There are a lot of folks with really strong feelings about the idea of placentophagy, or the consumption of the placenta in any form, but what it really comes down to is how do you feel about it?
Placentophagy is widely seen in the animal kingdom and is far from a new idea for humans. The placenta is a powerhouse organ that literally grew an entire human being, after all. You can consume it cubed and raw, encapsulated, blended into a smoothie, made into a tincture, and even added to a meal. There are a ton of reported benefits but also some risks as well, so if this is something you’ve been considering, read on!
These reported benefits were listed in this article on human maternal placentophagy after a survey of 189 women was conducted. These are just a few of the boosts these women felt:
Increased energy and decreased fatigue
Alleviated postpartum bleeding
Facilitated bonding with the newborn
Accelerated postpartum weight loss
Replenishment and regulation of hormones
Improved quality of sleep
That’s a pretty incredible list! Of all these women, the most commonly reported negative was “unpleasant taste/smell”, which I would say is pretty mild compared to the possible benefits.
I know many people worry about the safety of consuming the placenta but as long as it’s being handled appropriately and is prepared the correct way by a certified placenta specialist, the risks are very low. I personally studied with Brilliant Birth Academy and in addition to learning placenta-specific modules I was also required to take a food safety course and a biohazard training. The safety of the new parent is something I take extremely seriously and I am careful to maintain a clean and sanitized workspace while adhering to the preparation standards of safety. For my placenta clients I also provide a cooler and detailed instructions, as well as prompt pickup and preparation to lower the chances of spoilage.
In short, consuming the placenta in whatever form you prefer offers an opportunity to receive a lot of benefit for very low risk. As a certified placenta specialist I will do my part to bring you postpartum wellness but I want you to remember – you did this. You grew this amazing organ that nourished your baby and can now nourish you as well. You are amazing.