Taye Diggs Ponders the Placenta Pill

10/21/2009 at 06:00 PM ET
AP/Courtesy of Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs

While many parents-to-be spend months preparing for baby’s arrival by attending a long list of recommended classes — Taye Diggs and his wife Idina Menzel included — the Private Practice actor admits he still wasn’t exactly ready when the big day arrived!

“It got rough at moments because you have no idea [about] the sounds your wife is going to make,” Taye explains during a Thursday night visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live.

“There were moments when I had to excuse myself and just take a deep breath, but at the end of the day I was there and I was a cheerleader and we worked it out.”

Fortunately, when Taye found himself needing a minute to recoup, Idina was able to rely heavily on a doula. “She was just there for Idina,” he says. Having coached the couple in a series of classes prior to delivery day, Taye admits the doula was happy to offer a few last-minute reminders during the labor.

“She basically told us everything that was going to happen before it was going to happen because regardless of all the books that you read, for me personally, when I’m in the moment, I forgot everything.”

Once Walker Nathaniel was safely delivered and dad had cut the cord, the couple’s attention was redirected toward baby boy’s placenta — the doula inquired as to whether the new parents planned on taking advantage of what it had to offer.

“She asked us if we wanted the placenta afterwards, because there are crazy nutrients,” Taye recalls. “During one of the classes, very casually, she said, ‘We can make the placenta into tablets you can take each day.’ And I look at my wife, ‘Are you crazy?'”

For Idina — who showed interest in the pills and had them made — the unique opportunity was no laughing matter, leaving Taye to ponder the placenta’s final fate.

“My wife was serious, she wanted to be prepared on every front. I’ve been afraid to ask her [if she’s been taking them].”

As for baby boy’s name, Taye reveals the moniker is in honor of author Alice Walker and not Walker, Texas Ranger, before adding that the name isn’t likely to become a problem in the school yard. “Me and my wife figured out that by the time he was old enough for kids to make fun — he’d be like 5, 6, maybe 7 or 8 — no one’s going to know who Walker, Texas Ranger is,” he states.

And while the couple may have easily agreed upon their son’s name, the upcoming Halloween holiday has left Idina and Walker’s nanny at odds with Taye!

“I have concerns because he’s a little dude and I don’t want him to be dressed up like a little sunflower. I want him to be as masculine as he can be at [seven] weeks.”

Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live

— Anya

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Showing 34 comments

Lauren on

Haha, that part about dressing him up as a sunflower cracked me up. Nice to know where Walker’s great name comes from also. I love getting these updates from Taye, but I’m really ready to hear from Idina. I get so bummed out coming to this site to see the same attention grabbers (they know who they are) ad nauseum, and then the moms to be I actually want to read about-Idina, Ellen Pompeo, Sarah Michelle Gellar-don’t say word one about their pregnancies! Argh…

Tia on

I have heard about placenta pills. It is suppose to help reduce the risk of PPD. I don’t think I could do it. The idea kind of weirds me out to be honest, but I can see why some women would want to try it out.

I love that Taye keeps talking about Walker’s birth. You can tell he is really excited about being a father and that is a beautiful thing to see.

Michelle Z. on

I think I could handle the tablets made from placenta, but one of the mom’s at my LLL group just froze hers and would make smoothies with it. Blech!

CTBmom on

I love Taye and love hearing him talk about Idina and baby Walker! I agree Lauren, I would love to hear from Idina, but I’m sure she is just enjoying that beautiful little boy of theirs. Hopefully, we’ll hear from her soon 🙂

Karen on

The placenta thing sounds weird, but really–is it?? I’m pretty sure we’re the only mammals who don’t eat their placenta after giving birth, or at least one of the very few who don’t. It’s no mistake that other animals eat theirs; it’s instinct. I don’t see why humans would be any different as to why it would be beneficial.
Tablets are fairly tame compared to what I hear other women sometimes do. Had I known that I could have someone make tablets out of my placenta I would have done it. Why not?

lnatt on

Compared to the ingredients in heavy-duty pharmaceuticals designed to treat PPD, placenta pills are pretty tame 🙂

lnatt on

Sorry, just to clarify –

what I meant was that I don’t feel like placenta pills are “gross” or that it’s bizarre to ingest the placenta in the pill form, esp when the alternative for some women is a pharmaceutical pill, full of chemicals.

