Ingesting one's placenta, acceptable or not? - U2 Feedback

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View Poll Results: Is this acceptable?
Yes, I'm a woman who is a mom and think it is 6 11.32%
Yes, I'm a woman with no kids and think it is 17 32.08%
No, I'm a woman with kids and say no. 2 3.77%
No, I'm a woman with no kids 7 13.21%
I'm male and say no. 9 16.98%
I'm male and say yes, and let them have cake too. 12 22.64%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:35 PM   #1
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Ingesting one's placenta, acceptable or not?

Is this a good thing or bad thing?


Enlarge By Craig L. Moran for USA TODAY

In Las Vegas: Anne Swanson, 30, sued Sunrise Hospital after it refused to relinquish her placenta after she gave birth to daughter Maxanne. The court sided with her.


By Steve Friess, Special for USA TODAY
Debi French was dreading the birth of her fourth child. She wanted the baby, to be sure, but she was terrified of being visited again with the overwhelming despair that came over her in the days and weeks after her last delivery.
French's midwife offered her an unusual remedy: She suggested the expectant mother ingest her own placenta as a means of allaying postpartum depression. The temporary organ was saved, dried and emulsified, then placed in gelatin capsules and taken by the mother in the months after the birth in December 2004.

"Before I actually did it, my friends thought it was weird," says French, 29, of Spokane, Wash., whose fifth child is due in August. "But when they saw how fast I recovered from my birth and they knew my history, they thought it was pretty neat. Now I have a lot of friends planning to do it."

The practice, known as placentophagy, is far from widespread and is received with great skepticism by more traditional medical experts. But among a small but vocal contingent of expectant mothers and proponents, it is strongly believed that the organ created by the woman's body to pass nutrients between mother and fetus and is expelled after birth is rich in chemicals that can help mitigate fluctuations in hormones believed to cause postpartum depression.

"I feel that it is what we as women are meant to do with the placenta," says Jodi Selander of Las Vegas, who offers encapsulation services and is collecting testimonials of women who have ingested placenta for her website, placentabenefits.info.


The practice is raising eyebrows at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Spokeswoman Kris Mejia says the FDA considers that some statements on the website are making medical claims and will be looking more carefully into the matter. "Human placental capsules that make treatment claims … must be accompanied by well-designed and controlled clinical studies to support approval/licensure," Mejia wrote in an e-mail.

Selander says she does the encapsulation as a service and doesn't charge for it. She also says she sought guidance from the FDA but got no clear answers.

Still, Selander says, "every single mammal ingests its placenta. We are the only mammal on Earth that went away from this practice."

In actuality, some mammals, including seafaring ones and camels, do not. But the fact that most lower mammals do, and the fact that placenta ingestion has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine practices for centuries, is often cited by Selander and other advocates as proof of its health benefits.

Yet Western researchers are highly dubious of whether taking placenta pills or, in the case of some more devoted placentophagists, cooking and eating it as a food is of any value to humans. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists declined to comment, but a spokeswoman for the British counterpart, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, told the BBC last year: "Animals eat their placenta to get nutrition, but when people are already well-nourished, there is no benefit. There is no reason to do it."

Mark Kristal, a professor at State University of New York at Buffalo whose doctoral dissertation in 1971 focused on why animals eat their placentas, says his research leads him to suspect that animals derive pain relief from a substance in the placenta during delivery that humans would not enjoy by ingesting after the fact.

'People can believe what they want'

Kristal notes that animal births usually involve the mother licking her vaginal area, thereby ingesting the fluid during delivery.

He also says withholding the placenta from the animal mother after birth in lab studies hasn't caused the mother to become depressed or withdraw from her offspring. That observation would contradict the notion that animals ingest it to avert their own version of postpartum depression, he says.

"People can believe what they want, but there's no research to substantiate claims of human benefit," Kristal says. "The cooking process will destroy all the protein and the hormones. … Drying it out or freezing it would destroy other things."

Mothers who insist that ingesting their placentas has helped them are undeterred.

"I don't need research to say that it's going to help me," says Nicole Dodson-Sands, 32, of Albuquerque, who suffered depression after her third son's birth six months ago and took placenta pills she made herself. "It's not something that was dangerous."

