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Oh yes. This is ‘that’ placenta post.

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But first… Happy third trimester to BabyHTP!  Everyone counts trimesters differently, but my sources say that the third tri starts at 27 weeks, so I’m going with it.  So excited to be in the third trimester.

 

Here’s what 27 week-old babies are up to: “Baby’s lungs and immune system are maturing this week as baby prepares for his grand entrance. If he were born today he would have an 85 percent chance of surviving as his lungs are capable of breathing air (with medical assistance, of course). Other exciting developments: Baby’s done a lot of growing over the past few months. His length has more than doubled in the past 15 weeks! And that’s not the only thing growing—baby’s brain tissue and neurons are all developing at a rapid pace. His brain waves are now firing away just like those of a newborn baby. If baby is a he, his testes will have completely descended at this point. Your baby now weighs in at approximately 14½ inches and just over 2 pounds.” (Source)  Grow, baby, grow!

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In other news, I had an appointment with my midwife this morning to take my gestational diabetes test. I won’t know for a few days if I ‘passed.’  My iron levels were also checked – I was low a month and a half ago, and although I’ve made progress, I’m still below the ideal.  My supplement has been increased – fingers crossed.  I also got to hear the heartbeat – it was a fast 140 beats per minute.

 

Okay – onto the good stuff.

 

Many, many people have asked me if I plan to eat my placenta.  If you’re all like, ‘WHAAAAAAAT?!’ – please, let me explain before you judge.  Placentophagy (the act of eating your placenta) is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice that has been done in China for thousands of years.  As the Husband is a TCM physician, we’ve gotten the placenta question a lot.

 

Those who support the practice claim there are many, many benefits – ingesting your placenta is supposed to help stop bleeding; increase breast milk supply; boost iron, Vitamin B, and other vitamin stores in the momma; reduce the risk of post-partum depression; and stabilize mood.  I’ve personally spoken to many women and midwives who were thrilled with the impact that placentophagy had on their health.  One midwife even told me of a women who was hemorrhaging after birth – she asked for her placenta, took a huge raw bite out of it, and the bleeding stopped!

 

Another argument that I’ve heard for placentophagy is the fact that most mammals eat their placentas.  However, this argument has never really rang true to me – I’ve always thought that animals probably eat their placenta to help ward off potential predators.  Or they really need a snack and don’t have access to a refrigerator.  Also, dogs eat their own poop.  Smile 

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Now, there are very few Western scientific studies that either prove or disprove the benefits of placentophagy. There are no large, well-controlled studies to determine if there is a benefit or under what circumstances benefits occur (i.e. dosage, frequency).  So the ‘evidence’ for eating your placenta is largely anecdotal and historical. 

 

Does that mean I’m not going to do it?  Oh no.  I am definitely ingesting my placenta.  Why?  Well, I feel like the potential benefits (far and vast) far outweigh the drawbacks (mainly the ‘ick’ factor and cost; if the placenta is prepared in a healthy way, there are no health risks to consuming in).  Basically – why not?  In my eyes, if something that’s entirely natural and safe might be able to prevent post-partum depression, help  me sleep more soundly, bounce back more quickly, and produce more breast milk, why not give it a shot?

 

So – how does this work, exactly?  Am I going to haul my placenta home from the hospital and slap it on the grill?  Heck, no.  First of all, I definitely ‘get’ the ick factor… but not because it’s my placenta.  I’m more grossed out by the fact that technically meat, and I’m a vegetarian.  Even if it’s MY meat (well, an organ) – it’s still meat.  I do find it really funny that the people in my life who are the most FREAKED OUT at the thought of me eating my placenta are omnivores who eat animal flesh on a daily basis – there isn’t a huge difference! 

 

A less-icky way to do it is placenta encapsulation.  Basically, the placenta is brought home from the hospital or birthing center, dried in a food dehydrator, crushed, and packaged into pills.  You may get 250 pills or more out of your placenta.

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(Source)

While you can certainly encapsulate your own placenta, the idea of this totally 1) freaks me out and 2) stresses me out.  I think the Husband and I will be far too busy with the baby to worry about packaging my placenta into a bunch of pills.  So instead, I opted to hire a ‘placenta encapsulation specialist’ who will come to my house and do it for me.  I’ll call her when I go into labor to give her a heads up, and after birth, we’ll place the placenta in a plastic bag and then in a (new and never to be used again) cooler filled with ice.  The Husband or my mother will bring it to our house, and our placenta lady will meet with them to do round 1 of preparations, which takes about an hour.  She’ll come back two days later to do another hour of work and finish up.  In total, the service costs $150 – this was by far the best price that I found (it was a special); most rates were $250 – $325.

 

Oh, and HOW do you get your placenta out of the hospital?  That is a very interesting topic, indeed.  You would think that you could just walk out with your placenta (hello, it came from MY body!), but at my hospital, you have to have your doctor sign a medical release form so you can take it with you.  Fortunately, my doctor is pretty cool and doesn’t mind signing.  Many hospitals consider placentas to be bio hazardous waste and won’t release it to the patient, which I find ridiculous.

 

So… not quite sure how to conclude this post, but that’s the story of my placenta plans.  Sure, it’s a little different (and I am 100% sure that most of America would think it’s too weird for words), but like I said – if it could possibly help me and my baby, why not just give it a shot?

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Here’s Week 27 in bullet form:

  • Total Pounds Gained:  Officially up 21 pounds.

  • Happiest Baby Moment:  Hearing that the baby is positioned head-down. I realize he or she can still flip, but it was nice to hear nevertheless.

  • Happiest Non-Baby Moment:  Our mortgage is wrapped up and ready to go – we close on our first home NEXT WEEK.

  • Workouts:  Two 20-minute sessions on the elliptical, a little strength training, and two long walks.

 

Only 13 weeks (give or take a few…) to go!

{ 231 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Baroque Diva March 14, 2012, 2:20 pm

    wow, Caitlin! such an informative and interesting blog post- and i’m not even CLOSE to considering having a family, but I found it pretty cool.

    if I were ever to consider ingesting a placenta for it’s possible benefits, i would definitely only consider the pill form. that’s very cool! :) i also was kinda grossed out initially reading your post, but the pill idea neat. the only problem- i’m terrible at remembering to take supplements.. thank goodness for gummie vitamins! :)

    Reply
  • Kelly March 14, 2012, 2:20 pm

    I have to say that really grosses me out but so does childbirth. LOL So I can’t really have an opinion since I’m not going to do either one. I look at it like to each their own and hope it works out ok for you.

    Reply
  • Helene @healthyfrenchie March 14, 2012, 2:28 pm

    Whoa, at first I just thought “gross”. Sorry couldn’t help it! But your reasoning and arguments make a lot of sense. I think it’s great that you are putting yourself out there and are doing what you think is best for your baby and you.. In Western society everything is metalized , and we are so out of touch with our body and what is natural..
    I also love your point that: “dogs eat their own poop” too funny
    PS: You look gorgeous, pregnancy suits you :)

    Reply
  • Bethany March 14, 2012, 2:31 pm

    Congrats on the house!!!! That is so exciting, especially considering all that you’ve been through.

    Reply
  • Chelsea March 14, 2012, 2:31 pm

    Ah I can never imagine eating my placenta post-child birth but props to you momma for going for it!

    Reply
  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 14, 2012, 2:31 pm

    Wow, I had NO idea that people actually eat their placenta! It does gross me out a bit, but thanks for opening my eyes up to the whole thing – I guess I’m very naive when it comes to childbirth! If I were to do it, I think I’d do the same as you and opt for pill form rather than raw. I hope you reap all the benefits you talked about! :)

    Reply
  • Elizabeth March 14, 2012, 2:33 pm

    This post freaked me out! Can you explain in more detail what it will taste like and how it will be prepared if not “grilled” :). Also If one hospital says it is biohazards, why would you eat it? I am sorry if this sounds rude, but when I read that you wrote that after you said you were going to eat it, I kinda got freaked out!

    Reply
    • Crystal March 14, 2012, 2:42 pm

      Hospitals say it’s a biohazard to cover their ass. A lot of hospital policies are in place for that lone reason.

      Reply
      • Claire March 14, 2012, 11:10 pm

        Any human tissue would be considered biohazard waste – it just means it needs to be treated as if capable of causing infection to others (ie through transmission of blood borne illnesses for example). It’s just like how used needles are biohazard waste as they have your blood on them – not a problem for you, but a potential problem for others.

        Reply
    • Kate March 15, 2012, 12:18 pm

      Elizabeth – Did you read the whole post? She goes into detail about having it in capsule form.

      Reply
  • Jen March 14, 2012, 2:33 pm

    I had my placenta encapsulated and I tried taking the pills for a while. I think they helped with my mood and my recovery but I think they also made me constipated. I’m not sure if it was the Iron content or what? I also haven’t heard of anyone else having this problem. Maybe I imagined it?

