North Texas

More Moms Seeking to Consume Their Placentas

An ancient practice is becoming new again among mothers.

Experts say more and more women are interested in placenta encapsulation, thanks in part to celebrities like Kim Kardashian, and are praising its benefits.

Placenta encapsulation is the practice of eating the placenta, which is the organ that supplies nutrients and oxygen to the fetus.

The process involves dehydrating the placenta, which is then chopped up and packed into digestible pills.

A new Texas state law, in effect this year, allows mothers to take the placentas home from the hospital, and while the practice isn't new, the demand for it is soaring, according to North Texas doulas.

For 15 years, Abbey Robinson, known as the Fort Worth Doula, has been helping moms deliver babies at the Fort Worth Birthing and Wellness Center and she says more than ever, moms are asking her to add placenta encapsulation to their experience.

"I think some women kind of like the shock value of going, 'Yeah I'm taking my placenta pills. I'm eating my placenta," Robinson said.

"It gives you lots of energy. It restores iron. It is supposed to reduce postpartum depression, as well as baby blues, so those are the reported benefits that we're getting with that," she added.

Colby DeKoker, of Brock, had heard about placenta pills and after research, says she sought the opportunity to encapsulate the organ and felt its benefits after eating the capsules.

"I was so happy. I didn't feel tired. I felt really whole and balanced, not just like a normal postpartum woman that was just, 'Oh, my gosh, what is going on here?'" said DeKoker.

"I wholeheartedly believe it's from my capsules, from consuming my own placenta," she added.

However, research hasn't found any benefits to the practice.

Last year, the National Institutes of Health reported its studies show no scientific proof eating the placenta does the body good.

Katie Hopkins, a certified nurse midwife Texas Health Fort Worth, says she warns her patients about the lack in research into the method, but says her mothers are still very interested.

"Studies are definitely necessary. It's becoming popular topic and like I said, many of our clients are seeking this. In order to ensure the safety and confirm whether or not there's benefit, I think randomized control trials are needed," Hopkins said.

Hopkins says mothers interested in the pills should research the person they hire to do it and understand proper safety techniques.

Whether or not science backs up the claims, Robinson says some mothers already they have the proof they need.

"It comes from your body. Your body produces it, so you know those hormones are completely matched to you. They can't find any risk to doing it because it's part of you," Robinson said.

"It's a beautiful process, and God-willing and husband-willing, if I have a third, I'm totally doing it again," DeKoker said.

The cost to encapsulate your placenta can run between $200-300.

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