Placenta after Childbirth

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Does eating the placenta help post-partum depression?

March 2004

My wife and I had a baby 7 weeks ago. My wife has struggled greatly with breastfeeding and has been pumping since the second day of our baby's life. We've been trying all sorts of things and he is improving greatly (yet slowly). He still is not a great suckler and my wife still does not have a great milk supply (though we've also tried numerous things for that). My wife and our baby also developed thrush, which has been very painful and has made breastfeeding even more difficult. That brings me to our question about eating the placenta. We've heard from various people that eating the placenta (which is in our freezer currently) can help with post partum depression. Has anyone had any experience with it helping with other things, such as Thrush, Milk Supply, etc? Has anyone had experiences with eating the placenta this far after childbirth (7 weeks)? If you do have experience, we'd love any recipes also. Thank you.

If eating the placenta this far after birth is sounding less appealing you can try drying, powdering and then putting the placenta powder into capsules. Defrost, rinse and pat dry the placenta. Cut it in slices, lay slices on a cookie sheet and dry in oven on low temp. After the slices are dry, powder or grind (coffee grinder) and then put into capsules (available at health food stores). I would also seek the support of La Leche League for the breastfeeding concerns. Good luck! Melissa
I've heard the best (easiest) way to deal with ingesting the placenta is to dry it and then place it in capsules. I am sure it's benefits are great-- I don't know for certain, regarding post partum depression, but B12 is a good supplement to take for depression. As well, beets have natural antidepressants in them. Lots of nurturing, rest and immense understanding from a supportive partner go a long way. It will get better and better!! LogicalMama
I've heard of people drying the placenta and putting it into capsules. Jess
Hi It may be that eating the placenta is somthing that you want to explore but there were several other things that you mentioned like persistent yeast that could be addressed first and then with less overwhelm you could look at the placenta issue. I have heard that in traditional chinese medicine the placenta can be prepared and powdered and a capsule of this can be given to the mom each day for the first year of the baby's life. It is high in oxytocin which can help in mom's healing process and may have other benefits as well. You could get advice on this from a dr of traditional of chinese medicine.

A really good treatment for yeast is gentian violet. It has always worked in my experience and although it is messy, it would really be worth looking at this option. Are you working with a good lac! tation consultant? I reccomend HIGHLY the office of Janaki Costello and Sue Wirth (near Solano and San Pablo). A very supportive and realistic team and that can really help as well. There are many local therapists and psychiatrists who deal with post partum depression as that sounds like it may be part of the picture too, please check into this also. The begining of life with a new baby can be wonderful but is certainly overwhelming and difficult for most of us! Please consider getting mom out to be with other mothers, it can help more than you can imagine and there are so very many opportunities for this in our community.

I guess my bottom line advice is to please use your local resources.. there are many! I hope that everything resolves well... and soon! Jennifer