8 mothers reveal what it was like to actually eat their own placenta
Of all the crazy beauty and health care treatments out there, eating your own placenta has got to be one of the most stomach-churning. After a quick Google search to learn exactly what it was (be warned: gross picture alert), I learned that placenta is a disposable organ that nourishes the unborn fetus through the umbilical cord during pregnancy. The thought of chowing down on the bloody, slimy sack that comes out after a baby is born had me positively squirming, but apparently a lot of mothers choose to do it.
Although there is limited research on the matter and most reported benefits are purely anecdotal, eating your placenta is supposed to help during the post-partum recovery period. Extremely nutrient-dense, consuming the organ is said to fend off post-partum depression, reduce pain and bleeding after birth and increase breast milk production.
According to the tales of various mothers, the benefits are there and potent. Even Alicia Silverstone – an outspoken advocate for veganism – ingested her own placenta, and said it was great after giving birth to her son. So could it really be true? Or is it all a placenta placebo? Well, no-one can say for sure, but these eight mothers were willing to try it. They took to Reddit to describe how they prepared it, what it tasted like, and how they felt afterwards.
1. This person cooked it like a steak
"A mix of steak and liver. but it didn't turn to mush in your mouth like liver.
"And I cooked it with butter, onions, garlic, salt, pepper and I poured a little bit of beer (I cook with beer a lot) bitter IPA's are awesome to cook with. It was my first time eating it so I didn't want to get too crazy. but it looked like a piece of meat so I treated it like one."
2. Placenta burps... HELL NO
"Got back lots of pills, and I think about 9 pieces. Everything went in the freezer. With the chunks I would add one to a fruit smoothie. It went in frozen and after blended it would be barely distinguishable in taste or texture from anything else in the smoothie (banana, strawberry). I found on the days I had a placenta smoothie I had a lot more energy. I took the pills irregularly for a couple of months.
"Only nasty side effect of the smoothies/pills was what I called the placenta burps. Pretty yucky. The stated benefits of consuming your placenta are higher milk production and being less affected by postpartum depression - both things important to me so I figured it was worth a shot. TL;DR I consumed my placenta, would do again. Placenta burps."
3. People claim there are a host of benefits
"I'm currently eating mine. I had mine encapsulated as well. I'll be super honest, even the thought of ingesting a capsule full of my innards grossed me out to a certain degree. I could never toss it in a smoothie, make a peppered jerky or any other food related items.
"Pill form made the whole idea 'easier to swallow' so to speak. I chose to do this because the benefits made my decision a no brainer. Placenta is rich in hormones, vitamins, hemoglobin, and proteins. Ingesting your own placenta can help prevent postpartum depression, improve breast milk supply, boost postpartum energy levels, decrease postpartum bleeding, and may prevent iron deficiency anemia. The placenta pills also can be kept in the freezer for menopause benefits as well.
"I notice a boost of energy and a lift in my spirits when I take mine. I'd much rather eat something my body made and hosted my child then some prescription medicine. Mammals eat their placenta after giving birth, you have to wonder why?"
4. I don't even want to imagine the smell...
"One of my mom's friends gave birth to her first child while my mom was doula-ing and there was this other doula there who convinced the lady to try her placenta. Mom's friend agreed and they scrambled it up with some eggs (totally yuck right?) and then she ate it. She didn't eat all of it, but just the thought of it makes me wretch. My mom said it smelled really f*cking terrible."
5. Sounds like placenta might technically be a superfood
"It's extremely nutritionally dense. My mom dried it and ground it up. She claimed a teaspoonful, thrown into juice or a smoothie, would perk her up when she was exhausted from nursing or general infant care. It was basically energy powder."
6. This person was fond of the taste
"Sort of gamey. Kinda like venison."
And two more celebrities who ate it had something positive to share too:
7. Kourtney Kardashian was a big fan of her placenta pills
"Yummy...PLACENTA pills! No joke...I will be sad when my placenta pills run out. They are life changing! #benefits #lookitup"
8. And so was Mayim Bialik, who explained the benefits in a blog post
"Human beings are the only mammals that have chosen to not routinely ingest their placenta, which is consumed by every other mammal for its protein and iron-rich properties that are critical in helping the mother's body recuperate after giving birth. End of story."
Well, would you be willing to give it a go?