I consider myself a pretty crunchy mom. When I gave birth to my daughters, I did not use any drugs. I breastfed both of my daughters until they were at least 1 year old, and I swathed their bottoms in cloth diapers until potty training. But I did not even consider eating my placenta after the birth of either child.
Placenta-eating is not a new phenomenon — actually, women have been doing it for centuries. But the practice has made it into the news recently after January Jones, from the hit TV series "Mad Men," admitted in an interview with People magazine that ingesting her own placenta, along with following a healthy diet, helped her get back in shape and back to work just a few weeks after giving birth.
She told People.com, "Your placenta gets dehydrated and made into vitamins. It's something I was very hesitant about, but we're the only mammals who don't ingest our own placentas. It's not witch-crafty or anything," said Jones. "I suggest it to all moms."
Yes, most mammals do eat their placenta after giving birth as a form of nutrition. And placenta-eating advocates say the practice helps increase milk flow and ease post-partum depression. I don't plan on having any more children, so this is no longer a decision I will have to make. But I think that if I had to do it all over again, I might consider it. Hey, it couldn't hurt, right? Anything to help calm the chaos of those first few weeks with a new baby is bound to be a good thing.
What do you think? Would you ever consider eating your placenta after child birth (in vitamins or another form)? If you've done it, would you care to share your thoughts?
Also on MNN: What are the benefits of consuming placenta?