Eating the placenta????

Katherine - posted on 05/17/2011 ( 48 moms have responded )

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The placenta may be a magical organ that nourishes your baby, but in some cultures (especially those in the exotic locations of "Berkeley" and "Brooklyn"), moms get in on that action too. It's not uncommon that after delivering the placenta, a mom will take home the organ and consume it whether by frying it up or having it processed into capsules. Some people say it helps with postpartum depression, and the boost of iron can help with milk production.



Then some other people decide to turn the placenta into an "adventure food" and serve it up at parties. That's where I'm going to draw the line. And maybe you should too.



A food adventure club in San Francisco decided that placenta should be on the menu at their next meeting (although some members sat this one out) and procured a fresh placenta from a new mom. The group leader then prepped it like a kabob and wrapped it in bacon alongside water chestnuts for the group to try. Some said it tasted like bacon (well, duh) and was chewy.



I really want to say to each his own, and I will, but I'm gagging as I'm acting like I'm totally open-minded about this business. Listen, whatever you want to do with your own placenta is your business. The ladies at Kveller (where I found this crazy story) talk about the tradition of burying the placenta in the backyard and planting a tree. That's cool. But handing it over to "adventure" eaters crosses a line. Maybe even a line into cannibalism.



According to John Gosling, anatomy professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, placenta "is part of the infant, no question. Yes, it's discarded after birth," he says, "but it's still human."



Not everyone agrees, but I kind of do. It is an organ, after all. One of those organs that you expel from your body after birth, but an organ nonetheless. Just like I wouldn't eat ice cream made from another woman's breast milk, I'm not touching anyone else's placenta with a 10-foot pole. My placenta (and my breast milk) are for my baby. If someone was in need -- talking breast milk here, now, not placenta -- I would share. But I'm not giving out my bodily fluids and/or organs for a group of curious adults. Let them make their own placenta, if they want one so bad. GAH.



Would you let someone else eat your placenta?



http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/120374/n...

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Jenn - posted on 05/18/2011

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No Laura, blood is not flesh. Flesh is muscle, skin, organs, etc. Blood drinking is called hematophagy.

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[deleted account]

I think that animals also instinctively eat their placenta and any remnants of the birth so that predators aren't attracted by the scent of fresh blood. They're protecting their newborns.

Jane - posted on 05/19/2011

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Animals eat the placenta as a matter of survival. A lot of resources went into the making of it, resources that might be hard to replace if you are living out in the wild. These resources nourished the young while they were in the womb, and can be recycled to nourish the newborn pups after birth.

However, we humans, at least in most Western countries, have plenty of access to food and vitamins, so we don't need to eat the placenta. So typically, we don't. Perhaps in bare-subsistence cultures it would make sense, but not here.

As to handing it over to somebody else to eat, yuck! That is gross and would be like giving folks your menstrual blood (which actually contains the beginning of a placenta that is discarded each month you are not pregnant) or eating your own poop or fingernail clippings.

No, I would not allow it. Ya wanna eat placenta, try for cow or pig. Leave us out of it.

User - posted on 05/19/2011

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ok, not trying to offend anyone here .. but my gag reflex kicked in reading the first couple of lines... no. would not eat my placenta, play with my placenta, look at my placenta... it has a bit of a cannibalistic flare to it for my comfort level..and I dont care how much bacon you wrap it in.... you can put lipstick on a pig, its still a pig...Pass.

Joanna - posted on 05/18/2011

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I was going to encapsulate my placenta, in fact I had it all lined up for a local doula to come get it and encapsulate it for me. Unfortunately my fear of post-partum depression (I had it badly with my first) got the best of me and I decided to just go straight for the Paxil after birth instead, so I didn't get it done. Funny enough, I didn't experience PPD with this one so I didn't need either.

But other people using my placenta? Seems pretty weird. It's something that you grew in your own body, so personally I think it's something that is for you and you alone.

