Yes, I did eat my placenta, but not with fava beans or chianti, I'm no Hannibal Lecter. Recently I had dinner over at a friends house and we got into a conversation about the benefits of eating your placenta after birth. It inspired me to write. I know some of you know me personally and roll your eyes at my "primitive ways", but there is something to this amazing ancient medicine and you wouldn't know till you try it.
Our placentas are full of nutrients and energy. Eating your placenta is supposed to help with post partum stress and also help regulate hormones. It gives you the energy you need to bounce back from the intense experience of birth. Some animals do it in the wild so that they have the strength to get up and move on.
Our placentas nourish our babies, why not nourish ourselves with it. Gross? Ok. It's not on my list of favorite dinnertime meals, but it's not meant for that. Placenta encapsulation has been a part of post partum care for hundreds of years in traditional chinese medicine. Many other cultures also encourage placenta consumption as well (Vietnamese, Hungarians, Italians to name a few). It is said to help slow or even stop haemorrhaging after birth, help to increase a mother's milk supply, restore iron levels and regulate hormones. Why wouldn't you want that?
After Serafin was born I had my placenta dried and made into medicine capsules. I never took these regularly, and wasn't consistent about it. I had major baby blues and a rough time transitioning into parenthood at the time. After Silas was born, I decided to give it a go again and wow were the affects noticeable and amazing. This time, I made sure to take my medicine as directed.
Right after birth, my midwife, Jamie, prepared my placenta in three different ways, raw, dried and tincture form. A couple of days after the birth, my brave hubby attempted to make a smoothie for me to drink. I'll admit, it was not the most tasty smoothie I've had, after my first sip I wondered if I was going to be able to do it. Eager to feel the energy boost, I plugged my nose and chugged it. The affects of it were immediate, my energy lifted through the roof, I felt stronger and more nourished. I continued to take my "placenta medicine" in the form of capsules for three weeks. I had no post partum blues, healing from the birth was 10 times faster than with my first child, and I felt no major hormonal ups and downs. While a lot of this had to do with Silas' gentle birth and the support I had around me, I also think eating my placenta helped regulate me.
Recently, while talking about our move with one of our midwives I was reminded that I also had my placenta in the form of tincture. "Yes!" I thought. It was perfect. With the move to Orcas, I am in a time of transition and in the process of creating a new life. I am "birthing" a new experience for myself and family. I started to take the tincture and noticed that my emotional state started to feel a little more balanced. Thank you body, once again, for creating this wonderful medicine.
Just for kicks, I googled placenta smoothies and found this sight. Too bad I didn't do that before I gave birth to Silas, who knows, maybe I could have enjoyed drinking it a little more if I had prepared a bit better, the veggie placenta smoothie doesn't sound all that bad. ;) Ladies, don't be afraid, eating your placenta ain't all that bad, in fact, it's quite the opposite!