Your placenta nourished Baby for nine long months—so why shouldn't it be your turn now?
Moms eating their placenta as a natural way to boost postpartum health has been a fairly common practice in Chinese medicine, but not so much in the US. Thanks to Mad Men star January Jones, however, the placenta as the ultimate new-mom vitamin supplement may finally be hitting the mainstream.
"Your placenta gets dehydrated and made into vitamins," January explains. "It's something I was very hesitant about, but we're the only mammals who don't ingest our own placentas."
The star mom has taken the capsules every day, starting right after Xander's birth, and also anytime she feels tired or down—and especially when she had long days on the set of her hit show. "It's not witch-crafty or anything! I suggest it to all moms," she says.
Some moms bury their placenta and plant a tree over it as a way to honor new life. Others use the placenta to make birth memento art prints. So why eat it? Advocates of moms ingesting their own placenta after birth—a practice called placentophagia—say placenta helps balance hormones and thereby combats postpartum depression, boosts milk production, and helps the uterus to contract after birth.
As the Washington Post reports, it also thought that vitamin-packed placenta is a natural energy booster for new moms because it replenishes lost nutrients after childbirth. Critics, on the other hand, say the practice has not been studied well enough to truly understand its effectiveness.
Still, if ingesting placenta is working for Betty Draper, could it work for you? If you're curious, at minimum, make it known to your doctor or midwife that you would like to keep the placenta after birth.