Candice - posted on 05/18/2011

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I would donate for burn victims, or eat it myself. It's a waste for folks to eat for fun and not have a mom or someone else actually benefit from placenta goodness.

Christina - posted on 05/18/2011

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Go watch youtube. Some of the hippie moms on there who birth their children in a pool while surrounded by about 20 other people who they know will eat parts of their placenta.



However, sorry, not for me! I read some of this last night and told my husband about it. He freaked out. I told him, "Sorry, I couldn't do it. I would bleed to death,"

Katherine - posted on 05/18/2011

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I too think it's gross but the Inuit ate the placenta AND rotting fish!!!

Sal - posted on 05/18/2011

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oh i have heard the tree planting thing and not my thing but hell why not, i have also seen where people want it to fall off at its own accord so bring it home still attatched to bub...and again no, no no no, that is just gross

Sal - posted on 05/18/2011

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no no no no no no no no......go buy a freaking sausage, there is enough adventure in that.......that is just foul (or actually not even a little bit fowl, which would be fine) i can;t imagine why people would do it, I know after 3 kiddies i should have a lovely freezer full of nutitious placenta but i am wastful and just throw it away.....

[deleted account]

I think it's wretched and nasty. I can't think of any society where this is normal behavior. I know people like to think they're all n atural and organic but this is pushing the limit.

[deleted account]

Some people have too much bloody time on their hands. Go serve some homeless in a soup kitchen and stop eating adventure placentas.

Stifler's - posted on 05/18/2011

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Yeah who cares, if they really want to. As long as I don't have to eat it. My dad planted my brother's under a tree, they never even asked if I wanted the placenta they just told me it was whole which was good and I'd be right.

[deleted account]

Short answer for me- no. But like you, it's making me gag a little. I happily give blood, am considering bone marrow donation and will be an organ donor when i shuffle off this mortal coil but to me at least, that's a different set of circumstances. It's not NECESSARY to eat placenta but arguably, the other issues I mentioned are either life-svaing or necesssary for full health.

Merry - posted on 05/17/2011

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Blood isn't considered flesh? Is flesh just the muscle then.....gotta love my brain right now, it's like on slow motion.

JuLeah - posted on 05/17/2011

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Humm ... well, I thought I was liberal, but you, Katherine just helped me to feel consertivate - it's a new feeling. Can't say I'd be down with that .... after some thought, after searching my soul, I say, not down with that.

[deleted account]

Only if was going to keep me from dying other than that i don't f-ing think so. and eww gross to the one that would want to eat another's. If someone wants to eat their's i don't want to even know about it.

Minnie - posted on 05/17/2011

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Ah, well, the reason I say it's -not- non-vegetarian is because solely herbivorous mammals consume their placentas.



So perhaps I should have said it is still herbivorous to eat one's placenta, assuming vegetarianism is an ethical or moral choice that a person makes to not eat any flesh?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/17/2011

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Laura that would not qualify as cannibalism

Definition of CANNIBALISM
1
: the usually ritualistic eating of human flesh by a human being
2
: the eating of the flesh of an animal by another animal of the same kind
3
: an act of cannibalizing something

Merry - posted on 05/17/2011

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Call me a cannibal I guess cuz I've been known to suck on an open would and *gasp* drink my own blood!
Heehee. I don't eat scabs tho, that's gross :)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/17/2011

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I definitely think it would be non vegetarian...and borderline cannibalism. Like that guy that cut off his finger and sauteed it...that was cannibalism..I think this would be too. I wouldn't eat a placenta from a cow either...same diff to me.

Minnie - posted on 05/17/2011

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But I'm not so sure it's cannibalism, and I wouldn't consider it non-vegetarian either, but that's my personal take on it.

Minnie - posted on 05/17/2011

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Like Erin, I would consider biting off a chunk if I was hemmorhaging. I'm not one to roast it or put it in a smoothie though ;).

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/17/2011

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No, I mean Lisa, she said "I wouldn't let someone else eat my placenta. I grew it, and it's mine!"

