Eating My Placenta Saved Me from Postpartum Depression

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Eating My Placenta Saved Me from Postpartum Depression

I was sinking in misery. Everything made me mad or sad or both. The walls were closing in and there was absolutely no air.

Postpartum depression (PPD) was one of the absolute worst experiences of my entire life. And I once accidentally had boiling oil drip down my legs. That injury long ago turned into faint scars. I’m still recovering from PPD 3 years later.

I would do almost anything to avoid another bout.

Which is why I turned my placenta into pills.

Yeah, I was just as weirded out at first too. It sounds gross. Your ACTUAL placenta, which grew inside of you for 40ish weeks, will be dehydrated and ground up for you to ingest.

Then I talked to my friend, Patti. She makes placenta pills professionally. Plus, she also had PPD and postpartum anxiety. When I got those 2 pink lines, she was one of the first people I reached out to. And what she told me gave me hope.

She successfully used placenta pills in 2 pregnancies to help head off those deep baby blues. Patti made me wonder if this was right for me too. So I did a little bit of research.

Eating My Placenta Saved Me from Postpartum Depression

Women Have Been Eating Placentas for Centuries

It’s still relatively new in the United States, but women in China have been eating placentas for hundreds of years. Recent studies haven’t found any evidence that either proves or disproves popular claims about the benefits of placenta encapsulation.

Women take placenta pills for a number of reasons. Most women I’ve talked to have taken the pills after giving birth. Generally, the pills are supposed to provide these positive effects:

  • increased oxytocin production: returns the uterus to normal size; helps mothers bond with their infants
  • increased production of stress-reducing hormones
  • increased breastmilk production
  • improved iron levels in the blood
  • decreased levels of postpartum depression

That last one was my major motivation for trying this homeopathic remedy. If eating my own placenta would help to ward off another PPD episode, then sign me up!

Getting Over the “Ick” Factor

Luckily, there doesn’t seem to be any risk as long as you only eat your own placenta! Plus, placentas are collected right after birth and processed in a sterile facility.

After this, they are steamed and dehydrated. Finally, the dehydrated tissue is ground up and put into pill capsules. Your placenta encapsulation professional will then let you know how frequently to take your pills.

Knowing all of this, I felt a bit better about the whole thing.

There are other options for placenta consumption. Some mothers add liquid placenta to smoothies. Others cook it into lasagna or cookies. However, it’s important to note that this is a raw meat product and should be stored accordingly. I decided to stick to the basics.

You Can Get Placenta Pills Almost Anywhere

Well, technically, you do grow it yourself! But unless you have the certifications to make your own placenta pills, it’s not a DIY project.

However, there are professionals located around the country. Often, you can ask at your OBGYN or the hospital where you will be delivering. They might have preferred or approved providers. Mostly, you will need to find and contract with someone completely independent. Your person will come to you within an hour of birth to collect your placenta. You’ll get the pills back within just a few days.

Even military hospitals allow this. I just did this in February in Okinawa. Basically, the placenta is medical waste. You can either allow the hospital to dispose of it or you can take custody of it. Most hospitals will just have you sign a consent and release form. Some states and hospitals do have rules against this, though. So double check with your birthing facility.

Does Tricare Pay for Placenta Pills?

The cost of placenta pills varies, depending on what options you choose from your provider. This cost falls entirely on you since Tricare doesn’t cover this treatment.

I paid $250 for my pills (approximately 200 pills). My package included the pills, a print of my placenta and a decor item made from the dried umbilical cord.

Taking Placenta Pills Helped Me When I Needed the Help

At least for me, taking placenta pills post-birth seems to be working well for me. I’m not feeling as sad or stressed or angry or just terrible as I did 3 years ago. I’m able to roll with the punches better. Hey, even my 3-year-old’s antics aren’t pushing my buttons as much as they could be!

Generally, anecdotal results are what gets shared. As noted above, the scientific studies are inconclusive either way. So personal stories are the best way to learn about placenta pills and their benefits. It’s what I did when I contacted Patti for her input and experience.

Have you had your placenta encapsulated? Did you see positive results from the placenta pills? Was there pushback from your birthing facility? Tell us about your experience in the comments section. 

 

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