    Reply
    • Anon March 14, 2012, 6:19 pm

      I have no idea but your theory about the iron is a really good one! Even tiny tiny doses of iron make it IMPOSSIBLE for me to go and I imagine your placenta is loaded with it. I wonder if the positive impacts have anything to do with that exact theory, like mood and whatnot is partially from post-birth anemia? Hmm now I’m curious. :)

      Reply
      • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:17 pm

        I think iron is a supposed benefit of placenta eating as well!

        Reply
  • ErikaMC March 14, 2012, 2:33 pm

    I wanted to bring my placenta home and bury it in the ground under the tree we planted once our son was born (I wanted to plant something the day we came home from the hospital and have something to take pictures each year as it and our son was born), but my placenta abrupted and they had to send it in for testing so I didn’t get to.

    Reply
  • Alli March 14, 2012, 2:37 pm

    Love hearing this! I had the same thoughts about ingesting my placenta. The potential benefits outweigh the risks, basically because there are no risks! Ive only had one baby(18 mo now) so I can’t compare my experience to any previous births, but I will say that I never struggled with my milk supply, I had a fabulous recovery and hardly bled. Don’t know if that’s luck or bc I took my placenta pills. I plan on doing it for any future births.
    Also, I still have quite a few and take them on days I feel especially fatigued.
    I love that you’re doing this and sharing it on your blog! :D

    Reply
  • Jenny March 14, 2012, 2:37 pm

    Thank you for writing this post and educating others about it. We debated doing placenta encapsulation when my daughter was born, but opted not to for financial reasons. I think we’ve already decided we’ll probably do it with our second child. The benefits surely seem to outweigh the risks. I struggled to cope with the fatigue and mood-instability post-partum and we figure it surely can’t hurt to try this next time around.

    Reply
  • Megan - Newly Wife March 14, 2012, 2:37 pm

    So excited that your mortgage is closing! I hate to say it, but just be prepared for it to take a week or two longer to close. It seems like everyone I know has had that problem. Then again, maybe it’s just a Cali thing.

    Also, I was totally going to suggest the placenta pills thing, but you already researched it. Nice. It is weird, but I think eating meat is weird too (and I’m totally a carnivore).

    You look super cute, too!

    Reply
    • Marlow March 14, 2012, 3:10 pm

      Yep! I totally agree with Megan! It is weird…but eating meat is pretty weird too. AND I LOVE me some bacon!

      Reply
    • Jennifer March 14, 2012, 4:14 pm

      Okay, since others seem to think ingesting placenta goes against vegetarianism, I have to disagree. Why do we not eat meat? 1)heatlh benefits; 2)moral and ethical reasons – we don’t believe in killing other animals for our own selfish satisfaction. This being said, you are not killing anything when you consume your placenta. So, by consuming the placenta we are getting health benefits, and not causing harm to any other living being. Look at it this way, a vegan will not drink milk from another animal, but we breastfeed our kids. Consuming placenta is the same difference if you ask me.

      My spiel is over! :)

      Jennifer

      Reply
      • Brigid March 14, 2012, 4:32 pm

        I totally agree with your argument! I don’t think of breastfeeding as being not vegan. Plus, I’m a vegetarian who bites her nails and cuticles sometimes (yeah, bad habit), but that’s not really the same as eating meat. That said, I’m not sure I could get over the “ick” factor to eat my own placenta, but it’s not truly meat in my opinion.

        Reply
  • Molly @ RDexposed March 14, 2012, 2:38 pm

    I just poked myself to satisfy my own blood sugar status curiosity.
    No curiosity towards a placenta though….

    Reply
  • Debbie March 14, 2012, 2:38 pm

    If I were you, I would not look at it before they take it away or you just may change your mind! Not the most pleasant part of childbirth, believe me!

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:16 pm

      I’ve seen tons of pics online – you’re right – kind of icky.

      Reply
  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat March 14, 2012, 2:38 pm

    I am so happy to hear that the home situation is working out, best of luck next week!

    I had no idea you could encapsulate your placenta, that sounds much better than eating it raw or any other way ;)

    Reply
  • Crystal March 14, 2012, 2:39 pm

    I encapsulated mine with my second. I don’t know if it actually helped or if it was the placebo effect, but I felt like much less of a hormonal bitch lol.

    Reply
  • abbi March 14, 2012, 2:40 pm

    Learn something new every day. I’ve never heard of this and was certainly grossed when I first started reading but when you got to the encapsulate part, I got it and think that makes sense and is no longer a completely disgusting thought in my head!

    Reply
  • Jill Will Run March 14, 2012, 2:44 pm

    I’ve never heard of this before… granted, I’m choosing to not read much about pregnancy because it’s freaking me out. I’m almost 18 weeks along and the whole experience is causing me major distress.

    So if you get about 250 pills out of a placenta, do you just take a pill each day for most of that first year of baby’s life, or would be ingesting handfulls of pills? I guess I could Google this stuff too, that that it’s on my radar! :-)

    Reply
    • Katie @ Katie Without Restrictions March 14, 2012, 3:12 pm

      I was wondering this too, how often you take them!

      Reply
    • Katie March 14, 2012, 6:56 pm

      I think they recommend you take 1-3 pills a day, & they say it varies with each placenta how many pills you can actually get from it.

      I had never heard of this before so I had to do my research because I was totally disgusted/intrigued by iit!!

      Props to you, Caitlyn!

      Reply
  • Christine @ BookishlyB March 14, 2012, 2:47 pm

    Hahahahaha- I was eating my lunch! And then I put down the banana to read about your placenta plans. While I don’t think I could get myself to do it, on a biological level it makes so much sense. I’m intersted to see how it goes.

    Cognrats on the house! Home buying is stressful from beginning to end. Now you’re at the “we’ve got the house, now we’ve got to get our stuff into the house” stage.

    Reply
  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) March 14, 2012, 2:50 pm

    I find you absolutely fascinating! I never thought to do this when I had my kids, but I would think differently now I think. I have always been incredibly interested in information about placentas. I find it amazing your body forms an organ specifically to fuel a baby that you are making inside of you. Things weren’t so great when I delivered my first baby, but I asked to see my placenta after my second. I had an extreme interest in seeing what it was all about. I’m glad you shared this. I know a lot of people will be weirded out by it, but I think it’s important to understand these types of things.

    Reply
  • Katie March 14, 2012, 2:50 pm

    This is off topic of the post, but I love your shirt! It looks so comfortable while being pretty and fashionable.

    Reply
  • Sara March 14, 2012, 2:54 pm

    Happy for you about the house! I love these photos of you! You are really glowing and I can’t believe how quickly your baby bump is growing too! So excited. I am interested to see how this placenta thing works out too. It reminds me too much of cannibalism if that makes sense … (and I don’t eat meat either.)

    Reply
  • Dana March 14, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Very interesting post – never knew about that.
    Congrats on the house too!

    Reply
  • Kim @ Spoonful Of Sass March 14, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Fascinating Caitlin! I can always count on your blog to educate me. More power to ya!

    Reply
  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat March 14, 2012, 2:56 pm

    You made this much less scary and “icky” by the end of the post. I can respect that you’ve done your research!

    Reply
  • Linz @ ItzLinz March 14, 2012, 2:56 pm

    Congrats on the house closing!! Thanks for the explanation… I was definitely grossed out by the whole placenta thing but you really cleared up a lot of things… Very interesting! :)

    Reply
  • Trail Snail March 14, 2012, 2:56 pm

    1) I agree, I would do anything in my power to avoid PPD and help my supply. Please keep us posted on this after the birth.

    2) Congratulations on the house! Can’t wait to see it. We moved into our new house last week and I’m in love it! <3

    Reply
  • Lissa March 14, 2012, 3:07 pm

    In the pill format, it sounds a lot less “icky” but I still don’t think I personally could have done it. I know in some cultures the placenta is buried …that’s more up my alley :) Good luck and remember there are lots of ways to boost supply but if the placenta helps, too, more power to you! The thought of 250 pills is quite daunting though ;)

    Reply
  • Lissa March 14, 2012, 3:08 pm

    And you look gorgeous!

    Reply
  • kalli March 14, 2012, 3:10 pm

    this is so crazy! i can’t believe i have never heard of this in my 42 years of life. but even though it sounds gross i think it sounds amazing as well. i love how holistic you two are :) and you look great!

    Reply
  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed March 14, 2012, 3:13 pm

    Yay for closing on your house! So exciting! I hope the rest of the process goes smoothly for you! Eating something that came out of me sounds creepy, but the pills definitely make it less intense! Perhaps it’s something I’ll consider in the future, I look forward to hearing about your experience.

    Reply
  • Katie @ Katie Without Restrictions March 14, 2012, 3:14 pm

    I have never even heard of this, so yes, my instant reaction was “gross ~ I would never even consider it!” But to be fair, I also felt that way about breast-feeding and cloth diapering, and I’m now totally on board with both of those plans. (I’m not even pregnant yet either!) I’m interested in hearing how this goes for you, and learning more. Who knows ~ maybe I will just end up doing this after all!

