In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Sunday, July 22, 2007

An Alternative Treatment for Postpartum Depression?

The latest alternative treatment for postpartum depression?

Ingesting your placenta.

Surely I jest.


Here is not one, but two headlines on the topic:

Ingesting the Placenta: Is it Healthy for New Moms?

Placenta Returned to Mother on Judge's Orders

According to the first article, which was in USA Today, the practice of ingesting the placenta is called placentophagy. The placenta is saved, dried, emulsifed and then placed in gelatin capsules so that the mother can take them. Proponents of placentophagy say that the placenta contains nutrients that helps mitigate the hormonal fluctuations believed to cause postpartum depression.

The second article details a Las Vegas woman's fight to keep her placenta after her daughter's birth. She planned to ingest the placenta to help prevent postpartum depression, but the hospital refused to give her the placenta because it contained biohazardous waste.

I did a little bit of research on the topic and found two websites that offer recipes for placenta.


I also ran the idea past my physician-husband; we had an interesting discussion about the topic. Then I talked with my neighbor, who has had three home-births. She said her midwife did mention the option--but she declined. Another mommy-come-lately friend said she knew of women who practiced placentophagy.

It seems a bit extreme to me.

Thoughts, anyone?


At 8:59 AM, Blogger Josh said...

I think it's better than those folks who keep it in the freezer and display it when guests come over.

At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Karen said...

I've heard of the practice of burying the placenta and planting a tree there, also of making placenta stew.There's the theory it's iron rich, helping to prevent some postpartum anemia. Think I'd go for the tree idea. Although I did see one of my cats tuck into a kitten afterbirth like it was the best treat she ever did have. Then she didn't seem to be as ravenously hungry as I was after giving birth.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger The Mama of the House said...

Okay, so the whole idea makes me want to vomit. No, I don't want to eat my placenta, thank you very much. Placent Lasagne? Placenta and Onions? Nope. I think I'd rather be depressed and anemic. I mean, there are other healthy alternatives to eating our afterbirth, ladies.

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

True, true. There are other alternatives to eating our placentas. Although I guess I could be openminded and say, "To each their own"--placentas, I mean.

And, Mama of the House, weren't you the one who talked to me about Placenta Art?!


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