If you have ever wondered what the placenta tastes like, you’re not alone. The placenta is chewy and may taste like beef or liver. Many people are curious about the controversial organ after birth. Some women cook it and drink it, while others make smoothies. While some think it tastes odd, there’s actually no right or wrong answer. Most people find it to be a nutritious, delicious treat. If you want to know more, check out this article by the Doula Services Network.
While eating the placenta is not for everyone, there are a few benefits for new mothers. Even though it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, some people are intrigued by the idea. If you’ve never tried it, you may be wondering what it tastes like and if it’s worth it. Before you give in to your curiosity, you should know that there’s no real taste.
What is Placenta?
The placenta is a pancake-shaped organ that develops only during pregnancy in the uterus. It’s made up of blood vessels and provides nutrients, water, oxygen, disease-fighting antibodies, and a waste removal system to your developing baby.
The placenta attaches to the uterine wall, and the umbilical cord connects it to your baby. It also has the same genetic makeup as your child.
Although you may have two placentas if you’re pregnant with twins, your baby only has one placenta. Each baby will have its own placenta if you have fraternal twins.
Whether you have one or two placentas in identical twins is determined by when the fertilized egg splits. If the placenta has already formed when the embryo divides in two, one placenta will sustain both twins, connected to the shared placenta by an umbilical cord. If the split occurred earlier, you might have two placentas, one for each baby.
What Does Placenta Taste Like?
A placenta can taste like beef, liver, and iron. However, you will not taste the placenta unless you ingest it raw. If you have already eaten it, you might not notice it. Its texture is similar to beef, so you might find it hard to detect its taste. But, as with any food, the taste will be different. Some women report that they get more energy after eating their placenta.
If you are pregnant, you may be wondering what the placenta tastes like. Most women report that it tastes like a chewy substance, and it might resemble liver, beef, and iron. In some cases, it may even be chewy and smell like something you would eat, such as a carrot. Depending on your preference, you may be able to eat it as a snack or as a side dish.
The placenta may taste chewy and have a distinctly iron taste. If you’ve eaten it, you probably can’t detect the flavor. It tastes like a beef-like flavor, which makes it appealing to many women. For some, the placenta may even enhance their sleep and speed up their postpartum recovery. Its iron content makes it a healthy option.
Is it okay to Consume my Placenta?
After giving birth, eating your placenta (placentophagy) can be harmful to you and your baby.
The placenta is a complex organ that nourishes the developing fetus by exchanging nutrients, oxygen, and waste products through the umbilical cord. The most common placenta preparation- creating a capsule- creating a capsule- is achieved by steaming and dehydrating the placenta or processing the raw placenta. The placenta has also been consumed raw, cooked, or in the form of smoothies or liquid extracts.
These preparations do not completely eliminate any infectious bacteria or viruses present in the placenta. Because of a case in which a newborn developed group B streptococcus (group B strep) after the mother took placenta pills containing group B strep and breast-fed her newborn, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning against taking placenta capsules. The mother’s breast milk was infected with group B strep bacteria, which she contracted after eating her infected placenta. In newborns, Group B strep can cause serious illness.
While some claim that eating the placenta can help with postpartum depression, reduce postpartum bleeding, improve mood, energy, and milk supply, and provide important micronutrients like iron, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.
Placentophagy is dangerous to both you and your baby. If you’re looking for ways to improve your postpartum health, talk to your doctor about tried-and-true options.
Why Do People Consume Placenta?
Women commonly eat their placenta after delivery to reap potential benefits such as a faster recovery time. Placentophagy is the term for the practice, and according to one study, 25% of women would be willing to try it. Having a home birth or delivering at a birth center rather than a hospital is strongly linked to eating the placenta.
It contains iron, and the muscles used during labor are also used during defecation. Moreover, some experts believe that babies can develop their microbiome by eating it, which is the microorganism of the body. In addition to aiding digestion, these bacteria are also good at fighting colds and other illnesses.
While it can be unpleasant for some women, there are many health benefits to eating the placenta. Studies show that consuming the placenta can reduce the number of cases of postnatal depression, which affect up to 80% of women. Those who eat their placentas report fewer emotional issues and a better babymoon. The placenta has also been proven to lower the risk of developing postpartum depression. Kathryn, a mother of two, was previously depressed and was experiencing a severe case of postpartum depression.
If you Decide to Eat your Placenta, What Should you do?
If you decide to eat your placenta despite the potential (and largely unknown) risks, follow these steps:
- Ascertain that it is prepared in the safest manner possible. You’ll need to cook or prepare the placenta so that it doesn’t become contaminated. Salmonella bacteria are reduced by heating the placenta to 130 degrees F for at least two hours. There are placenta encapsulation kits available, as well as online instructions.