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:15 pm

      Hence why I try not to judge new things when I first hear about them – there are pretty decent compelling arguments for lots of things! Never say never, I guess.

      Reply
  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 14, 2012, 3:15 pm

    Hahaha I totally get the ick factor and I’m not sure I’d do it, more because it’s one more thing to deal with and worry about when you’re planning/giving birth, but I totally get why you’d want to. If there are benefits, then why not?

    Reply
  • Ashley @ Cooking for John March 14, 2012, 3:19 pm

    I love this post! I want to do the exact same thing and can’t wait to hear about your whole experience. My fiance thinks it’s disgusting, and so did his sister, who recently had a baby. I’m not pregnant, but with all these pregnant and new momma bloggers I can’t help but think about my future!

    Reply
  • Sara March 14, 2012, 3:22 pm

    Eh, I don’t think it’s too weird for words. But then again, most people find me a little on the strange side too, so my opinion may be a bit altered than most :)

    Yay for the third trimester!

    Reply
  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 14, 2012, 3:25 pm

    WHOA!! Is all I have to say. Hah :)

    Props to you for doing your research…I hope it really helps you and the baby! (I don’t know if I could gag down any type of pill with that in there…but I guess it does come from you! heh)

    Oh and CONGRATS on closing on your new home. That is totally amazing and SO cool!

    Reply
  • Jennifer (Savor) March 14, 2012, 3:29 pm

    Congrats darling! Wait until your experience the ultimate love!

    Reply
  • Jen March 14, 2012, 3:29 pm

    Congratulations on the new house- I can’t wait to see the pictures and what you do with the nusery. On another note, yeah for placenta encapsulation! When I mentioned this to my family they were pretty grossed out, but I’m planning to do it anyways for the potential benefits! I haven’t found out the cost in my area, but my midwife is getting a name for me.

    btw, I love following along with your pregnancy…I’m 8 weeks behind you and can’t wait until the big day!

    Reply
  • Linds @ Linds Eats March 14, 2012, 3:34 pm

    You look amazing Caitlin! I hope I look half as good as you do when my turn comes around! Congrats on the house! You go girl :)

    Reply
  • allison @ thesundayflog March 14, 2012, 3:37 pm

    i dont need to re-comment on the placenta-eating lady article, but rock on sister ;) oh, and my sister and her husband closed on their first house when she was 8 months pregnant. totally stressful, but so exciting bringing the baby home to their HOME. you look great!

    Reply
  • Sonia the Mexigarian March 14, 2012, 3:41 pm

    I was in tears laughing about you slapping the placenta on the grill. My Dad came by to see what I was laughing at and I quickly closed the placenta eating window ;) (i work at the family business)

    I had never heard of placenta eating until Fitnessista mentioned it on her blog and have been intrigued by it. I think, when it comes down to it, I would want to encapsulate my placenta as well. The benefits seem worth the cost of doing so.

    Congrats again on closing on your home. As I tweeted, I hope to see updates on how you decorate and such. We close next week as well and my interior designing defunct mind has little idea on how to choose colors for a room (and I’m a freaking artist!)

    Reply
  • Kara March 14, 2012, 3:43 pm

    Jesus, eating your own placenta is fucking strange.

    I’m just going to bury it out in the yard under my favorite tree like a normal person.

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:14 pm

      I love you. That is all.

      Reply
  • Kelly March 14, 2012, 3:43 pm

    Yay for closing on your home!! So exciting! As for your placenta…I think that if it is the right choice for you then it is the right choice.

    Reply
  • Rachel March 14, 2012, 3:43 pm

    SLAP DAT PLACENTA ON DA GRILL!

    Reply
  • Rebecca March 14, 2012, 3:44 pm

    I had never heard about the whole eating your placenta thing before you talked about it! I’m not sure what I think about it, but thanks for explaining it! Also, congrats on the house! :)

    Reply
  • Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY March 14, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Child birth scares the crap out of me, and that won’t stop me from trying to do it 100% natural without drugs. So I can’t say for sure how I will handle the placenta thing one day in my pregnancy.

    However, it does creep me out a little. Still, power to you for going for it and for being so public about it!

    Reply
  • stefanie-anne March 14, 2012, 3:50 pm

    Ahhhh. So gross! Lol… but it sounds like you’ve thought it out and researched it a bunch.

    Regardless, I don’t think self-cannibalism could be very healthy! *shudders*

    Reply
  • Kyla March 14, 2012, 3:58 pm

    I totally respect your decision and what will be best for your body, but I have to say I was super grossed out at first!

    Reply
  • Rebecca March 14, 2012, 3:59 pm

    Yaaaaaaaayyyyyyy, house! :D

    Also, you make very good points about the placenta. I knew that some people consume it, but I didn’t realize just how prevalent it was, I guess? And I don’t think I realized all of the benefits. I’m not sure I could do it (eventually, you know), but good for you!

    Reply
  • Amanda March 14, 2012, 3:59 pm

    oh my god – i am so glad to hear you are not taking a huge bite out of it… I read this whole post, horrified, thinking “how…but HOW?!?!” Now that I see, its not quite as icky and definitely seems doable. Thanks for the info!

    Reply
  • Alyssa March 14, 2012, 4:00 pm

    Just curious, if you went to live in China, would your husband immediately be able to open a practice?

    Different strokes for different folks, but I had to stop reading this post because I was gagging too much. I wish you the best of luck enjoying your placenta, though.

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:14 pm

      I am not sure – I don’t know! I’m not even sure if he knows. Laws vary so much. I know that Chinese TCM docs who come to America have to get re-licensed.

      Reply
      • Laurie March 14, 2012, 11:58 pm

        Well, yeah because frankly safety laws in China are NOTHING compared to US regulations. Not saying one is better than the other, but have you ever seen the Chinese car crash video? Just sayin’….

        Reply
  • Kelli March 14, 2012, 4:01 pm

    Congratulations on the house! I am very happy & excited for you guys. You are closing at the exact right time, time to nest! Perfect.
    I think eating the placenta is really interesting. I want to research it more. Actually just cooking it & straight eating it even doesn’t sound that bad to me! I’m pregnant so maybe it just makes more sense to me now.

    Reply
  • Samantha March 14, 2012, 4:02 pm

    Sorry but there is a HUGE difference between me eating another animal (normal for omniverous mammals to do) and me eating a part of another human or in this case my self. The word that comes to mind here is cannibalism.

    To each their own but I wish you would have left the passive aggressive “meat eater” judgements out of this conversation.

    Reply
    • Tara March 14, 2012, 4:45 pm

      I’m vegan, and even I was annoyed about bringing vegetarianism into this discussion. Eating other living and feeling beings is COMPLETELY different than eating a piece of your own body, where the only pain and suffering involved is that of childbirth.

      Reply
    • Vikki March 14, 2012, 6:11 pm

      +1

      Reply
    • Lulu March 14, 2012, 7:15 pm

      If you are that defensive about eating meat, perhaps you shouldn’t be read a blog that is so veggie-lifestyle centric? however, her comment was clearly not passive aggressive. she was merely pointing out the irony of omnivores being the most freaked out by this scenario. like it or not, eating animal flesh is eating animal flesh no matter the origin. ergo, cannibalism is still a form of omnivorism being that omnivorism makes no assumptions about the origin of the flesh and ps: cannibalism is a norm of many omnivorous animal species so maybe you should reassess your justification for eating meat as what is “normal” in nature does not always translate into cultural/ethical contexts.

      Reply
      • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:13 pm

        Agree with what Lulu said – I was pointing out the irony of people being disturbed about eating their own placenta when they eat meat every single day. It’s not intended to be passive aggressive. It’s just ironic. Well, maybe I just find it ironic.

        Reply
      • Samantha March 14, 2012, 9:33 pm

        I’m not anymore defensive about my choice to eat meat then you are about Caitlin’s choice to eat a part of her body. But to suggest that an omnivore should in some way have a better understanding of why anyone would eat their own body parts is a huge stretch as far as drawing comparisons go. I don’t avoid “veggie-centric” blogs because I don’t anticipate judgement from vegetarians. My assumption is that most people know the decision to eat animals is a personal choice and I fully respect those who make the choice not to.

        I really can’t understand the concept of eating a placenta but by extension, that too is a personal choice. I would just prefer that parallels not be drawn to those of us who choose to eat poultry, fish etc.

        And Caitlin, its not all that ironic in my opinion. The vast majority of people I know draw a noticeable distinction between humans and animals, even if they personally choose not to consume them.

        Reply
        • Leslie March 14, 2012, 10:27 pm

          I am a vegetarian and that is all I can think about when this issue comes up. I stopped eating meat because it grosses me out. I did not want to consume the flesh on my plate because it was like consuming the flesh on my arm!
          So I think it is more than reasonable to draw a comparison. Humans and animals are different, yes, but flesh is flesh. And it’s gross and I will not be consuming any, mine or anyone else’s!

