Reposted with permission from Holistic Birth of Orlando.
We are the only eutheria (placental mammals) that do not eat our placentas after birth. Why is this? It seems to me that we have been too far removed from trusting our bodies. It’s also common in America to think of medicine as something manipulated or invented by man instead of from nature. And then there is the gross factor; I hear women often say how they could never do it because it’s just too disgusting a thought.
Ingesting the placenta after birth has amazing benefits to the mother. Childbirth can affect the body in many ways; sometimes women suffer from Postpartum Depression, fatigue, hormone imbalance, excessive bleeding and a general level of aches and pain. The placenta is an amazing organ, designed to protect and nourish our growing baby throughout our entire pregnancy. It contains many valuable hormones and is high in iron, exactly what our bodies need to quickly recover from birth so that we can tend to and provide for our newborn child; hardly a coincidence.
When this powerful organ is eaten by the mother it will aid in shrinking the uterus, increasing milk supply, warding off Postpartum Depression, balancing hormones, stopping hemorrhaging (when taken raw), battling fatigue and healing the body more quickly.
I find it very odd that the general population has less of an argument about eating genetically modified food or taking pills with a long list of side effects, than opening up to the idea of eating something designed by and for our own body because it’s “weird” or “gross,” especially when we as a species are alone in our aversion to eating the placenta. Why not look to nature first for medicine and insight on how to care for our bodies instead of another human being with a degree or a corporation that is focused on profit above all else? Placenta encapsulation is an opportunity to embrace and trust the knowledge of our own body.
By encapsulating this vital organ, many women have found the experience to be more comfortable and less “gross” than eating it raw. Some people choose to consume the placenta raw because it is more potent and less compromised in this state; the flavor is hardly noticeable, if at all, when blended into smoothies. There are different methods of encapsulation too; many people steam the placenta with lemon and ginger before dehydrating and often times it is dehydrated raw. Either way is acceptable; there are benefits to both.
It’s a good idea to let your doctor or midwife know ahead of time that you plan on keeping your placenta; sometimes there is paperwork that must be filled out beforehand.
Typically, placenta encapsulation costs between $100 to $200; usually midwives, doulas or PE specialists will provide this service. And many times you will get a keepsake and/or print with the capsules. You should take two pills a day, one capsule in the morning and one around lunch; because the pills can cause an increase in energy, some women have reported issues getting to sleep when they take the capsules too close to bedtime.
There are tremendous benefits to ingesting the placenta after birth. Sharing this information and making it accessible to a larger population is a great way to support and empower other mothers. Trust your body and inform yourself!
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