The organ that nourished your baby can now nourish you…Your Placenta

So before I dive right into the many benefits of ingesting your placenta, I’m going to speak from my own experience with this abundant organ that was full of what I needed to get me through my darkest days.

So when I gave birth to my eldest daughter, a whopping 11 years ago I was the complete mainstream mama, I did what the rest of the everyday woman does and just followed the norm. I had no idea about doulas, birthing options and most of all ingesting my placenta!! If someone even in the slightest suggested that to me I would’ve just vomited! But after a not so great birthing experience I was left holding a baby after a long and traumatic 48 hour birth, no family support and no manual as to what to do with this baby that needed me 24/7. So the days became groundhog day and the fear crept in along with anxiety and soon and behold I was completely and utterly enveloped with post partum anxiety of which came in the form of panic and dread. I absolutely adored my little girl but felt overwhelmed, scared and anxious. Not the best way to start your mothering and I definitely did not anticipate or even contemplate having any more children as everything just felt too hard.

So when I finally decided after 3 ½ years to try for another one I decided to obtain the services of a lovely woman that will forever hold a place in my heart and that is my doula and she suggested in one of our prenatal sessions together that I should consider ingesting my placenta. It took me a while to get my head around the concept of doing that but when she told me of the anecdotal evidence behind it then I thought it couldn’t hurt to give it a go. And so when I gave birth to my second little girl I consumed my placenta and all I can say is WOW!! I felt so different in that post partum period, no baby blues, no anxiety, I felt like I had abundant energy even with taking care of two girls and my healing was quicker. When I had a bad day I would take more and then I just stopped when I felt I didn’t need to take it anymore.

It wasn’t even going to be a case of thinking it through when it came to having my third and ingesting the placenta again as it was just something that I felt instinctively compelled to do. My birth with her was a long and hard one as she was malpositioned for quite a while and even after the birth she was not a baby that slept well and yet I coped so well, I recovered beautifully and felt really good and this is when I had to take care of 3 kids in the house. I give credit to this AMAZING organ that saved me and gave me everything I needed to help me get through! Better than any drug, this was my natural internal medicine giving me exactly what I needed in that crucial and most vulnerable post partum period.

Most mammals will consume their placenta and Placentophagy is common around land mammals with the exception of camels and humans.

While there is limited research on the contents of human placenta, it is known to have nutrients such as iron and traces of hormones such as progesterone, oxytocin, testosterone and estrogen.

“American Medical anthropologists at the University of South Florida and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, surveyed new mothers, and found that about 3/4 had positive experiences from eating their own placenta, citing “improved mood”, “increased energy”, and “improved lactation”.[7] [8]
(Wikipedia)

So while most of the evidence for consumption of the placenta is anecdotal it still speaks volumes in terms of how it can change the way a woman feels and her emotional state to help stabilise the hormones gradually back to pre- pregnancy state.

Since my own experiences with ingesting my placentas I now encapsulate placentas for new mums so that they to can have the many benefits and yet I am astounded again and again when I get emails and texts from new mums saying they don’t know how they would’ve survived without their ‘magic pills’.

There has been a lot of controversy lately surrounding a new study which claimed that there are no known benefits in placentaphogy and yet when you delve deeper into what kind of research was actually done and the way in which they have come to this conclusion you can soon realise there is no merit to the huge hype that surrounded the ever-growing headlines. The research did however conclude to say “Women are choosing placentophagy and reporting multiple benefits despite the lack of empirical evidence of therapeutic efficacy. More research examining the actual content of placenta tissue and capsules is necessary in order to determine the true potential benefits, and risks, of this practice.”

As there is no research to date on human consumption of the placenta therefore all we are left with is women’s experiences to go by. I think the way to come to your own conclusion on the matter is to see if this is something you wish to explore further and then see how it effects you.

Sources

  1. http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/research/news/research_day/2015/All-Clinical-Abstracts.pdf
  2. http://www.placentaassociation.com/#!Placentophagy-Papers-Reviews-Studies-What-They-Really-Mean/cq9b/5575d5ea0cf24a1983865ab0
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placentophagy

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