Should I Eat My Own Placenta to Fight Post-Partum Depression?

Posted by: , July 15, 2010 in 10:56 am

It is said that 80% of new mothers experience some sort of postnatal mood disorder after the birth of their child.  I can count myself in that statistic twice.  I am a Post-Partum depression survivor two times over.  Pregnant with my third child I do have some concerns that I will be hit by this “disorder” once again and have two other children to care for in addition to the brand new one.   Oh, and myself. I can’t forget that the I will need to take care of myself as well. 

Having a rather Type A personality I am also prone to research and I came across the practice of converting your placenta into pill form and using it post-birth to help alleviate any baby blues that might occur.  In fact, Jodi Selander of Placenta Benefits, encouraged me to think about how my “after birth” can really be used after birth.  It is an interesting idea that I wanted to learn more about especially if it will help me overcome the post-birth blues.  It’s called ‘placental encapsulation’ and it works like this.  During pregnancy we women have up to three times the amount of hormones in our system and after we give birth that drops.  It can take up to three up weeks to stabilize our bodies hormonal balance once again as well. Anyone who has already had kids knows that those first three weeks are a blur of no sleep and haziness.  That lack of hormones can contribute to that and make it a less than pleasant time due to all the crying, negative feelings, anxiety and general sad feelings that can override the joy of the new baby.  Trust me, I’ve been there. It ain’t pretty.  My storage space never looked so inviting as it did during those dark times.

But do I want to consider placentophagy (ingestion of placenta) or am I too “Americanized” to do it?  Other cultures do it, it is just not prevalent here.  Traditional Chinese Medicine has used placenta for medicinal purposes for centuries.  Why shouldn’t my Puritanical self?  However, does the mother of two and soon-to-be three have the time and energy to think about the process of encapsulating my placenta as well as ingesting it?  Is it all just a placebo?  The process itself requires drying, grinding and putting it into empty capsules after all.  Much like making your own baby food.  There are services that will come and do it for you too.  According to Selander women who have taken the placenta pills report having higher energy levels, less anemia and postpartum depression.  It’s an interesting concept and one that will need more consideration.

My question to you, dear reader, is this- Would you consider placental encapsulation?  Have you done it already?  Enlighten me. I want to fully consider all my options and be open to new ideas this time around.


4 Feedbacks to Should I Eat My Own Placenta to Fight Post-Partum Depression?

  1. Willow Joyce Pruitt on November 28th, 2010 3:13 pm

    I did consume my placenta encapsulated this time around after previous births of not having done so.
    It really helped a lot in recovery. I experienced benefits of lighter and shorter PP lochia, as well as healthier emotional state.

    I highly recommend and believe women are missing out on such a valuable natural concept.

  2. Natasha Sysum Paul on July 16th, 2010 11:03 pm

    I did it all. At first I thought the idea repulsive, but towards the end of my pregnancy, I hired a doula and my views changed drastically after meeting her and reading the book Birthing From Within.

    I highly recommend i!

    I was actually going to have my placenta made into a tincture. My doula said it has a much longer shelf life than the capsules. However, I had complications with my placenta detaching and long story short, I didn’t actually get much of my placenta, so we didn’t go that route. My doula made me a placenta breakfast burrito a few days after I gave birth. She fried up the chopped up placenta with onions and then made scrambled eggs, added salsa and sour cream. It was delicious. Really! Actually you couldn’t taste the placenta with all those other ingredients.

    She told me that eating it would give me the most benefits and right away. The capsules I got were few, but I made them last a couple of months.

    I did not have post-partum depression at all.

    Best to you!

  3. caitlin.serotkin on June 28th, 2010 7:24 am

    I am going to do it. I am not going to prepare it myself (too much effort!), I’m using someone certified through Placenta Benefits. My midwifes highly recommend it. I don’t see why not it wouldn’t be worth trying!


  4. Linda on June 24th, 2010 7:36 pm

    I did Placenta Encaps, baby #1, and it was wonderful. The entire process is amazing from how it is prepared to just the fact you have this amazing tool right there to help with all the changes that is going on.

    What is great is I still have leftover which are in my freezer. I use them when I feel drained or need a pick me up. It is a great concept. I loved your comment about being “Americanized”. It is great that you are at least considering the idea. Thanks for the great post. Linked from Facebook, on Placenta Benefits page.

    Linda J
    facebook:the helpful sister

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