Thursday, May 10, 2007

Placentophagy

Most mammals will eat the placenta after giving birth, in part to hide it from predators that might smell it, and in part to get nourishment. A few mammals do not, including camels and marsupials which simply reabsorb their primitive placenta. Recently it has become almost trendy for women to eat their placenta after giving birth, with some going to great lengths and even suing hospitals in order to bring the meal home with them. Now I understand wanting to have a "natural" birth, but this crosses the line. However if this is your thing, you can find some recipes here, and here, including placenta lasagna, placenta cocktail or roasted placenta. The royal college of obstetrician has already stated that mother do not need to eat their placenta for proper nutrition in our society, so why do people do it? It seems there is a belief that hormones within the placenta such as progesterone, prostaglandins and endogenous opoids might help with post-partum depression and birth pains and production of milk. While there are probably some hormones crossing the intestinal barrier, I doubt one dose will do much for post-partum depression. And preserving it to eat a little everyday will probably deliver doses too small. Wouldn't you get sick of eating the same thing everyday? Dogs eat their placenta after they give birth too. They also eat their own shit. Clearly, "natural" is not always the way to go. And why stop at the placenta, my mice and rats occasionally eat the babies too, if only I could find recipes...


4 comments:

t-bozz said...

sick. some people are just wierd.

Anonymous said...

maybe if you did real research on the topic, you'd know just how beneficial this practice is for human mothers. it can give your skin the glow that you had when pregnant. it can give you a boost of energy when you need it most. i could go on and on. most women feel a change as soon as it hits their lips, if it is raw.
ingesting as a "meal" is the wrong way to go about it. you actually rinse it, dehydrate it, and make it into powder for capsules. some women do eat a small piece directly after birthing. most women swallow capsules of it. it does not have to sound as horrific as you have portrayed here.

one very grateful dolly mama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pregnancy Scans said...

This is a very interesting topic, a lot of people are revolted by the idea but at the same time a lot are willing to give it a try. I think it's incredible that some people have had to sue the hospital for the right to take their own placenta home. It's a part of them, so they should have ownership of it, not the hospital. From my research, I haven't found any solid scientific evidence to support the health benefits but women tend to state that there is a positive effect. I don't see much harm in it, so it comes down to the mother's choice in my eyes.