Oh yes I did… I ate my placenta!

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Yes, the title of this post is true: I ate my own placenta. Crazy and gross, you think? Well, I am here to tell you all about it – and why it’s not.

My sweet baby boy Braylen was born May 10th, and is now a beautiful 12 weeks old. He is totally the light of mine and my hubby’s life. His birth story was incredible, and my post-partum period was amazing. Being a first-time mom, I wanted to be as prepared as possible for my birth, and everything after. I used Hypnobabies in order to have a great natural birth, and I studied anything and everything I could get my hands on for labor, delivery, and the newborn stage.

One thing I know about myself is that I am an emotional person. I cry easily, usually happy tears. 🙂 I also don’t function that great on little sleep, so the thought of being up at all times in the night terrified me. I wanted to do anything and everything I could to help prepare my mind and body for bringing this baby in to the world, and the weeks after. I had heard from a few friends about eating your placenta. At first I thought no way, but then I started to read more about it. Here are some of the main benefits of consuming your placenta, highlighted from this site:

  • Help to balance your hormones
  • Replenish depleted iron levels
  • Assist the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy state
  • Reduce post-natal bleeding
  • Increase milk production – this has been proven in a study
  • Make for a happier, more enjoyable post-natal period
  • Increase your energy levels

Now reading all of those things, how could you not be at least interested?! I got incredibly lucky and have a great friend, Shanda, who is knowledgable with preparing placentas, and she prepared mine. My doula Briana was awesome and brought my placenta {don’t worry- it was in a big plastic bin that the hospital provided} to my girlfriend’s house that night. She then separated and cleaned it, and froze it for me in to about 10 portions in ziploc bags. She also made me a smoothie the next day with a portion of it, and my other great girlfriend brought the smoothie for me to the hospital, that way I got it in my system within 24 hours.

Here is how I feel it personally affected me:

  • I never have had issues with my milk. Actually, the only ‘issue’ I have had is over-production. My milk came in within 48 hours of delivery. Braylen was 4oz OVER his birth weight at 8 days old. And now, well now I have over 125 bags of at least 5oz of milk frozen, with only pumping once a day.
  • I had completely stopped bleeding at two weeks. I started again for two days when I went on a long walk, but then immediately stopped once I actually took it easy like the doctors said to do. 🙂 Keep in mind, I also had torn, almost a 4th degree tear…and still stopped that soon.
  • Those first few weeks when almost 80% of women say they experience the baby blues, I felt incredible. I was so in love with this little life we created, and the only overwhelming emotion I felt was joy. Not going to lie, once the sleep deprivation set in around 4-5 weeks, I then got a little emotional..but who wouldn’t when they haven’t slept through the night in over a month. 😉 And even at that, it was only a few days here and there that I got overwhelmed.
  • When friends would come over in those first few weeks and bless us with meals, everyone would say how I totally seemed ‘myself’. And I felt like myself…but with a baby now:)

There are two options for consuming your placenta. I had mine frozen and added it to smoothies for the next two weeks. I love having smoothies every morning, and this was no different. I am not lying when I say that I could not even taste it, at all. I simply made sure to add a lot of raspberries or strawberries to every smoothie. I also put in a packet of acai, spinach, greek yogurt, chia seed, and a little OJ. The smoothies were fantastic! I so wanted Jeremy to try some of mine, just so he would believe me that you couldn’t taste it, but he wouldn’t!

The other option, which is more popular, is having it encapsulated. This method is definitely one that you want to hire professionals to do, as it can be a little labor intensive. I think more people choose this option because it doesn’t seem as gross, as you are just taking ‘pills’. I chose the other option because Shanda was incredible in preparing it, and I believe that not only having it ‘fresh’ is best, but also getting more of it in your system right away is better. When it is encapsulated, you take it over three months. I wanted all of ‘the goods’ as I called it, in me ASAP! Also, having it encapsulated is way more expensive, as the cheapest option in Phoenix that I found was $300.

