Friday, August 19, 2011

Yes, I Ate My Placenta

Warning, some of these pictures are graphic! This is a post about be eating and encapsulating my placenta for the emotional and health benefits. If you are not interested in this topic, just skip this post!

I have gotten several emails this week, asking if I ever ended up eating my placenta.  I wrote a post titled, Gonna Eat My Placenta, but never followed up.

Yes, I did eat my placenta.  I cooked and ate half of it and dehydrated and encapsulated the other half.

Part of the reason that I didn't follow up, is because I had dreams of writing an ebook about it and going into great detail, but the other part of me, was just waiting for the right moment.  I try to write when I feel really moved and inspired to write, but also, I think I was a little scared to announce this to the whole world, so I hope ya'll still stick around after this post!

Like, I mentioned in the first post, I had intentions of planting Penelope's placenta in the ground and planting a tree over it.  But life happened and I never got around to it.  Then I got inspired to eat and encapsulate it.  I asked around to several midwives I know and asked if I would still get all the benefits, after its been frozen for 12 months.  The consensus was yes, so away I went on my adventure.

Here is my placenta still frozen.  Just like the day of Penelope's birth.  I hadn't touched it or looked at it since her birth.  It was in our deep freezer for over 12 months. I doubled bagged, and wrote on the bag with permanent marker: Penelope's Placenta.  Has a nice ring to it, right?

And this is what my placenta looked like thawed and out of the bag.  I got a little creative and rolled the umbilical cord in a spiral, an ancient fertility symbol.

I had the intuition to prepare and cook my placenta on my own. I ate it later, with two other women, but I felt very strongly about preparing it by myself and creating a sacred space.  My husband took my daughter to the park and I had the house to myself for over and hour.  It was a very emotional time for me.  Upon touching my placenta, I was instantly taken back to the moment of birth.  When I held my daughter's umbilical cord in my hand, feeling the pulsations and waiting for it to stop before we clamped and cut.  I instantly started crying and was overwhelmed with emotion.  I felt very connected to my placenta and felt a great amount of gratitude for it, for feeding and nourishing my baby.  I also felt very proud of myself, for not only growing a baby, but growing an entire organ to nourish my baby. 
I remember thinking, hmm, my placenta kinda looks me.  It was thick and strong, it looked pretty healthy, but it looked like it had been through some shit.

I cut it up and sauted in butter.  It cooked up just like other organ meat.  For example, it reminded me of chicken livers.  There was no funky smell.

After I cooked it, I put it a container and later added it to some regular ground beef.  I added taco seasoning, mixed it all up and made myself some Placenta Tacos.

The placenta tasted a bit chewy, but other than that, it tasted just like tacos and was yummy.   There are a ton of different ways to eat placenta.  Just Google placenta recipes and prepare to have your mind blown.

Later, I encapsulated the other half.  Again, just Google placenta encapsulation and a ton of information comes up on how to do it yourself, how to hire someone to do it for you, etc.

I got these capsules from our local natural foods store.  There are contraptions you can buy, so you are not individually filling each one, but I didn't want to spring to buy one. 

After I dehydrated my placenta, I grounded it up in my food processor.  Some people like to crush it by hand with a pestle and mortar, I tried and it didn't work for me.  Then I used a knife and scooped the crushed placenta into the pill.

It took a long ass time. 

It yielded me about 40 pills.  If you encapsulate your entire placenta, the average is about 100 pills.

I read somewhere that if you save some of your placenta pills in the freezer, you can take them during menopause and they will help regulate your hormones and ease the transition.  So I saved about half of a cup in a glass jar, for one day when I am heading on into Crone town.

So why on earth did I do this?

I mainly did it, because I read that it helps fight off PPD.  And I was fighting off PPD, with a stick, every day for the first 18 months of Penelope's life.  I also read that it helps with your energy levels and your milk supply.   Two areas, I could always use a little help in.  I read that it helps restores lost nutrients, that have been lost from your body, during pregnancy, when they are directed to the growing baby.  And what was lost in the blood from childbirth.  If we do have baby number 2, I want to make sure they are not jipped in the nutrients department.  Did you know that first borns are smarter and healthier, because most mothers do not replenish their nutrient stores before getting pregnant again with the next child?

I know eating your placenta is not for everyone, but I highly recommend encapsulating it.  If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to ask me and I will help anyway I can.

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Blogger Tonni said...

So interesting! I heard about this recently, and I'm secretly considering doing it with our next baby! I didn't have PPD or milk issues with my son Felix, but ya never know with the next one! Thanks for sharing!

August 19, 2011 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Laura L said...

Very interesting. As much as I would like to, I just don't think I could eat my placenta. I do like the idea of encapsulating it though. Thank you for sharing your experience!

August 19, 2011 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Lia Dominique Andress said...

you know... i had great hopes for my/our placenta. we had already bought her a tree. we had a special pot. and then things happened on their own. differently then expected. and i never got my/ our placenta. it really is a huge part of us becoming mothers. the tangible form of the experience. the one thing we can look at and thank. i wish i had been able to honor it. look at it. and have a crazy ass story to tell about it.

August 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Cassandra said...

That was one thing I really regret about my birth. I was so susceptible to suggestion and felt rushed by my midwife trying to clean up that I didn't feel I could ask for the things I wanted. One of them was to first touch and look at the placenta, but then also to keep it. Even if I couldn't have processed it at the beginning, I really wish I had frozen it though. Lesson learned.

August 19, 2011 at 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha! Good post. I like the idea of encapsulating it - maybe I'll try that sometime.

