Yup. I ate my placenta. Now before you conjure up gross zombie images, I did it in a totally classy way. I had my placenta encapsulated. I found an agency and they took care of the whole process for me. They turned my placenta into pills and delivered them to my door. It was seamless. But, would I do it again? Should you do it? Let’s dive in, shall we?
As is the trend nowadays, we’re looking at a more naturalist and homeopathic approach to medicine. Modern motherhood is an especially well versed in this regard. Eating your placenta is not a modern trend. It’s just come back into fashion. (It dates back to Chinese medicine) Now, I didn’t do this because Kim Kardashian ate her placenta. My reasons behind it were purely personal.
The reason that I decided to do this was simply because I was worried about postpartum depression. My mother suffers from depression and there is a history of family illness. This was one of my major concerns going into pregnancy. From everything I read, eating your placenta could really help in that regard. Additionally the fact that it supposed to help boost milk supply was a bonus, as this was also a concern.
If you look up placenta encapsulation, you get a lot of companies that are jumping on this bandwagon with very few actual accounts. That’s one of things I’m finding most overwhelming is the sheer amount of information out there. At times it can feel like falling down the rabbit hole. So, in my attempt to cut out the noise, I’ll break down my experience
Generally speaking, whoever you hire to do your encapsulation, will offer a number of services at varying prices. More than likely, they’ll also offer to pick up and drop off your placenta. The company I used, not only did this, but provided me with detailed instructions as how to store the placenta and what to instruct the hospital. If you are considering doing this, please know it will cost you a couple hundred dollars. I paid about $250 dollars. It can cost even more so, if you want to do anything like save a piece of your placenta to display as art or if you’re considering any mid-wife services as well.
This is my first pregnancy and while I can’t compare it to others, I firmly believe it did help my mood. I know this because, I had to stop taking it for a few days and my mood completely changed. I was very emotional and cried more than I did before. Once I started taking the pills again, my mood leveled out. I know I had some form of depression, but it was not nearly as bad as I worried it could have been, given my family history. Now, there is a valid chance that this could have been a placebo effect, but I truly feel that the placenta pills helped to regulate my mood.
This was a no-go for me. I couldn’t make breast milk to save my life. (I’ll save all that agony for another post, stay tuned, it’s a doozy) This was incredibly frustrating because this was supposed to help me make milk. I took it in conjunction with fenugreek and blissed thistle in a vain effort to boost my milk supply. Nothing helped my milk production. In fact, I recently read an article saying that placenta pills could prohibit milk production. Bottom line, more research needs to be done in this regard. I will in full honesty, tell you though, that my milk supply problems, may have to do with my health. My labour was very difficult and I lost a massive amount of my blood. I was ill for a long time after the delivery. However, it supposed to boost supply and it never had that effect for me.
I had my placenta turned into pills. I needed to take two pills three times a day. It’s necessary to remember that you are ingesting an organ. It can become contaminated, which can lead to you getting sick. Another thing to keep in mind, is that I suffered from preeclampsia. While, most research will suggest that this has no bearing on consuming the placenta, it is something to keep in mind. The company I worked with, included a disclaimer saying that they always check the placenta to make sure it’s safe to encapsulate. It does leave you with the risk that your placenta may not be viable but better safe than sorry. There is also a real risk that your placenta can get you sick, if you develop a fever, stop taking it for a few days and start again. That’s what I was instructed to do when I developed a fever and it went away and I resumed taking pills without any additional problems. I’m not going to lie, it tastes awful. Very much like blood, it has a terrible copper taste. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not the most important detail.
I’m conflicted if I would do it again. Hopefully more research will be done and I’ll review my decision should pregnancy #2 happen. I can say it helped my mood, but that was really the only positive for me. I think the most important thing, is do what’s best for you and your family. From all the research out there, if you’re willing to absorb the cost, it might be worth a try.