Would I Eat My Placenta Again?

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I got an email last week from a reader named Hannah.  She asked:


I was just wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing your experience with placenta encapsulation this second time around.  I know your births with both Henry and Claire were very different, but do you think there have been any noticeable differences in your postpartum self (mind & body) that you would attribute to the pills?  Any similarities after both Henry and Claire’s births that you think are a direct effect of the pills?


Short Answer:  HECK YES!


So, I ate my placenta after both births.  I didn’t eat it-eat it (no gnawing on raw placenta for me, thank you very much).  I paid a specialist to come to my house after birth.  She dehydrated, pulverized, and encapsulated my placenta into little pills (as shown above).   Local readers – I used this company both times, and they are awesome.


Perhaps you are thinking, “What the heck are you talking about? Why in the world would you eat your placenta?!”  I wrote this explanation out last time:


Placentophagy (the act of eating your placenta) is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice that has been done in China for thousands of years. 

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.


So.  I ate my placenta after giving birth to Henry and didn’t think it made a huge difference.  But I had nothing to compare it to, right?  I took my pills as instructed.  I got a touch of the post-baby blues and anxiety, but nothing severe like PPD.  But I did see a lot of ‘positives’ in my post-partum period.  My body bounced back pretty quickly, and my milk supply was always abundant.  My take-away after Henry was that I wasn’t sure if the pills helped, but they definitely didn’t hurt, so I would do it again.


Claire was born and I had my placenta encapsulated again.  And that is when I really felt the benefits.


I had an easier birth with Claire than I did with Henry, and I went home from the hospital feeling great.  I started taking my pills and continued to feel good.  When you take placenta pills, you take a certain number for a week or so and then you drop down to fewer pills per day.  My husband always hands me my vitamins in the morning, so I had no idea when the “step down” occurred. 


But about 10 days after birth, I suddenly found myself feeling so sad and hopeless.  I remember sitting at the dining room table and just staring into space.  My mood was really, really low.  I felt terrible!  After two days of this, I mentioned something to Kristien.  He told me that my placenta dosage had dropped three days before – about 24 hours before my symptoms kicked in!  Coincidence? Maaaaybe.  But I bumped back up my dosage and… wouldn’t you know it… I felt better within a few days!  My mood never crashed again, even after I dropped my dosage and eventually ran out of pills.  And my milk supply stayed strong, just like last time.


So I believe in placenta pills.  I would definitely do it again (but I don’t think there won’t be an again – hah!). It’s sort of kooky and off-the-wall for Americans, but I think it really helped! 


Related Post: How Long Did It Take You To Get Over Childbirth?


Did you eat your placenta?



  • char eats greens January 29, 2015, 9:26 am

    Very, very interesting! I didn’t do this with my daughter and I think it still seems a bit weird to me, but I think that’s only because it’s not a norm! I did think about it a bit after having my daughter though (but long after it was a possibility). I think, if anything, I would want it to make sure my mood stays in check. Parenting can be very draining and I just worry about how I would react next time, if and when we have another!

  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul January 29, 2015, 9:33 am

    I plan on eating my placenta when I have a baby too! I’ve gotten a lot of weird looks for saying that but I figure it can’t hurt! haha

  • Amanda January 29, 2015, 9:33 am

    I intended to both times and messed it up both times! First kid we were halfway home and realised we’d forgotten it at the hospital and second time the nurses left it in a pot under my bed all day so it wasn’t safe to use! Hopefully third time lucky… You’ve made me determined to try again!

  • Katie January 29, 2015, 9:33 am

    I just have to say thank you. I have been reading your blog for YEARS and because of your posts on this I have found someone to encapsulate my placenta. I am due with our first March 31 and I look forward to seeing how this helps me with recovery and MOOD! My mom has a long history with PPD as well as a couple of aunts and because of this process I am going in to the post-partum stage with less anxiety. So THANK YOU for talking about this and letting readers know it is indeed NOT WEIRD! haha

    Also, because I am now so open to talking about what I plan to do (thanks to your blog), I have a few friends/cousins in the same boat and planning to do the same! I get fewer grossed out looks now and more genuine curiousity about why we plan to encapsulate.