Jessicad on

I didn’t know you could make tablets out of it! Will be doing that next time for sure.

essi on

I donated my placenta to research when my son was born….I wouldn’t be surprised if the pharma companies use them for different meds!

That is a beautiful family photo of the Diggs’.

fuzibuni on

my friend hired this lady who came to her house and made placenta lasagna for her.

Michelle Z. on

Karen, good point! It is instinctual for animals to eat the placenta because one benefit of ingesting the placenta immediately after birth (sorry for the pun) is that it can stop or lessen hemorrhaging. Some midwives will place a small piece of the placenta under a woman’s tongue if she is bleeding heavily after delivery.

Oh, the things we learn in childbirth classes!

Angelika on

I am a vegetarian, so pretty sure placenta pills are out for me. 🙂

I am pretty sure liver is stocked full of healthy nutrients, but I would ingest my own liver either. There is something cannibalistic about that all for me.

azul on

at first i was not so keen on “walker”, but how awesome to be named after alice walker! amazing author, great namesake.

Lauren on

Angelika- LOL i feel weird thinking this but, i think they make the pills out of your own placenta, they didnt have to kill or harm any living thing in order to make the pills, so doesn’t that mean the placenta pill is OK for vegetarians to take? ..it literally came out of your own body :p

Mina on

I’m gonna keep this placenta thing in mind when I have kids.

It reminds me of when Guinea Pigs give birth. They lick the babies clean & the stuff that’s on them for the nutrients.

eternalcanadian on

All I can say is, ewww, gross. We don’t drink our menstrual blood, and yet that is pretty much part of the placenta, the uterine lining.

I wonder in the midst of all that yammer about the placenta did the doula also tell the new parents about saving the umbilical cord blood for their child?

eternalcanadian on

Oh, I forgot to mention in my other post the reason animal mothers eat the placenta is because they have to erase all evidence of the birth since most likely they’ve given birth in the wild and they don’t want to attract predators that can kill them and the newborns. They also don’t have access to disposal methods like humans do. So to compare humans with animals regarding the placenta is like comparing apples and oranges.

marfmom on

I’m not holding my breath to hear from Idina…I mean, did she speak about the pregnancy at all? I just remember Taye speaking throughout and not her even once, so I don’t see why that would change now that Walker is here.

Josie on

I totally agree with you, eternalcanadian. It’s admirable to be gung-ho about your health, but please, people. Take a moment to THINK about what you’re doing, don’t just rush off and do it because someone else did it, lol. And you were spot on too about the comparison to the actions of animals. Animals eat the placenta and clean off their babies to prevent insects from eating them alive. Humans are animals too, yes, but we’re supposed to be more developed and evolved than our furry friends. There’s a reason we don’t do what they do. Really. There’s a distinction between them and us. Take your regular pre and post natal vitamins, eat properly, and you’ll be fine.

amy on

lol im a vegetarian but I cant really see why you wouldnt be able to eat placenta, no animals died? Not sure I could bring myself to eat it thou, and nobody actually asked me! I know my mum kept my two brothers, buried them and planted a tree on them (I have no idea where she got that idea!)

Tia on

After reading this last night I did some research, apparently it isn’t as uncommon as I thought. I read of women taking their placenta and making pasta, smoothies, cookies, etc. Also read they would bury it to fertize plants. Some even keep it and make it into shapes of teddy bears! Ugh! Not even kidding with that one.

If I were to do it the pills would be the only way to go. I mean what is the difference between them and vitamins — other than it was your placenta? I mean it sounds gross, but it seems to accomplish the same thing — plus some like added nutrients and PPD risk reduction.

I wonder if Idina took them.

Ellen Smith on

Just because the placenta pill “mountain” is there doesn’t mean you have to climb it.

