Sunday, September 6, 2009

Writing From the Dark Side: Further Adventures in Placentophagy

Well, my friends.... I can now say that four-year-old rhubarb is no longer the most interesting thing in my freezer! LOL

(I just can't get rid of that rhubarb... We've been through so much together! *Sob*)

So... Placentophagy! I am now writing from "the other side," and what can I say? I'm a believer!!! This stuff rocks!!

(I'll pause to let some of you get a bit of preliminary gagging out before continuing.)

You can also see my previous post on placentophagy (consumption of the placenta) here if you need to catch up on our history.

SO... My plans were to do both immediate consumption and encapsulation (dried), and I have indeed done both. Here's my story (with recipes!!):

After the birth (story forthcoming), a friend made a "placenta smoothie" for me - all the usual ingredients (berries, orange juice, yogurt, banana) plus a good-sized piece of placenta. It was great - I couldn't taste a thing. The next day when I went back and made one for myself it was a bit harder, but still... very unobjectionable.

Here's an interesting note: After the birth, I was quite tired (wonder why!) and also was immediately hit with my usual afterpain problem that has with both births made the immediate postpartum rather miserable and has prevented immediate breastfeeding due to the pain. However, after the smoothie, I felt a lot better! The afterpains continued, but they have receded with much greater rapidity than last time (last time they were here for at least 6 weeks; this time it's already down to a few bad hours a day).

Additionally, my energy is great (barring that lost due to sleep deprivation!) and I have no signs of baby blues of any kind. Hurray!!

The next day, a friend showed me the procedure for placenta encapsulation, which I will write down below, and I've been taking it ever since.

(My in-laws were over while we were pounding the placenta - they asked my husband what we were doing, and he said "I really don't think you want to know" - no more questions were forthcoming. If they weren't convinced of my insanity for planning a homebirth, they most certainly are now.....)

I actually have a harder time with the smell of dried placenta than I did with the fresh - odd, but true! I made one smoothie with a bit of dried placenta, and that was my last. :)

My one regret? That I let my first placenta go the way of all good biowaste - which it certainly was NOT!!! I am so grieved that I simply discarded it when it had so much great potential.

However, I know this isn't for everyone.... Normally I wouldn't be doing something like this myself, being that I have one of the weakest stomachs in three states. But for some reason, when I read about this I thought, "Okay, makes sense; let's do it." I'm not really planning on any more kidlets, but if I were to have a birth again, placentophagy would be part of it!

I don't know how much open talking I'll be doing about this (potlucks? family dinners? church fellowship?), but I've definitely added one more thing to the list of "things to talk about that create awkward pauses and abrupt topic changes".... first homebirth, then longterm breastfeeding, then having our son at our birth.... and now placenta consumption! I'm definitely treading on dangerous ground. :)

Placenta Smoothie:

- All your normal smoothie ingredients: Banana, Frozen Berries, Orange Juice, Yogurt, Etc.
- One good-sized piece of fresh placenta (1-3 ounces?? Just guessing... not sure), not including cord or membranes (have someone take the meat off of the placenta for you).

Blend and enjoy! But frankly, have someone else do this for you if you can. :)

Encapsulated Placenta:

- One Placenta
- Knife, Dehydrator, Blender

Remove (again, have someone do it for you if you can) meat from placenta with a sharp knife; discard cord and membranes or save for planting under a tree. It will be easier if the placenta has been placed in the freezer for a couple of hours prior to cutting up.

Place in between paper towels or a clean chux pad and pound lightly with a meat hammer (this reduces the time for drying; not completely necessary.)

Place pieces in dehydrator - let dry for 12-18 hours. Turn if necessary. Done when completely dry and feather-light. Do outside if at all possible due to the smell.

Pulverize in blender - will take a few minutes.

Encapsulate in empty gelatin capsules (buy at a health food store) - use an encapsulator (sp.?) or do by hand with a spoon.



  1. You brave soul, you! I was wondering just last night if it was you who was going to try this (as I had forgotten who was talking about it).

  2. Glad to have a first-person account of placentaphagy. I'm not sorry I let my two placentas go without eating them, but then, I didn't have any real problems. Maybe next time (if there is a next time), I'll try it, just to see if there is any benefits for someone who didn't have baby blues or bad afterbirth pains. Maybe. I've still got these mental hurdles... :-)

    But, I know an easier way than a spoon to get powder into capsules, which I learned when I worked in the pharmacy -- we occasionally had to compound stuff and put it into capsules. No placentas, but the idea is the same. :-) Anyway, you pour your powder onto a plate or piece of waxed paper or some other flat and clean surface, open your capsule, and tap-tap-tap-tap-tap the powder until it fills up. You might think it would fall out, but you're actually tightly packing it into the capsule, so it's not loose at all. It seems like it would be easier than a spoon.


    P.s. Still waiting patiently for the birth story. Write when you have time! :-)


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