Posted by Deborah Pujoue on April 11, 2012
While the thought of eating or ingesting the placenta after childbirth is something that many mothers would not even consider (including me), the practice is gaining in popularity lately as even celebrities are talking about the benefits of doing it.
Apparently, the benefits to having your placenta processed and formed into pills considered by some to be a natural way to help stave off postpartum depression. It has gotten even more popular lately since actress January Jones of Mad Men fame decided to do this after giving birth to her son Xander back in September. Of the practice, she said in an interview with People.com, “Your placenta gets dehydrated and made into vitamins. It’s something I was very hesitant about, but we’re the only mammals who don’t ingest our own placentas. It’s not witch-crafty or anything! I suggest it to all moms!”
Some of the other apparent benefits to eating the placenta are said to include improving breast milk supply, increasing energy and even preventing aging. Um… Okay? The scientific term for eating your own placenta is called “placentophagia.”
While eating the placenta may be considered “natural,” I have to say that I can’t imagine it being necessarily healthy. I don’t know what is actually in a placenta, and I sure as heck can’t imagine eating it — even if it is dried out and converted into a pill. However, I do wonder what other moms think of this practice. While I consider eating a placenta to be just gross and not beneficial to justify how gross it is, other vigilant moms may be desperately battling post partum depression and may be hoping to avoid taking antidepressant medications like Prozac or Paxil that can cause serious side effects. In that case, perhaps the placenta eating thing isn’t all that bad. Then again, it still consists of eating a placenta… Ew!
What do you think?