- Paying a professional might be a good idea. Paying someone trained in placental encapsulation to prepare placenta capsules for you might be a good idea. The placenta will be dried, powdered, and packed into capsules for you to take as supplements. However, because there is no effective industry oversight, make sure you find a reputable practitioner. Request recommendations from your birth doula, postpartum doula, midwife, or OBGYN. (Not all healthcare providers, however, will be accepting of the practice.)
- Consult the hospital or birth center where you intend to deliver your child. Consult your midwife if you plan to give birth at home. Placentophagy is not permitted in some hospitals, so plan accordingly. Plan ahead of time for how your placenta will be handled and given to you, regardless of where you plan to give birth.
- Because the placenta can spoil if not cooked or frozen right away, it should be cooked or frozen right away (similarly to meat).
- If you experience any side effects, stop eating the placenta and talk to your caregiver.
Is it True that Eating the Placenta can Help with PND?
There isn’t much scientific evidence that eating the placenta is good for humans. According to some studies, when the placenta is exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees, many of the nutrients and hormones in the organ are destroyed.
Many of the nutrients and hormones are lost when placentas are heated, for example, during the encapsulation process to turn them into pills.
To reap any benefits from eating the placenta, humans would have to follow in the footsteps of animals and consume the entire placenta immediately after birth. Raw placenta as a postnatal meal is unlikely to replace tea and toast on maternity wards anytime soon!
Despite the lack of scientific evidence, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from mothers who claim that eating their placenta improved their mood and gave them more energy.
What are the Risks of Eating a Placenta?
It may be contaminated.
The placenta acts as a filter, keeping harmful waste from reaching your baby. However, some waste may remain in the placenta after childbirth. “While the placenta is in utero, it’s almost like a filter, filtering out things the baby shouldn’t get, including bacteria – and then you’ll ingest it,” says Titi Otunla, a certified certified certified nurse-midwife at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women in Houston. “It doesn’t ring true.”
And, let’s face it, even if you give birth in a sterile environment, the birth process involves a lot of bodily fluids and the potential for contamination. Marra Francis, M.D., an Ob-Gyn in Woodlands, Texas, and author of the Mommy MD Guides, says the placenta can become infected, and the vagina isn’t sterile either. “During labor, women frequently defecate, and feces contain even more bacteria, contaminating the placenta during delivery. Why would you want to risk reinfecting yourself with these infectious agents?”
It could be difficult to keep it “food safe.”
You wouldn’t eat a steak that had been sitting on a counter all day, would you? You may not have access to proper refrigeration fast enough to preserve the placenta unless you bring a cooler and ice when you go into labor. “Make sure someone comes within an hour or two and takes it home to a freezer or refrigerator,” Otunla advises.
You run the risk of infecting yourself and others.
“Any infection in your blood lives in your placenta, so you’re taking a risk ingesting it,” Dr. Francis says. “This is especially true if you’re eating other people’s placentas or sharing your own with friends and family.” “You’re putting yourself at risk unless you know how to handle biohazards properly.”
It’s possible that you won’t get the benefits you were hoping for.
Most modern moms don’t eat their placenta raw; instead, it’s cooked, dehydrated, and ground into a powder for pill capsules or frozen and blended into fruit smoothies. However, many of these processes, particularly cooking, can harm the nutrients you’re hoping to get. “You have to cook at sterilization levels,” Dr. Francis explains, “and at that point, you’ve denatured all of the proteins and hormones that you think will help you heal.” “To kill bacteria, you have to cook at such high temperatures that you kill everything you think is good.”
It’s possible that you won’t like the flavor.
Blood is abundant in placentas, giving it a coppery, gamey flavor. Chefs who have prepared it, such as Daniel Patterson of Coi and others in San Francisco, compare it to squab. Others say it tastes like liver, and a few say it tastes like chicken. In any case, you might be putting in a lot of effort for a less-than-satisfactory meal.
You might end up endangering Baby.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report in 2016 detailing a case involving a baby born healthy and without complications but developed respiratory problems soon after. Doctors discovered B Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS) bacteremia in the baby, a dangerous blood infection known as group B strep. Doctors eventually linked the baby’s infection to the mother’s consumption of placenta in capsule form, which she appeared to pass on to the baby while breastfeeding. The team looked at the placenta capsules and found evidence of the link: GBS was present in the pills, which can cause sepsis (blood infection), pneumonia (lung infection), and meningitis in babies (infection of the fluid and lining around the brain). Even though this is a rare occurrence, mothers should exercise caution when dealing with their children’s health.
For many women, the placenta is a traditional food, and they may not want to waste it. Some women eat it when breastfeeding, and they report that it doesn’t taste bad. For others, it might be a painful experience. The taste of the placenta can be bitter and a little unappetizing. But for others, the benefits outweigh the risks.
Many women choose to consume the placenta after childbirth as a supplement, providing them with essential nutrients. It can also improve their health and provide more energy. Some women take placenta pills after the birth of their babies. Some women claim that eating the placenta helps them cope with postpartum mood swings and boosts breast milk supply. Some women also believe it is beneficial for their postpartum recovery.