Why do people drink their own placenta?

Kim Kardashian did it.
January Jones did it.
Holly Maddison did it.

Has this become the next trendiest superfood since kale?

Recently, placenta eating has gone from a hippie earth mamma trend to a mainstream practice as evidence by the many celebrities mums that are jumping on board. In many cultures around the world, generations of mum’s have believed that the placenta contains all its life-supporting nutrients and vitamins after birth. Placenta is the organ that supplies your little bub with all the food, nutrients and oxygen needed in the womb.

There is the part you consume.

There is the part you consume.

But why would anyone want to eat their own bodily substances?
Mothers that consume their own placentas believe it helps with:
1. Post-natal healing – increases energy levels after birth
2. Aids in lactation – contains hormones (prostaglandin/oxytocin) related to lactation
3. Fights anaemia – contains high levels of iron
4. Improves complexion
However, there is little evidence to support these claims.

Nutrients found in placenta:
Stem Cells – The “master cells” can transform any type of tissues
Iron – essential for oxygen absorption in the cells
Vitamin B6 – making antibodies
Vitamin E – healing damaged skin cells
Oxtocin hormone – the ‘love hormone’ essential for facilitating birth and breastfeeding
CRH – reducing stress levels
Cytokins – fibroblasts that trigger cell metabolism healing and replacing damaged cells and tissues
Prolactin – promotes lactation
Thyroid stimulating hormone – boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events

How do you eat placenta?
It can be eaten, raw, cooked or died and encapsulated. In some cultures, it can be prepared into a nourishing stew for the new mother. Celebrities have blended pieces of raw placenta into a smoothie/juice to drink each day after child birth. Some choose to consume their placenta in capsule form. It is difficult to find a pharmacist that will produce your placenta into capsules as it is not a regulated process and you need to be mindful about the sanitary handling of placenta it is appropriate to avoid risk of infections.There is no dosage around how much placenta you should take…you should consultant with a professional medical team before taking your placenta.

Enjoying a raw placenta smoothie made with fresh organic berry fruits as soon as possible after birth is the most natural way of consuming the placenta.

Enjoying a raw placenta smoothie made with fresh organic berry fruits as soon as possible after birth is the most natural way of consuming the placenta.

What else can you do with your placenta?
It is not very common for mums to eat placenta. There are a lot mothers that do not consume their own placenta and they are able to breast fed and raise their bub. If you do not eat your own placenta you can always burying the placenta, cremation of the placenta or donate it medical research.

Drinking your own placenta is up to you….there is no right or wrong answer. But if you choose to consume it, make sure you let your health professional team at the hospital know before you leave the hospital.

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The family that eat together….stay together

photo-5   Many Australian’s celebrate Mother’s Day by showing their love, appreciation for the achievements and efforts of mothers, motherly figures. A special mention to those first time mothers, even though your little bub cannot express their appreciation, there are many years to come. Hopefully, many mother’s were spoiled, and I sure many families spent the day eating and celebrating together, I know our family definitely spent the day eating, from dawn to dusk. Getting the whole family to sit down for dinner can be tricky especially in this modern day, hectic day-to-day life schedule. From working late, homework, sport training and cooking, many family members eat a ‘whatever’ time suits them best, this is fine from time to time. Studies have shown that families that eat together more than three to fours a times a week have shown to demonstrate positive attributes when it comes to health, family relationships and social developments.

My top reasons to eat at the dining table:

Communication and well-being The family dinner table is environment not only for dining, but is a place where children learn manners, interact with people, have a chance to ‘catch up’ with life events and of course new foods experiences. The eating of food at the table are essential part of the roles into feelings around food and family.

Modelling food behaviours A great opportunity to display to your children meal etiquette, social skills and exposure and exploration to trying new food. Try not to force or instruct, be a leader and guider.

Expand there food horizon Encouraging new foods without being forceful nor bribing. Introduce a new food along with known foods. Remember as I have mentioned before it can take 7-15 exposures to a new food before it is accepted, so be patient and persistent. Trying new foods for your children will expand your families food vocab.

Nourish your bodies Meals prepared in your kitchen have the power to be more nutritious and healthy, as you can control what goes in. Try to include lots of colourful vegetables and fruits, dairy products packed with the goodness of fibre, calcium, vitamins!

Become chefs Many children are missing out on the importance of knowing how to cook  meals. I think it is important to involve families in menu planing, grocery shopping, lunch box packing. Get your little ones to chop basic vegetables (obviously blunt knives), mixing and stirring and setting the table. Working as a team can not only put the meal on the table faster but makes every member have a duty and somewhat ‘ownership’ of a meal.

