The act of eating placenta of their young after childbirth is known as placentophagy. Placenta consists of high amounts of prostaglandin which is responsible for stimulating the involution of the uterus. Placenta is also full of oxytocins which help to ease out the stress caused due to birth stress and results in smoothening the muscles around the mammary cells.
While some believe that there are many benefits of eating placenta, others do not consider it to be the best idea. This practice is common among mammals and wild animals but humans too practice it.
What does Placenta do?
Placenta is the very first organ which gets formed or developed before the development of any of the baby’s organs. This organ plays a very important role during your pregnancy and makes a connection between you and your baby. It transfers important nutrients, oxygen and hormones to the baby and takes away the waste that gets formed. This organ continues to grow as the pregnancy proceeds and is the only single organ in your body which the body first makes and then gets rid of. After birth, you don’t need this organ.
In China, the consumption of placenta went on for thousands of years as it helped mothers regain lost energy, boost milk supply and boost stamina. The hormone oxytocin stimulates hormones, prolactin and interferon and also helps mothers to reduce pain and bond well with the babies. Thus, this practice not only is supported by history but also by science.
Prevalent Among Most Mammals
If you thought that humans were the only ones who were into eating placenta then you are wrong. There are many other mammals that practice placentophagy. Mammals do so in order to hide the signs of childbirth from the predators in their natural habitat. Mammals are into this practice because eating placenta offers them a biological edge or advantage. Studies have found that rats who consume their placenta have many benefits including higher threshold for pain.
How do People do it?
While some people eat their placenta raw, others may blend it in the form of smoothie so that it can be consumed without any difficulty. Some others may also cook it like meat is cooked and eat that. But one of the best ways so far to eat placenta is to encapsulate it. The process of encapsulation usually includes seaming the placenta, drying it, grinding it and then converting it into the form of a pill. This pill can then be consumed. This is the best, least uncomfortable way to consume placenta after childbirth.
Other Benefits of Eating Placenta
Some of the other benefits of placenta consumption include lowering insomnia, postpartum depression, boosting breast milk quantity, increase in your energy levels, balancing the various hormones in the body and others.
Is it Necessary?
All the benefits that we get by eating placenta can be availed through other ways as well and hence it is not a necessity.