Placentophagy – eating your own placenta?

We, humans, are indeed a funny race, we try adopting new trends in the name of advancement to improve our quality of life. In maternal health and pregnancy also new trends are being adopted like placentophagy, vaginal seeding etc. If you have been keeping up with the Kardashians, you might have noticed that on one show of “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” Kim Kardashian inquired her doctor about eating her placenta after birth and whether it would help her stay youthful!

Such modern techniques or revamping older techniques with a new twist comes with its own list of pros and cons. When it comes to placentophagy, i.e., eating your own placenta it is seen in few mammals and in humans, few indigenous tribes across the world also are said to practice it. Few celebrities swear by it, by consuming their encapsulated placenta.


How can placenta be consumed?

  • Stir-fried or cooked in a stew
  • Eaten raw
  • As a tincture
  • Dehydrated and powdered and used in smoothies
  • Encapsulated pill form (dehydrated and powdered)


How is eating the placenta beneficial?

Eating the  baby’s placenta is supposed to help in:

  • Providing the mother with her own natural hormones
  • helps improve the mother’s system
  • replenish the depleted iron store in the body
  • make the mother more energetic
  • reduce the bleeding after childbirth
  • increase the mother’s milk production
  • reduce postpartum depression
  • hasten the return of uterus to its pre-pregnancy state
  • be helpful at the onset of menopause
  • cures insomnia


All these claims are not scientifically proven, but few women and midwives vouch for it. Nonetheless, what the mother chooses to do with the placenta is a personal choice. In few animals like dogs, after the birth of the puppies the female dog is said to eat the placenta to help her bonding with her puppies, that does not mean that we should follow the same. We are a bunch of highly evolved species and we have a well-developed brain that helps us discern between right and wrong, so, choose wisely.

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