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Sunday, January 29, 2017

PLACENTOPHAGY: Mom Eats Her Baby’s RAW Placenta!

Post-partum depression (PPD) or ‘baby blues’ is common for brand-new moms. You can get treatment from a healthcare provider or you can just eat your own placenta.

Many of you may say, “What?! That's gross!”

But, you heard it right.

Eating your placenta or placentophagy is not new, especially in Chinese medicine.

But, is the practice of placentophagy simply a fad, or are there actual health benefits to consuming one’s own placenta?

Let’s find out!


Jennifer Bulcock, 31, a mother of three has her first meal after giving birth and it is definitely a unique dish.

She says:

‘Gazing down at my newborn little boy, I cherished every moment as I breastfed him for the first time. I took in every detail of his precious little body and felt the most unbreakable bond as I became a mom for the first time.’ 

‘But as soon Alfie was finished, and I carefully placed him in his cot beside me, there was another job I had to do.’

‘My husband Toby handed me a plate. It wasn’t a sandwich or hearty meal. It was the placenta I had delivered just minutes earlier.’

‘Chopped into small pieces the deep red, raw organ, that filled a small dinner plate, was to be my first post-birth meal.’

‘Picking up a piece, I placed it into my mouth. It tasted bloody and spongy, like liver. But before I could think too much about it, I washed it down with a gulp of orange juice.’

In theory, eating placentas seems to make some sense. After all, the placenta provides the fetus with all the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and even oxygen. The placenta is also loaded with iron, vitamin B6 and B12, as well as estrogen and progesterone, both important postpartum hormones.

Many say that eating the placenta can protect against postpartum depression (PPD) — but only if you eat your own (never eat another woman’s since there’s a risk of disease).

On the other hand, there is no scientific evidence to support the claims that eating the placenta raw, cooked or in pill can protect women against depression and boost energy.

Placentophagy is also known to reduce pain after delivery and improve the breastmilk production

Some are also influenced that it replenishes iron stores in the body, but the researchers said that this was based on subjective reports rather than scientific research.

According to a cookbook on how to prepare a placenta, you can mix your raw placenta with yogurt and fruit in a blender and make a smoothie. Or add it to ground beef in a lasagna recipe. Or make chocolate truffles out of it.

Dice it, slice it, sauté it with onions, dehydrate it and grind it up – it seems there’s no wrong way to eat placenta.

January Jones (left) and Kim Kardashian (right)
The trend even gained celebrity credits like January Jones and the famous Kim Kardashian. They consume the organ on its pill-form to make them look younger and to gain its ‘health’ benefits.

But despite the placenta-eating craze, there could be some real risks to ingesting it. Think about these concerns before you take a bite.

It could be contaminated.

The organ acts as a filter to absorb and protect the developing fetus from toxins and pollutants.

As a result, the scientists said, bacteria or viruses could remain within the placenta tissues after birth.

Why would you want to risk introducing these infectious agents back into you?

You could spread illness to yourself and others.

Most hospitals treat the placenta as bio-hazardous waste and dispose of it along with other medical waste.

“Any infection in your blood lives in your placenta--so you're taking a risk ingesting that, especially if you're eating other people's placentas, or sharing your own with friends and family,” Dr. Francis says. “Unless you know how to properly handle bio-hazards, you're going to put yourself at risk.”

You may not even get the benefits you were seeking.

Most moms today don't take a bite of the raw placenta; it's often cooked and either dehydrated and ground into a powder that's placed in pill capsules, or frozen and used in fruit smoothies. But many of these processes, especially cooking, can damage the very nutrients you're hoping to receive.

Dr. Francis says, “You have to cook at such high levels to kill bacteria that you will kill everything you think is good, too.”

Human placentophagy isn't new. Throughout history, different cultures have done it but not all benefits from it.

So, why would you risk yourself on something that is not even proven?

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