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Thread: Eating the placenta....why?

  1. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by dachlostar View Post
    I met a chef at a party once who had been asked to prepare a meal with placenta for her friend who had just given birth and her husband.
    She said it reminded her a bit of liver so she prepared it a bit like a liver dish - sauted it very lightly with a few other ingedients for flavour.
    I wish I'd asked her how it tasted but I was too busy getting over the mental image of sitting down to lightly sauted placenta.
    TBH I wouldn't eat it but I do regret not burying mine. It was something that just slipped my mind at the time (both times) and I never put it in a birth plan.
    What an occupational hazard - chefs have to taste all of their creations, don't they!


  2. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by rosehannah View Post
    Do public hospitals allow the placenta to go home? I always forgot to ask.
    The public hospital that I am going to does, so I can't see why any others wouldn't. Perhaps if the regulations regarding disposal of biological material differ between states or councils this might mean that some areas allow it and others don't.

    When I had my antenatal classes someone donated their placenta for the class to look at - a lot of the class were pretty grossed out but I found it fascinating. (Though I still don't think I'd want to eat mine for dinner!).

  3. #21

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    Placenta sandwich anyone? Eeeeuuuwww.

    I poked mine after James was born and then the novelty was gone...I just wanted to see what it looked like...just likena big hunk of liver but a very important hunk of matter!!!

  4. #22

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    most hospitals and birth centres will permit you to take home your placenta...you just have to sign a form that basically indicates that you will dispose of it appropriately

    and...mmm...if you cook the placenta it removes any nutritional benefit...it is supposed to be eaten raw...tiny tit bits

    xx yogababy

  5. #23

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    I couldn't stand to even look at mine, I found it a bit grose, and I would never eat it, however in saying all that I can understand why some do eat it. If you consider there was a time when as homo sapians (sp) we didn't know where our next meal would come from, and you had to eat to feed your new born, and there was this perfectly good hunk of meat with heaps of nutrients. Waste not want not.

  6. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by yogababy View Post

    and...mmm...if you cook the placenta it removes any nutritional benefit...it is supposed to be eaten raw...tiny tit bits
    I'm not sure that anyone can tell people how they're supposed to eat thier placenta - surely it's a personal choice. There may be non-nutritive reasons that some women want to eat placenta.
    I doubt that cooking it removes any nutritional benefit - it might remove some but iron isn't removed by cooking nor is calcium and mot of the protien would remain after cooking too. Hormones could quite possibly be destroyed by heating. Some vitamins will degrade when cooked like vitamin C but others don't like lots of the B group.

  7. #25

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    apologies dachlostar...I was simply refering to midwifery lore - where it is believed to have a positive affect on the mother and reducing postnatal depression

    ...but it is mostly the hormones in the placenta that helps (if the reason for eating it is for the benefits), encouraging the restoration of the physical and pyschological body for the new mother

    xx yogababy

  8. #26
    paradise lost Guest

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    During labour the placenta makes hormones which encourage oxytocin production in the mother (this is how baby controls the speed and force and timing of contractions). Taking a bite of raw placenta immediately after birth can help stop a bleed for this reason - the hormones make the uterus contract harder, even if injested, which slows the bleed. It is a useful emergency measure and in one (very small) study which i have read about but now cannot find online, as effective as an injection of pitocin of the sort given to manage the 3rd stage.

    You can also eat it for the iron and vitamins it contains which is one of the reasons some animals do it. Animals also eat the afterbirth because they are keen to hide the fact that they have a brand new baby from any local carnivores.

    I don't fancy it much but i'd have done it for PPH while waiting for the ambulance. Anything is worth a go in that emergency.

    Bec

  9. #27

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    Hey Bec

    The placenta contains high levels of prostaglandin which stimulates involution (an inward curvature or penetration, or, a shrinking or return to a former size) of the uterus, in effect cleaning the uterus out. The placenta also contains small amounts of oxytocin which eases birth stress and causes the smooth muscles around the mammary cells to contract and eject milk.

    The most general benefit of placentophagy, according to recent research, is that placenta and amniotic fluid contain a molecule (POEF, Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor) that modifies the activity of endogenous opioids in such a way that produces an enhancement of the natural reduction in pain that occurs shortly before and during delivery
    and too much to post here, but this is really interesting...talks about different cultures and placentas


    xx yogababy
    Last edited by Phteven; November 9th, 2007 at 07:25 AM. Reason: links - please read forum guidelines

  10. #28
    rolymogs Guest

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    ........
    Last edited by rolymogs; March 20th, 2008 at 10:21 AM.

  11. #29

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    In Hawaii hospitals give it to patients routinely, if you don't want it you have to tell them.
    It's interesting that your FIL's wife's culture has a lying in period of 40 days because in Islam too a woman's babymoon is 40 days.
    In my DH's culture they don't leave the house for 40 days but that's bit extreme for me - I'd go stir crazy.

    I came across the traditional Chinese method for drying it while I was googling placenta eating.

  12. #30
    rolymogs Guest

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    .....
    Last edited by rolymogs; March 20th, 2008 at 01:26 PM.

  13. #31

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    This is not meant to offend anyone so please don't take offense.
    Everytime i read the name of this thread it makes me feel so ill. Maybe its just the m/s not sure.:ms:

    With my last son my trainee midwife showed us how the placenta works inside it and everything it was really interesting and a great experience but there is no way i would even consider eating the thing.

