I am so skeeved out. I just read an article questioning whether or not there is real nutritional value to eating placenta, which I of course clicked on because I’m that person. The problem, however, was that there were pictures. Dude, I don’t even like the word uterus. Seriously. My sister will blurt it out randomly just to get on my nerves. While the word placenta has no effect on me, pictures of them do.
Now, before we get going with today’s topic, I am going to forewarn you about the link that serves as the basis for this post.
Do NOT click on it if you want to have children at some point in the future, but thoughts of things like placentas and shit freaks you out. Because let me tell you something, thanks to the pics and some choice sentences in this io9 article, I may never have a kid, and I’ll certainly never eat lasagna or have a smoothie again.
Also, if you are a parent that dehydrated and then ate your own placenta (wait, is that right? I guess it would be your kid’s placenta. No, it’s yours, if it came out of you, then it’s yours. That’s confusing), don’t get your knickers in a knot. In fact, leave a comment or send me an email to let me know if it was difficult to get the hospital to hand over the placenta, because if I understand correctly, it isn’t easy to obtain. The article totally had me envisioning some crazy tug of war, but surely that can’t be right.
Finally, if you do decide to read the article, then check out the comments too, some of which were hilarious.
M’kay, so I’ve previously read about people eating encapsulated placenta. It seems like there were a smattering of posts about it earlier this year. I also read about people buying it online, which I found unbelievably odd, because if you’re going to do it, it seems like it should be your own and not some random person’s, right? Anyway, I never put much thought into it, but apparently those who partake in the placenta believe it a) helps with postpartum depression, b) contains nutritional value, and/or c) view it as a form of bonding with their child.
According to the article, placenta consumption, or placentophagy, if you will, is practiced by mammals for numerous reasons, such as removing blood to ward off predators. That makes sense. Human placentophagy, however, involves dehydrating and then grinding it up to use in either pills or to make smoothies, or as lasagna (thankfully, there was no video to go along with that last one). It is speculated that cooking it could degrade the proteins, and also that it should be eaten within a few hours after birth for optimal benefit. Chances are, most folks are not cooking it up right after childbirth, they’re busy counting their new bundle of joy’s fingers and toes, or handing out cigars, or whatever.
Look, if you really want to eat your kid’s placenta, then go for it. I would guess the belief that it helps with postpartum depression is a good enough reason to do it, however perhaps give this article a read first, from a woman that regrets it (and no, there are no yucky pictures in this one).
I know we all came into this world with an umbilical cord and placenta and popped out of a uterus and blah blah blah. Childbirth is beautiful, and a miracle, and all that mushy stuff. I get it. But beautiful though it may be, I wouldn’t be able to stomach eating leftovers from the event, you know what I’m saying?
Wow, perhaps I should have done my usual Happy Hour post instead.
**Further research tells me I’m wrong. Just because the placenta was expelled from your body does not make it yours. The tissue carries the genome of the fetus, not the mother, and is derived from the egg. I have learned all kinds of crap today.