New Craze for New Moms: Eat the Placenta

Cooked or in smoothies, it has high iron levels and vitamin B-12
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2011 4:25 PM CDT
Updated Aug 27, 2011 12:30 PM CDT
New Mothers Dine on Placentas to Battle Postpartum Depression, Aid Breastmilk Production
Some new moms are eating their own placentas (cooked, smoothied, or in pill form) for the nutritional or psychological benefits after giving birth.   (Shutterstock)

More mothers are turning to a healthy diet after giving birth, including fruit, veggies ... and a nice plate of placenta. As in, their own. Before losing your appetite, consider that placentas contain high iron levels, vitamin B-12, and hormones, and while no study proves their effect, believers say they alleviate postpartum depression and aid in breastmilk production. And hey, macaque monkeys eat them. "Even if it is 100% psychological, it has its purpose," says one maternal advisor.

Problem is that certain hospitals won't release placentas, considering them biohazardous waste, so some new moms smuggle them out. Jodi Selander, who was refused hers, waged a media war until a Las Vegas hospital loosened its placenta take-home policy, making her "the high priestess of the modern placentophagia movement," Atossa Araxia Abrahamian writes in New York magazine. And in case you're wondering: Placentas are eaten in smoothies, pill form, or are cooked and dried like beef jerky. (More mothers stories.)

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