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I Ate My Baby's Placenta!

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Here's why.

Sandwhich

The practice of placentophagia, eating the placenta, is practiced in many parts of the world, and is said to stem postpartum depression and help to contract the uterus after the birth.

After Chrissy Schilling had her first baby over the weekend, her twin sister Kathy cooked up the placenta and they had a feast. They put it on pasta and on a sandwich. They even put pictures of the meal on Facebook!

Sure, some people thought it was gross -- but that didn't deter the sisters. "I think people being grossed out by this is mostly just 'fear of the unknown,'" Kathy says. "It's the same sort of reaction people have when it even comes to the cuisine of other cultures--what's normal in another culture can seem repulsive to one's own. Happens all the time! Most of the Western world can't even fathom having duck head on the menu, but it doesn't make the food any less acceptable as a meal."

She continues: "When Chrissy first brought up the idea about cooking the placenta, I looked around online and found the most inspiring article about it. The writer's attitude was just all-around positive and even a little playful about the subject, and I thought, 'Hey, this isn't such a big deal after all!' Other medical/health articles about placenta-eating shared the same general consensus--as long as the mother is good and healthy, no harm can come from eating the placenta."

What does she say to the haters? "I think the fact that the placenta is unquestionably attached to the concept of 'baby' (and who doesn't like a cute baby?) probably makes people take the matter personally and forget to look at it more objectively," she says. "The placenta became a simple piece of meat for cooking. And no babies were harmed in the process. That's my take on it."

What are their thoughts on the "meal" itself?

Twin sister Kathy says:

I would say that the placenta is so nourishing for the baby during pregnancy that there is still much to gain from it even after the birth. It's a good 6 lbs of meat that's just chock full of lingering blood, vitamins, and hormones that can still in part be transferred upon eating -- even through cooking. When I cooked it, I cleaned the surface blood off of it, but kept anything that seaped out of it into the sauce. I know I was feeling pretty giddy while eating, so maybe that was some of the happy hormones effects taking place.

The "recipe" was pretty simple, but preparation was very fun! First, I washed off any clots and snipped/tore away the membrane. Websites suggested this, and I imagine it's because it'd be chewy. The umbilical cord required a pair of scissors to cut through and I had to marvel at how incredible tough that piece was! After it was pretty clean, I sliced it into bite-size chunks, and cooked it with the basic ingredients I mentioned on my Facebook album. The taste of the meat itself was surprisingly tasteful (I thought it'd be bland, but it absorbed the flavors of the ingredients very well). It wasn't TOUGH, but not sloppy either. Just the right kind of texture that I like.

New mom Chrissy says:

The placenta is such an amazing organ in all its done for my baby that it didn't seem right to simply throw it away. My thought was "being the only organ that the human body makes that naturally exits the body, why not take advantage of it?"

By taking it in again, it was symbolic for me as a way to truly say "good-bye" to my 9-month pregnancy and "hello" to an exciting (albeit challenging) new chapter in my life. While eating it, I thought a lot about what my pregnancy had demanded of me all those months -- how careful I'd been in my diet, trying to give my body and baby only the best, how I practiced relaxation techniques to encourage a stress-free environment for my baby in her internal world, and how all that careful attention had resulted in this healthy organ and subsequently healthy baby girl.

Physiologically speaking, the placenta is still so rich in iron and hormones even after it's shed that I knew it'd help me in my immediate recovery from my long labor (24 hours). And it did! My daughter was born at 10:34pm, so it was far too late to eat the placenta that night--I was exhausted as was my sister (the chef). So we froze it and ended up eating it two days later for dinner. The energy levels I had before and after the consumption were immediately noticible to me. The first 24 hours after my daughter's birth, I would nurse on the move around the apartment, showing her around, but would have to take frequent breaks to sit because of how light-headed I felt. But after that second night, with a belly full of placenta, those dizzy spells completely vanished! Also, that same night my milk came in--pretty soon comparatively speaking--and I like to think that can be attributed to that extra burst of nutrients I got...all from something I completely manufactured from scratch!

They say it also helps with abating postpartum depression and though it may be too soon to tell, I feel like I'm on Cloud 9 and have the feeling it's going to stay like that!