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Lots of love to my mother, we love you so much and especially your amazing cooking, you have brought our family together at every meal!

The best mocktail for your bub

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There is a lot of emphasis about healthy food choices for your bubs, but what about healthy drink choices? 

Children’s drink choices can affect their overall health. During the summer heat in Australia, children can become easily dehydrated, so keeping up with their fluid is very important. However, what your kids drink can drastically affect the amount of calories consumed.  By making healthy drink options, you’ll be helping your child have a better overall diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents state that ‘a child’s fluid needs are best met by water and milk’.

Offering drinks such as sugary soft drinks, fruit drinks or cordials can be referred to as ’empty’ calories, that is drinks they are a high in calories but provide little nutritional value and also cause tooth decay (not so good for the dental bills!).

The best type of Mocktail

Very easy…two simple ingredients that are easily accessible. All you need is a tap with running water and a cow with a good supply of milk (not really..just pre-made cows milk!).

Water:
One of the most essential nutrients for life, needed for bodily processes. Plain water should be the fluid of choice, the human body is constantly expelling water from lungs and skin. Additionally, free calories and no cost…let it flow freely.

Milk:
Milk also contains high amounts of water to aid with hydration, but also is nutrient dense in relation to amount of calories.  It contains essential nutrients, not only the main contributor to calcium but also protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin A, B12, riboflavin and phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and zinc.
What about flavoured milk? Also contains the essential nutrients, however it contains added sugar,  offer plain cows milk as the main source of milk to your child.

The not so great Mocktail

 The ingredients found in fruit drinks, fizzy drinks and other sweetened drinks tend to be highly processed and contain a wide range of different preservatives and additives such as sugar, food acids, sweeteners, citric acid, sulfer dioxde and the list is endless.

Fruit juice:
You do not need to always say no, as juice does provide nutrients such as vitamin C, folate and antioxidants, but less than milk. Just keep in mind, fruit juice contains natural sugar which is calories similar to soft drink, and usually all the goodness of the fibre is usually removed which is the good stuff and contribute to poor dental health. Instead of offering fruit juice it is better to encourage whole fruits and vegetables.

Sugary drinks:
Fizzy drinks and other sweetened drinks such as cordials, fruit poppers provide high amounts of calories but lack in  nutrients. If kids have lots of sweetened drinks it can compromise their diets, as they become full and unable to eat foods with high nutritional value. Also, they can end up with a unbalanced diet and increase risk of dental caries and obesity.

I will leave you with one simple thought…

                                        LESS IS BEST FOR YOUR BUB’S MOCKTAIL

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Happy Jumping Beans

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IRON is a vital mineral for body function and good health. Iron is needed to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. It is also important for growth, development and fighting infections.

Some children do not get enough iron and become tired, faint, pale, poor sleepers, low appetites and uninterested in ‘playing’. If the body does not get enough iron from food it may result in anaemia. Kids between 1-3years are at most risk of developmia. Most toddlers are no longer consuming iron-fortified formula and infant cereal, and they are not eating enough iron-rich sources to make the difference. Also, toddlers tend to drink a lot of cows milk and drinking too much can injure the stomach lining causing chronic blood loss in stools.

To improve blood iron levels it is recommended that everyday you eat a variety of foods that contain iron.  There are two types of iron found in foods..the haem (the good stuff!) and the non-haem (good…but not great!).

Foods which contain HAEM iron include:

  • Lean red meats such as beef, lamb and veal.
  • Offal meats such as liver and kidney.
  • Chicken, pork (including ham), fish and shellfish.
  • Pate or fish paste.

Foods which contain NON-HAEM iron include:

  • Iron-fortified breakfast cereals (check the label to see if iron is added).
  • Wholemeal/wholegrain breads and cereals.
  • Dried peas, beans and legumes eg. lentils, baked beans, soybeans, kidney beans and tofu.
  • Leafy green vegetables eg. spinach, parsley, broccoli.
  • Eggs.
  • Dried fruit.
  • Peanut butter and nuts (whole nuts are not recommended for children under five).
  • Milo® or Ovaltine® for older children.
  • Tahini and hommus.

TIP: When eating iron, try to pair it with vitamin C, it will help maximise absorption in the body. Foods high in vitamin C include fruits (esp. citrus fruits..oranges, rock melon, kiwi fruit, strawberries or tomatoes), vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower or capsicum). Why not add fruit to breakfast cereals, veggies or salad with meat???

 

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