          Reply
          • Kate March 15, 2012, 12:27 pm

            Well said!

          • Kate March 15, 2012, 12:28 pm

            Oopppps, pressed send too soon. Well said! I really get the flesh is flesh idea. But I also think the capsule form would be easier.

  • Courtney March 14, 2012, 4:05 pm

    Hmm… this definitely grosses me out, but good for you for being so open-minded and giving it a try. :)

    Reply
  • Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers March 14, 2012, 4:06 pm

    Oh wow, put this post on the list of things I never expected to read today! ;) I don’t know that eating my placenta is ever something I’d consider for myself, but you do need to do what you feel is best for yourself!

    On another note–you look great! Congrats on a healthy pregnancy so far!!

    Reply
  • Britt @ BalancedBritt March 14, 2012, 4:09 pm

    Love the ‘dogs eat their own poop’ comment.

    Reply
  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 14, 2012, 4:10 pm

    Well.. I didn’t expect this nor did I know this existed. While I myself could probably not get over the ick factor (thank you super weak stomach), I think it’s awesome that you’re willing to do it to benefit you and BabyHTP. Go you!

    Reply
  • Laura is Undeterrable March 14, 2012, 4:11 pm

    I didn’t even know that this was an option. IF I were to do do it, it would definitely be the pill form. For the other way… do you literally just cook it like meat?

    Also, my random thought while reading was how the person you hired came to be in that profession. I realize that it’s probably just a part of other things, but I chuckled to myself picturing someone asking a little kid what they want to be when they grow up. “I want to be a placenta encapsulation specialist.”

    Anyways, thanks for writing this post and for being so honest!

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:12 pm

      I should ask her how she got involved! It is a pretty unusual occupation.

      Reply
  • Anna March 14, 2012, 4:17 pm

    Dude, this is so cool. First you introduce me to the Diva Cup, now placenta eating? I love it.
    I’m totally eating my placenta, if, God willing, I have a kid ever. Is it bad I don’t find it gross at all?

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:11 pm

      Hahah yayyyyy! Diva Cup for life.

      Reply
  • Avery @ YoungAspirations March 14, 2012, 4:18 pm

    Wow! I had never heard of humans eating their placentas! At first I was grossed out, but now I think I get it. It’s reasons like this that I’m thankful for the blogs I read. Learning something new every day! I looked some things up on youtube and it seems really interesting. I think it’s cool to see how many readers have done it or are interested in it too!

    Reply
  • Charitydawn March 14, 2012, 4:24 pm

    FYI Very jealous of your fantastic baby bump!!

    Reply
  • Jennifer March 14, 2012, 4:25 pm

    If it is not encapsulated, and assuming people don’t eat it raw (GAG!), then how is it prepared to consume?

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:11 pm

      Smoothies, lasagna (seriously). I’ve heard it all.

      Reply
  • allpointswhole March 14, 2012, 4:31 pm

    I am so happy for you about the house!! And on the placenta topic, right on for you!

    Reply
  • Sara March 14, 2012, 4:32 pm

    I’m not gonna lie…this post really grossed me out! :) But I do love how you included details about it and explained your reasoning for wanting to it. I’m glad to learn that there is a way for people to make them into pills…but do some eat it raw? I personally will probably never do it, but more power to ya!

    Reply
  • Ali March 14, 2012, 4:43 pm

    As a student of TCM, I’ve heard about it several times and I’m definitely doing it as well. I’m interested in hearing what you think about it! People do get grossed out by a lot of things, but there are many more benefits than ick factors as you mentioned! Keep us informed about it when you do it!

    Reply
  • Liz March 14, 2012, 4:46 pm

    Interesting post! I am an umbilical cord blood stem cell researcher and so I am very much fasinated by post-birth options for the cord and placenta. Do you know if the cord is also encapsulated or if it is removed from the placenta and left behind?

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:11 pm

      that is a good question, but I don’t know the answer!

      Do you know what I can do with my cord to help others if I’m not keeping it for myself?

      Reply
      • Jennifer V. March 14, 2012, 10:26 pm

        You should be able to donate it. Your doctor would know if the hospital you are delivering at has a program. If you ever need it and it is still there, I believe you’d be able to use it. If someone else needed it first, it would be theirs to use.

        Reply
        • Crystal March 14, 2012, 11:57 pm

          My cord was dried in the shape of a heart and put in a cute bag.

          Reply
      • Liz March 15, 2012, 1:15 am

        Check with your hospital. Some areas have public cord blood banks in place where your cord blood cells can be donated and stored such that they are available to those needing a bone marrow transplant. If that is not an option, your hospital may have a program in place where they collect donated cord blood cells for research use. My research depends on donated cord blood samples and we are incredibly grateful for all the donations we receive.

        Reply
        • Jen March 16, 2012, 8:05 am

          Studies have shown that babies that do not donate cord blood thrive better and have better iron status at 6 months than babies who’s cords are clamped and donated. We are talking almost ½ cup of blood, or a fifth of the babies blood volume here, so obviously quite a large volume of blood that is removed from the baby’s circulation if you choose to clamp the cord before it naturally start pulsating. I love that you want to do something good for others, but your baby really needs the cord blood cells for him/herself!

          Reply
          • CaitlinHTP March 16, 2012, 11:30 am

            Yeah, we’re going to let the cord pulsate.

  • StoriesAndSweetPotatoes March 14, 2012, 4:46 pm

    That is SO interesting. I had no idea they could put it in pills. I’d do it too. Good for you for making your own informed decisions about this.

    Reply
  • Melissa March 14, 2012, 4:55 pm

    Great post! I am totally doing this! However I won’t be telling anyone in my family… Just my hubby will know. He is super supportive about the holistic approach… Midwives, Bradley method, and at home birth. I am lucky!

    Congrats on the house! Fingers crossed!

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:10 pm

      Hah – yeah… it really sucks how judgmental people can be about different choices. One of the coolest things in the world is that we can all choose to do our own thing – what’s the big deal if someone does something differently and it doesn’t even affect you? You do you.

      Reply
  • Errign March 14, 2012, 4:57 pm

    It was interesting to read the 27 week baby update, because I was actually born at 27 weeks and was just over two pounds!

    The whole placenta thing gives me the heebie jeebies a little bit, but if it works for you, why not? Good for you!

    Reply
  • Allison K March 14, 2012, 4:59 pm

    I have to admit, two things keep me from exploring placenta encapsulation:
    A) I am pretty sure my husband would flip his shit (this is the minor thing, and if it were the only factor, I would probably do it anyway. He isn’t the one pushing a baby out of his body, or nor is he the one who is sustaining the babies life with breast milk).
    B) I HIGHLY doubt there is anyone in rural Wyoming who will encapsulate my placenta for me, and I am not willing to do it myself. Not because of the ick factor, but due to time contraints. Who has that kind of time with a newborn?

    Reply
  • Hillary March 14, 2012, 4:59 pm

    A friend of my boyfriend brought his wife’s placenta home and grilled it. Now my boyfriend always jokes that we’ll grill mine too when the time comes. No thanks!

    Reply
  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie March 14, 2012, 5:11 pm

    I have thought and thought about doing placenta pills but it seriously grosses me out.

    Mostly I just don’t want to have to think about it. If they just did everything I might be able to handle it but probably not. Kudos to you for taking the leap!

    Reply
  • Mel @ MelRuns March 14, 2012, 5:17 pm

    wow.

    Reply
  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss March 14, 2012, 5:24 pm

    Ok, yeah..I get eating your placenta- all for it. But I could NOT imagine taking it home and grilling it (I’ve heard of some people doing that. ICK!). Pills are so, so, soooo much better. Hope it works out for you and you get all the benefits of it!

    Reply
  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon March 14, 2012, 5:27 pm

    Very interesting! Although I’ve heard of placenta eating, I had never read about the pros and cons of it! It definitely sounds worth it to me!

    Also, I can’t believe you’re in your third trimester! I feel like you just announced your pregnancy!!!

    Reply
  • Randi March 14, 2012, 5:49 pm

    I didnt read all the comments, but I thought having your placenta for later in life (i.e. menopause) can help ease the symptoms of that for women. Many women turn to hormone therapy during this time, but having your placenta later on during that phase can dramatically help that process.

    No official research, just what I heard!

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:09 pm

      Cool to know! I think the pills last forever if you freeze them.

      Reply
  • Alison March 14, 2012, 5:52 pm

    We’re considering placentophagy as well. (This concept is not news to me, but that word is!) My doula does placenta encapsulation and she raved about all the benefits during my previous pregnancy, but I wasn’t ready then.

    I did bring my placenta home from the hospital and we buried in our garden that year, so that it would nourish the vegetables we grew and would then become a part of the whole family! And yes, we got plenty of weird looks at the hospital, but they did release it to us!

    I’ve also heard of women putting their placenta in a smoothies (they swear that you can’t taste it with enough strawberries and bananas. Much like spinach, eh?) or making placenta soup. I’ve heard one anecdotal tale where a husband made placenta soup for his wife and at first she was skeptical, she later said it was the best soup she’d ever eaten!

