Placentas Aren’t Just For Babies – Part 1

In basically every country but ours, the placenta is believed to have a lot of amazing things for the postpartum woman. In China and Vietnam, the placenta is prepared for consumption by the mother to help recover from childbirth. In Italy, they use part of the placenta to help with lactation. In Hungary, they bite the placenta to expedite the completion of labor and also dry and grind it up then place it in their husband’s drinks to to make them shoot blanks. In the Czech Republic and some parts of Morocco, new mothers believe the eating the placenta guarantees future fertility. And most midwives in the US have mothers take bites of raw placenta to help stop hemorrhaging because of the high oxytocin content.

There hasn’t been much research on the placenta in the United States because it is believed to be a bio-hazard since it contains so much blood that *could* be infected. For this reason, no one is for sure what exactly is contained in a placenta. People hazard guesses, but no one is completely sure what nutrients and vitamins are contained in this vital organ.

With the laid back studies and other things they have done all around the world, they have found the placenta actually helps the uterus shrink back to its normal size faster, helps increase milk production, and helps prevent Postpartum Depression.

The one thing they do know is it contains the hormone CRH (Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone). This hormone is a stress reducer and is normally produced in the hypothalamus. In the last trimester, the placenta produces so much CRH that the amount in the blood stream triples, so the hypothalamus stops producing it. Postpartum women have lower than average levels of CRH which triggers depressive symptoms right after birth. Since the hypothalamus stopped producing the hormone, it takes a few days for it to realize the levels have dropped and needs to start working again. This has been known to be the three or four days of baby blues all women experience after the birth.

In 1954, a study of 210 women with insufficient milk supply were given dried and powdered placenta pills. 86% had a positive increase in their milk production within a matter of days. It was also found to enhance pain tolerance by increasing opium-like substances that are activated during childbirth.

About 10% of women experience an extreme drop in progesterone and estrogen after the birth of their baby and experience Postpartum Depression (PPD). This happens after day 10 when the baby blues are supposed to subside and things get back to normal. The symptoms of PPD are anxiety, sadness, mood swings, irritability, trouble concentrating, and trouble sleeping.

If PPD goes unnoticed and untreated, it can turn into Postpartum Psychosis. Although only about 2% of the women with PPD get Psychosis, it is still a terrible thing. I’m sure people have heard on the news about the women that have PPD and kill their children. This is NOT PPD. This is psychosis and it is a very real thing and demands treatment before it gets this far.

The FDA has denied the effects of the placenta without clinical trials, but the FDA also doesn’t agree with many homeopathic substances that have been known to help all sorts of people.

Of all the stories I read while researching this, there are definitely two sides. One side that refuses to even think about eating their placenta, and the other side that is willing to try because it is cheaper and better than the anti-depressant drugs they can give you.

When I first heard about this from my SIL, I knew I would never want to try it. But, those are my famous last words. Even though research hasn’t been completed on it or barely conducted, I am most willing to try this. I figure it can’t hurt anything, and with the PPD I had with my daughter, anything is better than living in a tunnel for months.

Now, there are a lot of different ways the placenta can be used. You can steam it, cook it, then grind it into powder and put it into capsules. You can cut it up and place the bits into smoothies. You can powder it and place it on pizza or in your lasagna. You can bury it under a tree to remember your baby. You can even design it like a teddy bear!!

No matter how you want to use your placenta, you aren’t the first person that has thought of it. And of the women that try it, every single woman that I found that has ingested the placenta after birth has been feeling better and more like themselves within hours of the first serving.

So, what do you have to lose?!

Placenta shakes
Placenta Sandwich
Placenta Teddy

One Response

  1. I loved my placenta and am so glad I didn't throw it out! I'm still taking the encapsulated pills I made. I'm so sorry that this form of medicine isn't more accepted in the U.S. yet – I hope it is in the future!

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