Many mothers do not want to wait for the benefits of the placenta till after preparation and/or encapsulation. So, eating a part of the placenta raw after birth is a great option, and still allows the placenta to be used for prints, herbal tincture, Traditional Chinese Medicine encapsulation, and/or a burial/tree planting ceremony.
Eating the placenta raw is the most beneficial within the first 24 hours after birth. However, the placenta must be properly cared for to preserve its freshness for both the use of eating it raw, and any other consumption use you plan for your placenta.
Preparing Raw Placenta to Eat
Fork or spoon
Medical gloves, preferably latex-free
Placenta, should be kept double-bagged in TWO 1-gallon zip-lock freezer bags, or other freezer safe and food safe storage container, and either on ice (for up to 4 hours then MUST be in the refrigerator) or in the refrigerator. Follow the instructions and timeline for storage and care of the placenta in our Placenta FAQ.
Care & Preparation Directions
- Wash hands thoroughly.
- Put on medical gloves, preferably latex-free.
- Leaving placenta in its storage container, have mother choose a piece, about 1 inch – 2 inches in diameter, from the edge of the maternal side of the placenta to be cut off. This will sometimes be a whole small lobe from the maternal side.
Note: Maternal side is fleshy, meaty, and lobular. Fetal side is smooth with membranes, veins, and umbilical cord attached to it.
- Once piece has been chosen, carefully, using the kitchen shears, and leaving the placenta in the bags, cut that piece off to include both the fetal and maternal sides. Your cut should look like a small notch was cut out of the side of the placenta, v-shaped or semi-circular.
- Once cut, carefully place the piece in the small bowl.
- Close the bag containing the rest of the placenta and place back on ice or in the refrigerator.
- Rinse the cut piece of placenta thoroughly with fresh running water.
- Then, carefully, cut the piece of placenta up into tiny pieces the size of a pea if possible.
- Once cut into tiny pieces, very carefully and gently rinse the pieces of placenta again, without allowing them to fall out of the bowl when you drain the water off.
- They are now ready for mother to eat.
Using your fork or spoon, place one of the tiny pieces of placenta under your tongue, as you would a homeopathic pellet.
There are a few benefits to placing it under the tongue instead of on the inside of the cheek. One is that this allows for the digestive enzymes that are secreted in the mouth to begin to breakdown the placenta for easier digestion and potentially increased absorption of the nutrients in the placenta. The second is that it also potentially increases sublingual absorption of the nutrients contained in the placenta.
Hold the placenta piece under the tongue for as long as possible, but at least 30 seconds.
Then swallow the piece of placenta whole, do not chew the raw placenta.
You may wish to swallow it with some juice, like orange juice, apple juice, a protein shake, or a nutrition smoothie.
Wait a few minutes before the next piece of placenta, about 5 – 10 minutes, and then repeat. Do this until all the tiny pieces of placenta are consumed.
NOTE: If hemorrhaging after birth, the placenta has long been used to help the uterus clamp down and to stop the hemorrhaging. To use the placenta for hemorrhaging, do not worry about being so very particular, just do the best you can to follow the guidelines above, though mother will not be able to choose her piece of the placenta at this time, but will be able to later if she chooses to consume more within the first 24 hours postpartum.
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