    Placenta smoothie. Now I’ve heard everything.

    Reply
    • Alyssa March 14, 2012, 8:44 pm

      Is this a joke, or are you really being serious? Placenta smoothies cannot be a real thing. Please say you are joking.

      Reply
      • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:46 pm

        It’s real – google it!

        Reply
  • b March 14, 2012, 5:54 pm

    a very long time reader but this is my first time commenting. my son was born just over a year ago. we had a homebirth and it couldn’t have gone more smoothly or more beautifully. but i did bleed quite a lot after the birth. my midwife cut off a piece of the placenta and i swallowed it whole. bleeding stopped instantly. we also had our placenta encapsulated and i took it for about a month. truthfully, i am not sure if it really helped or not. but i do know that i felt really good about taking it (and i am also vegetarian- have been for over 10 yrs). it made me feel like i was taking care of myself and therefore taking care of my son. i tried so hard to take care of myself while pregnant, had a natural birth, so why wouldn’t i continue doing all i could for him after he was born? if you have any spacific questions, you are welcome to email me.

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:09 pm

      Awesome to hear your story :) I am so glad you had success with it. And congrats on the birth of your son!

      Reply
      • b March 15, 2012, 5:27 pm

        thank you. :) it has been the most amazing year! one other thing i just thought of… our midwives made a pressing of the placenta right after i delivered it. i think they call it the “tree of life”. it is beautiful and we actually framed it and hung it in our bedroom. there are some people who just don’t want to see it, which is why it is in our bedroom and not a more pulblic room in the house. i don’t know if you can do that in a hospital, but it might be worth checking into.

        and i totally agree with the reader who said to look at your placenta after you deliver it. it is AMAZING. our bodies make that to nourish our babies… blows my mind.

        Reply
  • Katie of Cabbage Ranch March 14, 2012, 5:57 pm

    I’ve never heard of this, but I have seen placentas- animals and mine. I’m not gonna lie- reading this, thinking of what they look (and smell) like, the idea was freakin’ me out… And I promise you, I’m NOT squeamish. But placenta in capsule form? Cool. I’ll be interested to hear more about your experience taking the capsules.

    Reply
  • Kris March 14, 2012, 6:05 pm

    While I agree with what you’re doing for its benefits, I’m also totally grossed out. I just keep thinking of the smell of it being dehydrated (or cooked/grilled). And yes, meat totally grosses me out too.

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:08 pm

      I hear the smell is minimal. Thank god!

      Reply
  • Fiona @ Well-Fed Redhead March 14, 2012, 6:14 pm

    I find the thought of eating a placenta both fascinating and horrifying! I’m not going to have kids any time soon but I might be open to the idea of placenta-eating in the future. If you eat the placenta do you eat it all at once? Raw or cooked? What about the pills, do you spread it out and take one a day like a little placenta vitamin or what?

    I totally get what you mean about the placenta/meat thing though. As a vegan, the idea of eating an organ totally grosses me out!

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:07 pm

      You take them over time :) I think 1 – 3 a day.

      Reply
  • Sarah March 14, 2012, 6:43 pm

    So happy you wrote this! I feel placentophagy is something that is only discussed in certain circles, if ya know what I mean. I think it was very brave and very awesome of you to share your perspective! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Emily March 14, 2012, 6:54 pm

    I really shouldn’t have read this while eating dinner…

    Reply
  • Lindsay M March 14, 2012, 6:55 pm

    Very interesting!!! I am excited to know the outcome of all of this. I wish I would have known about this when I had my two kids. Those that were bothered by the “meat eating” topic are ridiculous. I think you have to be a person with “thick skin” to write your ideas and thoughts for everyone to see. That trait comes in handy when being a mom, that and being super positive! :)

    Reply
  • m March 14, 2012, 6:56 pm

    I definitely think that regardless of whether it works or not, if you think it does, you might as well go for it (assuming you just tell your MD)… regardless of whether the placenta effects are real or not, the placebo effect is a real thing, so I guess you would benefit overall. My only frustration is that if this is so commonly practiced (at least in other countries) I’m surprised that no one has bothered to run a study on it. I am open to alternative practice and realize some things are hard to create a controlled study on, but this seems like it would be fairly simple – there are tons of women who give birth and have no desire to eat their placenta and a significant number who do choose the placenta route. I realize science sometimes gets demonized but it would nice to see how much of the effects are from the actual placenta and how much are from the placebo effect…

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:07 pm

      I bet no one has done a study on it because there is no real $$ to be made from the results, to be honest.

      Reply
      • ASK March 14, 2012, 10:09 pm

        So, this particular comment I do have to disagree with. There is a lot of (great) science that is conducted every day and has nothing to do with making a financial profit – but, is conducted, rather, for the benefit of health research, medical knowledge, developing evidence-based programs, providing services to vulnerable populations, etc. Making “science” or “research” out to to be a profit generator is frustrating, when most researchers do not conduct their work in that way.

        Reply
        • A March 15, 2012, 9:41 am

          +1. only pharmaceutical companies stand to make a profit, and that’s assuming that their product is effective in clinical research. research is hardly a profit generator.

          and m, there would be no way to empirically test the effect of placenta consumption on post-partum variables – you’d have to be able to control EVERYTHING except the placenta consumption and there’s no way to control all of the other factors that affect the mother and baby post-delivery. not a chance. which is why a study like this would never get funded.

          Reply
          • Laura March 31, 2012, 6:44 pm

            Clinical trials (and all good between-groups research studies) rely on a practice called random assignment (of participants to treatment or placebo/control groups) to minimize any group differences that could spuriously impact their results. Effectively, random assignment would control for everything except placenta consumption.

            It’s more likely that studies have been conducted but none *published* because of null results (to be a little cynical). Also, there are just way fewer granting agencies for alternative medicine studies.

  • Ali March 14, 2012, 7:06 pm

    Although I read through your reasonings, all I gotta say is ewwwww. I can’t imagine eating a “body part” that came out of my uterus. In my opinion that’s just disgusting! *shudder* Even despite the supposed benefits.

    Reply
  • Andrea March 14, 2012, 7:11 pm

    All this talk of grilling placentas, taking bites out of them raw, placenta smoothies and placenta soup has made me feel rather ill. Gross. To each their own, I suppose…

    Reply
  • Kristen March 14, 2012, 7:24 pm

    I am really, REALLY trying to be open-minded about this whole placenta-eating thing. I’m all for holistic medicine, acupuncture, etc. But I am SO.GROSSED.OUT. I don’t think I could do it, regardless of the health benefits. It really does remind me of cannibalism! Still, I totally respect your choice, and I’m kind of in awe of your badass-ness. :)

    Reply
  • Whitney March 14, 2012, 7:37 pm

    This is seriously the craziest thing I have ever heard. And the most disturbing? Good luck with that.

    Reply
  • Lindy Katherine March 14, 2012, 7:59 pm

    This post is making me lmao, but I say “you go, girl.”. Here’s what I really want to know: what’s your take on newborn circumcision? For the record, I’m opposed…but won’t go on the attack if you think otherwise.

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:06 pm

      If we have a boy, we are definitely not doing the circumcision.

      Reply
      • Kristin March 15, 2012, 6:21 pm

        Would you be willing to do a post about this? My husband and I aren’t looking to start a family until the fall but I’m curious as to your thoughts. I just had a good friend who had a boy and they opted not to as well. Just curious if it’s based on research you’ve read or personal preference or both? As far as the placenta thing goes, I’m definitely interested to see how your experience with this goes. I’m at a high risk of PPD so to think that there may be something that can help lesson that risk is awesome! Have you ready if the pills have any kind of taste to them? Congrats on the house and the baby to be :)

        Reply
        • CaitlinHTP March 15, 2012, 7:55 pm

          I just think that anyone who is opting to do it for non-religious reasons (i.e., “well his dad is cut!”) should watch a YouTube video about what they actually do when they do the cut. My mom told me that her first child (who passed away, not related to this though obviously) screamed and screamed and screamed when he was cut. It definitely HURTS the baby. It is certainly becoming less and less common so boys who aren’t cut don’t seem like oddballs, and there aren’t very strongly compelling health arguments to do it, based on my research (the “it’s cleaner” has always struck me as weird – um, teach your kids to wash his weenie!! LOL). Plus – it is not very common in other countries (like Europe), and they are all just fine. Just my opinion, though, of course!

          Reply
          • Kristin @ Celebrate Goodness March 20, 2012, 8:16 pm

            Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this. It’s nice to hear that it’s becoming less common because I think that would be my biggest fear for my child…being made fun of or having some sort of shame from it. I’ve heard that the health research isn’t that strong and definitely interesting to think of it in terms of what other countries practice. Thanks again for your thoughts! Be well.

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction March 14, 2012, 8:06 pm

    I have NEVER heard of this before! I am interested to see how it turns out! Not going to lie I was a little disgusted, but if it truly beneficial and not harmful, then why not?

