Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WTF Wednesday: You're Doing WHAT With Your Placenta??

Placenta Encapsulation.

If you've never heard these two words together, then you're just like me... until last night.
Pic Courtesy

I was laying in bed, catching up on my social media accounts, when I saw a question posted to an online forum about where to have placenta encapsulation done.

My brain went here:

Encapsulation... encapsulate... capsule... like a time capsule? Why would someone want to preserve their placenta for a time capsule?

That's a hell of an 18th birthday present. "Happy Birthday, Ginger, here's the placenta that nourished you while you were inside of me. Hang it on the wall of your new college dorm room as a reminder that you are always a part of me." 

No. Not a creepy mom move whatsoever.

I began typing, "What in the hell is placenta encapsulation?" when I realized I could save myself some possible public embarrassment (which is perfectly acceptable on my blog, thank you) by googling it first.

My eyes popped out of my head and my jaw dropped to the floor.

Placenta Encapsulation is the process of taking the placenta, post partum of course, and having it made into pill form so the mother can take it internally.

Before I go any further, yes, a typical Tatted Mom disclaimer is needed:

This post is my opinion on the subject of placenta encapsulation. Prior to March 18th, 2014, I had never even heard the phrase before, nor had I ever come across the process before. This post, while it will contain factual information with links to where you can read more if you'd like, is not a medical post. It is my opinion on a subject that is brand new for me... my snarky, open-minded yet weirded-out opinion.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get to it.

Supposedly, there are benefits of consuming your placenta after your child is born. Placenta consumption:
  • Balances hormones
  • Replenishes iron lost through blood during birth
  • Increases milk production
  • Increases energy levels
According to PlacentaBenefits.Info, however, there really aren't any conclusive, hard core studies to prove any of it, though the milk production benefit was supported by a Russian study once.

Just food for thought, there, if you are trying to figure out whether or not to consume your placenta (pun intended).

Many women swear by it. Consuming the placenta after birth has been done for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine and in many eastern societies.

Apparently the majority of us closed-minded westerners think it's cannibalism.

Me, personally... I couldn't do it. Not even dried up (this doula will baste it in what looks like lemon, ginger and jalapeno for you before drying it and putting it into capsules) and put into capsules, I couldn't do it.

Oh, but it's so natural...

All of the placentophagy (technical term for consuming the placenta) websites say.

It's no different than breastfeeding your child...

The advocates preach.

It's a healthier way to deal with post partum issues...

I've read 1,000 times.

I just can't get over consuming your own placenta, no matter what the benefits supposedly are.

In my mind, it'd be like drying out my menstrual blood each month and swallowing that with my daily multivitamin and omega 3 oil pill to try and replenish the iron I lost.

Barf. Major barf. Not for me. I'll just take an iron supplement, thank you.

This service costs upwards of $200-$400, too. Someone takes your refrigerated placenta, mixes it with herbs and spices (really? For flavor? To make it go down easier? What's the purpose of this?), dries it, and puts it into little veggie capsules for you. No worries, either, because from what I've seen, all of the Placenta Encapsulators I found on the internet say they adhere to OSHA regulations.

I seriously want to see the section on Preparing Human Placenta for Human Consumption in the OSHA guideline book.

I applaud all of the women who had the strength to encapsulate their placenta and take a placenta pill every morning with their cup of coffee. You ladies are WAY stronger than I could ever be, and I've taken crazy ass herbal supplements and teas to try and lose weight, elevate my mood, give me energy and chill me the hell out. Not one of them contained part of my body that otherwise would be disposed of in a bag marked medical waste, though.

To all of the ladies who had amazing results consuming their placentas after birth, I'm very happy for you. If you reaped the benefits that medical science can't exactly pinpoint and prove, then that's all that really matters. It makes me smile that you opened your mind to a different way of doing something, of healing yourself naturally, and of taking care of yourself in the face of skeptics like me.

I'll do yoga and pilates every day, take St.John's Wort if I'm feeling a little blue, go to a chiropractor or massage therapist to help with my back pain, breathe in lavender oil if I'm feeling stressed, drink a tea with catnip in it to give me the giggles, meditate, align my chakras, and treat spots on my face with tea tree oil, all in the name of homeopathic and natural living...

But I could never see myself consuming my own placenta after birth.

Or acupuncture. I hate needles.

Placenta Encapsulation: Definitely my biggest WTF moment of the week.

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  1. Just a question because I've not heard of humans consuming it, but catnip tea? I've always wondered what it would to do humans because it makes my cats so silly. :) And yes, out of alllll you've just written about cat nip tea is what I decide to talk about. :)

  2. LMAO!! Yes, in some humans (maybe it's just the cat-loving ones) catnip just relaxes you and makes you giggle. My favorite herbal tea blend is catnip, damiana, mugwort, rose and lavender. Add a little honey, and you'll be giggling for a whlie. ;)