Cannibalizing Motherhood

There are mothers who are not content with cannibalizing their child’s personal space, romantic life, thoughts and soul. They signal their intention to devour the kid’s existence by. . . eating the placenta.

Fellow blogger Nominatissima pointed me to a practice called “placenta encapsulation.” I Googled it and immediately found a website of a midwife (who else?), telling women “You take care of your baby – I’ll take care of the placenta.”

Placentophagy, or consumption of the placenta, has been reported for decades to help stop the baby blues and diminish postpartum fatigue.  Some women have cooked the placenta in a stew, mixed it into a smoothie, or even taken it raw to tap into its powerful effects.  For many who feel squeamish about this or want to reap the benefits of placenta for more than just a day or two, there is another option: encapsulation.  Powdered placenta has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries.

Eating the placenta is supposed to reduce post-partum depression. I guess there is some kind of a weird logic to the entire thing. As you eat the placenta, you can imagine all the ways in which you will consume the child. You can dress it like a little billboard for your political beliefs. You can show it off to friends and relatives and use it to compete with them. You can drag it to baby pageants. You can use it as an excuse for not working or not having a personal life of your own. You can go through its pockets, backpack, computer, etc. You can police its every thought and action. So what is there to be depressed about when there is still so much fun to be had out of the kid?

8 thoughts on “Cannibalizing Motherhood

  1. It always makes me laugh when people like that try to give their practices some form of credential by saying it can be traced back to TCM. You know what else can be traced back to TCM? The demand for penile bones of tigers and horns of rhinos, leading to the demise of these species, because their body parts supposedly promote virility and fertility. Hardly something to brag about being associated with, and I know enough about Chinese culture to tell you the placenta bunks not true anyways.


  2. I had a very educated friend decide to eat the placenta of her last baby. She said that it could be true that it helps and it could be not true. In any case, she’s going to TAKE THE CHANCE that it will work or she will receive a placebo effect from it.

    Seems like a perfectly informed decision to me. Its her money, God bless’er.

    Its the people who aren’t informed, the ones that are snowed or wackalooned that shouldn’t be eating placentas. 🙂


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