Placenta: a Woman

No offense to my armpit-braiding earth-mammas (if you're reading) but who eats their placenta? I know that it is full of vitamins and sure, it nourished your baby and represents fertility and has some sort of spiritual significance but dudes, wtf?

After Archer was born, my doctor sweetly asked whilst sewing up my episiotomy if I wanted to take home my placenta. He gestured at the slaughtered Man-o-War in the large plastic tub and I politely declined.

"Do people actually take them home?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact they do."

I had heard stories of women eating their placentas but I was shocked to hear that post-pardum patients regularly left Cedars-Sinai with a large sack of veins as well as their newborn baby.

"And don't forget to throw my placenta in a doggy bag, okay nurse? I'm taking that shit home!"

I started to wonder... Maybe it was more common than I thought. Maybe Julia and Danny nibbled Placenta while recouping with the twins?

Anyway, if you or someone you know has eaten their placenta please share your story here. Really, I want to hear about it. How did you prepare it? Did you keep in the crisper drawer in the fridge or in a jar beside the pickles? Did you invite friends over for a placenta BBQ? Did you drink red wine or white? Comment, people. Enlighten me...

GGC

36 comments:

stefanierj | 4:32 PM

My friend didn't eat hers, but she did bury it in the ground where she and her husband then planted a tree in honor of their son's birth. Placenti are supposed to be mad good for the botanicals.

Kristen | 5:02 PM

I've heard of people eating it - more people burying it. I did neither. I looked at it and sent it on its merry way.

Mom101 | 5:24 PM

From gentlebirth.org:

Take the raw placenta, cut off the cord and membranes. Use a sharp knife; it's tough! Cut the placenta into two or three pieces, and put them in the blender. Blenderize the placenta. It will look like ground meat, or spam. It won't be soupy! Spread the placenta mush into the fruit roll tray of a food dehydrator and dehydrate for most of a day. I put my dehydrator out on the porch because it *can* get a little uh, aromatic. ;o) [sic]
Take the dehydrated placenta out of the dehydrator and put it back into the (washed and dried) blender. Powder it like you would to make cracker crumbs. The end result will look very much like instant coffee granules. You can now 'cap it up', or fill empty capsules with it. The average placenta will fill 60-100 capsules. (Mine filled 100)

Now you may take the capsules, and 'eating' your placenta will not seem nearly as disgusting.*

*says YOU, you freaky placenta eater!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 5:35 PM

Thanks MOM101. Thank you for gettin me salivat'n. I'm off to befriend a woman in her third trimester.

Chag | 6:20 PM

Like you, I've often wondered how and why someone ate placenta. And like stefanierj, the closest I've come across is a neighbor who used it when planting a tree.

Clever title, girl.

kiwidebra | 7:38 PM

Um...no thanks. Besides, if I did bring it home, it would just sit in my freezer for a year like the wedding cake topper and I'd have to throw it out because of the freezer burn.

In this vein (sorry), some parenting books I've read talk about checking the flavor of your breast milk if your baby is fussy. I just can't bring myself to do it. Maybe I'm just extra squeamish.

MrsFortune | 9:06 PM

Oh yeah totally! Put it in the pan with a little olive oil and thyme or sage, it's great!

Oh wait... that's polenta, I always get those two confused.

Applesass | 9:59 PM

In Chinese medicine, human placenta is used as a really powerful herb that can strengthen a very deficient person. It is dried and prepared somehow and smells pretty nasty. However, it can be really helpful. It is usually with many other herbs that are made into a tea and then slurped up. I have never taken it but imagine with the other herbs that would be added for someone who was really wiped out it wouldn't taste all that bad.

I just can't imagine eating it though. The capsules would work for me though as long as I didn't think too much about it.

the weirdgirl | 10:51 PM

I have never heard of this... I am FLOORED...

Well, OK I have heard of animals doing this... to dispose of the blood scent so that PREDATORS WILL NOT TRACK THEM DOWN!

I urge all of you to bury your placentas quickly so that the placenta-eaters don't get your young.

the weirdgirl | 10:53 PM

OK, one more comment... isn't this like eating your period?!? (I am freaking out a little.)

