Friday, July 20, 2007

Postpartum Depression and Eating One's Own Placenta

Okay, this is a new one on me. USA Today has a story on placentophagy, which is believed by some to help prevent postpartum depression.

"French's midwife offered her an unusual remedy: She suggested the expectant mother ingest her own placenta as a means of allaying postpartum depression. The temporary organ was saved, dried and emulsified, then placed in gelatin capsules and taken by the mother in the months after the birth in December 2004.

'Before I actually did it, my friends thought it was weird,' says French, 29, of Spokane, Wash., whose fifth child is due in August. 'But when they saw how fast I recovered from my birth and they knew my history, they thought it was pretty neat. Now I have a lot of friends planning to do it.'
"
An expert quoted in the article noted the absence of evidence that this practice is effective.

A well-known psychiatrist in Langley, Virginia, suggests eating it "fried with liver and onions and a nice Chianti."

15 comments:

yay said...

Hmmm if it's all the same to you, I might just take some extra Efexor! (which only has one F in Australia)

A Mom Who Thinks Too Much said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sophizo said...

Unfortunately, I decided to do a little research on this after reading the post. I found out that people do a lot more than just take their placenta in pill form. They actually eat it like it's meat! I guess vegetarians do this because it is the only "meat" that isn't killed before being consumed. It seems to be popular in stew form. GROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean, I get why certain animals eat the placenta after giving birth...but humans? Ewww!!! Seems like a form of cannibalism to me. I'm getting sick just thinking about it.

Midwife with a Knife said...

It kind of makes sense, in a weird biological sort of way. Postpartum depression is really very biological. They did these studies where they simulated the drop in hormones postpartum in patients (without depression) by giving them lupron. A certain subset of those women got postpartum depression.

The placenta is full of steroid hormones (like estrogen and progesterone etc.), and steroid hormones survive cooking pretty well. So eating your placenta is like giving yourself a replacement of those steroid hormones that fall so rapidly after you give birth.

Not that I'll be prescribing placenta for postpartum depression any time soon.....

HP said...

Don't forget the side serve of fava beans!

Interesting what MWAK says but I think I'd pass on this one and take my chances.

Sarebear said...

Eww. I didn't even know animals did that, until the sought-after pedigree'd Shitzu (gesundheit) my MIL just bred for the first time, was pregnant. Although Posey didn't get to, she had to have an emergency c-section. Since she's going to have scheduled ones from now on, she might not ever get to.

For people, just . . . ewwwww.

Midwife with a Knife said...

I shouldn't ask. I have to ask. Why would one do an emergency c-section on a dog? I don't think we can do monitoring of doggy fetuses while the doggy mom's in labor... how do you know a dog needs a c-section?

word verification: tartmon: A Jamaican pie.

dinah said...

Totally yuk.

First I was trying to figure out who the placenta belongs to: wouldn't eating your own placenta mean the one that nourished You? I take it these moms are injesting their babyie's placenta. And for efficacy, does it even have to be your own? Maybe the neighbor's would do.

And what condiments work best?

Still very weird to think of consuming one's body parts..

dinah said...

Just this once, I'm pleased that you didn't add a graphic.

Midwife with a Knife said...

I could get you some graphics... even some graphic graphics. Placentas galore, even!

Sarebear said...

Because my MIL, and the niece who is letting her have this very expensive dog if she will bring her to breed with the niece's well-pedigreed males twice a year, every other year, for the first six years (skipping the first two heats, as the dog is too young for its long term health to breed), and take care of the puppies until weaned, were at my niece's house (my MIL having brought the dog in when she went in to labor, as the niece had asked, as well as the niece has alot of experience with laboring shitzu's (they are TINY, and have their own set of problems)).

They were observing, and doing what they could (which I suppose is let nature take its course while things were within norms), but a puppy was stuck and could not finish delivering, even with attempts at as much assistance as a knowledgeable breeder can give.

They rushed the dog to the vet, where they delivered two puppies; they attempted to rescusitate the stuck puppy once delivered, but with no success.

The C-section cost was roughly half the selling price of one of these puppies, although higher can be asked with sought-after pedigrees.
The niece might just keep the puppy, once weaned, for breeding with her bitches.

Apparently she's too small to reliably and safely deliver puppies (although if she'd another in there, the puppies' sizes would have been smaller and perhaps been ok; first pregnancies have fewer puppies as things aren't stretched out yet.) She just a regular-size shitzu, but a hair under the mean size.

There's more than you ever wanted to know about purebred small dog breeding, isn't it?

The surviving puppy sure is a son of a bitch . . . . she's a very lovable bitch, too! I'll be posting pics of the puppy soon, he's SO tiny and adorable and cute!

harry 33 said...

animals do things for a reason, such as eating the placenta and licking the babys genitals to stimulate the urinary system

Rach said...

Dinah, i would think ketchup would work in this case. Ketchup always works in weird scenarios. And this would certainly count as a weird scenario.

Mother Jones RN said...

Eeewww! That's gross. Make my cure for depression a bottle of Prozac.

MJ

Lord Manley said...

I ate placenta.

Words and pictures:

placenta eating.