Monday, April 16, 2012

On eating placenta

I have two children, ages 14 and 17, who were both born using certified nurse midwives.

After the birth of my first child, I had a craving to eat the placenta, but the midwife discouraged me, so I didn’t eat it.  I strongly regretted this decision.  I kept thinking about that placenta and how much I wanted to eat it for months afterwards.

I decided with the second child that I would eat the placenta.  I got my certified nurse midwife to agree to this.  My son was born precipitously in the parking lot of the birthing center, caught by my husband, but the midwife caught the placenta. 

She kept her agreement with me and let me eat it, raw. 

It was delicious.  It didn’t need salt and tasted like the best steak I’ve ever eaten.  I ate it in several stages, with ginger ale to drink.  It had some stringy parts, but I ate those too.

Afterwards, I felt great. 

What was remarkable was that I had very little bleeding after that birth, no more than a heavy period.  The bleeding stopped after two weeks and I had my first period at six weeks, despite nursing full time on demand.  My period continued regularly after that despite nursing my son until he was 3 years old.  My recovery from that second birth was much more rapid in general than after the first birth and I had much more energy.

Granted the delivery was a lot easier with the second birth, but I suspect that eating the placenta raw contributed to my rapid recovery from childbirth.  Of course, this is only one anecdotal story, but I would hope that some research would be done on this topic to see if others would have better recoveries from birth if they ate the placenta.

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