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More Moms Eating Their Placentas

Placenta! It's what's for dinner.

There is one thing involving pregnancy that I will never try.

I may shoot for a natural birth, I may even decide I want to have a baby at home, I may decide I’m delivering in a pool, I’m willing to try just about anything. But I can assure you I will never, no never, eat my placenta.

But that’s just me.  I’m not judging.

If you want to eat yours, I’ve got no problem with that.  I don’t want to be there when you do, but by all means…

If eating your placenta is on your agenda you are certainly not alone.  Placenta-eating is all the rage, apparently.

According to an article on Jezebel.com, “placentophagia” as it’s called, really took off in 2007 when a placenta activist convinced a hospital in Las Vegas to give the organs to women after giving birth so they could eat them.  (Placentas are considered biohazardous waste by the medical Establishment and are usually disposed of accordingly).

Now women across the country are enjoying (I guess) their afterbirth cooked, dehydrated, made into pills, or blended in smoothies. Some claim the practice helps with lactation problems and post-partum depression, but there’s no scientific evidence to support this. And the words of “placenta-preparer” Jennifer Mayer don’t do much to dispel the notion that placentophagia is a flakey hippie phenomenon. While getting ready to cook one new mother’s afterbirth, she says, “Some are really intense, with grief or sadness or uncertainty. This one is pretty joyful. It’s big and round, and so fresh!”

I don’t know about “joyful” but some people claim eating placenta is healthy.  Many “placenta-preparers” transform placentas into supplements that are said to alleviate postpartum depression, aid in breastmilk production and lactation, act as a uterine tonic, and replenish nutrients lost during pregnancy.  However “baby planner, doula, marriage counselor, and placenta lady” London King acknowledges it could all just be one big placebo.  “The body follows the mind. If I drink a green drink and I think it’s good for me, then that’s great. The same thing holds for the placenta. Even if it is 100 percent psychological, it has its purpose.”

Right. Following King’s theory, if I think eating my placenta is just about the grossest thing ever it’s not going to do much good for me, is it?

Mark Kristal, a behavioral scientist who has studied placentophagia for years tells New York Magazine placenta eating isn’t based in science.  “It’s a New Age phenomenon…  Every ten or twenty years people say, ‘We should do this because it’s natural and animals do it.’ But it’s not based on science. It’s a fad.”

This is one fad I’m not going to follow. A lot of things come out of my body that I have zero interest in consuming and my placenta is one of them.  Even if it is a “joyful” placenta.

What about you?

 

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