    Reply
  • Su March 14, 2012, 8:24 pm

    Great post : )

    The reasons why mammals eat their placenta are the same as those you are exhibiting. It’s a great source of nutrients, so mothers can spend a few days without leaving the babies to find food. Also, the oxytocin in the placenta has many benefits, helps to drop more milk, produces uterine contractions that control the bleeding and cause the uterus return to its original size more quickly.

    (my english is not very good so excuse me if I made some mistakes)

    Reply
  • Charitydawn March 14, 2012, 8:25 pm

    Hey,
    Just curious if you’ve tried listening to your baby’s heart beat with a regular stethascope yet? According to my baby app at 22 weeks you should be able to hear the heart beat without a doppler :D

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2012, 8:27 pm

      No! I need to try this :)

      Reply
    • Jen March 15, 2012, 6:35 am

      I did this when I was pregnant and it was really cool. My husband couldn’t hear the heartbeat because his hearing isn’t as good as mine but I heard it clearly. It really helped to have a stethoscope at end because every time she got too quiet in there, I’d get really worried. Babies don’t move as much at the end. I’d pull out the stethoscope and listen to reassure myself that everything was ok in there!

      Reply
      • Marissa C March 15, 2012, 1:03 pm

        My husband is a med student it the day he could finally hear the baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope (he tried every week!) he got SO excited!

        Reply
  • Brooke @ sweats & sweets March 14, 2012, 8:26 pm

    I’m not pregnant, my husband and I plan on starting our family way far in our future, but nevertheless I find this so interesting. I would ingest my placenta in pill form without hesitation. There is no need to toss something that has tons of benefits for you and baby. I couldn’t imagine taking a raw bite, but dried up capsule would work. I like that you brought up this post and I think it might of persuaded a lot of women. Kudos!

    Reply
  • Mal March 14, 2012, 8:32 pm

    Mmmm now I’m hungry ;) I actually don’t think it’s gross at all, at least in pill form, but I can see why some people do.

    Reply
  • Chetney March 14, 2012, 9:09 pm

    I’ll be ingesting mine too! Thanks for keeping this as un-taboo as possible! I think no one has the right to judge what I do with my body! :)

    Reply
  • Shallin March 14, 2012, 9:22 pm

    This doula LOVES that you are bringing awareness to placenta encapsulation. I cannot wait to do it myself when I have a baby someday (fingers crossed … just have to go through the whole marriage thing first! I hope to learn placenta encapsulation as part of being a doula, too.). And I definitely recommend looking at your placenta! Maybe it’s just my love for all things childbirth, but it is so incredible to see what your body creates to support the life it is helping to grow! I’m sure you may have read or seen about the “tree of life”, even from Jenna @ That Wife, who did printmaking with her placenta. I think placentas are just too cool :)

    Reply
  • Penny March 14, 2012, 9:28 pm

    I’ve heard of this and while I do not think it’s cray cray, it definitely gives me the ickies. ;-) Capsulation would be doable for me though.

    I was halfway through a bowl of Grape Nuts and skim milk when I read about the lady that “asked for her placenta, took a huge raw bite out of it”….
    I feel relatively certain I will never eat Grape Nuts again. :-)

    Reply
  • Kelly March 14, 2012, 9:29 pm

    I had this done with my baby #3 (not with my first two) and I have to say the recovery the third time was a ton better. I felt way more even emotionally and less tired/exhausted/crazy!

    Reply
  • Alexis March 14, 2012, 9:29 pm

    This is unrelated to your post, but I just came across this blog and immediately thought you needed to see it, if you haven’t already: http://www.whatsgoodattraderjoes.com

    It’s 2 guys reviewing all the TJ products that they try. Made me think of you and your list of favorites! They’re harsh with the spicy black bean dip though!

    Reply
  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 14, 2012, 9:39 pm

    I’m not sure I could do it but if I did, I think the encapsulation is probably the only way I could…And like you, make someone do it for me. ;)

    Reply
  • Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner March 14, 2012, 9:45 pm

    I don’t think it’s weird, but then again my aunt is a doula, so I’ve heard about “non-traditional” birthing stuff my whole life. I think I will encapsulate my placenta when I have a baby. I don’t think it’s gross, it’s not like you’re chewing it up.
    I also don’t think it’s like eating meat at all–the ick factor comes from the fact that it’s expelled from your body, much like the ick factor of someone eating their fingernails or boogers ;).

    Reply
  • Jasmine March 14, 2012, 10:41 pm

    I cannot believe I’ve never even heard of this. We’ve been trying to have children for years. I’ve read dozens of baby books, and yet I’ve never heard of this. It’s… Fascinating.

    I miscarried twins (our first and only pregnancy) a few weeks ago, so I’ve recently seen a placenta. It’s really hard for me to imagine just biting into that. Pills, on the other hand… I could handle. I definitely want to do some research into it. Thanks for bringing this topic up. It literally blew my mind.

    Reply
    • JenATX March 14, 2012, 11:17 pm

      Jasmine, I’m so sorry to hear about your twins. I hope you have friends and family to support you during this time

      Reply
    • Caitlin March 15, 2012, 7:37 am

      I am so sorry :(

      Reply
  • heather March 14, 2012, 10:50 pm

    I did placenta encapsulation and I feel like it really helped. Now that my pills are gone, (they lasted around three months) I wish I had more! Mine was slightly different in that my person took my placenta and did everything at her house and brought the finished product to me a few days later. She also included a broth that she simmered my placenta in (which apparently tastes like lemongrass) and a tincture, in which there is a small piece of my placenta and few drops are supposed to help me during stressful or emotional times like weaning or menopause, and can also be given to my baby when she is teething or having growing pains. I have yet to use either hte broth or tincture but I plan to one day! My friend’s husband drank her placenta broth in one gulp when his son was a week old and he had to be the best man at a wedding. He said he had so much energy he couldnt believe it!

    Reply
  • Laura Ann March 14, 2012, 11:06 pm

    SO INTERESTING!!! I had never heard of this before, but I’m totally in. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Joey March 14, 2012, 11:28 pm

    I always have a new perspective after reading your posts and that is just one of the reasons I keep coming back :) You rock!

    Reply
  • Jenn (eating bender) March 14, 2012, 11:29 pm

    You always give me so much to think about in the best way! I’d never heard of eating the placenta but am definitely looking into it for “future” reference. As always, love that you give everyone a perspective on “alternatives” that might not be mainstream but are none the less worthwhile for a lot of people!

    Reply
  • caronae March 14, 2012, 11:31 pm

    I mean this in the nicest way possible Caitlin, I really do, but I am afraid that it will sound mean. I do understand that these sorts of decisions are intensely personal, and that mothers (yourself included!) strive to make the best possible choices for their children.

    Here goes: you’re more than willing to engage in a practice not supported by science or Western medicine (which has a rigor that Traditional Medicine, of course, lacks), but you aren’t going to have your baby vaccinated? (side note: I don’t have a problem with the placenta thing – it seems freaky to me and I would never do it, but as long as there are no proven health risks, I’m fine to let others have at it).

    That strikes me as incredibly ironic, since vaccination at an early age has proven time and time again to be the best choice for both individuals and communities. Rigorous, peer-reviewed studied have never failed to prove the benefits of vaccination and disprove the supposed “flaws” of it. I’m sure you’re aware of the study that many vaccine naysayers reference that was actually retracted from The Lancet a year or two ago because the doctor who had conducted it basically made stuff up.

    Of course, there could be other reasons for choosing not to vaccinate (some mothers worry about “traumatizing the baby”), but I would argue that none of those reasons can be as legitimate as the ultimate purpose of public (and individual!) health.

    Note that I say all this as the daughter of two very progressive internal medicine physicians. Obviously, I have been shaped by that, as you have been shaped by your husband’s path too. Let’s just keep in mind what science can and cannot prove.

    Reply
    • Angela March 15, 2012, 12:40 am

      I may be mistaken, but I thought I remembered reading that Caitlin was not going to share her opinions on vaccination… Whether she chooses to vaccinate or not, I don’t think it’s fair to assume (and make one-sided arguments) on this subject.

      Whether we agree or not–it’s her and her husband’s lives and their choices. We’re just lucky enough that they share those personal (and controversial) details with us on this blog!

      Reply
      • K March 15, 2012, 4:39 am

        It is their choice, yes, but it’s much harder to stomach that choice when it affects so many others- as the choice not to vaccinate will. It is a public health issue. Placenta encapsulation won’t endanger their child or other children. That’s the difference.

        Reply
        • Jenny March 15, 2012, 5:06 am

          Vaccines can never add to your health. When does ingesting toxins create health in the body? Full of toxins.

