Placental Encapsulation

Bailey - posted on 02/25/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Does the Catholic Church condemn this? I know it may sound gross, but I have recently heard about this and am intrigued. It isn't cooking and eating the placenta, rather it is encapsulating it and taking it as you would take an herbal supplement. There are many known benefits such as:

Decrease in baby blues and postpartum depression.
Increase and enrich breastmilk.
Increase in energy.
Decrease in lochia, postpartum bleeding.
Decrease iron deficiency.
Decrease insomnia or sleep disorders.

I personally have had trouble with all of the above issues, so believe this could really be a benefit to me. However, I don't want to even consider it if it would be going against the Church. I am a little embarrassed to ask my confessor, so thought I would start here.

I guess the question is whether or not it would be considered cannibalism. From what I have read, it could be considered non-cannibalistic consumption of a human-derived substance, not actually cannibalism since it is not intentionally harvested, prepared and consumed as food. Also I have seen it compared to eating eggs, although this seems a stretch to me.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I realize the subject might be repulsive at best to some, but I'd really appreciate any non-judgemental input. Thanks in advance.

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[deleted account]

Had a look around the net for sites on this..i came across a Catholic site it seems to say no (gist im getting from reading it)its not cannibalism but its not a clear yes or no on the matter..sorry hopefully someone here will know for sure.Good luck.

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Bailey - posted on 02/25/2011

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When I first heard about it I thought it was so gross, and couldn't imagine doing it. I looked online and found instructions (with graphic pictures) on how to do it yourself, and was even more grossed out. The more I researched it though, the more I found that it really is amazingly beneficial for you health-wise. I've heard from many women who've experienced incredible results.

I may have to suck it up and make an appointment to speak with the parish priest. I have some very specific issues, and it's worth checking to see if I could possibly get special permission.

@Tara, I agree. I would never take another person's, only my own. I'm expecting another baby in about 3 weeks. @Ashley, thanks so much for looking into it for me! I searched the web for sites to try and find something, but couldn't really get any definitive info. @Lisa, that is a good point. I thought the same thing. Also, is nail-biting considered cannibalism? @All the other ladies, thanks so much for your input on this. I appreciate all your comments. Please keep up this thread! :)

Tara - posted on 02/25/2011

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I would probably take my own as a pill form, but not another person's placenta, no.
And only if I felt that it was the best option for me.

Becky - posted on 02/25/2011

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I know a few doulas who do placental encapsulation. It's just like swallowing any other pill, so if you can get past what it is, I think it's a great idea. More natural than having to take antidepressants! I have no idea where the Catholic Church would stand on it though.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/25/2011

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This is gross to me. I have also heard of people planting the placenta...yuk a doodle doo.

Minnie - posted on 02/25/2011

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If they consider it cannibalism then they're silly. Do you swallow your own blood if you bite your lip? Probably- and thus you are injesting a living organ of your body.



Cannibalism would be consuming another person's body part- to his or her detriment.

Ez - posted on 02/25/2011

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I have no idea where the Church would stand on this either. Perhaps seek out some home birthing communities on FB and ask there?!?! There is bound to be another mumma who has faced this same dilemma. I have read of lots of women consuming their placenta (either encapsulated or in smoothies) but was not aware that it might clash with someone's religion.

[deleted account]

Planting it is cool and what you are talking about but eating i personally wouldnt do myself.I saw my first childs placenta.It was crazy but the midwife was so good she talked about the colour of it and how healthy it looked.
My placenta on the second child i didnt see nor i didnt care to, her placenta nearly killed her in the end so i had enough of it, hearing about it etc so i wouldnt of wanted to do anything with that lol.I wish now though i would of planted the first childs placenta but its best i didnt as i would felt sorry for my second and not wanting to do the same for her.

Tara - posted on 02/25/2011

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Well I have two placentas in my freezer right now. (next to the chicken carcasses for soup!) they are waiting to be planted under some fruit trees this spring.
I have heard of people consuming "human placenta extract" for the symptoms you mentioned in the OP, but I don't know what extract means in this case. I know it is taken as a pill form as well, so maybe they are the same thing?
I think the catholic church would class it as cannibalism either way though. It is by all rights an organ from a human female. However maybe it's a gray area where some things are different, like breast milk is created by a human for the consumption by another human. A placenta is created by a human as a vehicle of nourishment to a growing baby. Hmm.. I'll be interested to see what some of the more religious ladies will know regarding this.
I wouldn't eat it myself, I know that women used to actually eat it raw in some cultures to promote fast healing and good health for mom and baby largely due to it's extremely high iron content.

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