Would You Eat Your Own Placenta After Giving Birth?

Would you help yourself to a big slice of your own placenta after popping out a baby?

This writer on Salon.com did. As Holly Kretschmar explains in her personal essay detailing her journey from pregnancy to giving birth to eating her cooked placenta:

In the West, the majority of placentas are dumped in the trash. But the placenta is considered sacred by some cultures. And virtually all mammals, including herbivorous ones, eat their afterbirth. Placentophagy, as it's called, may be inspired by a new mother's need for extra nutrients or her desire to erase the trace of her birth in order to throw off predators; there is also a theory that the placenta contains a pain-deadening molecule. ....

Esther, our doula, told me about the energy-restoring properties of the placenta, and how consuming it is an ancient practice, especially beneficial for warding off postpartum depression. She mentioned the growing movement in the natural birth community to encapsulate dehydrated placentas into pills, reputed to bestow mental and physical benefits to the mother over time.

You will have to read the rest of the article to hear the extremely visceral details of the texture, smell and taste of afterbirth sauteed in soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Whether you find post-baby chow to be intriguing or absolutely disgusting, you gotta give some MAJOR kudos to the open-minded husband who voluntarily tried some of his wife's placenta steak.

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