How to Grow an Eat-worthy Placenta
Expecting mothers are often motivated to improve nutrition during pregnancy to promote good health in their developing babies. As word spreads about the natural wellness that comes from eating placenta, moms are not only motivated to grow a healthy placenta for the benefit of their developing baby, but also for the natural health and wellness they will receive from ingesting it in the postnatal period.
Whether the plan is to eat a placenta stew, a placenta smoothie, or placenta capsules, naturally moms want to know how to grow the healthiest placenta possible. Growing an eat-worthy placenta will provide mom nutritional benefits and will help ward off postpartum baby-blues which affects up to 80 percent of new mothers. What then should prospective and pregnant mothers eat?
The ancient Taoists in their development of ancient Chinese medicine over 3,000 years ago based their ‘science’ on centuries of keen observation. Like modern science today, they surmised that what the mother ate at the time of conception as well as during pregnancy affected the health and well-being of the adult.
The Basics – What’s a Placenta?
Placenta’s are one of the main players during pregnancy. In fact, a pregnancy cannot continue without a healthy placenta. The placenta is an endocrine organ that is both genetically and biologically composed of two equal parts from the fetus and the mother. It grows along the lining of the uterus connected to the baby through the umbilical cord. It receives nutrients and oxygen and filters out any waste from the mother’s blood before delivering the blood to the baby through the umbilical cord. The placenta also produces multiple hormones essential to the maintenance of pregnancy.
What not to eat
Sometimes it’s easiest to talk about what not to eat first. Avoid as much processed or refined foods as possible. Avoid trans-fatty acids (e.g., hydrogenated oils), junk foods, commercial fried foods, sugar, white flour, soft drinks, caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and all drugs.
What to eat – to create an eat-worthy placenta
The most reliable directive a pregnant woman has is, in fact, her own appetite. A woman’s intuition about what she should and should not eat is very perceptive and heightened during pregnancy. An inadequate diet can lead to a difficult pregnancy. Some pregnancy complications, such as toxemia/preeclampsia are nutrition related.
The best foods for preconception and for pregnancy are whole, natural, organic, nutrient-dense and easy to digest. To obtain such foods, an easy rule-of-thumb is to avoid the center aisles at the grocery store. This is where most of the packaged and processed foods are located. The perimeter of the store has the most whole, natural and nutrient-dense foods including meats, eggs, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. Buying organic and locally grown foods from farmer’s markets in your area is ideal. Meats should be grass-fed, eggs should be free-range on open pasture without soy-based products in their feed, dairy products should be whole, full-fat and organic; and fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes should be organic.
For optimal digestibility of foods, a pregnant woman can benefit greatly from foods that are high in enzyme content as well as beneficial bacteria. This includes the tradition of soaking grains and legumes overnight as well as the inclusion of bone broths, sprouted grains and lacto-fermented grains, beverages and condiments in the diet.
Christina Gabbard, CPES a.k.a Carolina Placenta Lady, is a Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist & Mentor serving natural mommies; health minded women who have an interest in the TCM properties of encapsulated placenta for alleviation or prevention of post-natal depression, “baby-blues”. She also enjoys empowering moms through birth related challenges and transitions; helping them to conceive, carry, and confidently birth their babies through education, healthy living, and mindfulness. She resides in Charlotte NC with her family.