    • Catherine January 29, 2015, 1:28 pm

      I just wanted to piggyback on this and, first, say congrats to you, Katie, on your first little one. 🙂 I am also due in March with my first, and my mom also had depression, so after my doula mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, I have been looking into more information about it. This post came at the perfect time! Thank you for being so open and talking about both of your experiences with encapsulating your placenta, Caitlin! My husband was weirded out at first, but he has definitely come around and is now encouraging me to do it. I will be showing him this post tonight. 🙂

  • Suzy January 29, 2015, 9:38 am

    I totally loved taking my pills! I felt great, tired, but great. I’m glad to hear your experience the second time around. It’s hard sometimes to say it something truly works when you have no prior experience. But I believe that placenta encap. is beneficial.

    I still use my tincture almost 2 years later for PMS or just off days. Ha ha, my husband knows I’m having a rough day when I break out the jar; )

  • Ashley January 29, 2015, 9:43 am

    After experiencing PPD with my second, I will definitely do this with out next/last baby! Anything to help prevent that feeling again. Thankfully it’s well managed with an antidepressant now, but to avoid it altogether would be ideal. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • Katie January 29, 2015, 10:06 am

    I really would love to do this with my second! Where can I look to find someone who does this in my town? 🙂

  • cait @pieceofcait January 29, 2015, 10:48 am

    interesting!!! I don’t have any kids yet, but I have always thought that MAYBE i would do this ?? Doesn’t hurt to try! 🙂

  • becky January 29, 2015, 11:08 am

    i had my placenta encapsulated as well- with all three of my kiddos. my second was born very early and has severe medical issues. we were in NICU for months and i swear taking my placenta is what got me through. i was torn between being with one precious kiddo at home and another precious kiddo in the hospital, my husband and i passed each other in the hallway at the hospital trading kids, and i was pumping around the clock…. but somehow i had strength, energy, and, most importantly, hope. i was pumping so much milk that i was able to donate to two different families. i give all the credit to my placenta pills!

  • Melanie January 29, 2015, 11:16 am

    I don’t have kids yet, but hope to be pregnant within the next year. When I first heard of this tradition, I was so insanely grossed out. BLECH! However, the more I read about it, the more it started to intrigue me. I’ve made a huge change in my health the last few years, to a very holistic, natural approach and have never felt better. I will now be seriously considering doing this if and when I have a baby. Thanks for the info!

  • Sara January 29, 2015, 12:27 pm

    Interesting to read about! I did not do this and I don’t think I ever would…I did fine after the birth of my son and still am doing fine without it. Different strokes for different folks–glad it’s available for those who want to do it!

    • Sara January 29, 2015, 12:28 pm

      PS–any comments (maybe I didn’t read all of them) from someone who did this with one, but not the other child, to compare?

      • Abby January 29, 2015, 3:21 pm

        I did! Not with baby #1 but baby #2. There was a world of differences! With my first baby I was crying all the time, not a lot of energy, had some trouble breastfeeding though that might have been being a first timer. I learned about placenta encapsulation through my prenatal yoga class. I signed up knowing I would have an 18 month old at home, I wanted the extra energy. I was in a great mood, lots of energy even though tired healed, pretty quickly from tearing. My placenta produced close to 200 pills so I still have them for “rough” days! I recommended it to several friends and they did it too and would do it again. My husband recommends it too! The best money spent.

  • Keri January 29, 2015, 12:40 pm

    I really struggled with post-partum anxiety and felt week and shaky for the first few months after having my son. Labor and delivery went nothing like we had planned–even after all of our Bradley prep. Physically, I was in rough shape and suffered infections in the first month, but I know that wasn’t the only cause for my mental/emotional health state. We had looked into encapsulation, but I decided against it at the last minute thinking I’d be okay and it would save $ that we didn’t need to spend.

    If I have a second, I’m doing it. Not buts this time. I’m convinced after reading so many stories like this! I’m also hopeful that my second birth story will be more similar to your second birth story, and that I’m armed with enough nutritional knowledge and empowered to make decisions that can help me better enjoy those early days instead of worry my way through them!

  • Liz January 29, 2015, 1:53 pm

    I did! With baby #2. I was intrigued by the idea, and initially learned about it from KathEats. I would absolutely do it again! Just like you, I noticed a major change in my mood when I decreased my pill dosage. I eventually had to stop taking them though, because at 3 months postpartum I am STILL dealing with oversupply issues and the pills only make it worse. Some days if I’m feeling down I’ll take a pill, but then I end up with a clogged duct because I get too engorged. Even with that one slightly negative side effect, I would certainly rather have too much milk than not enough. It was worth every penny!

