The Growing Trend of Eating the Placenta

There’s a growing trend among mothers. Some are saying that it helps to rejuvenate your body after birth. Some say it can even help a mother produce more milk faster, fight postpartum depression, even decrease the size of a women’s uterus faster. That trend is actually eating the placenta.

The placenta is the organ that the umbilical cord is attached to. It helps deliver oxygen, nutrients, and even hormones to the baby as it grows. Believe it or not, eating it is not unusual when you look at the animal kingdom. It’s quite common among mammals. In fact, the majority of mammals eat their own afterbirth.placenta 4s-450x450

The supporters of this practice say it helps to stop postpartum depression (PPD). After a woman has given birth, her hormones may be unbalanced. Eating the placenta, some say, helps put those hormones back into the
body. This also helps to give them energy.  Studies do show that it actually has levels of estrogen and progesterone. Both of these are clinically proven to help reduce depression in mothers who have just delivered.

It is also said that the placenta has tons of vitamins and minerals that help boost health. This also is true. The very nature and function of the organ gives support to this claim. It contains vitamin B6, B12, and even iron. So, Its needless to refute that the afterbirth contains tons of great nutrients that can be consumed.

With this knowledge, why is mainstream media and the medical field generally against the practice of consuming the placenta? They don’t argue that it contains nutrients that the mothers could use. However, the medical field is in general agreement that there isn’t enough research and data that shows eating the placenta is better than just having a good diet, exercising, and taking vitamins.  Furthermore, as much a good nutrients could be consumed, bad chemicals can also be consumed.  If the mother is sick or contains stress proteins this could be passed back into the child’s system.

It can also be argued that the animal kingdom consumes the afterbirth out of necessity. There, mothers may not get the necessary nutrients their bodies need from the environment.  So, eating the placenta is more out of what is necessary rather than what is optimal. After all, it’s not exactly like they can go pick it up at the store. Simply said, there isn’t much evidence to support that eating the placenta provides a much better solution that just taking vitamins and minerals.

Encapsulation is the process in which the placenta is dried out and ground up. After that it is placed in a pill. The majority of hospitals do not offer encapsulation of placenta. You have to go through the midwife. Even if you don’t plan on using a midwife, you can still buy their services just for encapsulation. Some hospitals do not allow you to take the placenta home. Some require you to sign a waiver. The ones that will allow you to take the placenta home may require an examination just to check for disease before allowing it out of the hospital. In either case, research needs to be done whether or not the hospital will allow the placenta to be taken home.

And finally, to make things even weirder, we tell you that on internet you can also find placenta recipes. Bon appétit!

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