This is the third post in my placenta series. In the first post I covered the benefits of eating your placenta. In the second post, my doula Deb takes us through the placenta encapsulation process from start to finish. In this post, I share my personal experience eating placenta, and it may just surprise you!
How I started with eating placenta
About a week postpartum, I began taking my placenta pills, two after each meal as instructed. I went about my regular business and didn’t expect anything to change significantly.
Well, that was fast
Within 24 hours, I noticed my milk production increase substantially. As someone who has a lot of milk, this was actually not great news. Paloma, who was already frustrated and overwhelmed by my fast let down and abundant milk, was now even more aggravated.
I was engorged and literally leaking everywhere
I was going through shirts, sheets, and bras like crazy. Now, of course, some could argue that this could have been a natural process of “my milk coming in,” but I had noticed a shift from colostrum to white milk a few days earlier, so I doubt this was the case. As I shared in the placenta benefits post, placentophagy or eating your own placenta, is known to increase milk supply. And that was certainly the case with me.
I also started to get the blues
Baby blues, mild depression, the beginnings of postpartum depression. Call it want you want, but I just had this “down” feeling. This was new to me, as I hadn’t experienced any blues after birthing my first child, Griffin.
I kept observing it
At first I figured it was my hormones dropping, and that they would balance out. But they didn’t, and the blues settled over me like a fog for a few days.
Then I got a surprising email
A reader named Kelly wrote to share her experience eating placenta. Soon after she began taking her placenta pills, she told me, she found herself weepy and angry for no reason. Her baby also seemed agitated and was having trouble nursing.
Huh, I thought…
Was there a link between eating placenta and my nursing issues and sadness? It was certainly worth testing. So I stopped taking the pills and, sure enough, in about 24 hours my mood brightened. And within 48 hours my milk chilled out.
I felt like my old self again
After a few days of this I decided to test the placenta pills one last time. I resumed my course of taking two pills after each meal and, sure enough, I started to feel down again. So I stopped taking them all together, and haven’t had one since.
Final thoughts on placentophagy
My experiment with eating placenta was by no means scientific, and there may have been other factors that drove my experience. But my feeling about it is that, for whatever reason, my body didn’t need or want what is found in the placenta. And I’m okay with that.
My advice to other moms who are considering eating placenta
My advice to any mom who is curious about eating her placenta is to go for it! Again, I’ve heard many positive stories about it. BUT, I suggest that you watch your symptoms. If you feel more energized, more optimistic, and your milk supply is in good shape, great! But if you start feeling any negative effects, experiment with the placenta pills and see if they could be behind it.
Bottom line: Each body and each placenta is different. Do what is right for you!
Did you consume your placenta after childbirth?
Did you try eating placenta after childbirth? How did it affect you? Share with us so we can learn from each other!