There comes a time in many women’s pregnancies when they wonder, Should I save my placenta? To some, it seems like an arcane practice reserved for the very woo-woo, but as this pregnant editor can confirm, a growing number of women are having their placentas turned into capsules or powder post-birth. The practice is purported to help the postnatal body heal and to ward off postpartum depression, but is it worth it?
First, the 32-year-old mom of two cleared up the misinformation that she drank her placenta “and it was delightful.” She joked, “That makes me sound really weird—that was not the case.”
She opened up about what led her to consider alternative healing after her pregnancy with her now 1-year-old daughter, Banks, saying, “I went with a natural birth, and that’s not for everyone, so I’m definitely not a preacher or anything. I had full drugs with my son in a hospital the first time and I had a great experience. But with this one, I just wanted something different and I wanted to see if I could do it.”
Preparing for a natural birth and working closely with midwives led Duff to ask about the potential benefits of ingesting the placenta. “I did ask about the placenta because my sister [Haylie Duff] had hers put into capsules,” the Lizzie McGuire star shared. “But I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘Oh my gosh, I felt amazing’ or ‘It fully cured me.’ I don’t think there’s any way to tell if it actually cures postpartum [depression].”
Duff recounted what her midwives told her: “If you ingest a piece of it, it helps you to stop bleeding and hemorrhaging because you’re telling your body you’re not pregnant anymore and it’s over.” She also heard it could “help boost energy and help your milk supply.”
Once she began nursing and started to feel depleted of energy, she threw an ice cube of the placenta (you read that correctly) into a smoothie and “got really emotional afterward.” Although Duff didn’t experience postpartum depression with either pregnancy, she understandably didn’t enjoy the unexpected emotional shift. She decided “that’s not for me,” threw out the rest of the cubes and that was that.
Kudos to Duff for being honest and making the decision she felt was best for herself and her baby. Like the Hokey Pokey, that’s what motherhood’s all about.