What do you think about eating the placenta? Did you eat yours?



next: Baby Born from 21-Year-Old Sperm
451 comments so far | Post a comment now
Grossed Out April 9, 2009, 6:45 AM

This is disturbing. Isn’t that right up there with canibalism?

ashley April 9, 2009, 7:21 AM

That looks gross!! I am amazed at how excited these women are over this!! WOW!!

Deana April 9, 2009, 7:27 AM

The placenta and the umbilical cord can be donated. Yes, they have all sorts of benefits, but moreso to science than as another meal for the family (who is likely overfed to begin with).

redmum April 9, 2009, 7:29 AM

Please please please take down the pics, I keep nearly throwing up.

Whatever people want to do with the placenta, I have no problem with, but please take down the pics, they are revolting. and should be contained within the post where those of us who don;t want to face that image in the morning can avoid it.


UUuurrrrghghghghghg

lulu April 9, 2009, 9:49 AM

The baby was grown inside the body, and it “naturally exited the body” why not eat the baby too? i hear they taste just like chicken. this is disturbing on so many levels. cannibalism, no, but pretty gross all the same.

Kim April 9, 2009, 10:04 AM

This is so gross it’s unbelievable. I can’t even bare to look at the pictures…it’s making me ill.

Gigohead  April 9, 2009, 10:18 AM

It so funny but I had this same conversation with someone how some people actually eat the placenta. I was imagining people from other parts of the world but not here in the states. It’s pretty gruesome and disturbing. As a matter of fact, this topic was brought up in the latest Tina Fey movie, Baby Momma where a dad said his surrogate who is a wicken cooked up the placenta. I was freaked out then, I’m even more freaked out now.

julie April 9, 2009, 10:28 AM

This is so disgusting…makes me want to vomit.

Jennifer April 9, 2009, 10:34 AM

KATHY AND CHRISSY, I think this is a beautiful thing. I did it too. Thanks for spreading the word about this. Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s wrong, people. Have an open mind!

Teresa April 9, 2009, 10:49 AM

This makes me sick…blahhhh

fidget April 9, 2009, 10:51 AM

I have friends that dehydrated their placentas, ground them up and put them into gel caps which they took for several weeks following their births. They say they felt AWESOME taking placenta pills, especially when compared to their other births where they did not consume the placenta.

Me? I have a hard enough time handing raw animal meat, I don’t think I could keep it together to prepare my own placenta in any way.

Trish April 9, 2009, 10:58 AM

I don’t have a problem with slaughtering cows or pigs etc., and eating sausage wrapped in the intestines it just seems normal.

I couldn’t even look at these pictures. I averted my eyes and scrolled past the picture and did my best not to see them.

GrossedOut is right, this sounds like borderline cannibalism.

kell April 9, 2009, 11:18 AM

u cant be serious. it came out of my body so its cool. feces comes out of ur body too, u gonna take a bite out of that? how

kell April 9, 2009, 11:22 AM

it came out of ur body so its cool?? feces and menstrual blood come out of ur body too….u gonna cook some of that up?? what is wrong with people?? these are the same people who eat bugs (simply because they can) and breast feed til their child is eating steak. this is one of the more disturbing things ive heard in quite a while.

Anonymous April 9, 2009, 11:24 AM

GROSS!

Toni April 9, 2009, 11:30 AM

F-ing SICK!!!!!

mom2threeboys April 9, 2009, 11:39 AM

I like to think I am open-minded, well-educated and accept the differences in society. When I had my third son @ home with the midwife we kept the placenta and buried it in the yard under a tree we planted for him. At no point did it occur to me to cook/eat one of my own organs …

I usually am not bothered … today I am disturbed. Proof that some people will do anything to up the ante on what is considered over the top.

No concerns about meconium? Would you eat any other body parts - um no! Well than why this one!

If you must carry on than so be it - but please suppress the need to share.

Dawn April 9, 2009, 11:40 AM

Excuse me while I go “lose my lunch”!

BARF April 9, 2009, 12:06 PM

That really is disgusting. The twin sounds like she’s a vampire.
“It’s a good 6 lbs of meat that’s just chockful of lingering blood, vitamins, and hormones that can still in part be transferred upon eating — even through cooking. When I cooked it, I cleaned the surface blood off of it, but kept anything that seaped out of it into the sauce.”
Sick.

Renee April 9, 2009, 12:08 PM

Okay, I can fathom the mother doing this, but WHY THE TWIN SISTER?!


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