Many New Moms Are Eating Their Placentas. Baylor Wants Them Off the Menu.

placenta-Brittany-Wackowski-bymarkgraham.jpg
By Mark Graham
Brittany Wackowski says Baylor's hardball stance on releasing placentas to new mothers is putting a dent in her placenta-pill business.
She was recovering in a postpartum room at Baylor University Medical Center this spring, exhausted from giving birth, when her husband gave her the good news. "We got the placenta," he told her. "It's in the cooler."

Now she just had to get it off the hospital property without being caught. "We were petrified that they were going to realize that we had it," says the mother, who is still too nervous about the placenta-snatching to go on the record with her name, the date she gave birth or how her husband managed to get the placenta into the cooler in the first place.

That placenta was important to her. She wanted to eat it.

She describes herself as a Republican who before becoming pregnant had the type of career that requires a degree and the ability to sell very expensive things to cultured people (she was also fearful of having her field identified). In other words, she was not the stereotypical image of a New Age woman, and her interest in alternative medicine came by chance. She'd woken up from several surgeries in the past suffering all-out anxiety attacks in reaction to anesthesia. So for her child's birth, she sought hospitals that wouldn't try to pressure her into getting an epidural shot or cesarean section. "These are all the things I wanted, that are more in line with a natural, non-intervention birth," she says.

In almost every way, Baylor University Medical Center near her East Dallas home seemed like the best choice. Hospitals in the Baylor system are known for their mother-friendly labor and delivery units, with spacious rooms, iPod docking stations and plentiful baths. "Baylor Dallas has made a really good reputation for being really natural-birth friendly," says Melissa Espey-Mueller, a former child-birth instructor at Baylor who now works in Dallas as a doula, a woman hired to assist women as they give birth.

placenta-encapsulation_bymarkgraham.jpg
By Mark Graham
After a night in a dehydrator, a placenta can be powdered and loaded into capsules for consumption.
Placenta-consumption was supposed to be just another routine part of the natural birth experience for this unnamed mother. Worried about suffering from postpartum depression, she'd heard anecdotes that the nutrients in her placenta could return her post-baby body and hormones back to normal. "I'm not interested in being on pharmaceuticals. That was something I wanted to avoid at all costs," she says.

As have other women intent on eating their placentas, she'd mistakenly assumed that getting her placenta out of Baylor would be fairly simple. But at some point in the past few years, Baylor's placenta policy changed. Baylor does not want moms eating their placentas and has been strict about not letting her and others like her have them.

"Baylor's position on this issue is in compliance with Texas law," a Baylor spokesman says, though other hospitals have different interpretations of that same law.

The most Baylor will do is release the placenta to a funeral home at a mother's request. But even then, Baylor's policy dictates that the placenta must stay with the funeral home.
It's a policy that's been easily bent in the past -- word got around with mothers, doulas and placenta encapsulators that one funeral home is happy to take placentas off of Baylor's hands and then let mothers walk off with them later. All an expectant mother had to do was inform Baylor that her religion requires the placenta be buried or cremated, as this woman had done.

"We believe the placenta is absolutely sacred," she wrote to the hospital.

But as she approached her due date, she heard a rumor -- not an uncommon occurrence in the rumor-swamped world of placenta-consumption enthusiasts. Some other woman, she'd heard, never got her placenta from the funeral home where it was supposed to go."Between the labor and delivery room and the morgue, the placenta got quote-unquote lost. She feels like they destroyed it, because the nurse at the time was very critical of her decision to take her placenta," says the anesthesia-averse mother, though she didn't hear the story firsthand and has no idea if it's true.

Regardless, she wrote emails to the nursing staff, politely asking for some kind of promise, in writing, that her placenta would be safe. "Who is the person who I hold accountable for this?" she remembers wanting to know. "Because if something happens to my placenta, I'm going to be pissed."

A nurse replied that her placenta could probably go to the funeral home, but it was ultimately up to the hospital's legal team. "We can accommodate your request as long as your placenta goes to the funeral home for final disposition," the nurse explained. There were no promises, but there was a warning.

"If knowledge is obtained that the placenta is to be released outside of a funeral home," the hospital told the prospective mother, "release may not occur due to violation of the Texas Health and Safety Code."

It was not a comforting message.

