Placenta Consumption at The Austin Home Birth Meetup



IMG_1399This month we discussed the trend of “placentophagia” or placenta consumption, at The Austin Home Birth Meetup. A handful of placenta professionals joined the discussion to share their methods for placenta preparation, benefits and cautions. Twenty-two members gathered to share experiences and stories, which is important because the majority of research on placentophagia is anecdotal, although more research is pending and will become available soon.

The most common method to consume placenta is to hire a placenta professional to process it into capsules. This involves steaming, slicing and dehydrating the placenta. It is then ground to powder and put into capsules. Most women take 2-3 capsules 2-3 times a day for the first week or two, then taper down to 1-2, 1-2 times a day or take them on an “as needed” basis.

Consuming placenta in a fresh, raw state in smoothie form is another method to consider. This involves rinsing the placenta, patting it dry and cutting it into 1-2 Tablespoon size pieces. One piece of fresh placenta can be placed in a blender with fresh or frozen fruits and any favorite smoothie ingredients. This can be taken the day of the birth. Most women cannot detect the placenta and find it to be the most refreshing, nutritious smoothie they’ve ever had. The remaining placenta pieces can be frozen in an empty ice cube tray and removed from the freezer one at a time when making smoothies. Most women take one smoothie a day for a week and taper to every other day or as needed.

What other methods are you aware of for placenta consumption?

Care should be taken to quickly bring the placenta to room temperature and to get it on ice or in the refrigerator as soon as possible after the birth. The placenta is human tissue and the possibility of bacteria growth on any raw tissue is a real concern. So much so that some professionals recommend steaming the placenta even if planning to consume it in smoothies. It is not well established if one method is better than the other or if one provides stronger nutrition. Many women in our discussion found the capsules to be more convenient and the raw smoothies to be more potent.

Did you consume your placenta? Why or why not? Which method did you choose and what was your experience?

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