Iron and the Placenta
You may be sitting, looking out the window on this gloomy gloomy summer day thinking, "Why do low iron levels contribute to depressive symptoms and what role do placentas play in
recovering from such deficiency?" Or you may just be wondering, "When will it finally not be so humid and rainy out?"... Either way. I'm here to answer one of those questions for you (Spoiler....it's the placenta one...)
When someone is depressed they may seem sluggish and overwhelmed. The energy boost which the placenta can bring may be exactly what a new mother may need when beginning her postpartum journey because the placenta is a natural source of iron. Low iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. Symptoms of having a low iron deficiency are drowsiness, chronic fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, depression and loss of interest in everyday things, such as work, relationships and any intimacy. Often times when people think of depression, they think it is a bio-chemical or emotionally-based problem; however, nutrition can play an important role in the onset and longevity of depression and its symptoms. A person suffering from depression may often not have the drive or desire to make healthy meals or put much effort into cooking. A person living with depression may turn to meal of convenience, fast food, processed foods and prepackaged meals, often lacking in in proper nutrients such as iron. During a woman’s pregnancy, her body demands three times more than the usual amount for iron. Her baby requires iron for proper growth and development. Also, when a woman is in labor, she will lose a lot of blood and her body will need to quickly make up for this loss in iron. When a mother loses this much iron so quickly she is at risk for postpartum depression, insufficient milk, and extreme exhaustion. Low iron can cause a lack of red blood cells and the symptoms can appear hormonal such as depression.
A placenta contains a variety of essential hormones and iron. Though the placenta will not and should not take the place of an iron supplement, it still contains traces of iron that are formatted exactly for the mother’s body. One can buy iron supplements at any health supply store, however when taking synthetic iron supplements, it is very possible and likely that a body would not be able to absorb the iron fast enough leading to an overdose of un absorbed iron. Ingesting the placenta can help lessen postpartum bleeding, which in turn would lessen the loss of iron, possibly making additional supplements unnecessary. For mothers that are vegetarians and vegans, iron intake may only come from vegetables and supplements, being able to get added iron from ingesting the placenta is a great benefit. Therefore, the natural iron contained in a placenta is a beneficial source for all mothers.