          Reply
        • Jackie March 15, 2012, 3:42 pm

          I agree. It’s hard to say “it’s just between me and my family” when there are bigger public health concerns. Some areas of the country where not vaccinating has become very vogue, there have been outbreaks of diseases like measles. And the problem isn’t it just being among the kids who aren’t vaccinated, the real problem is when kids who are too young to be vaccinated get sick. There was a mother with a 1 year old who got measles because another kid at the doctor’s office came in with it after the parent chose not to vaccinate. Measles is very dangerous that young.

          I can respect people who choose not to vaccinate, but I just hope that people realize their choices have implications for people outside of their families as well.

          Reply
      • Caitlin March 15, 2012, 7:35 am

        Thank you Angela, for actually listening to what I have written. I appreciate it a LOT. :)

        Reply
    • Caitlin March 15, 2012, 7:33 am

      I really need to clear up this issue. In the past, I have said that I do not plan to discuss this issue on the blog for personal reasons and people have ASSUMED this means that we are not vaccinating our children. I have said MULTIPLE times that this is not the truth. This exact issue is a perfect example of how people can fail to have meaningful and deep conversations about almost anything because they spend more time making assumptions about someone else’s viewpoint than actually listening to what they say. Did anyone ever think that maybe I don’t want to discuss vaccinations because half of my family is involved in holistic medicine and may not agree with vaccinations policies, so I don’t want to write a post that will cause family drama? Or perhaps I will be following a reduced vaccination schedule and this will upset pro-vaccination members of my family? In either case, I can 1000000% assure you that our personal choices are extremely well educated, researched, AND backed by the pediatrician will be using. I do not choose to write about every single choice I make because people in my real life read my blog as well as people on the Internet. I hope this finally clears up the issue. I seriously will never write a post on this topic because, quite honestly, I do not care to publicly share my opinion or share it with my family. If you would like to know more about why we have reached the conclusion we have reached (AND THAT IS NOT TO AVOID ALL VACCINATIONS, which could simply mean we’re skipping the flu shot or the chick pox vac!), please email me at caitlinjboyle@gmail.com. I am so sorry if this comment seems short, I do not mean it to, I am just very tired of people making assumptions about my viewpoint despite the fact that I have repeatedly said that is not my viewpoint.

      Reply
      • Catalina @ Cake with Love March 15, 2012, 9:53 am

        Don’t stress the baby needs you happy :) people will always make assumptions that is just how it works, try not to take everything so close to your heart, you are a great person and you will make the best desicisions for your family!

        Reply
      • rachael March 15, 2012, 1:19 pm

        I see your point of not discussing it on the blog because of drama. I had all the required (for school) vaccines but not the hepatitis series or chicken pox as a kid. My aunt found out and told my mom she was a bad mother for not protecting me. But, somehow I managed to become a healthy adult.

        Also, my sister was worried about the combined vaccines for her son. She found a pediatrician that would give them separately. So, there’s much more to the vaccine debate than “are you or aren’t you?” It could get complicated trying to discuss on a blog…

        Reply
  • Mel @ Post Grad Mel March 14, 2012, 11:36 pm

    You are positively glowing! So happy for you. PS- I LOVE that green brick wall you always pose in front of! It’s so festive, it surely must brighten up the city on a drab day!

    Reply
  • Heidi Bundles Of Hugs March 14, 2012, 11:51 pm

    You look adorable! I think the placenta capsules are such a great idea. I’ve heard so many wonderful benefits and am exploring having this done too. I just realized this but I’m only one week ahead of you! Yay for June babies :)

    Reply
  • Katie March 15, 2012, 12:32 am

    Haha, have you ever heard of people using placenta as soap? They use it to whiten people’s skin in the Philippines and you can buy it at the health and drugstores–sometimes even the grocery stores!

    Reply
  • Laura @ She Eats Well March 15, 2012, 2:43 am

    Just absolutely fascinating. Nowhere near ready to have a family, but definitely lots to think about. I can’t believe they make placenta smoothies. Ridiculous…but also, kind of amazing. Our bodies are crazy!

    Reply
  • Jun March 15, 2012, 2:52 am

    You must be so excited. Gotta love that baby bump!

    Reply
  • Jamie@everydaydolce.com March 15, 2012, 3:23 am

    Your pictures of you with your baby bump are precious. You’re beautiful :)

    Reply
  • shannon March 15, 2012, 7:27 am

    What a great decision you’ve made and in turn educating people about a topic that is rarely discussed! My husband I donated my placenta to cadaver training dogs. The trainers/dogs rarely get an opportunity to work w/ human organs. We knew immediately this was for us as my husband has been dog handler in law enforcement for many years. Dogs are our life. We too brought ours home in a bio hazard bag and put in the freezer until it was delivered to our friend.

    We also banked our baby’s blood. Super easy and its only a small fee one time a year. We can’t predict our future and something I really researched. It was a no brainer. Why toss it? It’s so valuable! It felt wonderful making such good decisions for our budding family. Many blessings to you!

    Reply
    • Jackie March 15, 2012, 3:48 pm

      I’ve never heard of donating it. Fascinating!

      Reply
  • Becky March 15, 2012, 8:24 am

    “Wow” and “Gross” is all I can say.

    Reply
  • Rebecca March 15, 2012, 9:01 am

    I’m due a few weeks before you and definitely won’t be ingesting my placenta. But I say, way to be hardcore! Also, it sounds like you are just trying to do what is best for you and baby, and that’s what matters most! Good luck!

    Reply
  • Joanne March 15, 2012, 9:16 am

    I guess since I’ve never had children I didn’t realize the placenta thing. All I can say is thank goodness you can make it into a pill. I laughed hysterically when you said “bring it home and slap it on the grill”. Funny but …ah…EWWWW!

    Reply
  • Alex @ Raw Recovery March 15, 2012, 9:17 am

    I have to admit I always thought the idea of eating/consuming a placenta was disgusting. But you’ve convinced me that in a pill form, why not? If it won’t make you sick and can either help or have no effect, why not take the risk? Interesting post, I really enjoyed it. I think you wrote something like this on babble a while ago?

    Reply
  • Steph P March 15, 2012, 9:19 am

    This post should have had a disclaimer…almost lost my breakfast :-/

    Reply
    • christina March 15, 2012, 10:03 am

      2nd, this is horrifying to me.

      Reply
  • Molly March 15, 2012, 9:25 am

    1) This beyond grosses me out, but you have the right to do what you want, so go for it!

    2) I’m curious…although I get that there’s not a ton of research, I guess I don’t understand the physical pathway by which these benefits come about…I mean, what is so special about the placenta?

    Reply
  • Amanda March 15, 2012, 9:26 am

    I have heard about eating your placenta before, but I never knew you could encapsulate it! I had only heard of people cooking it, which is way too much ick for me! Anyway, that is so great you can encapsulate it, and really not that ick at all!!

    Reply
  • Heather March 15, 2012, 9:32 am

    congrats on the house!!!

    But….hhmmm…not sure how I feel about the placenta thing! my mind is kind of spinning from the thought!

    Reply
  • EmilyEF March 15, 2012, 10:33 am

    I had never heard of encapsulation! What an awesome solution! Just curious – does the dehydration process remove any of the nutrients/good stuff? My general understanding is that dehydration is better than cooking, but still breaks down enzymes. Do you happen to know if there is any research on this? Not that I’d ever be able to bring myself to nosh on my raw placenta, enzymes or no…. :-)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP March 16, 2012, 11:35 am

      Not sure about this. Dehydration is at low heat, so I’m guessing no?

      Reply
  • Lisa March 15, 2012, 10:43 am

    I have officially been knowledge bombed.

    Reply
  • Leyna March 15, 2012, 11:06 am

    I love your blog and how educational it is, but not everyone is into this kind of topic. I think you should have a disclaimer for post like this… Definitely not something most people want to stumble in right after breakfast! It’s so mind blowing GROSS that I’m scare to read your blog in the future.
    Maybe you should have a blog for your husband clinic and discuss things like this there and link for peeps who are interested.

    Reply
    • Kate March 15, 2012, 12:46 pm

      Seriously? Just scan the post and if it is something that upsets you, stop reading. Yep, kind of a gross topic, and by gross I mean not “normal” in our culture. But hey, it is not the end of the world to read something “gross”.
      Thank you Caitlin for continuing to be yourself and post things that may open people’s mind and push them out of their comfort zone.

      Reply
      • Caitlin March 15, 2012, 12:53 pm

        Thanks, Kate :-)

        Reply
  • Megan March 15, 2012, 11:18 am

    I am a longtime reader but a first time commenter. :) I must say that I loved this post! I had never heard of consuming the placenta post-birth but the whole concept fascinates me. I am a physiologist and all of the benefits of eating the placenta make so much sense! I just had never given it any thought before now but it’s definitely something I want to do when I have children. Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
  • Amanda March 15, 2012, 11:30 am

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this topic, and for continuing to give us a window into your life! You deserve only kindness in return for all of the good you do, and it really disturbs me to see the harsh/rude comments on this blog post.

    I appreciate the info on an interesting topic that I have never even considered!

