Placentology: A Hippie Mama's Memoir

Updated: Dec 1, 2018

I did something rather radical in the days following August 1, 2012. I ate my baby’s placenta. I know. SO gross, right? I heard of crazy hippie women doing this and thought this rare act of cannibalism seemed unnecessarily and ostentatiously weird. I essentially envisioned Stevie Nicks swathed in colorful scarves and robes dancing around a fire while naked ladies ate very rare steaks with their hands. But then I found out you can actually pay someone to come to your birth, take your placenta, dehydrate it and encapsulate it for you. So it’s just like taking a pill. No fire, no naked ladies, no rare steaks. Just vitamin therapy.

Well that’s way less gross, I thought. But why would I choose to do such a thing in a first place?

Turns out, after a very long labor that ended in an unexpected C section, ingesting my placenta helped my body heal faster. Milk production? I could have won an award. Post partum depression? Nowhere to be found. Your placenta, while made to nourish your baby in utero, also harbors some pretty amazing nutrients and hormones. Hormones that perfectly mirror your body’s hormone production because your body made them! Some women will freeze their placenta pills and start taking them at perimenopause to stave off hot flashes and mood swings. My midwife also told me you can save them and give them to your daughter when she gets her first period to ease cramping and PMS. Do those things work? I’ll never know because I dutifully took my placenta pills daily until they were gone. Maybe it’s a coincidence that I had postpartum bliss. All I know is if and when baby #2 comes along, I would definitely do it again.

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