The Brand Fam photoshoot taken in three locations in Guatemala to capture the 3 of us before Zai joins the family. Captured by Luis Pedro Gramajo.
The placenta contains your own natural hormones and is perfectly made for you, by you. Reintroducing them to your system through placentophagy is thought to rebalance your system. Experts agree that the placenta retains hormones although the specific benefits are theorized. Your baby’s placenta, contained in raw capsule form, is believed to stick with the Ra’Co Life theory of living a Balanced Life by literally rebalancing your system after child birth:
- Replenish depleted iron
- Lessen bleeding postnatally
- Increase milk production
- Decrease risk for postpartum depression
- Humans are nearly the only mammal on the planet who do not eat their own placenta (other non-placenta eaters include marine and domestic animals)
- The placenta is one of the most nutritious organs
- Dehydrating above 122ºF will kill all bacteria harmful to humans. Of course there are specific recommendations for individual meat proteins which can exceed 140º. Ra’Co Tip: If you are concerned, just raise the temperature for the 1st hour to your desired temp.
Let’s start with the fact that I am not a hippie dippy kind of gal. Actually quite the opposite… I am pretty practical minded and conservative. I do eat organic, a lot of raw food and gluten free, but a lot of that is due to food allergies, weight control and health. My interest in placenta consumption stems out of pure desire to connect with my baby and to focus on preventative care.
Being in partnership with Kurt, an artist that sees the world with totally different eyes than I, has really enlightened me. To him this is one of the most beautiful elements to the birth (aside from his children) and if you see this purely through the eyes of natural aesthetics, honoring this incredible organ through ingestion is a way to connect back to the earth and to your own DNA as other animals do.
We dehydrated and encapsulated our daughters placenta in 2013. I had no depression and a very smooth transition into motherhood, including milk production. There is no sure thing, but if it helps, why the heck not?
The placenta is an incredibly beautiful organ, one that lives inside for 9 months protecting a growing life. Oddly enough it is rarely seen by the caretaker. Even I, who knew we were dehydrating the placenta during both of our children’s births and knew all the benefits didn’t take the time to even glance at it before it was packed up and carted away. I can assume very few women know what they even look like. Let’s face it, the baby kind of steals the show!As written from the Mayo Clinic, “The placenta is an organ that develops in your uterus during pregnancy. This structure provides oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby and removes waste products from your baby’s blood. The placenta attaches to the wall of your uterus, and your baby’s umbilical cord arises from it.”
About 5 minutes after you have the baby, typically you will start to have mild contractions again and begin to birth the placenta. Your doctor will help to coax it out of the uterus. It is like a big sack of blood from the outside. If you see in the left photo my doctor is reaching for the metal bowl to place it into. REMEMBER: make sure you have asked for the placenta prior to delivering.
- Start with the raw placenta in the sack, remove the top layer revealing the actual organ.
- Pull it apart discarding all the fatty areas and places that look white, ending up with the hearty dark colored chunks.
- These should be cut into thin pieces and spread out across 1-2 dehydrator sheets.
- Put in the dehydrator at 135º for 1 hour, then 115º for the 2nd hour and 105º for the remaining 8-10 hours (depending on the thickness of your pieces). Play it by ear until it looks like crispy beef jerky.
- Put all the pieces in the Vitamix and go on top speed until you end up with a fine powder.
- Place into an encapsulation machine, fill to the top of each capsule, tamper it gently, put the capsule tops on and squish it down.
- Store in an airtight container, in a cool place.
Hospital Rules: Likely you will have to sign a disclaimer to remove the placenta from the hospital. Actually some states don’t even allow you to take it with you, so find out that information when you go for your hospital / birthing center tour. It is best to bring a small bucket (no more than a gallon) and a freezer bag along with you, but make sure there is a fridge available too.
Timing: The most optimal time to dehydrate the placenta is before 72 hours (within 3 days) after birth. It should remain refrigerated until that point from moment of birth to preparation for dehydration. Do not freeze the placenta if you anticipate a raw encapsulation.
Preparation: Plan to have your Excalibur Dehydrator, Vitamix and capsules ready and waiting for you before you go to the hospital. This will help to make the process go quicker. There are also services that provide this effort which are the last two items on the resource list.
- Placenta Benefits.info
- WebMD: Why Should I Eat my Placenta?
- WhattoExpect.com: Eating the Placenta
- Placentawise.com: Research Studies
- Don’t want to do it yourself? Use a service!
- Childbirth Graphics, The Classic Series Drawn by Rache’s Mom Jan Ruby (see below)