So, the day she went into labor, she came with her husband, a doula and a cooler filled with ice and hoped for the best.

After her husband did whatever thing he did to get the placenta into the cooler, she texted her encapsulator -- the person who promised to turn the placenta into hundreds of digestible pills. The encapsulator agreed to meet the husband in the parking lot, where he passed the cooler.

Compared with other Baylor patients, her story was a success.

She's secretive about many details because if she has more children, she might want to give birth at Baylor again, she explains. Her experience giving birth there was great, other than having to sneak her own placenta out of the building in an ice chest. "It's completely ridiculous that it has to be like that," she says.



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
75 comments
linda.and.rosa
linda.and.rosa

Technically, the placenta is part of the baby, not the mother.  It could be argued that eating it is a form of cannibalism.

NewEnglandLady1978
NewEnglandLady1978

My guess is that the placenta effect is a placebo effect, but, nasty as it is, since people seem hell-bent on doing this, they should do a few double-blind studies and then just let people do it as long as it's safe.  


It's gross, but you know what?  Its not illegal to eat your own boogers like a 5 year old, drink your own urine like a dehydrated sailor, or fish your business out of the toilet to use as a fecal facial, if that's what you feel like doing.  So if people want to eat their child's placenta, let them go to town...  


(Just, please God, people, don't post the pics on Facebook)

martypants
martypants

Eating placenta is apparently very old and very common in Asia.  I spent several years in Korea and found a lot of their traditional medicine involves things most westerners are just now starting to realize benefits from. Most pharmacies there have boxes of human placenta prominently displayed for sale.  I certainly thought it was strange when I first saw them, but not near as strange as a hospital going out of its way to  prevent people from consuming their own. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 Mothering Magazine, 1983


Work on the basis that each placenta weighs approximately 1/6 of the baby's weight. To prepare a placenta, cut the meat away from the membranes with a sharp knife. Discard the membranes.

Roast Placenta

1-3lb fresh placenta (must be no more than 3 days old) 
1 onion 
1 green or red pepper (green will add colour) 
1 cup tomato sauce 
1 sleeve saltine crackers 
1 tspn bay leaves 
1 tspn black pepper 
1 tspn white pepper 
1 clove garlic (roasted and minced)


Method

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

1. Chop the onion and the pepper & crush the saltines into crumbs. 
2. Combine the placenta, onion, pepper, saltines, bay leaves, white and black pepper, garlic and tomato sauce. 
3. Place in a loaf pan, cover then bake for one and a half hours, occasionally pouring off excess liquid. 
4. Serve and enjoy!


Placenta Cocktail

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup fresh, raw placenta 
8oz V-8 juice 
2 ice cubes 
1/2 cup carrot 

Method: blend at high speed for 10 seconds. Serve. A tasty thirst quencher!


Placenta Lasagne

Ingredients: 

1 fresh, ground, or minced placenta, prepared as above 
2 tblspns olive oil 
2 sliced cloves garlic 
1/2 tspn oregano 
1/2 diced onion 
2 tblspns tomato paste, or 1 whole tomato 

Method: use a recipe for lasagne and substitute this mixture for one layer of cheese. Quickly sauté all the ingredients in olive oil. Serve. Enjoy!


Placenta Spaghetti Bolognaise

Ingredients: 

1 fresh placenta, prepared as above 
1 tblspn butter 
1 large can tomato puree 
2 cans crushed pear tomatoes 
1 onion 
2 cloves garlic 
1 tblspn molasses 
1 bay leaf 
1 tblspn rosemary 
1 tspn each of: salt, honey, oregano, basil, and fennel 

Method: cut the placenta meat into bite-sized pieces, then brown quickly in the butter and olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 1-1.5 hours. Serve. 

Yummy!


jason-gilmore
jason-gilmore

That's disgusting. Eating your placenta? That's called cannibalism.

JoeSilk
JoeSilk

Remember that expert doctors and nurses told mothers not to breast feed. We now know that was bad advice.

Doctors and nurses demand babies being injected with all sorts of chemicals. We now know autism exploded.

Don't scoff at nature.

SirGareth
SirGareth

We can learn a lot from the animals, being human is actually a curse.    


