Mother’s Little Helper

Want to see something really cool?

Click this. (Not a virus, I promise.)

Okay, maybe I should have warned you about that. But it’s so much more fun to imagine your reaction without the warning!

That, ladies and germs, is MY PLACENTA. Isn’t it amazing? Look at those huge, thick arteries and the umbilical cord! That organ sustained Elias’ life while inside my womb. And, thanks to a decently sized community of neo-hippies in my area, it also sustained my sanity for six weeks after he was born.

Allow me to explain.

Throughout history and across mammalian species, mothers have consumed their placentas post-partum to balance hormones and restore iron from blood loss in childbirth, among other possible reasons.

Nowadays, we civilized ladies aren’t inclined to eat something that looks like it came from the special-effects studio of “The Walking Dead”. Luckily, though, there are complete lunatics really talented women who will encapsulate your placenta.

What the hell does that mean, you ask?

It means that one of the aforementioned hippies will take your freshly birthed placenta to their home; dehydrate it on a food dehydrator next to their veggie jerky and magic mushrooms; grind it to a powder with a magic hippie wand; and carefully dump the powder into vegan-friendly capsules for your consumption. This way, you can feel like you’re just popping another shiny pharmaceutical and not actually eating a human organ, you freaking weirdo.

In all seriousness, placenta encapsulation is an amazing service provided by really loving, caring people trained in the art of such things. The woman I chose to do mine pretty much radiated love and light and stuff. She met me in my driveway the very moment we got home from the birthing center, took my fresh placenta to her home, and returned within 36 hours with my placenta pills.

My placenta, encapsulated.

My placenta made 150 pills. I started out taking one pill, three times a day. It wasn’t enough — i.e., I was still feeling loopy-hormonal-weepy — so I increased to two pills, three times a day.

And you know what?

I felt incredible. Totally, truly great. Normal. Or at least, what I imagine normal people must feel like. Consuming my placenta was as effective as taking Lamictal, my expensive, chock-full-of-dangerous-side-effects bipolar medication (which I have not been able to take since late 2007, thanks to back-to-back pregnancies and nursing). No hormone swings, no crying jags, no feelings or grief or sadness. Nothing. Just happiness and stability and clarity.

If you’ve ever given birth and experienced the typical post-partum “baby blues”, or worse, full-blown post-partum depression and anxiety, then you know how amazing my claims are.

The woman who did the encapsulation also used 1/4 of my placenta to make a tincture — a piece of my placenta preserved in 90-proof alcohol. Basically, placenta moonshine. It looks like this:

My placenta in a tincture, a.k.a., placenta moonshine.

Okay, it’s a little gnarly. I’ll give you that. But hear me out.

Because the placenta is preserved in almost-pure alcohol, it can theoretically keep forever. I can drop a few drops into a drink and presumably get the same benefits as I got from my capsules. (I haven’t actually tried it yet.) As the tincture level goes down, I can just replace the alcohol — theoretically keeping my placenta, and all of its amazing powers, forever. One of the coolest possibilities for placenta tincture is for use during menopause to naturally regulate my hormones. I can even pass it down to Elias, who should be able to benefit from it as well, as his body is made from the influence of this very same material.

My results have been so notable that I feel strongly that placenta consumption should be mandatory. I’m dead serious. It’s that effective. I believe that obstetricians should be educated in the benefits of placenta consumption and offer referrals to experienced encapsulators in the area. The service should be covered by insurance or subsidized somehow.

So, if you’re pregnant and worried about your post-partum emotional state, I’m telling you: Look into having your placenta encapsulated. Contact birthing centers in your area. They’ll likely have the name(s) of someone in your area that can do it. I paid $200 for mine, but there’s someone here in my town who does it on a donations-only basis. Ask around. I’ve heard of people in other areas that can even incorporate beneficial herbs to further enhance the potency of the placenta’s benefits.

Even if you have a hospital birth, request to keep your placenta. Demand to speak to a supervisor when the nurse looks at you like you’ve lost your marbles. Our local hospital recently met with the city’s midwives to allow mothers to take their placentas home upon signing a medical release form.

You can Google around for more information on placentophagy (placenta consumption) and you’ll see that I’m not totally making this up. It was covered in New York Magazine some time back. Hell, even some dirtbag from Fox News did a piece on it.

Your placenta: Know it. Love it. Eat it.

One thought on “Mother’s Little Helper

  1. It works! I tried it with my 2nd kid after enduring grueling year long PPD with the first. I would have eaten radioactive squirrel poop to avoid a repeat of that mess. And now, with baby # 3 on the way, I'm encapsulating my own. Just got a dehydrator. Enjoy! It truly does make everything easier…And i tell everyone to do it, to hell with the weird looks. :) It will be mainstream in a year's time.

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