Eating baby's placenta- an old age practice in China.

Eating baby’s placenta: A weird Chinese custom

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China: The World is full of different customs and trends which are almost in swing every day. Similar customs have been shared by people of China where they cook new-borns’ placenta. It may sound weird as well as shocking, but it has been seen in various instances. 

The people of China have followed the practice of eating baby’s placenta over the past decade. It is an old-age practice in Chinese traditional medicine.

Eating baby’s placenta: A weird custom

The advantage of eating a baby’s placenta is creating a buzz, especially in Western Countries, where some people believe that it is essential for health as it is supposed to improve breast milk supply and boost the energy level.

The Chinese have followed the practice of this weird custom of eating placenta for more than 2000 years, and it is relatively common in China. In their culture, the first month after the birth of a baby is considered a ‘month of confinement’ along with some strict rules. 

The natives call it “Sitting the Month” or “zuo yue zi.”

The placenta is an organ which connects the growing foetus to the uterine wall to support nutrient uptake, fight against internal infection, waste elimination, gas exchange through the mother’s blood supply and produce hormones to support pregnancy. 

It removes the waste products from the blood of the baby and provides nutrients and oxygen to the baby.

Chinese people eat placenta by making dumplings and cooking along with other dishes. Some people even encapsulated it just to make it look cleaner. The dried placenta is supposed to be healthy and is sometimes used in traditional Chinese medicine.

A bowl full of soup with placenta in it. (Credits: Google)
A bowl full of soup with placenta in it. (Credits: Google)

Notably, the first emperor of a unified China is believed to have chosen the placenta as having health properties, and it is said that during China’s last dynasty, the Dowager Empress Cixi ate the placenta to stay young.

China’s state media remarks

China’s media stated that this practice of eating placenta has re-emerged for so long. Recently, one maternity hospital located in the eastern city of Nanjing reported that about 10 per cent of parents took their placenta after giving birth to their child.

While China has banned the trade of organs since 2005, some of its traces would also be seen in pharmaceutical markets after its alleged links to the drug companies. 

Once, a clerk at the pharmacy shared that the sales of placenta are highly accessible by the natives.

The placenta is not just eaten by the mothers only; however, new fathers also like to eat it post-delivery. 

Sometimes, the nurses take the money in order to supply it for breakfast. 

The Chinese custom of eating a baby’s placenta might sound weird; however, it also points towards a storm of other customs which have been going on for decades and need to be looked upon.