Placentophagy and other Friday miscellanea

A friend pointed out that this is the first Passover in our part of the country that’s colder than the previous Channukah.  The strange weather continues, but it didn’t keep me from opening day.  MrsPal wanted to spend her birthday at the ballpark, and who am I to argue? It was chilly, but the sun hit us by the 7th inning, around the same time the game picked up.  For those of you who don’t care about baseball, there are a few other health goings-on around the web.

At Jezebel today, Cassie Murdoch examined the pros and cons of eating one’s placenta:

Ever since January Jones announced that she consumed her own placenta after giving birth to her son, the world has suddenly been abuzz with discussion about why the hell a person would want to eat their own afterbirth. It’s a legitimate question…

No, not really.  There are no compelling reasons to wonder if eating a hunk of your body is a good idea, unless you give birth on a desert island with limited food resources—and even then, it gives me the willies, but only due to my built-in biases against eating pieces of oneself (and the lack of a Nice Chianti on said island).  Harriet Hall over at Science-Based Medicine covered the topic pretty well last year, concluding that there is no evidence that eating a placenta is good for you.  If you simply feel like it, that’s your business, but don’t try to tell us that you have the support of us doctors. Murdoch didn’t bother to interview any of those, so it’s not the best medical piece ever written (which isn’t a shock from a piece called, “So You Want to Eat Your Placenta.”)

Michael Moore, the famously corpulent Lefty has started a twitter-buzz to get people to get outside and walk.  It seems to have simply grown out of a tweet announcing his intention to go for a walk.  What a great use of social media. As a nation, we are sedentary, fat, diabetic, hypertensive, and generally unhealthy.  A little bit of walking (in safety) goes a long way.  I hope this continues to catch on, despite a bit of hostility (“We’re not unhappy about u walking. We’re upset no one has run ur fat communist loving ass over.”).

Speaking of Michigan, Michael Moore’s home, did you catch the Tigers on opening day?  Young Fielder could use to step away from the table a little earlier.


Speaking of the internet, PalKid is becoming more and more computer-savvy and wants to start using the damned internet more.  I’ve been able to distract her so far, but now she wants to actually use email, youtube, etc.  The whole thing is a bit terrifying for a parent.  Searching youtube for seemingly-innocent videos of singing animals is often one click away from goatse.  Parenthood’s a bitch.

Enjoy the weekend, folks.

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  1. wmdkitty

     /  April 6, 2012

    Why? Why would you want to eat what is, essentially, the fetus’ filter?

  2. As I said in the twitters, Darling Dyslexia Girl wasn’t allowed to used the internet unsupervised until she was 12ish. In other words, I had to be able to see the screen. She had her own laptop, which she could use in her room but wasn’t allowed to use it to access the internet. She got an email account at some point fairly early on, but I had the password so checked from time to time for inappropriate messages, both sent and received.

  3. My 8 yr old is receiving a prestigious academic award next week, and we’ve talked about whether or not we should just get him a Kindle so he can slake his reading thirst without me driving him to the library or used book store constantly. I’m just not quite ready for that step yet.

    I saw something on the internet today about midwives setting the umbilical cord on fire. While it’s still attached to the baby. My first thought was, “at least they’re cooking it first.” Silly me, they’re not eating the cord! They’re using the fire in lieu of clamping and cutting. Not to put too fine a point on it, but they are setting. babies. on. fire. I’m not sure if this is more or less disturbing to me than the whole lotus birth idea of leaving the baby attached to the placenta for some number of days or whatever until the whole works just rots off.

  4. DLC

     /  April 7, 2012

    I recall seeing an article on placentophagy in a magazine some years ago, and thinking “so, this is a joke, right?” it wasn’t. There’s a big bunch of mythology out there about placenta being good for the mother, when in fact it’s not much different than human liver tissue. Um. I’ll pass. fava beans and a nice chianti or no.

  5. I think the scariest part is that there are idiots out there pushing placentophagy while at the same time freely admitting that they have no idea what survived the preparation process. I had a look at one of these sites a few months ago. There are some recipes if anyone’s interested (warning: it sent me vegan for a week)

    Personally, I hope that any hormones are destroyed by the preparation process, since taking extra doses of any hormone at any time should always be supervised by a doctor. Taking them when your body is already in a turmoil from adapting to new motherhood seems frankly irresponsible.

  6. saffronrose

     /  April 7, 2012

    There are some vegans and vegetarians for whom that is the only “meat” they will consume. I have heard of some placenta stews, but as with you, I’ll pass, and on the fava beans as well. Now, a good cassoulet, with tarbais beans, duck and lamb? Got me there!

    The month I gave birth, some woman in the county had left her placenta at the foot of a tree (an offering, I think) not quite far enough from a public path, and there was alot of fuss. I had gestational diabetes, and wanted my placenta to place in the hole where a birth tree for my son would go (a long-time country tradition). I figured I wouldn’t have a chance, but my OB said I’d held up my side of the patient/doctor contract, and she was going to honor hers. One of the nurses said, I can’t see this, and turned her back. We had our own container and a cooler bag, and whisked it out of the operating room (C-section).

    I think that was about the only thing that went right in the whole stay, when so many things went wrong, or were done poorly.

  7. Leanne

     /  April 8, 2012

    Thank you for this– I’m eight months pregnant and got the “will you eat your placenta?” question a few days ago. I honestly had no idea this was a real thing now (I thought it was still in the realm of the uber-committed, DIY, extreme-all-natural parenting) and it turns me off for several reasons, one of which is the ick factor but another is that I can think of a lot of things my body rejects or eliminates that I don’t want to re-consume. Thanks for addressing this, and linking to the Science-Based article– that’s a much more direct answer for me!

  8. Placentophagy makes me think of Cronus for some reason.

    Yeah, I suppose saying “ill take a walk” is the best use of Twitter I’ve seen in a long time.

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