Why I Plan to Eat My Placenta


I’m also thinking about making a placenta print!

At my 19 week appointment my midwife said my placenta has great blood flow. It was talkin’ up a storm when we were listening for Sprout’s heartbeat. Yep, that’s the kind of thing we visit about at appointments.

Sprout is the current nickname to my little man :)

So, I figured it was about time I share my plans to eat my placenta this go around. Wonder why? Here’s the scoop …

  • Almost all mammals do it. Kind of like unmedicated birth, it’s just the way it is supposed to be.
  • The placenta is rich in nutrients. Positive hormone and healing rich nutrients like gonadotrophin, prolactin, oxytocin, cortisone, interferon, prostaglandins, hemoglobin, urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII,  gammaglobulin, and thyroid stimulating hormone
  •  Goodbye baby blues. Because of the amazing nutrients within the placenta, studies have shown that by consuming the placenta it can ward off or lessen baby blues and postpartum depression.
  •  Boost milk supply. Because of the prolactin, many women see a significant boost in their milk supply after consuming their placenta. “In 1954, researchers provided dried placenta to 210 mothers who were expected to have low milk supply. 86% of these mothers noticed a significant increase in their milk production. It can be beneficial for breast milk production even for mothers who are not at risk of low supply.”
  • Bring on the bliss! As Stacie Krajchir said … Eating placenta pills will “ward off all post-pregnancy evil; [which] will bring bliss, serenity and pure mommy power into my being.” And seriously, who doesn’t want that?

Stay tuned for my debate between placenta smoothies or encapsulating pills. In the meantime, here are some placenta-awesome posts …
Six Weeks of Placenta Pills: My Take On It
Placenta Medicine – The Tree of Life
Pregnant Over 40: I Think I’m Going to Eat My Placenta
January Jones Eats Her Own Placenta
What’s the Deal with Placenta Encapsulation?
Top 5 Reasons You Should Consider Eating Your Placenta

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  1. says

    I'll be curious to see your post baby post about placenta. How it worked for you and if it really helped all of those things. The idea of "eating" the placenta grosses me out, but sounds way less disgusting when you are just taking pills…

  2. says

    I really love the idea of making a placenta print!! I wish I had done it with my babies. I don't know if I could do the eating of the placenta though. I totally get the benefits and really applaud momma's that make that leap. I just don't know if I could stomach it! But, even though that is the way I feel, I would still love to read about your experience when the time comes!!

  3. LaurenTummel says

    Have you talked to any medical doctors about this?

  4. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Yes :) I've talked it over with my naturopath and midwife.

  5. ThatMamaGretchen says

    At this point there is no guarantee I'll be able to go through with it :) I'm a notorious gagger with almost any pills (have to buy the chewy or mini prenatals) … so, we'll see! I'm definitely going to do the print though! Wish I had one for Jemma, but I'm learning that as each child is different, my experience with pregnancy, birth, etc. will be different too :)

  6. ThatMamaGretchen says

    I think a big part of it is getting over the mind-aspect of it. And really, alot of what we consume is pretty gross when we dissect its' ingredients. I'll definitely post how it goes … I may chicken out, but I'm at least going to try :)

  7. Jeni says

    I actually have a friend who just went through this process and she had nothing but positive things to say about it (she even had her husband on board for helping with the process!). Here is a link to her experience if it helps : http://sigrahfamily.blogspot.com/2012/03/placenta…. Good luck with whatever you end up doing!

  8. Leahmria says

    I'm going to be sick. Sorry.