  • Lori January 29, 2015, 2:17 pm

    I did this with after both of my births after learning about it from this blog! So I have nothing to compare it to, but I will say that I felt good physically, had no milk supply issues. The main reason I wanted to do it is because I have a history of depression and was very scared of PPD, but I’m happy to report that I felt great mentally after both births (minus the feelings of overwhelm here and there which I think you would have to be super-human to avoid!). I will do it again if I ever have another baby

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork January 29, 2015, 3:08 pm

    Thanks so much for doing a comparison! I’m definitely interested in it when the time comes. I’m in the “well, it can’t hurt, and if it helps, that’s a huge bonus!” camp. I think the fact that it’s pill encapsulation is a lot easier to explain to people, too. It’s not like you’re eating a piece of yourself.

  • Alex @ True Femme January 29, 2015, 6:11 pm

    I think this is such a fascinating thing. I’m not looking to have kids for several years but I have a lot of friends who recently had babies (in the last few years) and most of them had their placentas encapsulated. Every one of them had positive things to say about it, whether it was their first or third child. Who knows, by the time I have kids they may have an “Eat your placenta” app and you can somehow consume it through your phone (iPlacenta?). But if they don’t I’ll just do the encapsulation thing 😉

    • amy January 29, 2015, 9:32 pm

      Thank you for this post. I first learned about this from you and will be doing it for our first due to arrive in April (also doing Bradley!). However, I found out this week I have gestational diabetes—any readers out there have GD and still encapsulate their placenta?

  • Ali January 29, 2015, 8:44 pm

    How many vitamins do you take?! I can’t imagine not noticing a change in pills, even if someone were to prepare them for me… I guess confidence increases when you’re married to someone with medical training 🙂

    • Caitlin January 30, 2015, 9:56 am

      Haha I just pop everything in my mouth while like, feeding henry and rocking Claire or feeding the dogs or shooing the cat off the kitchen counter. I don’t even look. He could give me jelly beans and I wouldn’t notice.

  • Hannah N. January 30, 2015, 8:43 am

    Awesome, thanks for sharing!! I’m really hopeful for the benefits (and for being able to take my placenta pills soon because I am stillllll pregnant)!

  • Elizabeth January 30, 2015, 9:00 am

    I did! I only have had one kid (hopefully more in the future), so I can only compare how I felt to how my friends described their feelings. And I felt amazing. I had what I attributed to an adrenaline rush from being so excited to have a baby, only it didn’t go away. Yes, I still had moments of being hormonal and tired, but overall I was a super happy and energetic first time mom! Also, my milk supply has steadily been great — even as I’ve been cutting out feedings and relying on my frozen milk while my kid is at daycare. I will DEFINITELY do it again.

  • Katy @ Have You Hurd? January 30, 2015, 4:45 pm

    You were my inspiration for encapsulating my placenta the first time around and I’ll be doing it again when baby #2 is born in April. Like you said, I have no proof that taking my pills helped my milk supply, postpartum depression or overall mood…but I can say I had no problems with milk supply, very little baby blues and I felt pretty good (even after having a 4th degree tear – yikes). My thoughts are, why the heck not?

  • Bec January 31, 2015, 7:19 pm

    Long time reader, first time commenter.
    Due to the current measles epidemic in the US, I was wondering where you stand on the s called vaccine ‘debate’. (It’s not actually a debate – one side is right the other is oh so wrong)
    I know you used the Bradley Method when you gave birth and they are well known in the medical community as being strongly anti-vax and they push those views on expecting parents. You have also never mentioned anything about vaccinating Henry. Also, considering your husband is a TCM practitioner, who have been known to shun medical advice, I was wondering where you stand on vaccinations.

    • Caitlin February 2, 2015, 7:59 am

      We do. I don’t talk about it because there a lot of issues I don’t feel the need to discuss publicly (like circumcision for example).

      I do want to kindly point out that you made some potentially offending generalizations about TCM and Bradley method.

  • Kelli February 16, 2015, 5:45 pm

    I ate mine after my second child was born! I actually ate it raw in smoothies. A couple of tablespoons in a big smoothie each day for a week. You couldn’t taste it at all & I am a huge believer. I had postpartum depression after my first child was born & didn’t eat my placenta. I also was unable to make breastfeeding work in spite of trying everything! I finally gave up pumping when he was 3 months old & a 45 minute pump session produced not a drop.
    I never had depression this go round, lost weight faster, & my milk came in quickly and 11 months later breastfeeding is still going great.
    We chose to go raw b/c the benefits may be greater and it was free that way! Both my kids were born at home so we were able to put the placenta in the fridge immediately after cleaning it. And our midwife showed us what to do. Highly recommend it although yes it is so weird! Only my mom, husband, & sister know I did it.

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