Friday, 26 June 2015

Yes, I really did eat my placenta!

While I was pregnant I watched a programme where a woman ate her placenta after giving birth and became interested in placentophagy. So I began reading up on the subject with a view to maybe, just maybe, giving it a go.

We had the perfect glassware for a placenta smoothie!
At first, I admit, I was a bit grossed out by the practice. I mean, why would you eat your own waste?  But the more I investigated, the more it seemed to make sense. Although there is little scientific evidence to back up claims that consuming your placenta can increase energy, improve breastmilk production and prevent post-natal depression, I figured I didn't have anything to lose. After all, most mammals eat their after birth. They also lick their young clean, which I didn't really fancy doing - sniffing my newborn obsessively is the nearest I get!

So when I gave birth to Baby O I told the midwife I wanted to keep the placenta.

There are a few options available if you fancy eating your placenta:

  • You can pay for it to be encapsulated, or you can even encapsulate it yourself
  • You can cook it up into a lasagne or stew
  • You can blend it up with yoghurt and fruit and drink it like a smoothie
I opted for the smoothie because I wasn't sure if I would stomach the smell of my own organ being fried or baked. It seemed a bit close to cannibalism for my liking. Plus, I wasn't sure if any of the nutrients would be lost in the cooking process. For the same reason, I ruled out the encapsulation.

I bought a big tub of natural yoghurt and some frozen red berries in preparation and when Baby O was born the midwife put the placenta into a plastic bag, which we put into a plastic tub and popped in the fridge.

My placenta (with the cord attached)

The next day, I rinsed my placenta thoroughly and then cut off a couple of meaty chunks the size of a 50 pence piece away from the membrane side. I popped them into the blender along with the yoghurt and the berries and whizzed it for a couple of minutes before pouring them into a glass. I have to admit, it was yummy. You couldn't taste the placenta at all. I offered some to my husband but he politely declined.

Whizzing it up in the blender
I have to say, the hormonal monster who usually replaces me at about day 3 failed to emerge. But this could also be because this was baby number four and I was more relaxed this time round. I also felt like I had more energy. But again, this might just have been because I expected to feel this way and my new baby actually slept at night!

I chose to wash my smoothie down with a glass of bubbles to celebrate the new arrival
I had about three placenta smoothies, which didn't really make much of a dent into the entire thing. The rest was safely disposed of. Although, in hindsight, I wish I had tried to encapsulate the remainder. I'm now eleven weeks in and feeling a little weary.

Who knows if eating, or drinking, my placenta helped me recover from the birth? 

I'm glad I tried it and I think if I ever have another baby, which is highly unlikely, I'll probably do it again.

Did you eat your placenta? Would you? How was it for you?

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