This week, New York Magazine published an article entitled “The Placenta Cookbook” and it was exactly that, a gruesome account and “how to’s” of cooking one’s own placenta using seemingly plain kitchen utensils. The photos in the article were of a raw placenta in full color being sliced and diced like something out of an episode of Dexter. Not cool if you are one of the many professionals who make it their business to provide this service to many of New York’s moms.We were able to catch up with one of the articles contributors, London King, owner of the Push Love Placenta Usage Company and get her take on the article as well as some more useful information on placentas and eating them.
Placenta eating or eating pills created from your own placenta “is one of many birth choices that women are exploring these days” says London “women are taking more control of their birth experience and making more informed choices about it”. But why would a woman chose to eat her own placenta? It seems relatively pre historic for our times. London and many others in her line of work have the answer. The human placenta contains several vitamins such as iron and B12 but the most crucial ingredients however are the many hormones including estrogen that can be found among its genetic makeup. Women suffering from the very serious effects of postpartum depression can benefit greatly from ingesting these hormones and it can have very positive effects on their condition. It is also said to aid in milk production ad give mother more much needed energy.
The New York Magazine’s article made it seem like families were smuggling placentas out of hospitals. Is that really how it works?
No. If I were to steal an organ out of a hospital then I would be banned from it. If a family is looking to encapsulate their placenta then I will give them a release waiver to give to their doctor. I tell them to discuss this with their doctor in advance of the birth so that everyone is in agreement before stresses are escalated. Once at the hospital you should read your admission papers clearly as there is a waiver where you give the hospital the right to send your organs to pathology to be disposed of. I suggest putting an X by that signature line and writing down that you would like your placenta released to you. Once you have given birth I will come to the hospital and pick up your placenta and transport it to where I then cook it, dry it, and deliver it in pretty little pills to your door.
Are there some hospitals that are more open to this process than others?
Yes, I have found that Beth Israel and Lennox Hill to be very easy to work with but others are not as flexible.
Do you need any specific qualifications to cook a placenta?
Anyone can cook a placenta but I and many of my colleagues are trained and certified in blood borne pathogens and we follow strict OSHA guidelines for food preparation. Once I have the placenta I use a double boiler to steam it and sometimes I add organic lemons and ginger to the steam water. I have separate tools that are sterilized that I use only for the purposes of encapsulation.
Out or morbid curiosity, can I eat someone else’s placenta?
No. I would not recommend it as you would not benefit from it.
How Many pills can come from one placenta and how do you take them?
Placentas come in all shapes and sizes but usually between 80-120 pills. For the first two weeks after birth I suggest taking 2 pills three times per day. The pills should be refrigerated and then taken twice a day after that. Moms can also take them as needed if they feel a hormonal dip occurring.
How much does it cost to turn my placenta into pills?
$250. This includes the transport and delivery of your placenta as well as the pills and various information packets and guidelines. I also freeze dry the umbilical cord in the shape of a heart as an added bonus.
If there were anything that you cold impart on women about this topic what would it be?
That it is a viable and safe option for them and their birth.
You and many other “placenta encapsulators” live in Brooklyn. Why do you think that there are so many of you here?
Because Brooklyn is cool!
Need she say more? To find out more on the safety guidelines of ingesting your placenta you can download London’s safety guidelines here as well as visit her facebook page and ask her any questions you like.
Here are some more photos of placenta encapsulating. Hopefully a little more tasteful.