MrsFortune | 9:20 AM

Oooh ... hey, I am in my 3rd trimester right now, how much do you think I could sell my placenta for on E-bay? The shipping might get a little tricky but I bet it'd fetch a fair price. Help with some of those childbirth expenses.

bitemycookie | 1:22 PM

this is a transcript from my delivery room:

MD: what a beautiful baby, blah, blah, blah. just one small little push and we're all done here.

BMC: thank fucking god

MD: ooooooh! (dangles some unknown object between me and her) look at this beautiful, healthy placenta. would you like to take it home?

BMC: get that fucking thing out of my face (please - implied, of course). my ass just fell out and i just shot a human out of my cooch. put. it. away.

Kristen | 2:22 PM

BLLLHAHAHAHHAHA all these comments and weirdgirl's post just make me laugh so hard. I remember my doula practically forcing me to check it out and I remember thinking - I'd rather look at my beeeeaaauuutiful baby... TYVM.

PS anyone like some Placenta Jerky. It's all the rage.

PSS I do hear the use placenta in some fancy face cream. No shitting ya on that one.

Allysun | 7:46 PM

Okay, so I'm going out on a limb here, having just read all the postings above...

Though I didn't eat it, I did consider doing so for a while. I knew people who ate theirs and during my pregnancy came to really appreciate the nutrients and energy that a placenta can provide. And because I am a SUPER healthy eater I figured mine would be awesome for me or anyone else. Placenta is the meat you don't have to kill!

One friend in particular had her baby at home (like MANY of my friends in Humboldt) and her midwife just grabbed it, fried it up in a pan, cut it into pieces and passed it around like an appetizer. Everyone had a bite!

I know there was a point when I thought it was weird but I got over it. People do it. All the time. And I guess it takes a lot more than that to shock me.

My placenta is currently in my freezer, I plan to plant it on my daughter's first birthday this April.

I had my baby in Laguna Beach, Southern California, and the nurses on my shift had never packed up one to go... and funny thing, THAT shocked me. I nearly had my baby early in Humboldt before we moved (scary stuff) and I had a couple people who were interested in taking my placenta at the time (knowing I would be giving birth and leaving town immediately) and I thought it was really nice of them to offer to take it, I couldn't stand the thought of it just going in the trash.

And, really, I'm not a hippy. Just an open minded regular person!

mo-wo | 10:41 PM

Yep, the placenta plantings are hot hot hot hot! P-man was in charge of inspecting ours. Mostly, because one of our goofy doctors told us it was neat -- sorta like a cave.

Just checked with p-man, and he reports it looked like a bloody haggis. So we are both glad we left it with our team of medical professionals, and did not eat it.

mo-wo | 10:41 PM

oh yeah and LOL on the brill' post title. smartypants

Rhonda | 6:23 AM

I'm sure Alton Brown could whip it up into something fabulous on Good Eats! LOL!

Kristen | 7:32 AM

While you are brave for sharing your story, Allysun, I just have a rule about eating anything that comes from my body. I DON'T DO IT. I'm not sure what the fascination is with the placenta - house of baby - But I will not eat it sam I am, I will not eat my placenta, arm, or hand.

Blair | 11:27 AM

I wanted to take the placenta home to freeze it and plant it at a later date, but because of pregnancy complications (PPROM) it was needed for "further study" so it went to a lab. No problem presented as a result of said investigation... I did get to keep the cord in its place and it is hanging out at a friends freezer (she ironically had the wedding cake topper for over a year too) and it is just waiting.
I must say that I freaked out a bunch of nurses by asking that though.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 5:44 PM

Wow. Thanks for your stories, guys. Keep em coming.

Allysun- Fuck, dude. It's chillin in your freezer? Do you ever feel tempted to stick it under your hub's pillow? Sorry, I'm like 12 years old. Placentaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!

Callie | 8:55 PM

Okay this is too weird of a coincidence. My sis planted her placenta and I was way freaked out by THAT. Check out "Can I Offer You Some Ice Cream, ...Granita, ...Placenta?" on my blog (Nov 2005). And she did not even ingest it! I did not realize that placenta was all the rage. I guess I really AM behind the times!

