Friday, July 20, 2007

Postpartum Depression and Eating One's Own Placenta

Okay, this is a new one on me. USA Today has a story on placentophagy, which is believed by some to help prevent postpartum depression.

"French's midwife offered her an unusual remedy: She suggested the expectant mother ingest her own placenta as a means of allaying postpartum depression. The temporary organ was saved, dried and emulsified, then placed in gelatin capsules and taken by the mother in the months after the birth in December 2004.

'Before I actually did it, my friends thought it was weird,' says French, 29, of Spokane, Wash., whose fifth child is due in August. 'But when they saw how fast I recovered from my birth and they knew my history, they thought it was pretty neat. Now I have a lot of friends planning to do it.'
An expert quoted in the article noted the absence of evidence that this practice is effective.

A well-known psychiatrist in Langley, Virginia, suggests eating it "fried with liver and onions and a nice Chianti."