07 May Placenta : To Eat or Not to Eat?
Placenta Encapsulation has become more and more mainstream these days, especially with celebrities like Tamera Mowry, Alicia Silverstone and Kim Kardashian partaking in the pills.
I’m happy about this trend because to me placenta encapsulation is one way of honoring your placenta (more on honoring a placenta later).
Anyways….. if you are reading this then my guess is you’ve heard or read about some of the benefits as well as some cautions and are still wondering about what you should do!
Well to begin I should probably let you know that I Love Placentas! I LOVE PLACENTAS! A caution to anyone scrolling through my phone, no dick pics here but you’ll definitely get an eye full of placenta!
That being said , I don’t think that consumption of the placenta is right for everyone. So how do you know if its right for you? A little background first…..
Eating our placentas is both a very old and newer concept.
Old in the sense that as mammals our ancestor most definitely consumed the placentas they gave birth to. Evidence of which we see in our Chimpanzee cousins as they still carry on this practice. There are many benefits to consuming your placenta. I won’t to get into all that here but for our ancestors the focus of consuming the placenta centered around 3 things.
- Stop bleeding after birth as soon as possible.
- Regain strength and nourishment as soon as possible in case we are migrating or need to escape.
- Avoid luring predators attracted by blood and meat.
With these things as a central focus it makes sense to eat the placenta. How does this apply now? I’ll get there…..”Muahahaha Patience Iago, Patience”
Now I say it’s a newer concept in the sense that as soon as we developed more protected /stable home structure, started cultivating the land and began hunting our relationship with our placenta changed as our relationship with the Earth changed. Now after giving birth, we didn’t need to migrate so quickly or at all. Stable protected homes also offered protecting from predators. Hunting and the cultivation of the land generally assured a new parent /mother would be well nourished with fresh meats/ fish, fats, milks and bone broths so the need to get our nutrients from the placenta shifted. Most indigenous people across the world also had a growing Earth based spiritual system which includes the view that the Earth is a conscious living entity. One of a reverence that should be honored and given gratitude for sustaining all life. So it’s these shits that transformed our relationship with the placenta. The placenta began to be seen as an amazing entity/ guardian/ancestor that protected and nourished the baby during pregnancy. As people we began to offer the placenta back to the Earth in gratitude of sustaining and bringing this new life. Giving the placenta back to the Earth is seen (many peoples still hold this belief) as a way of respecting the Placenta and passing on its life sustaining properties to the Earth If the Earth eats, we all eat! Different peoples offered the placenta back to the Earth in various ways depending on what region they were in and what elements of nature they were exposed to.Some buried it, some offered it to the river or ocean. Our surroundings informed how we offered the placenta back to the earth.
So that brings us back to the OG question?
Tell me Raquel should I eat my placenta or not?
I’m going to tease you just a sentence or four longer. I want to share my belief that Placentas are sacred, intelligent matter that holds consciousness. I know that’s some deep stuff and I’ll break that down another time.
What I want you to know is that placentas are flexible, malleable in the roles that they play. In pregnancy the Placenta acts like a heart, liver, lungs etc…its a chameleon super adaptive. My point being that the Placenta retains that flexibility for you after birth in your postpartum.
Ok Ask Me Again…….
Raquel tell me what I should do? Do I eat it or not?
You should stop shoulding all over yourself and Do what feels right !
There is no wrong way to honor your placenta as long as you are tuning into what feels right for you and your family! You can’t make a wrong choice!
I do think everyone needs to be taking their placenta home with them and honoring it. How specifically is up to you.
Maybe you want to consume it if you know your iron levels tend to run low and your hormones get off balance easily.
Maybe you want to bury it if you had a tough time getting pregnant and you feel so grateful for having your baby now.
Maybe you have or do suffer from depression and want your placentas helps in rebalancing after birth so you can enjoy your baby…so you eat it.
Maybe you had a rough or traumatic birth and need to bring closure to your experience so you plant you placenta as grow a fruit tree over it.
Whatever your birth experience is your placenta can help you integrate it!
Trust yourself an trust your Placenta! It’s been supporting you and your baby this whole time!
Don’t want to eat your placenta, but you do want to take it home and honor it! Read my other blog post ‘Beyond Encapsulation: 7 Ways To Honor Your Placenta.’
Raquel Lemus is a Licensed Midwife based in Los Angeles who has worked with families since she was 16 yrs old and has been a birthworker and uterine health specialist since 2012. Raquel serves the LA community as a Full Spectrum Midwife, Peristeam Hydrotherapist, Placenta Specialist, Yoga Instructor, and Educator. It is her goal to connect people back to the known wisdom and intelligence of their uterus in order help them experience more joy and alignment with their life purpose!