    Reply
  • Emily March 15, 2012, 11:36 am

    Caitlin, I am so enjoying reading your posts!
    I hadn’t heard about consuming ones own placenta until last year and I must confess I did almost choke on my soup initially, but as the recording went on, the more I was convinced at how natural it was. I’m noticing how lots of natural things are becoming seen as unnatural these days. The interview I listened to was on Natalia Rose’s blog and was a really positive point of view ~ http://www.detoxtheworld.com/blog-detail.php?ID=164
    I wish you all the very best & look forward to reading what you choose to share with us all over the coming months!
    Emily.

    Reply
  • Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen March 15, 2012, 12:00 pm

    I’ve actually known quite a few moms who consumed their placenta. Of course they all had wonderful things to say, but it just wasn’t for me. Another mom I know buried both her placentas (two different pregnancies) and then planted a tree on top. One tree for each daughter. I think that’s nice. Also, Eskimo moms used to lick their babies clean after birth, so I wonder if they also ate the placenta?

    Reply
  • Marissa C March 15, 2012, 1:06 pm

    I didn’t have any intention of eating my placenta, but I did want to see it. I got caught up in the moment and didn’t but I think I will ask next time!

    Reply
  • Allie March 15, 2012, 1:14 pm

    So I’ve never commented before, but have been an avid reader for quite some time. I think it’s great that you’re planning to use the placenta to it’s full potential! So many people tend to think the only way to get the nutrients from it are by eating it cooked. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • allie March 15, 2012, 1:16 pm

    this TOTALLY grossed me out at first beyond belief. but i am glad you explained what it is, and i feel more educated- to each his own! still a bit grossed out though.

    Reply
  • Jill March 15, 2012, 1:38 pm

    Caitlin – after reading through a few of the comments, I wanted to leave my own. Congratulations on being brave enough to share your pregnancy and your plans for the birth (and afterwards) with all of us. I’m constantly surprised at how rude and ignorant some readers can be, but please know that your honesty is appreciated. It’s your body, and your baby. Circumcision (or not), eating the placenta (or not), vaccinating your child (or not) – these are all very personal decisions. You are clearly an educated and articulate person, able to communicate your thoughts and feelings. Your baby is lucky to have you :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 15, 2012, 1:41 pm

      Thanks Jill. I appreciate this comment and the sentiment behind i ta lot.

      Reply
  • Kristin March 15, 2012, 2:05 pm

    I’m equal parts fascinated and grossed out. I’ve never heard of this before (but then again, I’ve never been pregnant), but good for you for doing what you think is best for you and the baby, even if it is against the norm!

    Reply
  • colleen March 15, 2012, 2:08 pm

    I’m late to the party, but congrats on getting to 27 weeks!!!! I have actually never heard how nutritious the placenta was until now. I’ve heard about storing the cord blood for future health use. I am always learning something new from you and I appreciate it. I’m with you though, would do the dried pills instead of slappin’ it on the grill. Congrats also on the house!!!!

    Reply
  • Amber K March 15, 2012, 2:25 pm

    Okay. At first I was totally grossed out. Meat grosses me out in general. But the more you talked about the benefits and mentioned that I could take it in pill form, I realized I could totally do this! If I ever get pregnant I am definitely going to look into pill encapsulation because like you said, why not?

    Reply
  • Samantha March 15, 2012, 2:56 pm

    I am so glad you are addressing this! I am not even pregnant yet and I have been looking into this, I with you it can’t hurt right?! I think I may take the encapsulating route as well, it just seems easier and will last longer.

    Reply
  • Jackie March 15, 2012, 3:38 pm

    As a medical anthropologist, it does make sense that some cultures have taboos against eating placenta. For the most part, we have a taboo against *anything* that comes out of our bodies – blood, poop, pee, puss, boogers, etc. (with the exception being babies!). There is some advantages to this, if you think of all the diseases that are blood-borne or fecal matter-borne. By avoiding stuff that comes out of our bodies, we help to preserve ourselves.

    That’s not to say that everything that comes out of ourselves is harmful, like placenta. On the other hand, while I don’t think people think “oh that’s cannibalism!” it’s really about the closest you can come without it being true anthrophophagy, and I think that is one of the reasons why people become uncomfortable with it. Of course, there are cultures for which anthropophagy has a very important role. Some cultures believe that if the dead are not eaten, they will not go on to the afterlife.

    There is such a huge range of what people think is “okay” and “not okay,” and there are usually reasons for why that logic developed.

    When I have a kiddo, I will probably see if I can take the placenta home and plant it under a tree. It’s supposed to be great for trees, and it’s a lovely way to mark a birth. I don’t know if we’ll be in a “forever” home by then!

    Reply
  • Michele @ Within Reach March 15, 2012, 5:16 pm

    The hospitals that hesitate to release things like placentas are concerned about compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations. It’s considered medical waste, and I imagine that some states have stricter guidelines than the federal requirements. I’m glad you have a doctor who isn’t hesitant to sign the release form.

    Reply
  • Patti March 15, 2012, 5:47 pm

    Wow, I went from “Omg, ew” to “That is so cool!” really as soon as you mentioned pills. Might have to examine that…

    Reply
  • Amy March 15, 2012, 7:40 pm

    Ok, so mad respect, but as someone your age who is very far away from having kids, let me just say my ‘Ewwwwww, gross!!!! haha I’m sure I’ll reconsider when I’m actually in your position, but for now, that is totally gross to me! Although now that I am thinking about it, I think I’d rather eat it prepared some way than encapsulated. I HATE swallowing pills.

    Reply
  • steph March 15, 2012, 9:31 pm

    http://gawker.com/5833276/human-placenta-smoothies-popular-in-brooklyn

    late to the party, but this is for anyone who didnt beleive that placenta smoothies were a “thing”

    Reply
  • Kristin March 15, 2012, 9:47 pm

    that is the most awesome thing i have ever heard (the capsules)!!! i totally want to do that now when i have a baby!!!!!!!!! Congrats on the house!! :)

    Reply
  • Amanda @ Hungry Vegan Traveler March 15, 2012, 10:24 pm

    Wow — no surprise that you have over 200 comments on this post!

    First off, good for you for making this decision AND feeling comfortable sharing it with the world. A good friend of mine, who is a midwife, ate a “thumb-sized” portion of her placenta by way of a green smoothie. I had never heard of encapsulation before — fascinating!

    Reply
  • healthy ashley March 16, 2012, 5:58 am

    I love you and what you’re doing for your health but I may have thrown up a little in my mouth.

    xoxo

    Reply
  • Elizabeth March 16, 2012, 5:27 pm

    I am grossed out (I fall into the omnivore category) but am totally intrigued! I never knew women could ingest their placenta & the reasons behind doing so. I’m completely fascinated, so thank you for being candid and informative! :)

    Reply
  • Erin March 19, 2012, 2:18 pm

    Make sure you use non-gelatin capsules if you want to stay a vegetarian.

    Reply
  • Colette March 20, 2012, 12:10 pm

    My third daughter was born on the first day of my 27th week of pregnancy (I had some complications and had been on bedrest for 10 weeks – so don’t freak out!). Just thought it would be fun for you to see what your baby looks like on the outside! When she was born, we started a blog to keep our family and friends up-to-date – you can find it here: http://www.evelynmariemoore.blogspot.com/2008_10_01_archive.html

    She is now an active, smart, perfectly normal 3.5 yr old. Enjoy this time in your pregnancy and you will LOVE motherhood. It’s the greatest thing.

    Reply
  • Krysty Thelen March 24, 2012, 11:07 am

    I must admit, I was grossed out at first…but the idea of capsilation makes a ton of sense, and absolutely no ick factor. I will keep that in mind!!

    Reply
  • Amelia @ Eating Made Easy April 4, 2012, 12:14 pm

    After seeing my placenta, there’s no way I could eat it even in capsule form – it’s seriously one of the grossest things I’ve ever seen. But I love your review of all the facts – so informative!

    Reply
  • steph April 4, 2012, 4:11 pm

    LOL “slap it on a grill”

    Reply
  • Jocelyn @ Peace Love Nutrition April 10, 2012, 1:55 pm

    I’ve been traveling for work a lot this past year and haven’t read blogs as much so I had no idea you were pregnant! I got so excited when I saw that– congrats! What an exciting time in your life.

    And I’m glad you weighted out the pros and cons of this issues. I think the normal person has that initial ‘ice’ reaction but taking it in the pill for doesn’t seem so bad

    xo

    Reply
  • Kathryn May 3, 2012, 9:40 pm

    Thank you for your post! I’m looking into placenta encapsulation in the charlotte area. Will you please tell me where you found someone to do this for you? Thanks!!

    Reply
  • Dimitri Tishchenko May 9, 2012, 5:13 pm

    This is how the placenta should be consumed:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GiMqhKGNnI

    Reply
  • Ginger July 8, 2012, 1:04 pm

    I’m also planning on having my placenta encapsulated! Now that you’re home with baby and likely ingesting it, how do you feel it’s working for you?

    Reply

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