Ok, I know this is not everyones cup of tea BUT I have had sooooo many questions about my experience with placenta consumption since I opened up about it, so I figured I might as well just put it out there incase there are others like me who were just there interested in knowing more or simply just hearing other peoples experience with it.
First off I would like to make it very clear that there are risks involved and this was absolutely my own personal decision. Anyone considering placenta consumption should do their own research and speak to their own health practitioners to discuss if this is right for them!
I would also like to admit that the first time I heard about placenta consumption I was absolutely repulsed by the idea, so if this is you- I TOTALLY get it haha!
However the more I looked into it and spoke to others who had done it the less grossed out, and the more intrigued I became.
Well the reality is, that although it is quite uncommon in western culture the custom of placenta consumption by the mother is actually centuries old (particularly in TCM), and with the exception of a few species, all mammals consume their placenta after giving birth.
Although the benefits of eating placenta have not been scientifically proven, women have reported many benefits from consuming their placenta postpartum including:
There are two main methods and both should be prepared by an experienced, certified and trained placenta specialised :
METHOD 1. Placenta encapsulation: This is the most common method and usually involves steaming it first (with certain herbs) , dehydrating it in a food grade dehydrator, grinding the placenta into a powder, and encapsulating the powder into a pill.
METHOD 2. Raw: This method involves cutting off a small (one-inch piece) and eating it raw, (usually in a smoothie) straight after birth.
For both my births I choose to utilise both methods with my placentas, consuming a small chunk raw (in a smoothie) straight after birth, and having the remainder turned into capsules which lasted several months after birth.
(NOTE: I must admit I had to really give myself a big pep talk before having the raw smoothie.....Tip- You will need ALOT of strawberries/ bananas to mask the taste for this as its quite 'meaty' haha)
The reason I did this is because according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cooling foods are best consumed in the first 48 hours postpartum i.e. Raw foods, (raw placenta), are used to help calm the hormonal rush and blood flow down. After the first 48 hours, warming foods are most beneficial. Cooked or steamed foods (encapsulated placenta) are used to help rebuild blood, chi, and slowly increase the body’s endocrine functions.
As I gave birth to my son in NSW (hospital birth) and my daughter in VIC (at home) I had to used different placenta specialists for each birth, however both times the costs we around $400-450, this included picking up my placenta straight after birth (from either my home or the hospital), preparing the pills, helping to prepare the smoothie and then delivering them back to me. (They also dried the umbilical cord and made a placenta print as a keep sake too.)
I think the fact that I choose to do it a second time around probably tells you as much as you need to know!
I will never know what my postpartum periods would have been like without consuming my placenta, so its hard to compare, BUT what I can tell you that after both my births I was energised, happy, experienced no baby blues, anxiety or depression, deeply bonded with both my babies, heal and recovered from birth beautifully and had a wonderful milk supply.
Would I eat my own placenta again?100000000%
Unfortunately there is still very little human research done into placenta consumption, however the placentabenefits.info website does have some great small studies and data, as well as some valuable information, but no major studies have been done yet.
There are some possible risks with placenta consumption including increased risk of cross contamination, exposure to environmental toxins and exposure to infectious agents. This is why you should always check with you health practitioner and choose an experienced, qualified placenta specialist to prepare it for you in a safe food grade facility.
Pregnant or preparing for birth? Find out how our Bumphood (pregnancy support tea) or Raspberryhood (birth preparation tea) can naturally help you.
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