Is Placenta Encapsulation Legal?

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I get asked this question frequently from people curious about what I do or those interested in having their placentas encapsulated. This link is a Google document listing the laws of placenta release by state.  The list is from 2010 however, so if you don’t live in Texas, it would be best to contact someone from your own state.  The good news is that in Texas, as of January 1st, 2016, the release of placentas from hospitals and birth centers became our legal right.  See news story here or copy of the law here.

This exciting news for Texas women everywhere as previously, the release of placentas was based on individual hospital policy.  Some hospitals allowed release by just signing a release form absolving them of liability.  Others required it to be released only to a funeral home.  Funeral homes in the DFW area were charging anywhere from $60-300 for the release.  Still other hospitals were requiring a court order for the release of a woman’s placenta.  Some women were still denied their placentas with court order in hand.

Benefits of Placenta Consumption

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placenta preparation

Placenta encapsulation is the process of creating capsules out of the placenta after birth for mother to consume as dietary supplements. The purpose and benefits of maternal placenta consumption are many.
The main,initial,goal is to potentially supply mother with the corticotrophin-releasing hormone,or CRH, that the placenta was releasing at high levels during the last trimester of pregnancy. This high level of production naturally down regulates,or suppresses,the mother’s hypothalamus from producing CRH. The hypothalamus is the normal producer of CRH. CRH is released by the hypothalamus in response to stress to help the body deal with discomforts,pain,etc. CRH production by the placenta peaks at the onset of parturition and,again,is in response to the stress of labor on the body to help the body cope with the discomforts and pains.
After the birth of the placenta the mother’s body is no longer receiving these high levels of CRH and her hypothalamus’ natural production was down regulated,so pain increases,emotional distress increases,etc. It takes some time for the body to naturally up-regulate the hypothalamus’CRH production again. In the meantime,the postpartum mother is experiencing hormonal imbalance causing emotional instability,decreased energy,decreased healing and recovery,etc.. Other hormones,like estrogen, estrodiol,and progesterone decrease in the maternal body after birth,as well,and drastically affect thyroid function,emotional stability,and overall hormone balance.
Many women are not able to recover from this hormonal imbalance and suffer postpartum blues,depression,psychosis,lactation issues,and/or a wide range of other issues;especially if there is a history of depression in the mother’s family or with the mother,or a history of hyper- or hypo- thyroidism in the mother. By consuming the placenta after birth mother is able to potentially provide her body with a natural stimulus to up-regulate her natural production of CRH by the hypothalamus,regulate other hormones,and help her body cope with postpartum discomforts,pains,etc.,and recover easier and quicker.
The high levels of vitamin B6 and iron in the placenta could also help mother with emotional stability and energy levels during the postpartum period. Research has shown that decreased iron leads to fatigue,and fatigue in postpartum mothers is the first potential sign of possible future depression. There was a notable correlation between low iron,fatigue,and postpartum depression.
All this combined could help the postpartum maternal body to balance hormones,stabilize,and heal,with the goal of avoiding the baby blues. Many women attest to the benefits of placenta consumption postpartum for mood and emotional stabilization,as well as,over all physical and energetic support during recovery.


raw placenta heart