According to actress January Jones, more women should emulate the behavior of most other mammals and eat their own placenta after giving birth. The “Mad Men” star told People magazine that she takes a dehydrated placenta capsule whenever she’s feeling tired or blue.
The 34-year-old actress said, “It’s not witch-crafty or anything, I suggest it to all moms!” Maybe it’s working for her, since the single mom was able to return to work on the show about seven weeks after the birth of her son, Xander.
Even though there is little scientific evidence to support the idea that there are benefits to eating placenta, some people claim that it can help to increase milk flow and ease post-partum depression. Obstetrician Maggie Blott explained, “Animals eat their placenta to get nutrition–but when people are already well-nourished, there is no benefit, there is no reason to do it.”
Even so, parents continue to believe that consuming the placenta helps their immune system. As these parents ask health facilities to allow them to bring home their placentas, there is a growing market for professionals who will prepare them.
Reporter Joel Stein created a video for TIME in 2009 that documented a “placenta encapsulation specialist” while he cleaned, cooked, dehydrated, and ground the afterbirth of his baby boy, eventually making pills for his wife. Stein commented, “Its kind of wimpy…she should be able to eat it like a steak.”
The Internet does offer quite a variety of recipes for those moms who do want to eat placentas in their natural state. They range from roast placenta to placenta lasagna. If Jones is correct in her beliefs, maybe more moms should be adding these recipes to their cookbooks.