as a doula, i love to work with placentas. i find them to be totally mysterious and exquisite. this vital organ was attached to your baby, and served the function of all the major organs, keeping your baby healthy and strong in the womb. each placenta is totally unique, just like each pregnancy and birth.
your body makes your placenta. therefore, as you transition from pregnancy to postpartum, ingesting the placenta helps restore the hormonal balance and balance your system, because it was created just for you! one might also find their energy levels increased, as well as milk production and natural antibodies. i recommend women achieve hormonal balance through placenta preservation.
so what exactly is placenta preservation? well. . .the process i follow includes washing the placenta and cutting away the umbilical cord. i then steam the placenta with lemongrass, black pepper and fresh ginger. afterwards the placenta is sliced thin, and baked at a low heat in the oven and then blended or ground into a powder like substance. from there the placenta is encapsulated with veg capsules you can purchase at your local health food store. this whole process takes about 5 hours and yields on average 100 capsules.
for those hardcore women, there is an alternative. some women slice the placenta up and eat it raw. . .and others make a soup or a dish out of it. i think it's great to follow your own intuition and do what feels right to you. however, there are many benefits to placenta encapsulation. your placenta will last longer, and you can take it for weeks after the birth. and i always recommend storing some of the capsules for down the road when menopause begins to kick in. the capsules will also restore balance during this time of hormonal upheaval.
cheers to the wisdom of the body!