Thursday, October 3, 2013

I ate Bobbin's placenta!

You may want to click away if you're the squeamish type. Cos this is all about placentophagy - which, if the title didn't give it away - is the eating of placenta!

I had a bit of a love hate relationship with Bobbin's placenta because it was in the wrong spot. I was diagnosed with Grade I placenta previa (the least severe) at our 19 week scan and was monitored throughout the pregnancy in the hope that as my uterus grew, the placenta would not be so close to the cervix. To birth at the Family Birth Centre it had to be 5cm clear - at 34 weeks I had a scan and it was only 4.5cm clear. What followed was a week of waiting as the doctors decided whether or not I was still allowed to go there. Thankfully they believed that by the time Bobbin was fully cooked it would be 5cm clear so they signed off on me - obviously since that is where Bobbin's amazing waterbirth was.

But despite the low lying shenanigans, I think placentas are freakin' awesome. They provide your baby with all the oxygen and nutrients she needs to grow and removes waste products from her blood.

Now I hear some of you say "Hey, I think cats are freakin' awesome, but I don't go around eating those, you freak" and that's cool. You can think that way. I think cats are just little furry devils, so we can just agree to disagree on these two points. 

So back to placentas. Eating placenta is believed to:
  • balance hormones
  • increase milk levels
  • reduce post-natal bleeding
  • replenish iron levels
  • assist the uterus in reducing to pre-pregnancy state
  • reduce the baby blues and even PND
  • freak out some people

Embracing my slightly crunchy ways, I looked in to placenta consumption when I was pregnant with Tricky but never got around to doing anything about it and I really regret it. His placenta was whisked away and incinerated. All that goodness gone to waste. This time I didn't want to miss out. We're pretty much the only animal who doesn't eat it, which tells me something.

Animals eat it raw but I'd like to think I'm a little more civilized or maybe it is just because I don't even like my steak cooked anything below medium-well, but I personally couldn't handle the idea of blending a chunk of raw placenta in to a smoothie. In fact even cooking it up in a lasagne would leave me gagging. I needed the benefits without the ick factor. Placenta encapsulation is the least stomach churning way to rock your inner crunchy mama ways.

After I'd had a chance to have a good look and a feel of it, Tania from Birth Inspired steamed Bobbin's placenta, dehydrated it, ground it up and inserted in to over 60 capsules. It cost me $200 which included pick up and delivery, and a gorgeous placenta print which we are going to hang in Bobbin's new room.

L to R: Raw placenta, lemon & herb steaming pot, steamed placenta with cord (light colour because of delayed
cord clamping, the cord showing three vessels, the dehydrated placenta slices, finished product

I started taking them on day 3 and they made me feel a-maaaa-zing. I felt so strong and stable. I did still have one or two bouts of tears due to frustration, but didn't get the baby blues at all. And milk? Wow. My milk level was insane - so much so that I cut down my dose of tablets and then stopped for a while until my milk regulated. After stopping, I found I was quicker to cry over anything even remotely emotional than I had been - and now that I've started again that has ceased. Which is fabulous because crying over commercials is a bit embarrassing.

The only thing I was a little worried about is how they would smell. Would it be meaty? Because that might have been too much of a reminder that I was actually doing a Zombie impersonation and eating human flesh. But the best way to describe it would be ever a bit like a multivitamin smell - and they don't have a taste at all. PHEW!

I had the choice to freeze them and use them as an occasional natural pick me up or during menopause but to be honest, I think I'd forget about them if I stashed them away in a freezer, so best I just take them all now and revel in the effects of this natural feel good medicine.

A huge thank you to the lovely Tania from Birth Inspired who took photos of the process so I could blog about it. If you're in Perth and want to embrace your inner crunchy mama, I can definitely recommend her services.

Would you eat placenta?

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