Your body does crazy and amazing things during pregnancy. I mean for one thing…you grow an entire human being head to toe, enough said. In addition to that however, your body also grows an entire new organ in the span of nine months; the placenta. Even before I was pregnant, I was always fascinated with the placenta; I mean, it provides everything for your baby the entire time they’re in the womb. It’s really kind of a miracle-like organ.
Let’s break it down: in utero, the placenta provides temperature regulation, waste elimination, nutrients, infection fighting properties, and it also produces hormones. All of these aspects support a healthy and successful pregnancy. So why ditch it after pregnancy? When I decided that I wanted to keep my placenta, my husband was 100% supportive (just like he was when I switched doctors three separate times). Other people seemed confused, but nonetheless supportive. My dad said it was “cannibalism” and didn’t want to be in the same room when I talked about it. I get it; it’s not a conversation for the faint of heart. I was dead set on keeping my placenta, there was no way around it.
After a lot of speculation, and realizing that I wanted the most raw benefits of the placenta, I decided I was going to eat mine as opposed to encapsulating it. Okay, well it’s not not like I pan seared it over medium heat with a little squeeze of lemon; my method was a little different. In addition to this, encapsulating was a relatively intensive process, and I didn’t want to pay $300 for someone to do it for me, nor did I want to take the time to do it myself right after giving birth. Also, I just want to give a HUGE shoutout to my amazing older sister and my best friend for taking on the task of preparing the placenta for me while I stayed in the hospital. My placenta came out, and ten minutes later, my friend was driving it back to the house to store it in the refrigerator. What a champ.
So I’m sure health professionals and certified placenta encapsulation specialists are going to HAMMER me into the ground for this method, but I’m not concerned with that. It worked best for me, and I received all the nutritional benefits of the placenta. Want to know what I did? My sister and my friend made frozen placenta tablets to throw into a smoothie everyday. Seriously these girls are my angels.
Method: (This process is best done in the 24 hour period after giving birth…so it would be great to find some friends and family who are down to help!)
-Midwife (or doctor) examines the placenta at the hospital and gives me the OK.
-My sister and friend then take home to placenta, and wash all the blood and the blood clots off
-They removed the outer membrane from both the fetal side and the maternal side (fetal side = where the umbilical cord is coming out of)
-Cut the cord off and put to the side
-Then they began cutting the placenta into quarter sized pieces, placing them on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.
-Put them in the freezer until they are thoroughly frozen, and then you can throw them in a freezer baggie for easier storage.
That’s it! And everyday I took a few pieces, and added them into my green drink! (See this recipes for the Green Drink minus the placenta under the “Meals” link) You can’t taste anything, and you’re receiving all the benefits of the placenta.
So I keep saying the word “benefits,” and you might want to know what this entails. A few things:
1.) Helps lessens postpartum bleeding
2.) More energy
3.) Staves of the baby blues and postpartum depression
And I SWEAR by this people. Personally, I had a natural birth with my midwife and it resulted in a second degree tear. I had some pretty bad bleeding. I started taking the placenta tablets, and my bleeding lessened exponentially in the next weeks. I was energized (high on emotions as well I’m sure). And the cherry on the cake, I’m almost four months postpartum with not even a touch of depression or the baby blues (and I’m very susceptible to depression issues). I truly believe that this was due to the placenta. How could such a miraculous organ not be amazing for you? Nutrient dense and straight from your own body.
Thoughts, opinions, questions? Leave a comment, send me an e-mail and let’s talk. I think this topic makes for some of the most interesting discussions. If there is enough interest, I’d be more than happy to go into detail about the process of prepping the placenta as well.