Take my dog for instance,  he will pass up his dog food if given an opportunity to eat the cat's feces instead.    Nature has told my dog that cat feces are very nutritious and because he has not been conditioned to find them revolting and disgusting lunches on them quite happily.



Could cat poop contain just the types of vitamins and minerals that a new lactating mother needs to supply both her own and her infants nutritional needs?


Inquiring (but completely batty) minds want to know.



xdarkridex
xdarkridex

I recently had a rod removed from my leg.  For various reasons, I wanted it back.  


I absolutely couldn't have it.  Hospital named this law in refusing.


That just had tiny bits of 'me' left on it.  This is an entire chunk of stuff.


In short: agree with the law or not, this isn't some draconian anti-natural-birth thing.

goonerbuff
goonerbuff

If you really want to increase support for this make it a brunch item... that's the only thing Dallas cares about 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Wrapped in bacon, deep-fried, dipped in brown sugar and chili powder, on a stick. State Fair winner for sure.

LaraleNB
LaraleNB

I personally wouldnt want to eat my placenta... but I think that it is absolute BS for the hospital let alone anyone to attempt to keep something from you that came from your own body. This has NOTHING to do with the hospital or anyone elses judgment but the mothers alone. I would take my placenta to bury under a tree personally...

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

I giggled loudly at the headline and swallowed vomit for the next 10 minutes reading the story


5/5 Vaginas definitely,  A placenta for you, a placenta for you, a placenta for everyone

CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

The second that placenta leaves their righteous little hands (er, wombs) those mothers have no idea what happens to it, how it's handled, what it's exposed to or even if it's their own! That encapsulator could be putting anything in those pills, even if half of the process is done in the mothers' home.


All that's required is a food handler's permit? SERIOUSLY?


With the growing demand, this can be easily exploited by people looking to make a few hundred dollars. It's a disturbing trend(y).

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Back in '77, the "Saturday Night Live" folks published a book of

annotated scripts and photos from the first couple seasons of the show.

One short script that the NBC censors cut was a fake ad for Placenta

Helper, written by Al Franken and Tom Davis.

Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner were to play two pregnant women who run

into each other at their college reunion.

Laraine: "By the way, are you planning to eat the placenta?"

Gilda: "You're kidding! You mean the afterbirth?"

Laraine: "That's right. Many mammals eat their own placenta. It's

nutritious, it's 100 percent natural, and now that you're going to have

a family, you've got to watch your food budget more than ever. And

there's no cheaper meat than placenta."

Gilda: But is there enough placenta to make a complete meal for my

husband and myself?

Laraine: Not if your husband has a hearty appetite like mine. And

that's why you need Placenta Helper.

Gilda: Placenta Helper?

Laraine: That's right. Placenta Helper lets you stretch your placenta

into a tasty casserole. [Holds up a box of Placenta Helper.] Like

Placenta Romanoff--a zesty blend of cheeses makes for the zingy sauce

that Russian czars commanded at palace feasts. Or Placenta Oriental. An

exotic mixture of oriental vegetables and exotic herbs and spices

creates an exotic meal. Look, you can have placenta only once every

nine months. Why not make a rare occasion, a rare occasion?

[CUT TO: Gilda's kitchen. John Belushi, as her husband, has just

finished his placenta casserole.]

John: Ummm. That was great. Let's have Placenta Helper every night.

Gilda: Oh, honey!

[THEY LAUGH AT HIS STUPID MISTAKE.

AboutPediatrics
AboutPediatrics

@DonkeyHotay Mothering Magazine, and now their forum/website, is notoriously anti-vaccine. Moms who are interested in eating placement pills are likely into associated ideas that are dangerous, such as avoiding vaccines and vitamin K shots.

Jezzerat
Jezzerat

@JoeSilk There is no link between autism and vaccination, you moron.  And even if there were, if you would rather have a sick or dead child than an autistic child, you should be sterilized.

jason-gilmore
jason-gilmore

So it's "natural" for humans to eat pieces of themselves? Wow

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@JoeSilk no, we still dont know how Autism exploded, but feel free to not vaccinate your kids, just dont bitch when they get Pertussis, Measles or any of the other diseases we vaccinate for, and when they do get it, pleas e keep them in isolation for a very long time.  Thank you

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@SirGareth

Nature has told my dog that cat feces are very nutritious...

