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Teaching3bears

Did you ever eat your placenta?

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Apparently a quarter of women do it nowadays. It can be taken in capsule form. I had never heard of this until I gave birth to my last child. Is this really that popular nowadays? Is it supposed to help with depression. If you did it, was it beneficial?

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No.

Where did you get that quarter figure from? Women in my circles tend to be more into homebirth and other things that might positively correlate with placentophagy, yet most are grossed out at the thought of it, and I don't personally know anyone who's done it.

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It's hard for me to believe that a quarter of women do this... I have a feeling those numbers are skewed, or that the participants in the survey or study are self-selecting.  

In any event, no, I haven't heard of it.  Apart from the yuck part of it, it sounds like way too much work!  My babies were all born in traditional hospitals, and I was asked at a couple of them if I'd like to take the placenta home to bury it in my backyard.  I'd never heard of that before either!

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No. I have long known it to be a thing but I would not do this. I find it very hard to believe 1 in 4 mamas do this. 

Anyway, my placenta misbehaved and killed my baby and tried to take me as well, so I have no affection for placentas on the whole. 😏

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A quarter of women... where? In a really, really hippie enclave? I'd love to know where that number came from. 

None for me, thanks.

Nothing against being hippie. I wish I were more, sometimes.

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Dear heavens! NO!!

I remember years ago there was a lot of talk on the board about either burying the placenta or having it made into capsules. There were a lot more women who said they did this than I would have expected. (This was probably 10+ years ago.) 

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I have met a couple of people who say they did... but heck no. I also find a quarter of women really unbelievable. Like, I know a ton of hippy parent types and I remember a conversation about this when my kids were little and the vast majority of them were like, nope. If it wasn't a significant number in that crowd, then...

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No.

And I don't believe the fraction of women who do is anywhere close to a quarter. Maybe a quarter of 1 percent...

I think a couple of my home birthing friends may have. 

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I heard it on the radio but there was no source and I could not believe one quarter but I live in a bubble and the world changes quickly. Some celebrities have done it so that might have encouraged others.

Maybe there are WTM who have done it but don't want to post.

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3 minutes ago, Teaching3bears said:

I heard it on the radio but there was no source and I could not believe one quarter but I live in a bubble and the world changes quickly. Some celebrities have done it so that might have encouraged others.

Maybe there are WTM who have done it but don't want to post.
 

Yeah, I was going to say chances are low someone will mention it now...unless they have thick skin. 

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I don't think it is particularly weird or dangerous, most mammals do it.

But I really don't know many women who have.

We have other sources of readily available nourishment post-partum. If the only other option was hunting myself some dinner right after giving birth I would totally eat the placenta!

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No, and I wouldn't. 

In fact, I have never heard of it until this thread and I will be honest, even reading the title makes me want to gag.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/style/placenta-eating-postpartum-placentophagy.html

And most mammals lick the afterbirth off their young and eat poop too, doesn't mean I want to do it.

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No.   My placenta started to separate, got infected, got ds sick, and if it hadn’t been for the dr who happened to be on call that night, ds would probably have been still born, since a particular midwife was a pos...but that’s another thread.  (Most midwives are wonderful, I’m sure.  I got the pos. 😡).    If it had been safe for me, I might have done it in a capsule form.   I was scared of postpartum, so I could see myself trying it, just in case.   I didn’t know anything about it though.  I had ds in 2001 and I was a very naive 22yo and had no knowledge of much of anything having to do with babies.  

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I did it twice, and am super grateful I did.  It made a noticeable difference in my postpartum energy and mood.  Woo or no, those were my two best recoveries of six. Dehydrated and encapsulated.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I would probably not be afraid of it, but I don't believe a quarter of women do this.  Maybe it is a growing trend though.

I am curious - do other higher primates in the wild eat their placentas?

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I'm a squeamish person...since I didn't want to see it there's no way I'd be able to eat it!

