The Latest Freaky Parenting Trend: Eating the Placenta

Eating the placenta is all the rage these days among a certain crowd. Yes, really. Why? Many animals eat the placenta after the birth, including goats. The placenta contains prostaglandin, which helps the uterus return to its normal state. It also contains oxytocin, which stimulates milk production and soothes the stress of labor. There have been no scientific studies, but research is often behind the curve. Human placenta is also a common ingredient in Chinese medications.

Some women wash and filet their own placentas after birth. They then freeze it in chunks and add them to their morning smoothies. However, cleaning and preparing your own placenta is not for everyone. Neither is immediate consumption. It’s important to know that there are options if you don’t have time to prepare your own placenta.

If you’re committed to eating your baby’s placenta, but are worried you won’t be in the mood for a snack right after the birth, don’t panic. Although raw meat has an expiration date, there are options for preserving your placenta so that you can consume it later. Placenta encapsulation may be right for you.

If you don’t immediately consume your placenta, you should store it properly. Refrigerate it within a couple of hours. It’s a good idea to use an airtight container, especially if you store it near the onions.  The placenta will stay fresh in the fridge for about two days. If you want to make placenta smoothies, keep in mind that you should not pulverize or crush raw placenta. Putting it in the blender will give it bad juju.

You can also freeze the placenta for a few weeks (be sure to double-bag it). However, the longer it is in the freezer the more it will lose its natural benefits. If you leave it in there too long, you risk freezer-burn. You can possibly prevent freezer-burn by wrapping it in butcher paper before you bag it, but studies are inconclusive.

These concerns are why placenta encapsulation is such a great option. You’re likely to be tired after birth and if your husband or partner isn’t a great cook, you may not have time to whip up a placenta fricassee yourself. You may also want to stretch the benefits of consuming the placenta over a long period of time. The placenta will have the most powerful benefits the sooner it is encapsulated. You should really make a decision quickly as opposed to letting it hang out in the refrigerator for a while.

Placentas can be prepared for encapsulation in a variety of ways. The placenta is prepared and then put into pre-made capsules. There is much spirited debate about the best way to prepare the placenta. It can be dried overnight, put in a dehydrator, broiled or flambéed. In any case, it is dried in some method or another, then ground and put into a capsule. This process can produce up to a couple of hundred of capsules. The FDA has not specified the appropriate dosage for dried placenta capsules, but most experts expect these capsules to last for a few weeks.

After reading this article, you’re probably going to want to do some research of your own. Keep in mind that many placenta encapsulation sites feature detailed pictures. With that in mind, here are a couple of recommended sites:

  • This website is a champion: Not only does it offer placenta information and referrals, it also offers people the opportunity to become placenta entrepreneurs. They offer “the best business opportunity for people who would like to offer safe, affordable and professional placenta encapsulation services.” Placenta franchises – the wave of the future. It’s also worth noting that PBI-affiliated professionals are trained in food safety handling.
  • This website offers do-it-yourself placenta encapsulation steps. It also includes an equipment list, which includes a stovetop steamer and a coffee grinder. There are several pictures.
  • Here’s an enthusiastic provider:
  • This website includes information for placenta frugal-ness:

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