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I'm Eating My Placenta ... Again

I'm a medium hippie on the scale of natural mamas.

Over the years I've tried quite a few organic, earthy and sometimes odd things. I've discovered some real winners—and other things, which I've left to the 100 percent hippies. Most of my experiments end with me pitching an idea to my husband. I'll prattle on and on about everything I've learned and end my monologue with, "Do you think I'm crazy?" I'm pretty sure he usually thinks I am, but instead of kiboshing my grand plan he almost always nods his head and says, "Whatever might help, honey, it never hurts to give it a try."

So, while pregnant with my second I popped one of my most hippie questions to date, "What do you think about saving my placenta after birth, dehydrating it, crushing it into a dust, putting that dust into capsules and then swallowing them? I hear it helps with birth recovery and postpartum emotions ... so, yeah, a good idea, right?"

RELATED: Top 10 Things You Can Do With a Placenta

Being familiar with my wild ideas, he stoically listened and simply replied, "Well, if it's something you really want to try, let's price it out and work it into the baby budget."

I did really want to encapsulate my placenta. More so, I felt like I needed to do it. Postpartum days can be hell for the most pulled-together mama and I had high hopes of more good days than bad in my new life as a mom of two. So, back in the summer of 2012, I swallowed my first placenta pill. Religiously, day in and day out, I popped those little pills and noted their magic.

After my positive experience with placenta pills there is no way I'm going to miss out on a speedy recovery and postpartum sanity this time too.

Basically, my placenta encapsulation testimony goes like this:

  • My body healed exceptionally fast. Minimal bleeding, for the win!
  • My milk came in fast and strong, but easy and less painful than my breastfeeding experience with my first child.
  • During my immediate postpartum days I was juggling a 22-month-old and a newborn. I didn't cry daily like I did after my first was born and, in this case, I had more on my plate than ever before—a part-time job, two kids, in the midst of moving and buying a house, living with my parents during the transition and a husband who traveled often for work.
  • I had mental clarity. Life was busy and motherhood continued to be its own sort of overwhelming, yet I could process it all, prioritize and thrive with two kids in tow.
  • My energy came back strong. After the blood loss of birth, most mamas are iron-deficient and thus weaker. I remember this well from my first but didn't suffer in the same way after my second/placenta experience.

Honestly when I signed up and paid $150 for a pint-size jar of placenta pills I was skeptical. The non-hippie in me said it was weird and gross. I had heard great things, but knew that to become a true believer I needed to experience the benefits of placenta pills for myself. Experience it I did, and now, while expecting my third baby, I'm eager to put my placenta to work in my postpartum days.

RELATED: 10 Things No One Tells You About Postpartum Recovery

Shortly after seeing a positive pregnancy test I lined up a local placenta encapsulator and paid my deposit for Baby No. 3's placenta. After my positive experience with placenta pills, there is no way I'm going to miss out on a speedy recovery and postpartum sanity this time, too. I figure life with three kids around the holidays (I'm due December 28!) is nothing to mess with. If eating my placenta will play a role in bouncing back after the baby, I'm all for it.

And who knows? Since this is my second round with sending my placenta back to its source perhaps I'll up my hippie game a notch or two and try a placenta smoothie. They say ingesting it raw is even more nutrient dense and thus even more beneficial! Stay tuned for my review of that in the New Year!

Photograph by: Gretchen Bossio

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