Birth, although an amazingly beautiful and miraculous occasion, is, let’s face it, also pretty fantastically disgusting.

You’ve got blood and guts and possibly poo and definitely puke and meconium and blood and guts and…Placenta.

There’s just nothing pretty about placenta.

(I would normally insert a picture of a placenta in all it’s glory right here, but the picture almost made me gag, which guarantees, apparently, that most of you would SURELY gag. So if you really want to see the loveliness of a Placenta, check it out here.)

I mean, it’s pretty cool and all that when we’re pregnant we actually grow an extra ORGAN that supports and nourishes our baby, but when it decides to come OUT, it’s not a pretty sight.

I had a C-Section with Ali, which I let Chris watch in entirety and am now kinda jealous that he’s seen more of me than I have. And, since I was quite curious about the whole thing (I really should have watched – maybe next time), he described, in great detail, the Placenta-Removal-Process for me.

After they removed Ali and cut the umbilical cord, they then tugged like a leash on the still-attached-to-my-Placenta end of the cord – tug, tug, tug, and out popped the Placenta, dangling on the end of it, looking very much like they’d just removed my still-living heart, Indiana-Jones-Temple-of-Doom-style.

Despite watching them slice me open, cauterize (aka burn) me, pound on my belly to get the Ali to come out and play, and reach into my abdomen up to their elbows, I’m pretty sure that that the placenta removal was the most disturbing part of the entire process for Chris.

…which makes me wonder what he would have said if I had requested, at that moment, for him to save it so that I could….eat it.

Because, yes, people do.


After all, most animals eat their placentas – why shouldn’t we?

(For the same reason we shouldn’t greet one another by sniffing each other’s butts, but that’s just my opinion.)

According to some, eating one’s own placenta after birth provides great nutritional value, and can also help with post-partum depression and lactation.

I personally think also it would greatly help with losing all of my baby weight, because if I managed to choke down my Placenta, I don’t think I’d ever be able to brush my teeth, tongue, roof, palette, and throat hard enough, OR with enough bleach, to feel like my mouth was sanitary enough to hold food ever again.


But, there are plenty of recipes for Placental Cuisine.

The most humane way to eat one’s own organ (and almost palatable in thought) is to have it cooked, dehydrated (think placenta-jerky, or placenta roll-ups), then ground into powder and inserted into capsules.

I might could manage to swallow a pill of my own guts.

Other options include Placenta Meatloaf, Placenta and Onions, and I’m sure someone out there has made Placenta Brownies.

But really, if you’re going to eat yourself for nutritional benefits, it seems like you might as well get all the nutrients possible, without letting any get cooked, dried, or processed out.

Which is why there are an abundance of recipes for Placenta Tartare.

According to Tom Cruise, who is apparently an expert on Placental Culinary Arts (which makes me wonder how many and whose Placentas he’s been snacking on), Placenta Tartare is best prepared by combining one pound of freshly ground placenta, one teaspoon of brown mustard, one-half teaspoon of Tabasco sauce, one teaspoon each of Worcestershire sauce and brandy, one egg, a pinch of salt, and ground white pepper.

And, it’s delicious on crackers or toast, and when paired with a nice merlot.

Or, more realistically, after you’ve had so much crack that you think “Placenta” is another word for “Filet Mignon”.

But, since Noah’s most likely going to be born the week of Christmas, at least now I know how we can save some money on Christmas dinner…after all, who needs a Honey Baked Ham when you can have fresh Placenta?

Don’t worry – I’ll be sure to serve it up with a gourmet side of breast-milk cheese.


32 thoughts on “Would You Like That Deep-Fried or Dried?

  1. Ah.. labour. The only time a grown woman can (or should) crap herself in front of a room full of people and maintain her dignity.
    I've heard of burying the placenta, but, oh my. I don't think it ever would have occurred to me to ingest it – and if I had known that Tom was recommending it, that would have put me off even more.

  2. Rachel,
    With all this gross and yet funny stuff you have written since becoming pregnant, makes me wonder what you are going to tell us after Noah is born…hmmm.

    I sure hope that Tom uses mega amounts of that brandy in his recipe.

  3. When I was in labor the first time, my midwife was telling us all about how they just had a family who brought a crockpot to the delivery room to cook up the placenta afterwards. And then I actually SAW my placenta (first placenta viewing of my sheltered-because-watching-births-grosses-me-out life)… yeah, so not for me

  4. I think we told this story at small group one time but…when Luke was born I was so proud of Ryan for standing right by my side during the whole thing b/c he swore up & down he'd never make it, he would pass out or have to leave.
    He took the whole thing very well, that is until a few days later when he asked me what in the world came out of me after Luke was born. I explained that is was the placenta & what it was. He said it looked like meatloaf, totally grossed him out & he thought he might pass out then. He asked why no one warned him about that part of the birth. :)

    I've never actually seen a placenta, so I had to click on the picture & it is totally gross, but I must say it looks nothing like the meatloaf Ryan described.

    I have heard that people do eat placenta, but I had no idea there were actually recipes out there and I can not believe how into placenta Tom Cruise is…he really is totally weird!!!

  5. I have 4 of my 6 placentas in my freezer. And I have tried encapsulating one of mine (one reason I only have 4 instead of 6). Believe it or not, it's not people just trying to be "primal" or get in touch with nature or however people put it. Placenta has a plethora of hormones that act like anti-depressants after birth. I can totally understand how this grosses out lots of people. Just don't put them all in the crazy box. :)

  6. I've definitely heard of placenta eating, especially in soup. My friend went to a restaurant that served breast milk cheese (she did not partake). Unfortunately I had no choice in the matter of placental cuisine. My placenta had an infection and had to be tossed before I even saw it.