Jess Riley | 9:22 PM

The day I see Alton Brown frying up some placenta on GOOD EATS is the day I become a moonie.

Rey | 5:32 AM

Just wanted to add that many women who eat their placenta actually dry it out into a powder; they aren't eating a big hunk of flesh, raw or otherwise.

The powder is then sprinkled over other food and I'm guessing that done this way it is barely noticable.

I have always found it very interesting that people freak out at the notion of eating their own placenta but they will happily munch on the dead rotting flesh of an animal with four stomachs that walks around with feces stuck to it's bottom all day.

Go Figure. We Humans are certainly logical creatures in all of our endeavours.

MrsFortune | 1:27 PM

I just wanted to tell you there's a PROJECT RUNWAY marathon on right now!!

No placenta insight to offer ...

I love being a government employee. I get all the good holidays.

Mrs. Blue | 6:28 AM

I had a girlfriend that had it put in to pill form, so she took it like that.

Mine was never offered up to me, I guess Csectioned placentas are off the menu.

jess | 5:50 AM

pill form is the most palatable i have heard of.

other, more disturbing recipies and a nice big picture of a placenta ar at the link (yipes!)

and no, i did not eat my placenta although i had considered it b/c of the alleged post partum benefits.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 9:46 AM

good God, woman. You weren't kidding with those photos. Sheesh!

kittenpie | 8:54 AM

I've heard of this and the tree planting, but frankly - bleah! But then I'm the opposite of being all into the earth mother thing. I would quite happily have missed the whole experience and let my husband bear and deliver our daughter if possible! Not because I don't adore my girl, but the whole thing is surreal enough without eating human flesh. Thankfully, my doctor knows me and didn't offer or even show me, fatigued and freaked out as I was after 20+ hrs labour and a surgery! I think c-section might be part of it too, since then you are in the hospital for a few days and can't do anything with it anyhow.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah | 5:29 AM

Gross, gross, gross.

Thanks for helping with my diet. I don't think I'll be eating anything for a while now.

Kim | 6:04 AM

The placenta is chock full of the same hormones that tell your uterus to start shrinking back to normal size, so sometimes a woman might have a nibble, or hold a small piece under her tongue if she's experiencing heavier than normal post-partum bleeding, or even hemorrhaging!

Allegedly it will stop the hemorrhaging much faster than synthetic hormone shots, and can save an emergency situation from occurring!

alex | 1:07 PM

i would take cooked dead cow over my own placenta any day!
and just for the record i do not eat rotting animal flesh, it is generally frozen while fresh and then cooked before i eat it.
btw my placenta looked like a huge purple blob of goo and i did not want to touch it.

leilani | 10:49 PM

I'm a single 6 month pregnant mother, and I'm interested in selling my placenta. If anyone has any ifo can you please email me at hwninvegas@hotmail.com

Mandolin | 11:14 AM

I'm catching up on your arcives, and its funny to read this one right after watching the momversation you just posted.
And by funny, I really mean its a coincident...

jessica | 12:16 AM

Yes, I too have read about this and I am shocked, appalled, and thoroughly grossed out.

I have read that the whole powdered placenta in pill form is supposed to be great for you once you hit menopause. Still...uggghhh.

I have also read about parties in which groups of vegetarians and vegans get together and have a placenta feast- it's the only "meat" that they can eat that does no involve the killing of an animal.

I don't care- it's freakin HUMAN. Cannibalistic? Yes.

I used to be vegan- nobody I knew back then including myself would ever do this. And I would much rather eat a dead animal than part of MYSELF. Have you ever seen the movie "The cook, the thief, his wife and her lover?"

B.J. Hamaker | 9:14 AM

Not even one post from a woman who ate it? My wife did. She suffered very difficult post-partum depression after her first birth, and it helped tremendously in her second recovery.

pregnancy scans | 5:33 AM

This is quite a controversial topic that creates some strong emotions from people. I think the choice comes down to the person who produced it; the mother. If she decides she wants to ingest it, then that is her choice and it has very little to do with any of us. As long as it doesn't do any harm to her, there's no reason for any of us to question it. We're entitled to our opinions but we shouldn't judge anyone who chooses to eat placenta.