Cat feces are mostly found in cat litter, cat litter will kill your dog. Never trust nature.

suzann3
suzann3

@SirGareth How does your dog clean himself after doing is "business"?  Are you proposing you clean yourself, and your young children, by licking?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@sotiredofitall

The most destructive animal on Earth doesn't. Maybe we should reconsider.

SirGareth
SirGareth

@LaraleNB


Sure.   and if you want to keep your own drizzling diarrhea in a brown paper bag at bedside its your "right"   Right? 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin 

The three page story is what clinched the 5/5 Vaginas for me.

I can't wait for some activist group to try to get legislation introduced during the next session to definitely allow this.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@AboutPediatrics  ... that goes to show that just because a woman can fuck, doesn't mean they're qualified to be a proper mother.

JoeSilk
JoeSilk

Name calling shows inability to prove by facts or logic. Many studies prove the link. Many whistleblowers, including in recent days CDC scientists, prove the cover up.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@jason-gilmore ... you've never seen children -- and some low-functioning adults -- eat their own boogers?


JoeSilk
JoeSilk

Many scientists have concluded that toxins in vacines trigger neurological damage including autism.

The scare tacticts sell a lot of chemicals and make those being paid in the medical field rich, don't they?

SirGareth
SirGareth

@suzann3 @SirGareth Madam,  are there no clues in my missive that mine was an offering of satire.    Do you understand the concept?



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@TheRuddSki ... they just send them off to die as cannon fodder in illegal wars of aggression ...

LaraleNB
LaraleNB

@SirGareth @LaraleNB It doesnt surprise me that a troll would get the point, but the fact that he must cover it in feces and waive it in my face is lame. Get the off my bridge & back under your own...

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

No. Trying to find vid... 2nd season, 10/16/76, I think.

Jezzerat
Jezzerat

@JoeSilk No, name calling means I can't be bothered to argue with a conspiracy theory twit.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@JoeSilk "Many scientists have concluded that toxins in vacines trigger neurological damage including autism."


Complete BULLSHIT.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@JoeSilk

Maybe you could enlighten us about these toxins with, say, Oh I don't know . . . information, maybe?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@JoeSilk no not really, I take years and years of proof that vaccines work over the scare tactics of your ilk who have very little proof that vaccines cause Autism.  

JoeSilk
JoeSilk

"Dr. Brian Hooker, who is with the Focus Autism Foundation, an organization dedicated to exposing causes of autism, published a study in the journal Translational Neurodegeneration earlier this month that found African-American boys who received the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella before they were 36 months old were 3.4 times more likely to develop autism. This conclusion was reached after Hooker reviewed data from a 2004 CDC study’s dataset.

“The CDC knew about the relationship between the age of first MMR vaccine and autism incidence in African-American boys as early as 2003, but chose to cover it up,” Hooker said in a statement."

This past week.

JoeSilk
JoeSilk

Freedom of choice and freedom to have uncircumcised information is what we all need.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@JoeSilk


Autism - Vaccine Link Study an Elaborate FRAUD


A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an "elaborate fraud" that has done long-lasting damage to public health, a leading medical publication reported Wednesday.


An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concludes the study's author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study -- and that there was "no doubt" Wakefield was responsible.


"It's one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors," Fiona Godlee, BMJ's editor-in-chief, told CNN. "But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data."


Britain stripped Wakefield of his medical license in May. "Meanwhile, the damage to public health continues, fueled by unbalanced media reporting and an ineffective response from government, researchers, journals and the medical profession," BMJ states in an editorial accompanying the work.


http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/05/autism.vaccines/

JoeSilk
JoeSilk

"22 Medical Studies That Show Vaccines Can Cause Autism"

You are free to eat, drink, or inject yourself with anything you want. Just don't force anyone else to do the same. And don't allow sources of information to be smashed by those interests have proven to be self-focused, usually in the pursuit of mammon.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@JoeSilk


Following the initial fraudulent claims by Wakefield in 1998, multiple large epidemiological studies were undertaken. Reviews of the evidence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, theInstitute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK National Health Service, and the Cochrane Library ALL found no link between the vaccine and autism.


ALL found no link between the vaccine and autism.


ALL found no link between the vaccine and autism.


ALL found no link between the vaccine and autism.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...