Yup. This is my actual placenta, former residence of Veda Moon. Take a good long look at it. I think it's kinda beautiful. This large, bloody, wondrous organ is one that I produced solely for the purpose of housing and nourishing my baby. Isn't it astonishing what a woman's body is capable of doing? While i was pregnant i read up on placenta after i learned that we humans are the only mammals that do not eat this "afterbirth" after we birth. I tend to lean towards the natural world for perspective and inspiration on how to live my life.
Doesn't it make sense that inherent in pregnancy and birth would be the perfect postpartum antidote and medicine? This is the divine symmetry that pulses through all of nature. The little research i did on placenta as medicine explained its many nutritional benefits to the postpartum woman, from re-tonifying our blood to replenishing many of the hormones and minerals we lose after we birth our babies. It is claimed that by ingesting our placenta in the form of encapsulated vitamins (click here for more info and details) we boost our energy and rebalance our hormones i.e. moods/emotions, during the weary and lopsided early postpartum months. There is very little scientific research to back this but Traditional Chinese Medicine has been using placenta as medicine for thousands of years, and the anecdotal evidence on this postpartum wonder-vitamin is racking up.
All i can tell you is that I did it, and it worked! Like a charm, i might add. As someone with both a history of depression and a really mean and surprising case of prenatal depression, i did not want to take my chances of having a major hormonal drop off during my postpartum period too. What do you have to lose by ingesting your placenta? For the record, I ate a small piece of it raw too, inside a yogurt and raspberry smoothie directly after i gave birth. Eating some of your raw placenta encourages your uterus to contract and stop hemorrhaging. Ingesting my placenta in all the ways i did was the best thing i ever did for myself. Placenta is powerful. In fact, when i took the 2 pills/day as recommended to me, i was producing too much milk and had too much energy, to the point that i couldn't get to sleep easily. Eventually, i found that taking 1 a day was a perfect dose for me. Despite the sleeplessness that accompanies having a newborn, i had tons of good energy and was able to be fully present with my daughter and really enjoy those early days and weeks after she was born. As i mentioned in my last post on pregnancy, i was emotionally all over the map during the first 4 weeks, but there was a steadiness that i kept returning to, and after a month of re-calibration i really found my groove. I'm so grateful to my divine placenta for supporting me and nourishing me after all the hard work of giving birth. I will never be able to prove whether or not my placenta was to thank for side stepping a potential bout of postpartum depression, but i know in my heart and soul, through direct experience, that it did. I highly recommend it to all pregnant mamas out there. Also, you can store a few away in your freezer as a future antidote for PMS symptoms, and even menopause. When I'm a hot-flashing, estrogen lacking woman during "her changes" I know i will be thrilled to find some lively, fertile, natural hormones waiting for me in the back of my freezer.
*If you live in Brooklyn or the NYC area i would highly recommend the woman who encapsulated my placenta, Michelle Ladue. She is a Chinese Herbalist and Acupuncturist, as well as a Reiki master and birth doula. She's a really generous and true healer.
**If you live elsewhere, check out this link to see if there is a placenta encapsulator in your neck of the woods. Or simply google "placenta capsules 'your city'". If you live somewhere that such a service is unlikely, you can easily do it yourself. The links above in this post can give you the recipe.