You may want to wait until after lunch to read about the latest fad in childbirth: placenta-eating. The practice has been around for a while, and many animals do it, but it's now enjoying renewed popularity among humans.
According to New York Magazine, placentophagia, as it's called, enjoyed a popularity boost in 2007, when placenta activist Jodi Selander convinced a Las Vegas hospital to release the organs to women so they could eat them post-partum. Now women across the country are enjoying (I guess) their afterbirth cooked, dehydrated, made into pills, or blended in smoothies. Some claim the practice helps with lactation problems and post-partum depression, but there's no scientific evidence to support this. And the words of "placenta-preparer" Jennifer Mayer don't do much to dispel the notion that placentophagia is a flakey hippie phenomenon. While getting ready to cook one new mother's afterbirth, she says,
Some are really intense, with grief or sadness or uncertainty. This one is pretty joyful. It's big and round, and so fresh!
Joyful or not, it's possible that placenta-eating could have a placebo effect — says "baby planner, doula, marriage counselor, and placenta lady" London King,
The body follows the mind. If I drink a green drink and I think it's good for me, then that's great. The same thing holds for the placenta. Even if it is 100 percent psychological, it has its purpose.
Fair enough. It also stands to reason, then, that if you think eating your own placenta is fucking disgusting, it won't do much for you. So those of us who would rather not consume things that come out or vaginas can leave the placenta to the placentaphages, and everybody's happy. However, it's possible that placentophagia is linked to other conditions. Mom and placenta-eater Alexa Beckham says, "When I was pregnant, I just craved organs." Just to be safe, she should probably get tested for zombiehood.
The Placenta Cookbook [NY Mag]
Image via lyf1/Shutterstock.com