Yes, I Ate My Placenta


Warning, some of these pictures are graphic! This is a post about me eating and encapsulating my placenta for the emotional and health benefits. If you are not interested in this topic, just skip this post!

I have gotten several emails this week asking if I ever ended up eating my placenta.  I wrote a post, Gonna Eat My Placenta, but never followed up.

Yes, I did eat my placenta.  I cooked and ate half of it and dehydrated and encapsulated the other half.

Part of the reason that I didn’t follow up is because I had dreams of writing an ebook about it and going into great detail, but the other part of me was just waiting for the right moment.  I try to write when I feel really moved and inspired to write, but also I think I was a little scared to announce this to the whole world, so I hope ya’ll still stick around after this post!

Like I mentioned in the first post, I had intentions of planting Penelope’s placenta in the ground and planting a tree over it.  But life happened and I never got around to it.  Then I got inspired to eat and encapsulate it.  I asked around to several midwives I know and asked if I would still get all of the benefits after it’s been frozen for 12 months.  The consensus was yes, so away I went on my adventure.

Here is my placenta still frozen.  Just like the day of Penelope’s birth.  I hadn’t touched it or looked at it since her birth.  It was in our deep freezer for over 12 months. I double bagged it and wrote on the bag with permanent marker: Penelope’s Placenta.  Has a nice ring to it, right?

And this is what my placenta looked like thawed and out of the bag.  I got a little creative and rolled the umbilical cord in a spiral, an ancient fertility symbol.

I had the intuition to prepare and cook my placenta on my own. I ate it later with two other women, but I felt very strongly about preparing it by myself and creating a sacred space.  My husband took my daughter to the park and I had the house to myself for over and hour.  It was a very emotional time for me.  Upon touching my placenta, I was instantly taken back to the moment of birth.  When I held my daughter’s umbilical cord in my hand, feeling the pulsations and waiting for it to stop before we clamped and cut. I instantly started crying and was overwhelmed with emotion. I felt very connected to my placenta and felt a great amount of gratitude for it for feeding and nourishing my baby.  I also felt very proud of myself, for not only growing a baby, but growing an entire organ to nourish my baby.

I remember thinking, hmm, my placenta kind of looks like me.  It was thick and strong, it looked pretty healthy, but it looked like it had been through some shit.

I cut it up and sauteed it in butter.  It cooked up just like other organ meat.  It reminded me of chicken livers.  There was no funky smell.

After I cooked it, I put it in a container and later added it to some regular ground beef.  I added taco seasoning, mixed it all up and made myself some Placenta Tacos.

The placenta tasted a bit chewy, but other than that it tasted just like tacos and was yummy.   There are a ton of different ways to eat placenta.  Just Google placenta recipes and prepare to have your mind blown.

Later, I encapsulated the other half.  Again, just Google placenta encapsulation and a ton of information comes up on how to do it yourself, how to hire someone to do it for you, etc.

After I dehydrated my placenta, I grounded it up in my food processor.  Some people like to crush it by hand with a pestle and mortar, I tried and it didn’t work for me.  Then I used a knife and scooped the crushed placenta into the pill.

It took a long ass time.

I got these capsules from our local natural foods store.  There are contraptions you can buy, so you are not individually filling each one, but I didn’t want to spring to buy one.

It yielded me about 40 pills.  If you encapsulate your entire placenta, the average is about 100 pills.

I read somewhere that if you save some of your placenta pills in the freezer, you can take them during menopause and they will help regulate your hormones and ease the transition.  So I saved about half of a cup in a glass jar for one day when I am heading on into Crone town.

So why on earth did I do this?

I mainly did it because I read that it helps fight off PPD.  And I was fighting off PPD with a stick every day for the first 18 months of Penelope’s life.  I also read that it helps with your energy levels and your milk supply. Two areas I could always use a little help in.  I read that it helps restore lost nutrients that have been taken from your body during pregnancy when they are directed to the growing baby.  And what was lost in the blood from childbirth.  If we do have baby number 2, I want to make sure they are not jipped in the nutrients department.  Did you know that first borns are smarter and healthier, because most mothers do not replenish their nutrient stores before getting pregnant again with the next child?

I know eating your placenta is not for everyone, but I highly recommend encapsulating it.  If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask me and I will help anyway I can.



About the Author

Hiya! I'm Stephanie. Mama and Baby Love is all about helping mothers on their own personal health and healing journey and enjoying life along the way. You can learn more about me and what I'm all about. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips, info and inspiration!

