Oh, about My Placenta…

Placenta

Remember when Suri Cruise was born? The internet was full of rumors on how Tom Cruise was eating Katie’s placenta like a nice steak dinner. Well, for purposes of this story, I’m Tom Cruise in this one. You’ve been warned.

When the pregnancy started, I was all, oh, schedule that c-section now. Then, I was all, natural birth and hypnobirthing. Then I was all, I’m naming the baby after the nice man who gave me the epidural. I guess you can say that I changed my position a lot.

One thing remained constant: I’m all kinds of afraid of post-partum depression. I’ve had depression for a long, long time. I did not want to go down the dark and twisty road of PPD. I know too many who have suffered.

And then I heard about the placenta… You see, if you ingest your placenta, it’s supposed to be really good for your moods and hormones. A huge factor in avoiding PPD.

While the idea repulsed me on many levels, I knew it was important to investigate. Because, let’s face it, if it was potentially going to help me stay on track, I wanted to explore the option.

I called the placenta pill people. The price was acceptable. It seemed easy enough. I was in.

Here’s a brief description of the process, complete with bullets.

  • Give birth.
  • Placenta comes out.
  • Placenta is placed into a plastic container for freezing.
  • Because placenta is medical waste, placenta can’t come home with us and has to be picked up three days after birth.
  • The Friday before Christmas – go to pick up placenta with small cooler purchased specifically for placenta pick up.
  • Cooler is too small. Very frozen placenta is placed in a plastic bag. Fortunately, not a bio-hazard bag, which I’m told is sometimes done.
  • Call and get everything scheduled. Placenta begins thawing in sink. Husband has seen some scary things in the past few days, so this does not faze him.
  • Placenta prep comes directly to your home.
  • Placenta gets boiled, sliced and put into a dehydrator. (I think this was everything. I was upstairs feeding the baby for part of it.)
  • Placenta looks kind of like a london broil at this point.
  • Dehydrator goes for 12 hours. Dehydrator must be warm because cat likes it and sits on top of it. Cat sitting on your dehydrating placenta is a sort of weird thing to see in your kitchen, but when you are about to ingest your placenta, you don’t question a lot.
  • Once dehydrated, placenta is ground up and put into capsules. I had a good haul and got about 130 capsules.
  • I took my first dose immediately. That was it. I did it.

A couple of weeks after the birth, I had a couple of really emotional days and I was scared that I was veering into PPD territory. I took an extra dose, which I was told was fine to do. It helped. A lot.

While the process might be a little weird, it is based on traditional Chinese medicine. It has made a huge difference for me. At the three week growth spurt, I thought I was going crazy due to lack of sleep. Some extra placenta helped a lot to get me through it with some grace.

Now, for the gross stuff.

  • You get a keepsake made from the umbilical cord. It was a dehydrated cord heart in a little sachet. I’m not going to lie – it smells like jerky. And we were warned to keep it away from the cats. Since I’m taking pills made from an organ, I figure I am not that easily grossed out. Except the thought of finding my cats eating my baby’s dehydrated umbilical cord… Well, that’s a whole new level.
  • The pills have a distinct taste/odor. I’ve described it as swallowing a pill made of scabs. Maybe that is dramatic and it is just very rich in iron. I hold my nose and make the best of it because they work.
  • Something about selling either the pills or my placenta involves organ trafficking. I was really tired during that part of the conversation, but I like to think that I’ve got some serious contraband in the house. Plus, who doesn’t want to think they could ¬†make big money on the black market from some of their own medical waste…

That’s it. I’m taking placenta pills and I love them. And, maybe someday, my cats will have a special treat of their own and then I’m going to have to live with that forever.

Comments Closed

Comments

  1. I wish I had waited to have babies after the internet was invented. I would have totally had some placenta pills.

    Thank you for writing this!! I am proud of you!

  2. I’m oddly intrigued and now want to run and tell all of my preggo friends! I wish I has known ten years ago that something so simple could have helped keep more more even keeled post Danger delivery!

  3. And here I was thinking I couldn’t possibly love you more.

    Also? Oscar the Cat totally thieved Ollie’s stump. I had to fight the damn cat so I could appropriately dispose of said desiccated flesh.

    Good times. ;)

  4. Anastasia says:

    Congrats on your healthy baby boy!

    Thank you for shedding light on something people typically shy away from talking about. I have always been curious of the actual process of how this happens… IDK how I would feel about actually having a bag of placenta thawing in my sink, but if it works who am I to judge? Good for you!

    Hoping the cats don’t end up having a late night snack ;)

  5. Wow…I never knew about this. With my first, the delivery of my placenta was pretty traumatic and I don’t know if I would have wanted anything to do with it. But I really could have used this after the birth of my second. I struggled a lot more with PPD with her. Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure this will be very helpful to many future mothers out there.

  6. I’d never heard of this! I so wish I’d known about it when I had my babies. That PPD is a doozy and not easily identified because I’d never had depression until PPD. Plus those spurts of low milk and starving baby – some way to boost production – awesome!

    So glad you posted this for others. I’ll keep it in mind for my friends and my kids when they are having families – you know 30 years from now. :)

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing!

  7. More power to ya! I’m all for anything that helps with PPD. I suffered with it myself. That’s great that your husband was so supportive too. I love reading REAL posts like this! Thanks for your honesty. I’m sure you’re helping another mother out there who is struggling with her own placenta decision!