  7. It is amazing that I made it through this post laughing and gagging. No throwing up luckily. Thanks for sparing us the picture. Like the chick-fil-a placenta picture. :) Given the gross factor of this post, you may be interested in researching the new "vampire facials." Seems just as gross to me.

  8. I was just asking my friend in medical school the other day if women who had c-sections delivered their placenta or if the dr. removed it. The human body is fascinating… but tasty???… I don't want to find out.

    I'll pass on the placenta and take the delicious orange slush drink packed with nutrients.

    p.s. Does eating placenta make you a cannibal?

  9. It funny to read everyone's different responses to this topic. I've heard of placenta eating but do not take part. However, I do love to have the midwife show me the home my baby lived in after it is delivered. It didn't cross me as being weird but my Hubby thinks it's funny that I would want to look at it and have a picture taken of it. I think it's all just so amazing to me that I have to take it all in. Within reason of course. I did suggest to my hubby that we plant them in our garden, but thinks that is weird also. To each his own!

  10. Oh. My. Word.

    Yeah. Couldn't do it. The ONLY possible way would be the pills, and that's only if someone did it without telling me and then told me it was a vitamin or something. Otherwise I would be gagging too hard to swallow. *Shudder*

    I agree with the "to each his own" philosophy but please don't tell me about it if you eat your placenta! Haha:)

    I didn't know you had a c-section. When they pull out the placenta after a vaginal birth it feels the same way, tugging and all that, but coming out your…area. :{

  11. So nasty! My (guy) supervisor asked if I was going to eat Elle's…then went on to tell me all the health benefits like he was trying to convince me to! Apparently he likes randomly searching wikipedia…

    Also, how would you even be sure it was YOUR placenta you were getting back in capsules! GAG.

  12. All I can say is at least they are preparing this with a few spices if not fully cooking the, umm, organ. I always heard that the mom was to eat it right after delivery and I assumed it was fresh and raw. Example: baby born, mom greats baby, baby goes to be cleaned, mom eats placenta. Lovely picture, huh?

    By the way, how do you come up with this stuff?? Love your blog.


  13. Okay, still laughing about this! It is so eeeww that I don't know what to do, but the possibilities for amusement make it a lovely conversation piece. LOVED the cows!!

  14. Never ever would I eat a placenta. One of my blogger friends will be eating hers, though. Vomit.

    My husband wouldn't look at either of my c-sections– or at least, he didn't look closely. Your husband is brave.

  15. So, this isn't placenta oriented, but I saw this quote (I'm an Arkansas fan) and thought of you (an Alabama fan) . . .

    "Our Father, who art in Fayetteville. Football be thy name. The mighty tide fall. Thy hogs be called. On earth as they are in heaven. Giving Richardson cramps. And having Greg Childs catch touchdown passes. As Julio Jones drops passes against us. And let Mallett not throw interceptions. But deliver us from Saban. The win and glory. For…… ever and ever. Amen. GO HOGS!!!!!"

  16. Eww…I looked out of morbid curiosity. I shouldnt have!
    Where birthing is concerned, I agree with the "to each her own" And I would NEVER criticize.
    But Eww.

  17. Carlos was fascinated with the placenta and took a picture of our doctor holding it up – same position as the one where he's holding the kid. So if you ask to keep the placenta, will they just give it to you? I have friends who eat meat that way – dehydrated and ground to a powder – I wonder if they would let me borrow their dehydrator:)

  18. *gaaaaagggggg*

    So did you ask Dr Ross about it? I'm sure that we have had requests of that sort come along…we DO have enough crazy, er I mean, interesting patients.. ;)

    But yes, to each her own, but like another reader said, just please dont subject me to hearing about it! ;)

    I DO think its pretty cool about growing a new organ, and how God designed it to grow another human and all!

  19. Way, WAY back in the late ’70s or early ’80s, Saturday Night Live had a skit that was a take-off on Hamburger Helper’s tv ads of the time – it was for Placenta Helper. The SNL sites say this skit was ‘censored’ or cut, but I SWEAR I saw it, and others remember it also. Anyway, the script went like this:

    Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner were supposed to play two pregnant women who run into each other at their college reunion.
    Laraine: “By the way, are you planning to eat the placenta?”
    Gilda: “You’re kidding! You mean the afterbirth?”
    Laraine: “That’s right. Many mammals eat their own placenta. It’s nutritious, it’s 100 percent natural, and now that you’re going to have a family, you’ve got to watch your food budget more than ever. And there’s no cheaper meat than placenta.”
    Gilda: But is there enough placenta to make a complete meal for my husband and myself?
    Laraine: Not if your husband has a hearty appetite like mine. And that’s why you need Placenta Helper.
    Gilda: Placenta Helper?
    Laraine: That’s right. Placenta Helper lets you stretch your placenta into a tasty casserole. [Holds up a box of Placenta Helper.] Like Placenta Romanoff–a zesty blend of cheeses makes for the zingy sauce that Russian czars commanded at palace feasts. Or Placenta Oriental. An exotic mixture of oriental vegetables and exotic herbs and spices creates an exotic meal. Look, you can have placenta only once every nine months. Why not make a rare occasion, a rare occasion?
    [CUT TO: Gilda’s kitchen. John Belushi, as her husband, has just finished his placenta casserole.]
    John: Ummm. That was great. Let’s have Placenta Helper every night.
    Gilda: Oh, honey!


  20. actually is good for you. But I just havent been able to bring myself to eat it. I thought maybe a strawberry shake could mask it? Actually encapsulating it sounds like a great idea, but just who wants to spend 3 hours in the kitchen cooking after giving birth? NO HUSBAND is going to do that.

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