Comments

  1. So interesting! I heard about this recently, and I'm secretly considering doing it with our next baby! I didn't have PPD or milk issues with my son Felix, but ya never know with the next one! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Very interesting. As much as I would like to, I just don't think I could eat my placenta. I do like the idea of encapsulating it though. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  3. Lia Dominique Andress says:

    you know… i had great hopes for my/our placenta. we had already bought her a tree. we had a special pot. and then things happened on their own. differently then expected. and i never got my/ our placenta. it really is a huge part of us becoming mothers. the tangible form of the experience. the one thing we can look at and thank. i wish i had been able to honor it. look at it. and have a crazy ass story to tell about it.

  4. Cassandra says:

    That was one thing I really regret about my birth. I was so susceptible to suggestion and felt rushed by my midwife trying to clean up that I didn't feel I could ask for the things I wanted. One of them was to first touch and look at the placenta, but then also to keep it. Even if I couldn't have processed it at the beginning, I really wish I had frozen it though. Lesson learned.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Haha! Good post. I like the idea of encapsulating it – maybe I'll try that sometime.

    And FYI – you didn't gross me out that much. I'll still stick around your blog to see whats up!

    Kate from NJ

  6. Brittany @ The Pistachio Project says:

    I really wanted to encapsulate my placenta but I couldn't afford to and I knew I wouldn't be able to do it myself (I"m squeamish) Next baby I'm going with a midwife and hopefully I can get her to do it for me.

  7. Thank you for posting about this! I feel like so many people just don't understand the benefits or process of placenta encapsulation/ingestion and you did a wonderful job explaining it. Upon discovering we were expecting, this was one thing I knew I would do postpartum. Now that I'm having a cesarean, I find it even more necessary to aid in PPD, milk supply, energy, and replacing nutrients. Again, thank you. :)

  8. Stephanie says:

    So glad you all don't think I am nuts!

  9. Jet's Journey says:

    WOWZA.

    You. Are. Awesome.

    Enough said.

  10. I stumbled across your blog about a week ago while looking for recipes. The way you write about your life and experiences made me peruse through some of your favorite posts and have to admit I read "Gonna Eat My Placenta" with my jaw to the floor. I had never really heard of this before and while I'm pretty liberal in most of my beliefs, I'm also squeamish. I give you props though- to not only do it but then to write about it for the whole world to read. Glad you followed up the story. You walked us through the experience beautifully. You also opened up my mind just a little more. As a new mom (9 months) who fights off PPD with a stick daily as well, I will seriously consider encapsulation. Thanks for being so open.

  11. Ameena Falchetto (MummyinProvence) says:

    This is absolutely fascinating. I never got to even see my placenta when I had BiP – it was scooped away and taken off in a medical waste bag. When I asked for it they looked at me like I was mad. I guess French women don't look at their placenta.

    I'm not sure I'd eat mine in a taco next time round but I do like the idea of the capsules.

    Great story.

  12. Erquiaga Family says:

    Please write an e-book! I for one would love to read it :O)

  13. Stephanie says:

    @Jet's Journey and Maureen…thank you!
    @Cassy..thank you! So glad to hear you will at least consider it. There might be a specialist in your area, to do the encapsulation, so you don't have to deal with it all and you can just pop your happy pills!
    @Erquiaga Family…maybe one day!

  14. Wow. Wow. Wow. Kudos to you. Seriously what an effort to do all that! Not for me but still a great read :)

  15. Visiting from Code Name Mama: I encapsulated my placenta from my daughter (born:7/23/09) and have had the jar in the frig. It was awesome for postpartum. Excellent milk supply (actually oversupply), excellent energy and mood! Recently started taking them again as I've been having issues with hot flashes, stress, anxiety, and an AWOL menses. Yes, I'm forty but way too early for menopause. After two weeks, I feel better, sleep better, my hot flashes are gone, and I am having cervical mucus…hoping two more weeks sees the beginning of my cycle or a pleasant surprise. I'd recommend placentaphagy for any mother, any time she is run down! Hugs!

  16. @ColleenW…so glad you came over from CNM. I love that site so much. I so wish I had saved more of my capsules and taken them on an as needed basis, instead of every day in a row like I did. I have been really run down the last couple of weeks. I guess I could dip into my menopause stash though….

  17. "…first borns are smarter and healthier, because most mothers do not replenish their nutrient stores before getting pregnant again with the next child"
    I'd be interested to see where you get your data.