And FYI - you didn't gross me out that much. I'll still stick around your blog to see whats up!

Kate from NJ

August 19, 2011 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Brittany @ The Pistachio Project said...

I really wanted to encapsulate my placenta but I couldn't afford to and I knew I wouldn't be able to do it myself (I"m squeamish) Next baby I'm going with a midwife and hopefully I can get her to do it for me.

August 19, 2011 at 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

Thank you for posting about this! I feel like so many people just don't understand the benefits or process of placenta encapsulation/ingestion and you did a wonderful job explaining it. Upon discovering we were expecting, this was one thing I knew I would do postpartum. Now that I'm having a cesarean, I find it even more necessary to aid in PPD, milk supply, energy, and replacing nutrients. Again, thank you. :)

August 20, 2011 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

So glad you all don't think I am nuts!

August 20, 2011 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Jet's Journey said...


You. Are. Awesome.

Enough said.

August 20, 2011 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

You rock!

August 22, 2011 at 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Casey said...

I stumbled across your blog about a week ago while looking for recipes. The way you write about your life and experiences made me peruse through some of your favorite posts and have to admit I read "Gonna Eat My Placenta" with my jaw to the floor. I had never really heard of this before and while I'm pretty liberal in most of my beliefs, I'm also squeamish. I give you props though- to not only do it but then to write about it for the whole world to read. Glad you followed up the story. You walked us through the experience beautifully. You also opened up my mind just a little more. As a new mom (9 months) who fights off PPD with a stick daily as well, I will seriously consider encapsulation. Thanks for being so open.

August 23, 2011 at 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Ameena Falchetto (MummyinProvence) said...

This is absolutely fascinating. I never got to even see my placenta when I had BiP - it was scooped away and taken off in a medical waste bag. When I asked for it they looked at me like I was mad. I guess French women don't look at their placenta.

I'm not sure I'd eat mine in a taco next time round but I do like the idea of the capsules.

Great story.

August 27, 2011 at 2:49 AM  
Blogger Erquiaga Family said...

Please write an e-book! I for one would love to read it :O)

August 27, 2011 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

@Jet's Journey and Maureen...thank you!
@Cassy..thank you! So glad to hear you will at least consider it. There might be a specialist in your area, to do the encapsulation, so you don't have to deal with it all and you can just pop your happy pills!
@Erquiaga Family...maybe one day!

August 28, 2011 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger Krissy said...

Wow. Wow. Wow. Kudos to you. Seriously what an effort to do all that! Not for me but still a great read :)

September 1, 2011 at 10:22 AM  
Anonymous ColleenW said...

Visiting from Code Name Mama: I encapsulated my placenta from my daughter (born:7/23/09) and have had the jar in the frig. It was awesome for postpartum. Excellent milk supply (actually oversupply), excellent energy and mood! Recently started taking them again as I've been having issues with hot flashes, stress, anxiety, and an AWOL menses. Yes, I'm forty but way too early for menopause. After two weeks, I feel better, sleep better, my hot flashes are gone, and I am having cervical mucus...hoping two more weeks sees the beginning of my cycle or a pleasant surprise. I'd recommend placentaphagy for any mother, any time she is run down! Hugs!

September 16, 2011 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said... glad you came over from CNM. I love that site so much. I so wish I had saved more of my capsules and taken them on an as needed basis, instead of every day in a row like I did. I have been really run down the last couple of weeks. I guess I could dip into my menopause stash though....

September 17, 2011 at 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Jon said...

"...first borns are smarter and healthier, because most mothers do not replenish their nutrient stores before getting pregnant again with the next child"
I'd be interested to see where you get your data.

November 12, 2011 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

@Jon...I got that info from the Healthy Home Economist, and she in turn gets her information from the studies Weston A Price did. You can check out either site for more info. ;)

November 12, 2011 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger Momof5 said...

Thank you so much for writing this... I am sitting here with my last baby (2 months old) trying to nurse her to sleep when I start cracking 9 yr old asks me why I am crying(laughing) and I tell him its because I STILL have his brothers placenta in our freezer and he is almost 7!!!! Yes, 7!!
Am I the queen on procastination or what? At this point it has been so long I don't know what to do with it but I do know my kids think I am a weirdi! Which I am!
PS...I nurse in public, thanks!!

November 15, 2011 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Marjorie Shakour said...

Awesome!! :) I fell in love with my placenta as well. Our hospital would not allow me to keep my placenta with my last child. Policy states that it becomes their property after I give birth to it. We illegally stole it. Then, we planted it under a plum tree in honor of our Eleanor. Ironically, I didn't give birth to my baby at the hospital. The midwife had sent me home and told me that I wasn't in labor because I was laughing and talking with her (this was my third pregnancy. I know what labor feels like). I went home cooked supper and put the kids to bed. Then, I settled in front of the computer. Pop! My water broke...and SIX minutes later my baby arrived (no medical help whatsoever). Once the EMTs arrived, I inwardly froze. I felt too awkward to release the placenta and kept the placenta in my body until I reached my quiet hospital room ( we live in a small town, so everyone came to our house after the 911 of thirteen men in all...police car and two ambulances because the first one lacked equipment for the baby). Can you believe they would not let us have MY placenta after all that?

January 4, 2012 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

@Bethany...7 years! That is awesome! What are you gonna do with it? Maybe plant a tree over it?
@Marjorie...that is a crazy story! Thanks for sharing!

January 5, 2012 at 5:19 PM  

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