You WANT to do what with your placenta?!?!

I'll never forget my childbirth class when I was pregnant with Jude (this was in my pre-doula days). A couple had shared their plans to make their placenta into a lasagna one evening in the class...I remember being mortified (as was most of the class). I thought "WHY IN THE WORLD?!?"

Personally, I prefer to encapsulate the dried placenta powder into pills (In accordance with the Traditional Chinese Medicine) as they last longer and are more discreet. At least now I understand WHY she ingested her placenta and I want you to as well. 

Taboo: –adjective


Proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable.

If we look at what mammals in nature do, we see that it is normal and natural to consume your placenta. To not consume your placenta is to intervene with natures process and to invite the consequences that come with that. A primary example of this consequence is the fact that more than 80% of women experience the "baby blues" after their babies are born. 80% is such a high number (and I would even bet the real stat is higher) that   the "baby blues" is considered a NORMAL consequence of the postpartum period. As is, postpartum fatigue. What if these aren't normal consequences at all, but consequences of us not following natures prescription for postpartum wellness?

So, why do we have the "baby blues"?
Because the placenta is an endocrine organ (a hormone producing organ) the placenta begins producing hormones at 6-8 weeks gestation to help sustain pregnancy.  These hormonal levels continually increase during pregnancy, and by the third trimester there are 3 times the normal level of hormones in an expectant mother’s system.  By 4-5 days postpartum, these hormone levels will drop to below normal.  This is a huge fluctuation going from 3 times the normal level to below normal hormonal level, and this is where the healing properties of the placenta come into play.

Below is a list of just a few of the scientifically known hormones
 and their functions that are produced by the placenta and are still viable and intact after delivery. Isn't it incredible that these are ALL needed postpartum, so why would the placenta naturally create postpartum hormones if not to be used to replenish the new mother’s system? 

Let's look at a comparison of the healing ingredients of the placenta, their benefits to the new mother and how the ingredients are already being derived from sources you wouldn't imagine by pharmaceutical companies to treat a number of conditions...

The known ingredients that give the placenta its healing properties are:

Gonadotrophin: the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Fertility medicines Choragon and Novarel are derived from the urine of pregnant women.

Prolactin: promotes lactation. Synthetic prolactin is used in women to promote or create lactation. A hybrid version can be derived through the pituitary glands of cattle.

Oxytocin: for pain and bonding; produced during breastfeeding to facilitate bonding of mother and infant. It also helps the uterus contract. In pharmaceutical form this is a very addictive drug because it promotes a feeling of connectedness with others. Pitocin is a snythetic form of oxytocin used to induce labor or stop postpartum hemorrhage. It comes from the pituitary glands of cattle and includes acetic acid for pH adjustment and .5 percent chloretone as a preservative.

Thyroid stimulating hormone: boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events. Synthetic versions of this hormone can be used to treat thyroid conditions and come from the pituitary glands of cattle.

Cortisone: combats stress and unlocks energy stores. Synthetic creams and injections are used treat arthritis, skin allergies, anti-inflammatory medicine and made from cow adrenals.

Interferon: stimulates the immune system to protect against infections. Rebif, a synthetic form of Interferon is a drug used to treat multiple sclerosis is made from genetically engineered Chinese Hamster Ovary cells into which the human interferon beta gene has been introduced.

Prostaglandins: anti-inflammatory. Cervidil, a synthetic prostaglandin is used commonly to ripen the cervix for labor and is made from pig semen.

Hemoglobin: replenishes iron deficiency and anemia, a common postpartum condition. Hemoglobin-glutamer 250, an oxygenated blood from cows is used when human blood isn't available.

Urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing. Synthetic versions of cell-surface-bound urokinase (uPA) activity (made from chick embryo) are currently being studied and believed to play a central role in the processes of tissue remodelling important for wound healing, mammary gland involution, ovulation and development and repair of the nervous system. Such activity is also important in a number of disease states such as cancer and the inflammatory diseases pemphigus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Gammaglobulin: immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections. Immune globulin (IG) is a sterilized solution obtained from pooled human blood plasma, which contains the immunoglobulins (or antibodies) to protect against the infectious agents that cause various diseases.

If I've kept your attention this far, and your still thinking "Ingesting your placenta is GROSS" consider the fact that most of the products we use on a daily basis (food, prescriptions, cosmetics, etc.) contain ingredients that are derived from animals, urine, bugs, etc. but because they are labeled in a way that don't give away the gross details of it's origin, many people never think twice.

Here are a few of those:

As Jamie Oliver recently pointed out a recent episode of "Food Revolution" The anal glands of a beaver, conveniently euphemized as castoreum, are a common ingredient in perfumes and colognes but are also sometimes used to — believe it or not — enhance the flavor of vanilla ice cream and raspberry candies and sweets.

"Carmine or Carminic Acid"
After killing thousands at a time, the dried insects are boiled to produce a liquid solution that can be turned to a dye using a variety of treatments. Some people worry that the coloring — often called carmine or carminic acid — could be listed as a “natural color,” disguising the fact that there are bugs in the product.

You know that shiny coating on candies like Skittles? Or the sprinkles on cupcakes and ice cream sundaes? Well, they get that glaze from the secretions of the female lac beetle. The substance is also known as shellac and commonly used as a wood varnish.

The oils inside sheep’s wool are collected to create the goopy substance called lanolin. From there, it ends up in chewing gum (sometimes under the guise of “gum base”), but also is used to create vitamin D3 supplements.

"L-cysteine or Cystine"
Bagels and other bread products usually contain this, it contains either human hair or duck feathers, and it’s your guess as to which. The substance, called L-cysteine or cystine, is used as a dough conditioner to produce a specific consistency. While artificial cysteine is available, it is cost prohibitive and mostly used to create kosher and halal products.

"Allura Red AC"
Coal tar is listed as number 199 on the United Nations list of “dangerous goods,” but that doesn’t stop people from using it in food. The coloring Allura Red AC is derived from coal tar and is commonly found in red-colored candies, sodas and other sweets.

In the UK, all cheeses are labeled as either suitable or not suitable for vegetarians because in Britain — and everywhere else — many cheeses are made using rennet, which is the fourth stomach of a young cow. In the United States and most other countries, people are left to guess about the stomach-content of their cheese.

This is a waxy oil that protects the whale's insides from sharp beaks and whatnot that the whale eventually gets rid of either by pooping it out, or throwing it up. While it has a natural odor of its own, ambergris also enhances other fragrances by helping their scents to last longer. It is the perfumer's dream ingredient. Recently, American companies have tended to shy away from the connotations of using this ingredient, whereas the French, as always, are more liberal in their views. Indeed, it is said that you can still find ambergris in the ladies' favorite Chanel No. 5.

On farms in North Dakota and Canada, female horses are impregnated and then confined from the fourth month through the end of their 11-month pregnancies so their urine can be gathered for Premarin, a brand of estrogen.

This is a protein found in the neck ligaments and aortas of cows, is purchased by companies that manufacture skin-care products.

"Hyaluronic acid"
This is a protein found in umbilical cords and in fluids around joints of cows, is used as a cosmetic oil.

"SkinMedica cream"
 Face creama that is made from the derivative of foreskins.

"Rabies, some mumps, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis a, smallpox vaccines"Grown on aborted fetal tissue.

So, perhaps I've been marketing my business all wrong? 

Maybe I need to forget about educating people on the ingredients (who needs to know it's got placenta in it, right?) and just focus on the benefits and a fancy name? Afterall, that is how America has gotten this far with it's over processing, synthetic drug and food making ways. Hmmm....


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