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/17/2011

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So Lisa, are you saying that you would eat your own?? Or have you?????

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/17/2011

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Yeah, I am good. If I ate it, I don't think I could call myself a vegetarian any more!

Ez - posted on 05/17/2011

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I am keen on encapsulation. Anything that can prevent the severe anemia (and transfusion, which still didn't solve my supply issues) is a good thing for me. As for eating it, the only way I would do that is if I was haemorraghing in a homebirth and the Pitocin didn't work (homebirth midwives here carry it). In that case, while waiting for an ambulance, you better believe I would bite off a chunk. But cooking it up or putting it in a smoothie? Ummm, no. And HELL NO to serving it up to someone else lol.

Kelsi - posted on 05/17/2011

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honestly, I think that is freaking disgusting. I've heard of people planting it under a tree, which, not something I would do, but doesn't bother me at all. Eating it seems cannibalistic and really gross.

Merry - posted on 05/17/2011

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Fiernas went in the trash I think, I have no backyard to plant a tree, and even if I did idk if I'd really care to. Eat it? No. Give it to someone else to eat? Probably not unless I'm getting some big money :)

Minnie - posted on 05/17/2011

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I wouldn't let someone else eat my placenta. I grew it, and it's mine!

Bonnie - posted on 05/17/2011

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From what I know, you plant a tree with the placenta in the ground in honour of the child. Why you don't just plant a tree without the placenta, i'm not sure. I'm pretty sure people plant trees in honour of people without the placenta, but it's just an added touch.

Katherine - posted on 05/17/2011

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Stupid question: What is the benefit of planting them under a tree?

Mary - posted on 05/17/2011

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I cannot come up with one person in this world whose placenta I would want to eat, or who would be interested in consuming mine....for which I am grateful.

Bonnie - posted on 05/17/2011

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No, I would never eat my placenta or someone elses and I would never have someone eat mine. I know there are places in the world where it is normal, but that's just disgusting. We did give the placentas from our boys births and planted them under trees, but that's about it.

Bondlets - posted on 05/17/2011

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Oh good grief...I thought I could make it one day without feeling sick...so much for that.

Encapsulating a placenta (by someone else as I don't think I could do my own), fine. Sharing a placenta with others??? Um, no.

Becky - posted on 05/17/2011

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Ewww, no! I wouldn't let someone else eat my placenta and I wouldn't eat someone else's! i'd consider maybe encaosulating my own, but I think that's about as much as I could handle.

Lady Heather - posted on 05/17/2011

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I can see the biological sense of a mother eating it. I'm sure lots of animals do because there's all kinds of nutrients and stuff. Probably boosts your iron after you lose a whole bunch giving birth. So I can see this comes from a natural place.

But just gross. Not for me. Vomit vomit vomit.

If someone had tried to eat mine the joke would have been on them. It was pretty much rotting in the womb. Can't imagine it was a very prime piece of meat.

Michelle - posted on 05/17/2011

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I grew up on a farm and the pigs would eat their placenta. I don't know about you, but last I looked I don't have 4 legs and live in the mud! Gross!

Elfrieda - posted on 05/17/2011

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No, I wouldn't give it away for somebody to eat, but I have heard good things about eating it yourself. Urk. I'm kind of grossed out by that, but if somebody I knew did it and it helped, I might do it, too. I'm such a follower! :)

I think burying it in the yard and planting a tree over it is a beautiful idea. I didn't really like that the midwives took it away with them after I gave birth. What happened to it? That's a piece of me you just took away!

April - posted on 05/17/2011

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I have thought about encapsulating future placentas but I have heard consuming raw placenta has greater effects. Unfortunately, I do not have the willpower to eat my own raw placenta. If someone else wants to sample a piece, I'd prefer if that person(s) were family members. Sharing my placenta with non family members--- a little too intimate for me.

[deleted account]

I wouldn't let someone eat my placenta. But I have no problem with women that want to eat or encapsulate or plant their own placentas.

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