Swallow Your Baby’s Placenta One Pill at a Time!

by , 08/28/09

eat your placenta, eating placenta, placenta encapsulation, placenta pills, placenta smoothie, postpartum depression

The notion of eating your baby’s placenta has always been tied to strange, gag-inducing, sensationalized stories. You probably caught wind of the celebrity rumor that Tom Cruise claimed he would eat his newborn’s placenta, and when the concept of digging into a placenta meal is mentioned in social circles, the typical response is a wince, a gag, and arms waving ‘no!’ But placentophagy, (eating the placenta) is being increasingly marketed to the mainstream as a practice for new mothers to help them stave off postpartum depression and recover more quickly after giving birth. DIY Placenta Encapsulation kits are now available for use in the privacy of one’s home. Placenta Benefits.info is one website that sells this kit, alongside a slew of convincing reasons to start swallowing your baby’s placenta one pill at a time.

eat your placenta, eating placenta, placenta encapsulation, placenta pills, placenta smoothie, postpartum depression

With a list of promising results including: balancing your hormones, enhancing your milk supply, and increasing your energy, the Placenta Benefit.info website makes their placenta encapsulation services seem like every new mother’s magic pill. Most moms-to-be fear all of the above, asking themselves, ‘Will I get depressed, produce enough milk, be able to handle the demands of a newborn?’ And Placenta Benefit.info seems to offer the perfect poppable solution via ingesting one’s own placenta. But there is no scientific data that eating the placenta actually wards off postpartum depression in women.

Scientifically speaking, where animals are concerned, “The placenta contains high levels of prostaglandin which stimulates involution of the uterus, in effect cleaning the uterus out… (it) also contains small amounts of oxytocin which eases birth stress and causes the smooth muscles around the mammary cells to contract and eject milk.” According to an article on human placentophagy on MSNBC, “The placenta does produce estrogen and progesterone,” says Mavis Schorn, the director of the nurse midwifery program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. “So the theoretical idea is that it may help, but there’s absolutely no research on it.”

While most mammals in the animal kingdom unflinchingly ingest their afterbirth, the trend has yet to entirely make its way to the universal palate of mankind. However, if pill popping your placenta isn’t your ‘bag,’ you can find sites with placenta recipes (not to be confused with polenta recipes), and directions on “how to cook your placenta.” One mom proudly tells her story of eating her baby’s placenta and shares photos of all the meals she made with it. Time Magazine online also weighs in on the topic of a placenta encapsulation specialist visiting a new mom’s home to prepare pills, “As she steamed the placenta with some herbs, the kitchen got that ironlike smell of cooked organ meat…”

There’s plenty to be found and debated on the topic, but it all certainly seems like a hard pill to swallow, given that there is no evidence that women will reap the rewards of ingesting their baby’s placenta.

+ Placenta Encapsulation Kit $75

+ Placenta Benefits.info

via Thingamababy

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7 Responses to “Swallow Your Baby’s Placenta One Pill at a Time!”

  1. Jennifer Chait says:

    This is interesting. I’ve never heard of it. The best thing I’ve seen done with the placenta is placenta art. You place the fresh placenta on paper, press, and get a really awesome print to frame. It sounds odd, but looks amazing. Personally I like tree planting best – but you could do the print first.

  2. alinajoy says:

    I had a specialist do the encapsulation for me. The pills are easy to take and I never had a single day of baby blues! I personally know women that have had postpartum depression with their first child or children and then they took placenta pills they were fine, no PPD!

    Postpartum depression is a major issue for too many women… why wouldn’t you want to try something natural before resorting to pharmaceutical drugs? It was a risk I wasn’t willing to take.

  3. letitbe123 says:

    This article seems to show a clear distaste at the end due to “lack of scientific data”. I would only humbly suggest that the data we have on animals in addition to the information about what is actually IN the placenta equals plenty of scientific evidence unless you’re unwilling to compare yourself to mammals which share 99.8% of your DNA. Please don’t mistake yourself being grossed out for a lack of evidence – please just present the information and give your readers the opportunity to make choices for themselves without the added weight of your opinion.

  4. jodiselander says:

    Thank you for linking to my website, Placenta Benefits.info. I have had hundreds of clients who have all reported incredible success, and an easier postpartum recovery after taking their baby’s dried placenta in capsule form. Yes, I admit that it does sound a little bit crazy. However, I can not argue with results, and when woman after woman had amazing testimonials and stories of being better mothers to their children, and the sheer gratitude for learning about this option, I had to go public with the information.

    So thank you for sharing the information with your readers. Those women who need to hear the message will hear it, and the skeptics can click onto something else. It’s all good!

    To address your concern over the lack of research, there is a disturbing lack of research into women’s health issues PERIOD. Factor in our intricate hormones and their complicated interplay in our systems, and the amount of hard evidence into anything concerning women is extremely limited. I am currently working with a research team at UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) to begin this very important research. Please stay tuned at http://PlacentaBenefits.info and http://thePlacentaBlog.com for updates…

    Blessings,
    Jodi Selander
    Founder, Placenta Benefits.info

  5. Ali Bubba says:

    Perhaps not as clear-cut a form of cannibalism as, say, eating your young (which BTW is also common in the wild kingdom). But if eating a human organ isn’t cannibalism to you, ipso facto you’re not human.

  6. earthmommaloves says:

    I had postpartum deperssion with my first birth and it was terrible! With my second birth, I chose to look into the most natural, humanistic way to deliver the perfect balance of hormones to my body that it needed after the biggest hormonal shift it woudl ever go through. The difference in the two births was amazing!!! Just amazing! For the first two weeks postpartum, I ingested thumbnail sized peices of raw placenta blended in a protein shake, twice or three times a day, or I’d use yogurt and berries. I had a small tear from giving birth that was healed in 5 days. I produced large amounts of breastmilk, and had tons of energy!! After the second week, I started taking the capsules, and had the same results, but with the raw in the shakes is the way to go! I did save half of the capsules to help with menopause, which I’ve heard works really well. I pray that every mother can avoid PPD and have a beautiful, memorable first few months with their new babies!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, earthmommaloves for the comment about using the capsules for menopause. I have some leftover capsules from my first little one in a cupboard somewhere and was reading this article wondering what I should do with them. Now I know! :)

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