Six months after I gave birth to my son, I attended a lecture about whole food nutrition from the late Dr. Michael Dobbins. When you encountered him, you knew that you were in the presence of a master. He had an amazing sense of humor, didn’t beat around the bush, and knew his stuff. Within thirty minutes of his lecture, he said:
"You Know, we are the only mammals that don't ingest the afterbirth. Consider this: what if eating the placenta is a signal to the body that the completion of a cycle has occurred and we are missing out on something really, really important?"
I am proud to say that I did not miss out on completing this important cycle. After the following conversation with my midwife, I made the decision to consume my placenta raw. She has delivered thousands of babies and I knew her perspective was valuable. When I asked my midwife what my options were, she told me the following:
“Yes, I am an advocate for consuming the placenta. For years, I dried the placenta, powdered it, and encapsulated it for my clients. But then, I attended a seminar, and the teacher said that raw was the way to go. He was very convincing and I was very intrigued. So I had an experiment on my hands. I had mothers who were having second babies. So the first time around, they had the capsules, but this time, I asked them if they would be willing to try it raw and they said sure. And the phone started ringing! These moms said things like, wow, I can really feel this. Amazing!”
So after giving birth to Drake at the foot of my bed in a birthing chair, I could still feel cramping and my midwife told me to sit up on the edge of the bed, and within a few minutes, I delivered my placenta.
I will never forget my midwife, holding it up, for me to see. It looked like a really big liver with ruffles on the edges, and she said, “Gosh, whoever said that giving birth was sanitary?”
Yep, nobody said giving birth was sanitary.
My midwife and her assistant took the placenta into my kitchen and cut it into 16 pieces. They put them in Baggies of 3 and placed all but one bag in the freezer. Shortly after giving birth, I consumed my first Placenta Blueberry Bliss Smoothie, and enjoyed a smoothie a day for the next two weeks.
In essence, all the nutrition in the placenta was recycled into my body and into Drake’s milk supply. I think that’s awesome.
Obviously, I don’t have anything to compare it to. I consumed the placenta because it felt like the right thing to do. At day three, I looked in the mirror and I was translucent, like I was glowing. That continued on for the next few weeks. My milk supply came in with no problems. I healed nicely from giving birth, and Drake was healthy. So in one sense, you could say that the extraordinary thing that happened was nothing! And sometimes, nothing is really great.
If you’re going to wait for a study to show you that consuming the placenta is good, I suspect that you will be waiting a very long time. Think about it. Why would they ever fund a study that involves something that is free and actually empowers women?
While I can’t entirely put my finger on it, consuming my placenta was a spiritual experience. It filled my body with light. It felt primal and sacred and nourished a deep place inside myself that just said, “Yes! Yes! And fuck yes!”
I have said this in previous blogs, but it’s always worth repeating. If you stop making things right and wrong and ask, “How close to Nature am I?” Consuming my placenta put me really close to Nature, to my ancestors, and it felt good.
The majority of women I speak to about this will shake their heads in some form of disgust, saying, “Gross. I can’t do that.”
Ok. Fine. And my question to you is: “What else can’t you do?” Because the world doesn’t need any more “I can’t do that” bullshit spewing out of women’s mouths. The world needs women who are filled with vitality and trust themselves and can step into the unknown with certainty. I think consuming the raw placenta is a source of feminine power, and I think we need to stop cutting ourselves off from our power.
Cheers to eating your placenta in peace! This recipe is my gift to you:
Placenta Blueberry Bliss Smoothie
½ cup cashews
1 cup frozen blueberries
½ cup homemade nut milk
1 raw egg from a pastured chicken (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
1-2 scoops of a protein/vegetable powder*
1 chunk of raw placenta
Grind cashews in Vitamix to a powder (if you don’t do this step first, the smoothie will be gritty). Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more milk or water if too thick. Enjoy!
*There are lots of options here. My two favorite are SP Complete (I use the Dairy-Free version) available through health professionals who distribute products from Standard Process, and I also like the Vegan Protein powder from Innate Response Formulas. Whatever protein or vegetable powder you use, if it is sweetened, then you can remove the maple syrup from the smoothie.
Eat Placenta in Peace!