Placenta Pills Help Moms Beat The Baby Blues

A Toronto doula is offering new moms an innovative way to gain energy: by popping placenta pills.

Starting at $150, Rean Cross will pick up your placenta from the hospital, slice it, dehydrate it and grind it into powder pills. According to Cross, the pills help boost energy levels, improve sleep, enhance milk production, stabilize mood swings and reduce the risk of ”baby blues.” It’ll also speed up the process of shrinking a new mom’s uterus back to pre-pregnancy size faster.

Fifty-year-old Cross, who has three grown children of her own, began offering the service in early 2010 and has encapsulated 20 to 25 placentas since. (She has also recently begun training other doulas to do the same.) She suggests women take two to three capsules three times a day and then adjust the dose according to mood (an average placenta can heed around 150 capsules).

The notion of a woman consuming her own placenta is nothing new. In fact, it’s been a part of Chinese medicine practices for centuries. And in the Western world, Cross says that mothers in France and The Netherlands had their placentas cooked and served to them by nuns and midwives as recently as 50 or 60 years ago.

While leading prenatal classes in Toronto, Cross will often show her students a jar of placenta capsules (for those wondering, they look like herbal supplements). ”Quite often people are freaked out by it but once they see the capsules, everyone calms down immediately. They say, Oh, that doesn’t look so bad, and then the wheels start turning.”

She points out that it’s not all ”crunchy granola hippie types” who are tapping into the trend but more mainstream ”hospital moms” who are curious about the long list of health benefits.

As someone who falls in the latter category, I must admit that I’d consider consuming my own placenta in capsule form (wow, I’ve never typed that sentence before). At first the idea of it grossed me out but after thinking about it and then speaking with Cross, there is something very natural about the process (mammals have been doing it forever). Most women get the baby blues simple because their progesterone levels drop down to nothing; popping these pills allows for a more gradual tapering off of hormones, which if you think about it, is very cool.


(Photo: iStockphoto)


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