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Eating Your Placenta – A New Pregnancy Trend?

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

PlacentaThere’s a new pregnancy trend gaining attention, but we have a feeling it’s not for everyone. According to New York magazine, more and more women are taking home their placenta from the hospital after giving birth and then eating it. Yes, eating it. The article, “The Placenta Cookbook,” focuses on a woman who is a professional placenta-preparer and mothers who have eaten their placentas.

Why would you want to eat this organ? Advocates for eating placentas claim the organ that once connected you and your developing baby can help produce milk for breastfeeding, ward off postpartum depression and increase a new mother’s strength if consumed. But all that has been scientifically proven is that the placenta has high levels of iron, vitamin B-12, and certain hormones. Some women have even had difficulty getting permission from the hospital to take the placenta home with them, after all hospitals consider them to be biohazardous waste.

While most mammals eat their placenta after giving birth, it has never been widely popular with women. However, placenta encapsulation services seem to be growing, albeit slowly, in popularity. These services dehydrate the placenta, grind it up, and create capsules out of them so women can swallow it in pill form. Though other women still go the more extreme route. Alexa Beckham, owner of Ruby Tree Birth, an encapsulation service told New York about her placenta eating experience. “After I gave birth, I threw a chunk of placenta in the Vitamix with coconut water and a banana,” she adds. “It gave me the wildest rush. You know the feeling of drinking green juice on an empty stomach? It’s like that, but much more intense. It was definitely physical.”

Is it only a matter of time before women celebrate leaving the hospital with a meal of placenta? Or will placenta eating always be limited to a small minority? Tell us what you think!

Image via Flickr

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