    Nikki

  14. #32

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    What is Placentophagia?
    Placentophagia (or placentaphagia) is the practice of consuming the placenta. Many mammals naturally eat the placenta soon after birth and it is also practiced in some traditional cultures. Preparations vary, including eating raw slivers, recipes such as lasagne, soups, stews etc., or medicinal pills and concoctions. The placenta can be eaten by the mother and/or saved for the child (after introduction of solids). The most beneficial times for the mother are shortly after childbirth or during times of tiredness or energy deficiency. For the child perhaps at times of energy deficiency or perhaps consider before the 7 & 8 year cycles of growth (7, 14 etc for girls, 8, 16 etc. for boys).

    Why Eat Placenta?
    There are many benefits to eating placenta and although it is not well documented in Western society, it is has been used as a medicine in China for many years. In fact, the placenta is quite sought after, being included in pharmacological preparations to treat infertility, chronic fatigue syndrome and a variety of other diseases. Placenta is bought from young, healthy women then tested and treated accordingly. Why let this valuable organ go to waste?

    Benefits of Placenta Pills
    Augments Qi (energy) and Xue (Blood) and therefore tonifies Yang, Yin and Jing (Vital Essence).

    Brief Explanation:
    All foods have properties that can benefit the body, depending on the body type and other factors. Placenta is considered to be a very powerful medicine as it is life giving and stores the vital essence for the baby. Placenta is often included in traditional medicinal combinations with restorative functions.
    Generally we cannot directly tonify the vital essence as it is over a process of years that this is built up. Firstly there is the Qi that comes from what we consume. Some of this Qi is then turned into Xue (Blood) after digestion and stored in the Liver. If the body is producing enough Blood (via good health practices) it is then transported from the Liver to the Kidneys and Marrow (in TCM the Kidneys control the Bone Marrow) and becomes Jing. There are two types of Jing: pre-natal and post-natal. Pre-natal Jing is the reason why pre-natal care is so important for future health. It comes from the sperm and ova during conception and cannot be replenished. Post-natal Jing can be replenished but it takes many years. Pregnancy is taxing on the body and can drain Qi, Xue and Jing (in that order) even if the mother follows the best of health regimes.

    More specifically, placenta pills may help to:
    Increase general energy
    Allow a quicker return to health after birth
    Increase production of breast milk
    Decrease likelihood of baby blues and post natal depression
    Decrease likelihood of iron deficiency
    Decrease likelihood of insomnia or sleep disorders

    The body is so individual and because of the powerful nature of this medicine other benefits are also likely but too numerous to mention.
    This practice is particularly beneficial to vegetarian mothers and those prone to post natal depression.

    Other Considerations
    Placentophagia can not be practiced after a lotus birth (allowing the placenta and umbilical cord to detach naturally) as the placenta needs to be treated during the lotus birth process and is no longer able to be consumed. Other traditions can still be practised, such as creating placenta art and the left over membranes can be buried. If one wishes to make an umbilical cord bracelet (or some other use) this can be removed before cooking and dried accordingly. It is best to check with your midwife or health care professional to be sure that your placenta is healthy and able to be eaten. It may be best to just ask if it is healthy, depending on your relationship with your caregiver.


    Placenta Pills Recipe
    Ingredients:
    One fresh/defrosted human placenta
    Ginger slices
    Half a lemon
    One red chilli (hot pepper)
    Empty vegetable based capsules
    First wash the blood away from the placenta and place in a steamer. Cut up the other fresh ingredients and place on the top.

    Next steam over a low heat with the other fresh ingredients for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.

    ***** with a fork to be sure that no blood or fluid comes out to check if it is done. The placenta will shrink during this process.

    Slice the placenta as thinly as possible and place on a baking tray.

    Dry in a low-temp oven or use a dehydrator. Then powder or just break it up and put it into the empty capsules.

    Store in a dark container at room temperature.

    TCM Principles
    Properties
    Flavour is sweet and salty. Nature is warm and moist.

    Functions
    Augments Qi (energy) and Xue (blood) and therefore tonifies Yang, Yin and Jing (vital essence). Placenta is often included in traditional medicinal combinations with restorative functions. Mainly used after childbirth but also can be used after high stress or an extremely draining experience.

    Benefits
    By augmenting the production of Qi (vital energy) and Xue (blood) this allows for increased energy, increased breastmilk and less risk of Xue Xu (blood deficiency) which can cause depression. It can be used preventively. In combination with other herbs placentas have been used to treat infertility and cancer. When consumed directly after childbirth it helps to contract the uterus.
    Last edited by lil_chookie; November 9th, 2007 at 02:32 PM.

  15. #33
    LivvyLouLou Guest

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    I had a small part of my placenta taken by my midwife and made into a homeopathic remedy. I used to take it in the first few months after my daughter was born if I was feeling down.

  16. #34

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    Did it work Livvy?

  17. #35

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    The placenta is rich in a mineral - i can't remember what right now - that mother and baby become deficient in during pregnancy. Eating the placenta cures this right away because the placenta is rich in this particular mineral (or it could be a vitamin, i just damn well can't remember right now!)

  18. #36

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    My client from my first birth asked the hospital if she could take her placenta home and they agreed.

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