Erin on

Idina had one interview were she spoke about her pregnancy, and that was basically her just saying that she will take time off and just be a mommy for a while. She took her time to get all her work out of her system to she can just focus on her baby without distraction. Seems like she is doing just that. Though I do hope we get some new pictures of the little guy.

Cammie on

If someone else would want to do it, more power to them. For me, nothing could be more repulsive than eating a part of your own body. To each their own

Mina on

@eternalcanadian’s 2nd post: Wow I didnt know all that. I guess it’s for both reasons. Thanks for the info!

acidstars9 on

angelika I am confused…how is eating the placenta against vegetarianism? It is not harming animals in any way, and it is from your own pregnancy, not an animal’s…

Amber S. on

eternalcanadian, actually, animals do not eat their placentas to erase evidence of the birth. Birth also involves (sometimes gallons) of birth fluids and blood which probably smell much stronger than the placenta. Menstrual blood and the uterine lining are not like the placenta. The placenta is an organ which is grown by the baby.

The reason why animals (and many humans) eat the placenta is because it contains high levels of hormones which almost immediately stop loss of blood in mother. It prevents hemorrhage. It also contains high levels of oxytocin which helps the mother bond to her baby and lactate. It is now known that these bonding/nurturing hormones are essential to prevent the mothers from experiencing PPD, PPP, and lactation issues. The placenta is pretty amazing!

Amber S. on

I forgot to mention that when I had my baby, I didn’t have any information about placenta encapsulation. I wish I had! The only options I knew about were putting it in a smoothie and cooking it. I couldn’t bear the though of drinking it raw in a smoothie (though I think the mothers who can are pretty awesome), so I smothered it in steak seasoning and grilled it like a steak. Surprisingly, that was exactly what it tasted like, thank goodness! Next time, I’ll get it encapsulated.

No baby blues here! And it runs in my family pretty bad.

Ellen Smith on

Millions of women have survived the rigors of childbirth without grilling their placentas and adding A-1 sauce. I am a gourmet cook but I think a woman can achieve a healthy post-natal experience without dishing up their placentas like menu items from Outback Steakhouse.

Sarah on

The posts which seem to imply “take your vitamins and you’ll be fine” remind me of the whole Tom Cruise trainwreck. Our body does amazing things in regards to pregnancy, and if ingesting your own baby’s placenta which is full of natural hormones (vs. lab created/modified) can help, then why not?

Are we allowed to post links? If so, you can find a lot of info and even search for an encapsulation specialists (typically a midwife) in your area here: http://placentabenefits.info/articles.asp

eternalcanadian on

Amber, still all ewww, gross, bleh. A lot of animals will eat their young, but we don’t. So yeah, still apples and oranges here.

I’ll save the cord blood for the kid just in case and either donate the placenta to medical resarch or have the hospital dump it as biowaste.

Em on

I’m not sure I could ever do such a thing! Granted, I’ve never been pregnant nor had a baby, so I really don’t know.

The thought of it makes me queasy!

Ilona on

When I was first told about eating the placenta (as tablets, frozen,whatever) I was 7 months pregnant with my first child and the idea had never occurred to me. It seemed strange so I forgot about it.
After the birth my midwife prepared it for me (as frozen tablets) as a standby. Funnily enough when I got the baby blues I changed my mind and took them and they worked! I was so impressed that for my second birth I had the midwife make the frozen tablets again. It wasn’t the entire placenta, my midwife told me which part is the best (can’t remember now if it was mother’s or baby’s section). Then I buried the remainder under a young tree on our family farm so each of my children now has their own tree.

Koala on

Placenta pills rock! I lost a bit much blood after the birth of my wee girl and eating placenta really helped me regain iron and other nutrients. It was great when I was feeling overwhelmed too.

Some people think its weird – thats cool, different strokes. It seems to make sense though. Most women lose iron when pregnant and the baby comes with its very own super rich iron source. In cultures where its common to consume placenta PPD is very rare. Although in those cultures its fair to say they have more community support, breastfeeding wisdom and less unreasonable demands/expectations on new Mums too.