In college I was a hospital volunteer.  One of my duties was to take things to various labs, including placentas.  I always walked VERY carefully so I wouldn't fall down and spill the containers!

Edited by Laurie

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God, no. Why would I want to eat the thing that filters out toxins and heavy metals? Other mammals eat them because having a giant, bloody, rotting meat sack hanging around is a sure way to lure predators. That doesn't mean it's healthy to eat it.

While we're talking placentas, what do you all think about lotus births? 🤣

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I never did it.  It ventures a bit too close to cannibalism for my comfort.

i have never met anyone who ever did it - not even in pill form - but I have read that it is done occasionally.  I am not convinced there can be much physical benefit from the practice.  

I have never met or even read about anyone who ever admitted to being a practitioner of Lotus Birth.  I suspect most medical practitioners - even very organic and crunchy ones - would be deeply opposed to the practice as being reckless and dangerous. I am pretty sure keeping my lovely new baby attached to a decomposing hunk of flesh for 3-10 days would send me mentally over the edge and I’d be hacking it loose with a kitchen knife.  Yuck.

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I can see maybe a quarter of planned homebirths, but definitely NOT among a quarter of all births in the USA.

I know someone who did.  It's dehydrated in your home, and it smells revolting.  Every unpleasant aspect of the scent of liver x10.  She didn't know if it was a placebo effect but felt like it did help her mood and milk supply. After smelling it I find the practice revolting.

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5 minutes ago, Katy said:

I can see maybe a quarter of planned homebirths, but definitely NOT among a quarter of all births in the USA.

I know someone who did.  It's dehydrated in your home, and it smells revolting.  Every unpleasant aspect of the scent of liver x10.  She didn't know if it was a placebo effect but felt like it did help her mood and milk supply. After smelling it I find the practice revolting.

The smell is very much like liver or kidney, they dehydrate it offsite thankfully so it only smelled like animal based iron pills on my end.  I would hold my nose when I took them 🤣

I should mention my nurse midwives only recommended it after my most recent bout of prenatal and postpartum depression - it wasn’t their de facto postpartum treatment! I must be the only person brave enough to admit I did this 🤔

Edited by Arctic Mama
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3 minutes ago, Katy said:

I can see maybe a quarter of planned homebirths, but definitely NOT among a quarter of all births in the USA.

I know someone who did.  It's dehydrated in your home, and it smells revolting.  Every unpleasant aspect of the scent of liver x10.  She didn't know if it was a placebo effect but felt like it did help her mood and milk supply. After smelling it I find the practice revolting.

Ack!!🤢

I hate to even ask this, but how do they dehydrate it? Like the same kind of dehydrator you use to make dried fruit??

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1 minute ago, Arctic Mama said:

The smell is very much like liver or kidney, they dehydrate it offsite thankfully so it only smelled like animal based iron pills on my end.  I would hold my nose when I took them 🤣

I should mention my nurse midwives only recommended it after my most recent bout of prenatal and postpartum depression - it wasn’t their de facto postpartum treatment!

 

Lucky.  The person who I knew had it done in her home.  The person who encapsulated it for her said she always did it in the person's home so they were sure they had their own placenta and no one else's.  She implied for sanitary/infection reasons but I strongly suspect it was because of that awful smell.

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1 minute ago, Selkie said:

Ack!!🤢

I hate to even ask this, but how do they dehydrate it? Like the same kind of dehydrator you use to make dried fruit??

It was medical/lab grade - the process took half a day or so and was done in sterile conditions, start to finish.  Even the way they rinsed and treated the placenta postpartum was particular, including dry ice for transport. The team had to know ahead of time that was what I wanted to do so everything could be scheduled and ready once I went into labor. 

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2 minutes ago, Selkie said:

Ack!!🤢

I hate to even ask this, but how do they dehydrate it? Like the same kind of dehydrator you use to make dried fruit??

 

Yep, she brought a dehydrator and a food processor, the cheap round kind with the silicone fruit roll up mats. She ground it up, spread it over the mats, dried it to leather, and then ground it to a fine powder in a food processor.  Then she used the kind of capsule filling machine I use to make herbal supplements to fill them up.

