There’s an interesting story up at healthzone.ca about Toronto doula Rean Cross, who offers a service to new mothers: she will collect the placenta, dehydrate and grind it and make it into pills. Her clients take these pills with the goal of increasing milk production and balancing mood and energy levels.
Placentophagy, the act of mammals eating the placenta after childbirth, isn’t something made up by New Agers. Apparently most mammals do it, including herbivores. The placenta is said to be nutrient-rich and so for any breastfeeding animal, one can see the benefit, especially if food is scarce.
But is it weird for humans to do it, when there’s more than enough food to go around? And does it really make a difference? The jury is out on any measurable health benefits, other than anecdotal ones’women healthzone.ca interviewed said they felt much better after taking the pills. In the interest of a range of opinions (I’ve never been pregnant: who am I to judge?), I asked around the office, and one mother said she would definitely do it, given the chance. Another non-mother was grossed out by the idea.
What do you think? Is eating your placenta normal and healthy or weird and gross? Is thinking it’s weird and/or gross just a subjective cultural taboo?