Thursday, 12 January 2012

Placenta Pizza Anyone?

I doubt I was the only person feeling rather queasy last night when the new mum who Sharon Horgan met on Channel 4's programme How To Be A Good Mother with Sharon Horgan downed a smoothie made with her placenta and then offered Sharon some. Now I am all for people having their own individual beliefs on childbirth methods and parenting styles but really, is this necessary? Surely the whole purpose of the placenta is to nourish and support the unborn baby and once they arrive, while it may be nutritious and full of amazing vitamins and minerals its purpose has been served and it is then redundant. It seems all a bit self-cannibalistic to me.

I wanted to keep an open mind so did a bit of research to find out what the benefits of eating your own insides once out are. Those who believe in its powers claim that it helps prevents postpartum depression and that the placenta contains high levels of prostaglandin which stimulates a shrinking or return to a former size of the uterus, in effect cleaning the uterus out. The placenta also contains small amounts of oxytocin, a hormone which is naturally released after childbirth and breastfeeding. Sounds great but what do the medical professionals have to say about this? Obstetrician and spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Maggie Blott is quoted in this BBC article stating that there is no medical justification at all."Animals eat their placenta to get nutrition - but when people are already well-nourished, there is no benefit, there is no reason to do it," she says.

So there you have it, maybe Human Placentophagy is a magic power source for some but for me it's a definite "no thank you!". Personally, I can't say I suffered because of not eating it so I am definitely not convinced but for those of you interested, here is a collection of Placenta Recipes which range from Placenta Cocktail to Placenta Pizza.


Lisa Pearson said...

Funnily enough I was initially one of the people that they asked to do the show, but then they decided I wasn't what they were looking for.  I can see why as placenta eating is much more interesting than what I would have said - which is 'Be yourself'.

Hubby wouldn't watch it, he went decidedly queazy every time they mentioned the word 'Placenta' lol!
Do you mind me linking to my blog post about it?  Feel free to edit this post if you do mind:

Mummy's Space said...

Thank you for your comment. I think there's no better advice than 'Be yourself' when it comes to parenting - I just read your post and I totally agree with what you say.

I'm more than happy to link up to your post - do you need me to add it?

Lisa Pearson said...

I cheekily put it in my comment - does it work for you, it works for me. So glad you liked the post and didn't mind me adding it. xxx

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