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3 minutes ago, Katy said:

 

Yep, she brought a dehydrator and a food processor, the cheap round kind with the silicone fruit roll up mats. She ground it up, spread it over the mats, dried it to leather, and then ground it to a fine powder in a food processor.  Then she used the kind of capsule filling machine I use to make herbal supplements to fill them up.

I admit if the business I used to help had done it, fruit roll up style, I’d have flipped out.  They were very professional and that was a lot more comfortable 😆

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8 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

I admit if the business I used to help had done it, fruit roll up style, I’d have flipped out.  They were very professional and that was a lot more comfortable 😆

 

Yeah well picture the woo-iest woman in your life having her first baby when YOU'RE the least woo-ey woman you know.  She's done hypo birthing and watched a bunch of orgasmic birth videos and has decided to have a homebirth and not only is that important to her but she seems to have made it some sort of Ina Gaskin inspired personal Mt. Everest for her.  She had trauma in the past and is now happy and healthy so whatever, you try to be supportive.  Then everything goes wrong and she has to have a c-section and that has complications so she and the baby are in the hospital for a week and you're the one asked to go meet the encapsulation lady and let her in the house. She smelled like she preferred patchouli to showering.  Honestly maybe my fear for the emotional health of my friend shaded the experience a lot but I'm anti placenta eating.

Edited by Katy

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17 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

It was medical/lab grade - the process took half a day or so and was done in sterile conditions, start to finish.  Even the way they rinsed and treated the placenta postpartum was particular, including dry ice for transport. The team had to know ahead of time that was what I wanted to do so everything could be scheduled and ready once I went into labor. 

 

I'm trying to figure out how they dried a whole placenta in half a day.  Maybe they have a freeze dryer?

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1 hour ago, Mergath said:

God, no. Why would I want to eat the thing that filters out toxins and heavy metals? Other mammals eat them because having a giant, bloody, rotting meat sack hanging around is a sure way to lure predators. That doesn't mean it's healthy to eat it.

While we're talking placentas, what do you all think about lotus births? 🤣

I think they are nuts. 

I only ever knew of one person who did the lotus birth. All I couldthink is, “Man, I can’t see explaining that one to my MIL!” I was already the family kook for homeschooling. 

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Absolutely not. There’s no way I would ever do that. I find it revolting. Beyond the Ick factor,  from my second pregnancy on, all my placentas calcified before term and I had to be induced early. I just don’t make good ones. When my second child was delivered, the placenta was so pathetic that the nurse asked the doctor “Is that it?” 

ETA: when I first got on today, this thread was right above the dinner plans thread 😱

Edited by scholastica
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5 hours ago, J-rap said:

It's hard for me to believe that a quarter of women do this... I have a feeling those numbers are skewed, or that the participants in the survey or study are self-selecting.  

In any event, no, I haven't heard of it.  Apart from the yuck part of it, it sounds like way too much work!  My babies were all born in traditional hospitals, and I was asked at a couple of them if I'd like to take the placenta home to bury it in my backyard.  I'd never heard of that before either!

 

Good Grief. Is it supposed to be a good fertilizer? I guess way back when I was in that position nobody dreamed of it. I never saw it and nobody ever asked me or said anything about it.

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I think I have been asked if I wanted to keep the placenta but never have. I actually thought about it this time (due next month) to plant it under a tree.... But it'll be too hot to plant anything by the time this baby is born. And with my luck, my dogs would dig it up.

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6 minutes ago, Liz CA said:

 

Good Grief. Is it supposed to be a good fertilizer? I guess way back when I was in that position nobody dreamed of it. I never saw it and nobody ever asked me or said anything about it.

 

I think it's a newer thing.  You plant the placenta and grow a tree on top of it in honor of the baby. And it would be a good fertilizer the same way something like blood meal would be.

