From anti-depressant pills to succulent smoothies- placenta specialist Michaela Kalusova talks the benefits of eating the organ
The thought of eating your own placenta after birth doesn’t exactly get your mouth watering. Typically, you hear the stories of how people cook it and serve it up on plate just weeks after it was functioning as an organ inside their uterus. Sounds like something out of a horror story, or a form of cannibalism, right? According to experts not only is the placenta key to providing your unborn babe the oxygen and nutrients it needs to grow, alongside a system that removes waste and keeps your little ones blood supply separate to your own. It has heaps of health benefits for you too.
“The placenta contains an amazing cocktail of hormones and vitamins that help with postpartum recovery and can even help to fight depression symptoms. From experience, the placenta is amazing when helping with postpartum bleeding and overall energy levels,” says Michaela Kalusova.
As a trained placenta specialist (yes that is actually a thing), Michaela is filled with practical and theoretical knowledge about the organ. Her specialist role is to provide new mums with information and advice on how the placenta is an herbal remedy that can be consumed in more ways than serving it up for date night with your partner.
“Women can choose from variety of remedies: placenta capsules, placenta tincture, essence, homeopathy, balm and cream. I recommend women eat a raw piece right after birth if there was no meconium and/or maternal infection. “ Or if you aren’t feeling brave enough to stomach that, Michaela suggests, “get a placenta smoothie to benefit from the raw placenta.“ Yes, you did just read that right. Today you are spoilt for choice when it comes to reusing the placenta. From moisturizer to soften your skin to essence you can rub on your clothes and babes blanket to enhance your bond with your new born– the placenta is more than the pancake-shaped brain-look-alike drowning in blood. Most recently, you may have seen the likes of Kim Kardashian and Coleen Rooney transforming the placenta into herbal anti-depressant pills to keep post-natal depression away.
“The increasingly popular capsules are prepared according to the TCM method or raw method. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine method) capsules are steamed on lemon, ginger and green chilli, then dried, grinded and put into vegetarian capsules. Where as raw capsules are just dried and grinded into capsules,” Michaela explains. It really is as simple that. In fact it takes just as little time as whipping up a protein shake, or food prepping for the week ahead does. The hardest part is probably deciding on what combination you fancy.
“The form of encapsulation depends on personal choice and mode of birth. Some women just feel that certain method is right for them. For example, women who had cesarean section or postnatal bleed may feel that Raw method is right for them,“ the placenta specialist tells. Though if the decision is too hard to make, you can have the best of both. Splitting your placenta between the spiced combination and the earthy combination allows you to “take raw capsules for first few weeks after birth and then TCM from there on,“ Kalusova advises.
Whilst there is no scientific evidence that the placenta actually benefits new mums, IPEN have had 4000 clients in the UK alone. Clara Deeble decided to convert her placenta into raw capsules after the birth of her second child, “so many women are instantly turned off at the thought of consuming something that came from inside them. Purely because they can’t stomach the taste, or because they aren’t aware of the health benefits or ways in which they can consume it.”
Lets be honest. Clara is saying what most women think at the thought of someone suggesting they use their placenta for themselves. It’s easy to jump to the answer ‘no’ when it’s something the NHS or private health care doesn’t promote the service. Clara suffered with post-natal depression with her firstborn, and was one of millions to waste her placenta. Though when pregnant with her second child, she raided the Internet and books to discover the ways she could stop it from happening this time round, “I decided to use my placenta this time and convert it to pills. I can honestly say I’ve never felt as good inside and out.” Sat in a nude bodycon maxi dress with a bigger smile than a Cheshire cat, you could tell Clara is glowing. Those who aren’t pregnant would have been sat there wondering if anyone can take the stuff. (Well, I was anyway.) Laughing away, Clara said, “plus the pills smell the same as my newborn daughter. Every capsule is like kissing her goodnight,”
Ranging from a price of £130 to £200, taking a pill that is made from something produced by you and not chemicals with endless pros like Michaela, the placenta specialist suggests, “lots of energy, quick healing, less postnatal bleeding, good skin and great moods” sounds well worth the investment. Even more so when Michaela tells the possible after effects list only consists of, “ small headaches, stomach cramps or too much energy.” As a new mum, could you imagine complaining about being absolutely buzzing 24/7? It almost sounds too good to be true.
“I never realised or believed that herbal remedies could produce so much positive change,“ mum of two, Clara says. ”Like many things in life- if you want to make your journey the best it can be- you’ve got to live outside of your comfort zone and try new things.”