The Health Benefits of Placenta and other Post Birth Materials
American women are increasingly choosing to make use of placentas and other post-birth materials. In doing so, they are following in the traditions of women from many cultures all over the world. One of the most common practices is for new mothers to cook and eat the placenta. Doing so contributes to good health for both mother and child in multiple ways. Here are five of the most important:
1. Restoring Nutrients
Pregnancy and child birth both take an enormous amount of energy. When a new mother consumes the placenta, she is restoring to her body some of the nutrients she’s lost. Placenta contains high amounts of protein and iron, which can be especially beneficial to mothers who have lost blood during childbirth.
2. Preventing Post Partum Depression
Placenta also provides abundant amounts of vitamins, especially B6. These vitamins can be crucial in warding off the depression that many new mothers face. Consuming the placenta may also increase the amount of stress-reducing hormones present in a woman’s body.
3. Increased Breastmilk Production
This is one of the traditional healing uses of placentas. Asian cultures in particular have a long history of using after-birth materials to encourage milk production in women experiencing difficulties. This use has been proven to be effective in a scientific study using dried placenta.
4. Uterine restoration
Pregnancy and childbirth produce serious strain on a mother’s uterus. Consuming the placenta can help with this by encouraging the body to produce oxytocin. This hormone allows the uterus to more quickly return to its normal, healthy size. Oxytocin can also help heal post-birth bleeding and internal damage.
5. Saving Cord Blood
While the placenta is important, it’s not the only source of health-promoting material. Many families are choosing to extract and store the cord blood. This blood comes from the umbilical cord, and is taken out after birth using a syringe. Cord blood is valuable because it’s full of stem cells. Stem cells can be used to treat many health conditions, including both genetic disorders such as Type 1 diabetes and acquired problems such as heart disease.
As you’re making your decisions about whether and how to make use of the after-birth materials, consider the health benefits listed above. Consuming the placenta can provide a new mother with increased energy, happiness and health. These benefits have the potential to be both immediate and long-lasting.