  18. Thank you so much for writing this… I am sitting here with my last baby (2 months old) trying to nurse her to sleep when I start cracking up…my 9 yr old asks me why I am crying(laughing) and I tell him its because I STILL have his brothers placenta in our freezer and he is almost 7!!!! Yes, 7!!
    Am I the queen on procastination or what? At this point it has been so long I don't know what to do with it but I do know my kids think I am a weirdi! Which I am!
    Bethany
    PS…I nurse in public, thanks!!

  19. Marjorie Shakour says:

    Awesome!! :) I fell in love with my placenta as well. Our hospital would not allow me to keep my placenta with my last child. Policy states that it becomes their property after I give birth to it. We illegally stole it. Then, we planted it under a plum tree in honor of our Eleanor. Ironically, I didn't give birth to my baby at the hospital. The midwife had sent me home and told me that I wasn't in labor because I was laughing and talking with her (this was my third pregnancy. I know what labor feels like). I went home cooked supper and put the kids to bed. Then, I settled in front of the computer. Pop! My water broke…and SIX minutes later my baby arrived (no medical help whatsoever). Once the EMTs arrived, I inwardly froze. I felt too awkward to release the placenta and kept the placenta in my body until I reached my quiet hospital room ( we live in a small town, so everyone came to our house after the 911 call…total of thirteen men in all…police car and two ambulances because the first one lacked equipment for the baby). Can you believe they would not let us have MY placenta after all that?

  20. Stephanie says:

    @Bethany…7 years! That is awesome! What are you gonna do with it? Maybe plant a tree over it?
    @Marjorie…that is a crazy story! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Rachel Trahan says:

    ok. it’s true. my step mom just put a link to your blog on my FB page and said “you’re probably already following her, but if not, you need to. y’all are twins from another mother.” i read a few of your entries and began to believe her. then i read this one and i know it’s now true. hello twin. so happy to have found you, here and on pinterest! (PS i’m in pensacola. panhandle, what what!)

    also, i’m glad to know my encapsulated placenta still bears efficacy. i got lazy taking them and have about 30 left. now i’m thinking i should preserve them for posterity… and for when my whack ass goes through the ‘pause.

  22. Hey Stephanie,

    I found you through Pinterest with Slow Cooker Freezer Meals and started reading every post! You sound like my kind of lady!

    I found this post to be very interesting! I used the Hypnobirthing method of labor and love all things natural…you think I would have heard about this before. I’m so sad that I’ve had all my babies (4 of them in 5 years), and didn’t get to do this. Not that things were too horrible, but I truly believe postpartum and everything would have been SO much better.

    I’m going to tell all my preggo friends about you!

    Thanks for being brave enough to share.

    • Wowza, 4 kids in 5 years, that is so impressive. You probably would have been off saving the world and raising 4 babies with the energy of eating/encapsulating your placenta! Thanks so much for sharing my blog with your friends, I appreciate it.

  23. My midwife insisted I take my placenta home so she didn’t have to go through the process of disposing of “medical waste” – I had heard of eating it, but that grossed me out. Wish I had known of encapsulating it, because now 13months later I’m still dealing with PPD. Thankfully not as bad as the first 10 months, though. I guess I’m glad that my mom planted it under a tree, so I have a bit of a wistful connection to the life it sustains.

  24. Laura Bickmore says:

    So… did you notice it helping with PPD? Or do you a notice a difference when you take one of your awesome-magic pills?

  25. Bailey D says:

    Thank you for posting this. It was very interesting to read. Major props to you for being able to eat the placenta. There is no way I could muster up the courage or appetite to consume my childs. I love reading your posts!

  26. Mariah Lynn says:

    I love this post! We are pregnant with our first and will be birthing at a stand alone birthing center. We are planning on cutting a small piece of the placenta right after the birth and making it into a smoothie, then our midwife will be encapsulating the rest for us. I am so very excited to be reading about other woman who are thinking along similar lines. Although I didn’t even know eating your placenta was radical =P

  27. Rad!
    I encapsulated my first placenta (actually my boyfriend did it for me to the horror of his patents)!
    With our second home birth he fed it to me raw in a smoothie immediately after the delivery of it! Wow what a rush! I highly recommend it raw! The encapulasation process leaves it a practically dead food.
    The fact that my man did all this still amazes me as he is a conservative, quite, suburban raised republican.
    You are awesome for posting this and promoting this. I’ve never met anyone else yet who has eaten theirs.
    Thank you!

