You may have heard that some women choose to eat their placenta after giving birth, but you may be wondering why someone would do such a thing. Many women who consume their placenta after giving birth report feeling less tired, more energized, and having more milk production than with previous pregnancies when they didn’t eat the placenta. Plus, there are tons of other health benefits to eating your placenta from improved mood to decreasing the risk of postpartum depression.
Benefits of eating your placenta
Whether you want to eat your placenta, or have someone else make a capsule out of it, there are many health benefits. Not only will consuming your own placenta help keep you from getting postpartum depression, but it can also decrease bleeding, boost milk production and even lower blood pressure. While some women have their capsules made by a professional (for around $150), others can do it at home for about $10.
How can you store and prepare it?
The first thing you need to know is how to store it. Placentas should be stored in a container (cool and dark are best) that can be closed securely and kept refrigerated until use. If there is any odor, transfer it to a new storage container. Once you have stored it, you need to prepare it for consumption.
How much should you take?
A standard recommendation is 1-2 tablespoons a day, but no more than that. You can also use capsules or tinctures instead of eating it. The only time you should use more than 2 tablespoons is if you have had at least 5 pounds of weight gain during pregnancy, or if you are breast feeding and haven’t had any periods since having your baby. These conditions may mean that you need extra iron.
Are there any precautions?
To ensure you don’t harm yourself or your baby, keep in mind that your placenta must be transferred into another person’s custody. If you try to dispose of it yourself, it may cause serious legal issues—so make sure it gets into a professional’s hands as soon as possible. It’s best to get in touch with a doula or midwife who specializes in postpartum care so they can safely handle disposal and storage of your placenta.
Safety concerns about consuming your own placenta
So you’ve heard that it is perfectly safe and beneficial to consume your own placenta, but there are some things you should know before taking it upon yourself. There are many risks involved in consuming a placenta that has not been properly cleaned, stored and prepared. So if you want to experience all of its benefits, talk to your doctor about what they recommend and when it is safe for you.
Tips for keeping clean, no matter what you decide to do
As long as you have a sterile environment and safe tools, it’s pretty easy to prepare and cook or preserve your placenta. You may be able to handle some of these tasks yourself, but keep in mind that different methods require different levels of skill. It might be worth it for you to hire someone else. If you decide not to use professional help, ask around among friends and family members—many people are happy to help out a new mom with such an important task.