When speaking to people, if you mention eating a placenta (or ‘placentophagy’ as it is scientifically known), they often get that look on their face, you know the one, like they may need a garbage pail in a few moments. Placentophagy though often joked about, has been used in traditional chinese medicine (TCM) as long ago as in the 1500’s, which is longer than modern medicine has existed. Other cultures that find it customary to prepare the placenta for the mother or are known to consume part or all of the placenta include the Chinese, Vietnamese, Hungarians and Italians. These cultures believe that the placenta is rich in nutrients that will greatly assist the mother to recover from childbirth, including slowing and stopping haemorrhaging during childbirth and helping with milk supply. The practice has continued for centuries due to an abundance of great properties believed to make a huge difference to a new mother’s mental health, recovery and well being. After birth, the majority of new mothers experience blood loss, fatigue, and a crazy influx of pregnancy hormones. 80% of women experience some level of postpartum blues or depression.
Most mammals eat their own placentas right after giving birth and scientists aren't certain why they do it. They’ve theorized that these animals eat their placentas for nourishment, to replenish their bodies’ hormones, or as a way of tidying up. Some scientists have observed that rats who eat placentas seem to be more immediately attentive to pups. Those placenta-eating rats also exhibit a higher pain threshold. It’s not clear what this evidence might teach us about humans. Now I am not saying just because animals do it we should, but maybe, without social pressures and cultural norms, animals instincts are on the right track.
What Are The Benefits Of Placenta Encapsulation?