Gaby Hoffmann Ate Her Placenta -- Should You?
Not in one felled swoop, mind you. The Girls actress, who gave birth to daughter Rosemary at home back in November, had her doula and midwife slice up the birth organ into 20 pieces and freeze them. Every day for three weeks, she'd pluck a nugget out of the freezer, toss it into a blender, and make a smoothie. "I put it in a blender with strawberries and blueberries and guava juice and a banana, and I drank that s— up," she told People. (For the record, she swears you don't taste a thing.)
If the thought of nibbling on something that came out of your own body grosses you out, you're not alone. But placentophagy, or eating your placenta, is attracting some high-profile fans. Hoffmann is the latest famous mom who has scarfed down her birth organ in hopes of warding off postpartum depression and jump starting her energy and milk supply. January Jones, Alicia Silverstone and Tamera Mowry ate theirs -- and sang its praises afterward. Kim Kardashian even reportedly contemplated it. Though Hoffmann opted to eat hers raw, many women prefer send their placenta off to be dried, ground up, and turned into easy-to-swallow pill form. Even in a nice and tidy package, placentophagy has drawn its share of criticism, especially from the medical community. Doctors warn that there's no hard evidence supporting claims of improved mood, energy, or milk supply.
Moreover, they caution that eating the placenta could be harmful to a mom's health. Yes, you get some nutrients, but you could also end up ingesting the bacteria and viruses the organ trapped in utero, plus any hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), reports Today.com. Still, the red flags may not be enough to deter new mamas from giving it a shot. After all, those first weeks after giving birth can be rough, especially if you're dealing with postpartum depression or supply issues. It can be enough to make even the most squeamish moms willing to try something -- anything -- to help them feel like their old selves again. Even if it means eating their own placenta.
Tell us: Would you consider placentophagy?
Image of Gaby Hoffmann courtesy of Shutterstock