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I'm surprised by all the, well, surprise about this. I feel like eating or planting a tree over the placenta has been a thing I've "always" known of, which means long enough that I can't remember when I first heard of it.  I want to say 1970s maybe but I am not sure why, maybe because that was the decade I became an adult and was paying more attention to people having babies.  

ETA: I never ate it or took it home to plant. Nit sure it came up when I had my kids. 

Edited by marbel
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There are a good many reasons not to, one of which is that postpartum preeclampsia is a thing, and that's because of a wonky placenta, so why give it a chance to hurt you again?

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1 hour ago, Katy said:

 

I'm trying to figure out how they dried a whole placenta in half a day.  Maybe they have a freeze dryer?

Chopped and desiccated - freeze drying maybe?  It was a two or three step process and it’s been a good number of years so 🤔

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1 hour ago, Katy said:

 

I think it's a newer thing.  You plant the placenta and grow a tree on top of it in honor of the baby. And it would be a good fertilizer the same way something like blood meal would be.

Not a new thing.  Most of the homebirth mamas I knew did this sort of thing.  Sort of a memento of the part of you that sustained life.  One mom was sad that she was moving away from "her shrub" so she took cuttings with her on her move.  (I am ashamed to admit that I have an 18 year old placenta in my deep freeze that I always meant to plant but didn't need any new trees or bushes and was worried about wild animals digging it up.  But, I don't know how to dispose of it now. )  

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1 hour ago, Liz CA said:

 

Good Grief. Is it supposed to be a good fertilizer? I guess way back when I was in that position nobody dreamed of it. I never saw it and nobody ever asked me or said anything about it.

Ha, well to be fair, this was an area with a large Hmong population, and I've wondered if maybe that was part of their birth tradition.

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3 hours ago, Mergath said:

God, no. Why would I want to eat the thing that filters out toxins and heavy metals? Other mammals eat them because having a giant, bloody, rotting meat sack hanging around is a sure way to lure predators. That doesn't mean it's healthy to eat it.

While we're talking placentas, what do you all think about lotus births? 🤣

 

Should I google it...or better not? Since my baby is 27, I have missed a ton of stuff, it seems.

ETA: Okay. Googled. I had head of "delayed cord clamping" but not carrying it around 3-10 days until it naturally detaches...

Edited by Liz CA

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I don't think it's all that new.  My oldest is 15, and I remember hearing about it on mothering.com back when I was pregnant with her.  But no, I did not and would not eat my placenta.  I would consider taking it in capsule form if there was an outside company that encapsulated it and it was recommended by a practitioner I trusted because of a history of postpartum depression.  As it is, I seemed to have whatever the opposite of postpartum depression was.  Postpartum sanity?  Pregnancy and breastfeeding were the best antidepressants I ever found.  I would totally have had ten kids if that was the only factor.  I find it REALLY hard to believe that 25% of women are doing so, even in hippie locations, let alone nation or worldwide.  The hospital thought it was weird that I wanted to see it.  It was really cool.  I could totally see planting a tree with it, but we were living in apartments, so it wasn't a good option.  I was kind of sad about that.  

Edited by Terabith
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Well, I briefly considered it for birth #4, but didn't end up following through. I don't know anyone who has encapsulated it that I know of. However, I know of 2 people who have eaten it. I believe one cooked it in a skillet before eating. The other ate it raw.

Absolutely neither of those options appeal to me.

And yes, the placentas were buried on our property. All our kids were born at home, so we had to dispose of them somehow. I don't know exactly where any of them were buried. I was a little busy recovering, and don't really care to know.

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2 hours ago, Katy said:

 

I think it's a newer thing.  You plant the placenta and grow a tree on top of it in honor of the baby. And it would be a good fertilizer the same way something like blood meal would be.

We planted the placenta with my 2nd dd and that was 27 years ago.  She was born at home in January in Buffalo, New York so we had to keep it in the freezer til about April I think before the ground wasn't too frozen any more. So not really new. It was way more common when people were born at home.

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