  9. Diycupcake says

    Also, in emergency settings eating a oz of placenta raw can stop or slow postpartum bleeding! Not that I'd like to eat it raw but I'd rather do that then get pitocin after a natural drug free birth. Just an FYI don't have to original source on hand but I know you can google it :)

  10. Diycupcake jennifer says

    If you're not into pills you can have it mixed with chocolate in drink or bar form and that's a way sweeter way to enjoy it! I will post some placenta links and info and let you know all the resources you have in the PNW

  11. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Oh Leah … you'll still be my friend though, right? :)

  12. Leahmria says

    Fine. :)

  13. Kay says

    Just curious as to how well the nutrients/ hormones survive the process of being dried out and turned into pills?And also if they survive stomach acid?Just the first two things that popped into my head and since you've talked about it with your advisors, wondering if you know?

  14. ThatMamaGretchen says

    From what I understand, just like cooking any protein the nutrients stay with the placenta. I've not heard anything about reactions with stomach acid … good question! I'll be sure to ask it :) This was a new resource I recently ran across that is REALLY informative and hosts a number of research articles: http://placentanetwork.com/default.asp

  15. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Thanks for the link …heading over to read it now :)

  16. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Oooo, interesting!

  17. hobomama says

    I really liked having mine encapsulated. I felt better regulated hormonally and emotionally from the first time around. No idea if it was absolutely the pills that made the difference, but I'll take it! I meant to save my placenta the first time around but accidentally left it at the hospital.Also? That's the most beautiful placenta print I've ever seen!

  18. says

    Eating my placenta has kept my sane. I've still had PPD, but it's kept me off meds. Seriously. As for the debate between placenta smoothies versus encapsulation, I've done both and there are benefits to both. The smoothies made me feel fantastic. All around, green smoothies are just great. I did them for the first week until I'd finished the encapsulation. Downsides for me were when I ran out of spinach and didn't get my smoothie, that was a hard day. Also I think I would have ran out faster, but I could have tried smaller chunks. I was basically just winging it since there's not a ton of info online, so I wasn't sure how big to do. I still think it wouldn't have lasted as long, considering I think I'm going to get somewhere near 200 placenta pills (I haven't finished putting it in capsules, just stuck the powder in the freezer). The pills are great and quick, but I don't think they do as much good. I did the raw method, so I take just one a day. If I take two, I get really jittery. Also actually getting it done. I had a few days there without smoothie or capsules and those were hard days.I'll be interested to see what you decide!

  19. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience – I'm happy to hear it's helping you :)

  20. ThatMamaGretchen says

    I love the print too! Although, I read that once you use paint with the placenta that you can't encapsulate or smoothie it – which makes sense. So, it's one or the other. I think I'll do a regular placenta print and just turn it black and white with a colored matte border or something … we shall see :)

  21. LynneaShrief says

    This is a great post Gretchen! Excellent that your scan could show your placenta has good blood flow! I'm sure your placenta will be big and nutritious. Get in touch if you want a mini kit so you can encapsulate yourself, it's a wonderful experience to spend time with your placenta after birth…baby in sling…an excellent way to say goodbye to the pregnancy and a huge welcome to motherhood! Get in touch if you need any advice. xx Lynnea Shrief – IPEN Placenta Network Founder http://www.placentanetwork.com

  22. jessicarogers says

    i've made plenty of jokes about having placenta tacos after my son is born, but i couldn't actually do it. more power to you girl! you bring up some really great points! i'd do it if i was brave enough, but for some reason i can't flip the switch. but you go gretchen! :) <3jessicahttp://feistyfeathers.blogspot.com

  23. ThatMamaGretchen says

    I would have never thought about it with my first – different time, different place :) Who knows, maybe you'll go for those tacos one of these days! Although, a pill might go down a little easier :)

  24. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Oooo, thanks for the mini kit idea … I'll look into it!

  25. ThatMamaGretchen says

    I'm so happy you commented! I'm thrilled to post credit to you … it is absolutely stunning. Updating the post now :)

  26. Artofpatience says

    Thanks so much for the kind words regarding my 'Tree of Life', and for the credit! Very much appreciated, and all my best to you :-)Sincerely,~Patience

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  1. […] my first post on placentas for those that missed it. I opted to skip the smoothie and go straight for the pills; more due to […]