits.

    Animals which eat their own poop eat it because they are not getting enough nutrients out of their food the first time around and are trying to survive. We don’t need to do that, but we are still mammals.

  • Girls of Today February 27th, 2013 6:16 pm

    I know this is old but I just want to get some correct information out there. It is not an urban legend, almost all nonhuman animals derive benefits from consuming their placenta. Just because studies for humans are lacking doesn’t mean that there is no benefit. As a matter of fact a study. There are papers exploring this concept (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22632059) and a study is actually under way right now to find out if there are benefits. So until the studies are complete, you can’t say there’s no benefits.

    As for me, yeah no way in hell I’d eat my placenta.

  • Girls of Today February 27th, 2013 6:18 pm

    In response to Cassy in comments not the writer of course. Great article so kudos to the writer, but to Cassy:

    I know this is old but I just want to get some correct information out there. It is not an urban legend, almost all nonhuman animals derive benefits from consuming their placenta. Just because studies for humans are lacking doesn’t mean that there is no benefit. There are papers exploring this concept (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22632059) and a study is actually under way right now to find out if there are benefits. So until the studies are complete, you can’t say there’s no benefits.

  • Grace September 4th, 2013 8:15 pm

    I’ve never been pregnant since I am only an 18 year old high school senior, but EWWW!!!! Why would someone want to eat after-birth?

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