Given how many celebrities wax lyrical about eating it, you’d be forgiven for assuming the placenta was a rare delicacy, not an actual human organ.
But unlike eating your own snot or nibbling on the crust bits of a scab, consuming one’s own placenta post-childbirth has become di rigueur.
Kim Kardashian did it, and thus a raft of other young, health-conscious women followed suit and began eating their baby sacks.
The latest is NRL star Benji Marshall‘s wife, Zoe Marshall.
The self-confessed “oversharer” and media personality plooped out a baby boy named Fox back in February, and she’s just posted a tbt picture of herself in the hospital, new spawn in one hand, and protein shaker full of giney-based juice in the other:
This is me with my placenta in a shake.. a small piece of fresh placenta blended with banana and berries and yes I drank it! Thank you @georgiejhet for bringing it so promptly. Gotta have that fresh placenta. I also got Georgie to make me placenta capsules, a tincture and an essence to take post natal. I think this needs a blog post. I will get @georgiejhet to share all the reasons why it’s important to consume your placenta #placenta #postnatal
“This is me with my placenta in a shake,” she wrote. “A small piece of fresh placenta blended with banana and berries and yes I drank it! … Gotta have that fresh placenta.”
It’s no King William Chocolate, but it’ll do.
Marshall is joined in the picture by Georgie Jhet, a Sydney-based doula who specialises in converting raw placenta into all manner of ingestibles, such as pills, tinctures and essences, all of which Marshall opted to take home along with her bub.
“Don’t freak out everyone! There is a small piece of Placenta in this large drink…the rest is organic banana, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries!” Jhet wrote in the comments.
But freak they did. The photo was posted only a matter of hours ago, but it has already divided commenters straight down the middle, with many finding it all a bit too real.
“I cannot deal with this and I’m not sure why. It’s not like I’m vego,” wrote one user. “Where are the lines drawn for cannibal?” queried another.
Others were a little more supportive and understanding, believing (rightly) that Marshall’s body belongs to her, and therefore she should be able to eat it, if she so pleases.
“People shouldn’t judge until they try it themselves – and having done this myself I sure huge benefits from consuming your own placenta! If it’s not for you then sure but don’t judge someone if you haven’t experienced it yourself,” wrote one placenta truther.
Given the placenta is the direct link between mother and baby that provides the ingredients needed to cook up a living baby, it makes sense that it’d be full of nutrients. Almost all mammals, bar aquatic ones and humans, eat their placenta immediately after birthing their child.
The resurgence of placenta-consumption in the Western world is due in part to claims it can boost milk supply, reduce the risk of developing postpartum depression, and replenish vital nutrients. But to date, there’s no evidence from human studies to support these claims.
What’s more, new parents fork out hundreds of bucks to get their placenta ground up and popping into capsules to consume post-birth.
This study by the British Journal of Midwifery concludes that there’s simply not enough evidence to support eating the gooey stuff, but that “midwives should be aware of the evidence in order to support mother’s decisions.”
Several credible theories and mothers’ and midwives’ experiences support placentophagy, but evidence is limited, dated and inconclusive. Current and systematic research is needed. Midwives should be aware of the evidence in order to support mother’s decisions.
To each their own, but till there’s more scientific evidence, we’d spend those benjamins on a year’s supply of Boost Juice. That’s just our two placents.