So there it is. I ate my placenta…and I am SO glad I did. If you are interested in having Shanda prepare yours for you, you can email me and I will put you in contact with her. It truly was such a great blessing for me mentally and physically, and I highly recommend it.

** A little friendly disclaimer: this is just one mama’s personal story. If you’re interested in the idea, talk to your provider and consult with expert sources. **

16 COMMENTS

  1. Gah!! I can’t believe you did that. I am so glad you loved it so much. I thankfully experienced all the same things after giving birth to Camden, without having to eat my placenta. I recovered so fast, was filled with overwhelming joy, and had a huge oversupply of milk that I ended up donating to 3 different babies. I don’t think I will be looking, touching, eating, or anything close to that with my future placenta’s….however i am so happy you had such a great experience with it! 🙂 You are such a great first time Mom!!

    • haha. At first I couldn’t believe I was even thinking about doing it, and then started to warm up to the idea, and then..loved the experience! So happy for you that everything was beautiful!

  2. I truly believe everyone has to make decisions as to what is best for themselves when it comes to pregnancy, giving birth, and being a mommy, but I can honestly say that I had all of the same benefits without eating my placenta…I was overjoyed and blissfully happy being a mommy, didn’t bleed long, had plenty of milk, felt like myself, didn’t have any baby blues, and dropped my baby weight fairly quickly without diet or exercise. In fact, I felt more happy and more like “me” as a mommy than I ever had in my life. Glad you found benefit in this practice but it definitely not for everyone and you can still feel WONDERFUL and SUCCESSFUL without it.

    • Thank you Andrea!I agree totally, whatever works for that individual and family is whats best:) So glad you had a great experience, you were just made to be a mommy then:)

  3. I love you girls for making an intentional decision for your self care. It is a bit much for me. However, I do think that the subject is not talked about enough. I think knowing the possibilities and other cultural practices will open up at least the discussion for other mommas. 🙂 Thank you for being vulnerable.

    • Cate, thank you! And yes, I really wanted to post on this because I feel like people either 1:dont know at all about it as an option 2:are afraid to talk about it and their interest in it. Hope this at least lets some know it is an option if they want it:)

  4. I personally had the same feelings after baby was here w/o placenta eating/drinking. Part of me wonders if my friends who suffered from postpartum depression (I have known a few) would benefit from this with another baby. I just wonder if the research has been done. thanks for sharing.

    • Jenn, so happy for you to have such a great experience! I bet it would help them, but then again I am not a doctor:) Tell them to research it, because there definitely is more and more research being done on it everyday

  5. Thank you for sharing this. With my third I had wanted to encapsulate mine and the expense was more than we could afford. I really regret not just having it prepared like you did because I had a hard time getting back to being myself.

    • Maria, youre welcome! So sorry that you couldn’t get the benefits from it. I know what can solve that problem…just have another one, and do it then;) Hope you are feeling like yourself these days:)

  6. Wonderful of you to share this story! Twenty years ago, when I had my boys, no one mentioned such an option. It took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to feel like myself after each birth. It affected everything in my life, most importantly for me, how long I breast fed. With each baby I nursed for just 3 months & stopped because I felt like a feeding machine. It was such a struggle to overcome post partum blues. The more information and options we have the better off we are. What a gift you’ve shared. Congratulations on Braylen.

  7. I am disgusted and intrigued…..I am having my first baby in march and would love more info on how I can go about getting it prepared in Phoenix . Is this something my doctor will know about and direct me to someone or someone in the hospital? Thanks for sharing.

  8. Sorry, but this is absurd. Only rich, white American women seem to get duped by these ridiculous fads and then boast about it. All the supposed “health benefits” are available through other less pagan means and without the people cashing the checks chuckling about it all. Sorry ladies no one is “afraid to talk about it” (hello…someone blogged about it here and a million other places). The deal is that no one would have even thought of “talking about it” until someone figured out a bunch of First World suburbanite women would think this was some enlightened practice that was blog-brag worthy.

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