    • I wish I had eaten part of it raw like you! I just took a placenta encapsulation course the other weekend, and I wish I knew what I know now. Encapsulation has many benefits for people who are not interested in eating it, but the absolute best way to get the benefits are to eat a piece raw, directly after birth. Our teacher said to put honey on it and just shoot it back like a shot, no chewing. So glad you are here by the way!

  28. Placenta Tacos, really?! And I thought I had heard it all :) Awesome blog post! I shared it on my facebook page. Take a peek http://www.facebook.com/CarolinaPlacentaLady

  29. Thank you for sharing your experience. I had an awful experience with the hospital where I delivered my daughter. They refused to let me have my placenta, especially without ruining it with chemicals first, but because I asked for it they flat out refused. Luckily my midwife helped me smuggle it out against hospital policy and I had it encapsulated as well. I got over 200 pills, which I was grateful for because I had severe ppd for almost nine months. One problem is that my pod was so severe that my body kept getting infections and you must stop taking the placenta immediately with an infection. It helped with many other aspects such as milk supply and weight loss but it alone did not rid me of ppd. I did, however, use it in conjunction with therapy and got on my feet enough to ride if out. I wiped out much of my supply of pills but I was wondering if it might be a good idea to start taking them again when preparing to get pregnant a second time??

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story. It breaks my heart that women have to smuggle their own placenta out of a hospital. That is a good question, let me ask the woman I recently took my placenta encapsulation course from and I will get back to you.

  30. I’m so glad that more women are talking openly about placenta ingestion! and in a positive way. I’m a birth doula and do encapsulation for my clients and plan to do it with my own after I have #4 in the fall. I wish I had known more about it with the first 2 (Forgot to put it in my birth plan or ask for it with #3) I had PPD with #2 and honestly think it was because the first 2 pregnancies were so close together.(18 months apart) well 3 and 4 are going to be 16 months apart so I dont want to go through that again!

    • Very cool! Your clients are very lucky to have you. I have been a certified doula for a long time and only this year did I take a training course on how to encapsulate. I wish I had the information sooner.

  31. Firstborns are healthier and smarter because expecting/new parents are more hyper vigilant to do everything right during pregnancy and the early stages of the firstborn’s life – better safe than sorry. By the second and third kids parents are less anal and have less time to plan every bit of each child’s learning process. Plus because they have already experienced the wonders of life through a child’s eye and milestones they are prone take it for granted with subsequent children. By the 2nd child, the stress of greater familial responsibility and the seeping of reality back into the new parent bubble afford a little room, in many parents’ opinions, for junk food and TV in place of reading or scheduled activities.

    Also, remember if you are carrying/conceiving yourself both you and your eggs, as well as your partner, are older. The better prepared and educated one is for pregnancy, the better the choices made for building a healthy baby.

  32. Renae Chamberlain says:

    I was in awe of my placenta after my son was born. I investigated it and touched it. It was so amazing to me that this is what connected me to my child, and nurtured him into the healthy baby boys that lie in my arms.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] does not all come out in one piece, but breaks apart in chunks.  At that point, Peter said “um, are you going to eat it?”  Which made me laugh, because the thought had crossed my mind.  But I didn’t want [...]

  2. [...] that not only do I go see energy healers, I am an energy healer.  I guess after I told the world I ate my placenta, telling the world about my energy healing background didn’t seem so crazy.  But I realize it [...]

  3. [...] I thought all of this was super fascinating.  He said they all eat their placentas after birth (just like me!).  And that he lets the calf nurse for 3 months before weaning her and then bottle feeding her. [...]

  4. [...] I am hosting in my home the last weekend in March.  It is a workshop about learning how to encapsulate placentas.  Midwives will get CEU credit for attending.  To RSVP, click [...]

  5. [...] only had the option of traditional “hippy” clothes.  How in the world can someone who ate her own placenta (me, if ya’ll missed that one)  wear Tory Burch shoes too?  If January Jones can do it, so [...]

  6. [...] Yes, the above is a picture of a woman about to cook up her placenta. [...]

  7. [...] placenta encapsulation workshop and more information about the benefits of consuming your placenta.  Here and here are my original blog posts about [...]

  8. [...] time, it has this magical/mystical feeling to me.  I feel like I have come home.  Where yoga, eating your placenta and obessing about food is not weird, it’s [...]

  9. [...] a chiropractic and an acupuncture appointment within the first few weeks. I also highly recommend encapsulating your placenta, or even eat a piece raw if you can. There is really no other way to restore nutrients lost in [...]

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