Pregnant Over 40: I Think I'm Going to Eat My Placenta

There's so much pregnancy information behind the dark curtain that you never hear about until you're actually knocked up, like that one day you're going to consider eating your placenta. Seriously.
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There's so much pregnancy information behind the dark curtain that you never hear about until you're actually knocked up, like that one day you're going to consider eating your placenta. Seriously.

Weeks ago, I was online doing what most pregnant women do: reading everything online, even though we promised our husbands and doctors we would not self-analyze via the Internet, but I'm a liar and I can't help myself. The Internet is pregnancy crack, it starts out innocent enough, looking for a specific answer to one simple question: "heartburn relief third trimester" and somehow minutes later, find yourself fifty clicks deep into another subject, "placenta encapsulation." Placenta what? Okay, I've officially entered the ultimate pregnancy black hole.

I couldn't resist clicking into numerous articles mentioning the benefits of placenta capsules: help balance hormones, increase milk supply, help mothers recover from childbirth more quickly, shorten the postnatal bleeding time and most importantly, prevent postpartum depression.

Okay, I'll admit, I have a very small ounce of hippie DNA still lodged inside me; after all, I went to college in Berkeley, I rocked some patchouli as all good college students do, I protested appropriately and lived in a co-ed floor which had community showers, but that was about the extent of my alternative tendencies -- this would sort of raise my standing to a whole new level.

Upon further research, I learned most mammals eat their placenta -- who knew. If it's good enough for the cows, dogs and horses it's good enough for me.

Truthfully, I can be a bit of a handful in life, I'm a perfectionist, I can be a bit intense, and I'm somewhat bossy -- so, I can only imagine what I might be like if I even get close to the pearly gates of postpartum depression. Let's just say it will be a very dark day for anyone in my life, especially my husband and of course my new baby, and they deserve the best new-mommy me. So with that, I was all in and off to the next Google search: "Placenta encapsulation Los Angeles." Hello Sara Pereira.

After cruising Sara's site Mommy Feel Good, I learn that for about $300 Sara would come to our house while I'm in recovery at the hospital, cook my placenta, freeze-dry it and turn it into pretty capsules that I would take a few times a day. Sounds basic enough. I set up a meeting with Sara and I admit, I expected a hippie-ish chick with long hair and a flowy floral patterned skirt to arrive at my door, but instead a very young, fresh, and attractive woman showed up. I just had to know how a girl like her landed here. Sara told me she learned about placenta encapsulation when she was in school studying traditional Chinese medicine. Eventually a friend of hers was expecting and asked her if she would be interested in doing it for her, and from there she has become the go-to lady for those who seek out the placenta promise land.

Thankfully, my best friend Karen delightfully accepted her assignment as the placenta messenger. Sara explained that immediately following birth, Karen would bring my placenta home in a bag wrapped two times over by the hospital staff and placed in an ice chest and drive it to our house. Once at our house, Sara would turn our kitchen into a CSI lab and work her magic. Randomly, I just had a flash of what an Iron Chef episode using placenta would be like -- ew, go away, delete thought, delete disgusting thought.

The process is as follows: she steams the placenta with some herbs and dries it out sort of like beef jerky in a dehydrator. The next day she returns to grind it down into powder and hopefully get about 120 pills out of it, which I will take a few times a day and ward off all post-pregnancy evil; this will bring bliss, serenity and pure mommy power into my being.

Sara also makes placenta tinctures, which is basically a placenta coupon that never expires and can be redeemed long after the capsules are gone. Tincturing a small piece of the placenta in a high-grade alcohol increases the length and benefits of the placenta for both mother and child and can be used in times of trauma, transition, and emotional distress. Word on the street -- I can keep this locked up, to be used later in life during menopause or as a youth-boosting beauty elixir. Oh, how I love me a free, natural and reusable product.

That's the pitch, stand by for the results. I'm eager to see if the capsules launch me into postpartum healing heaven or a helpless heap of postpartum hellfire. Either way, I've already told my body to fake it. Even if it doesn't work wonders now, when this kid turns sixteen, I'll just whip up a placenta tincture cocktail and I won't worry about what time he comes home, with whom or how he got there.


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