Some hospitals aren't so sure and refuse to release the placenta after a birth, regarding it as hazardous medical waste. Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas refused to relinquish the placenta to Anne Swanson, 30, in April, leading to a court battle resolved on Tuesday when a district court judge ruled that Swanson should receive it.

Swanson had planned a birth at her Las Vegas home but was rushed to the hospital for an emergency cesarean section.

The hospital, which had contended that a placenta could be biohazardous waste because it contains blood, says it will not appeal. "The court understood our desire to be compliant with current medical waste regulations," Sunrise Health vice president Amy Dirks Stevens said in a written statement. "Ms. Swanson will receive her placenta upon completion of the court's legal and medical waste compliance directions."

The hospital has been storing the placenta in a freezer; Swanson says it's probably too late for it to be of any medicinal use to her. "Recovering from a C-section was a lot more traumatic, and I was definitely a bit emotional, so my husband will attest I definitely could have used my placenta," she says.

Typically, the placenta is stored by the hospital for a few days to be available for testing if there is a post-pregnancy complication, and then it is destroyed. Some hospitals do allow women to have the placenta just as they allow patients to take home tonsils, kidney stones or appendixes.

Swanson says she is baffled that this became anybody's business but hers, but she is gratified by the court's ruling.

"We didn't even have to have a trial — the judge said, 'Give it to her' — so it was shocking to everybody, actually," Swanson says. "I'm obviously sad that it took a court case to get here, but I'm very excited that more women are actually going to be able to get their placentas if they want them."


READERS' OPINIONS

Here's what our readers are saying about the practice of placentophagy.

Military Brat wrote:
OK, I remember seeing the placenta after my son was born... NOT APPETIZING!!!!!!!

jw wrote:
Animals do it instictively and it has nothing to do with hunger. Well fed domesticated dogs and cats do it and they are well fed. The way it is being ingested, dried, crushed and put into capsules, means there is no taste involved. It sounds like it could work and not be that big of a deal. It doesn't cause any negative problems so I say try it.

perimogi wrote:
Amazing, if it is so healthful, eat it right away, raw, no salt or pepper, au-natural. Drying and putting in a pill makes it a different product. What people can do to self-medicate is beyond thinking.

shamrocker wrote:
We are humans... not lower animals, and to facilitate an argument with that sort of logic is naive. For a human to consume a part of its own body is cannibalism; there is no way out of that reality. There is no Biblical history that records the practice, nor condones it.

leon wrote:
Of course hospitals and the FDA don't want mothers to do it. If mothers did something natural, the doctors and the hospital would not be able to shove the FDA's drugs into the mother and charge her for medical visits ...

PD102 wrote:
Since postpartum depression is mental, anything a person 'thinks' will make a difference usually does. Notice that the article says that Nicole suffered depression after the birth of her third son. It doesn't say she ever suffered depression after the first two ...
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
We are humans... not lower animals, and to facilitate an argument with that sort of logic is naive. For a human to consume a part of its own body is cannibalism; there is no way out of that reality. There is no Biblical history that records the practice, nor condones it.
I love this post. "That sort of logic is naive", yet if there was a biblical record of it, it would be logical?


Other than that, I see no reason for a poll, there isn't much to discuss, if someone wants to, let them, who cares?
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:09 PM   #3
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i will never open this thread again.
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:10 PM   #4
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did somebody say mcdonald's?
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
did somebody say mcdonald's?


I love how if this came out of a cow, people would be lining up right now...
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:57 PM   #6
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oooh interesting point! i was actually saying mcdonald's because if you're eating a burger from there, you're eating bits of human anyway.

lol i was thinking that this might be the most disgusting thread ever...then again i remember zoots posted this:
http://forum.interference.com/showth...hreadid=171176
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Old 07-19-2007, 02:08 PM   #7
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I happened to read about this just a little while ago on aol.com. I so wasn't prepared for the picture at the end of this thread though
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Old 07-19-2007, 02:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
i was actually saying mcdonald's because if you're eating a burger from there, you're eating bits of human anyway.
What's your source for this?
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Old 07-19-2007, 02:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
oooh interesting point! i was actually saying mcdonald's because if you're eating a burger from there, you're eating bits of human anyway.
[/url]
EEEK!
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Old 07-19-2007, 02:34 PM   #10
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Do she need counseling or is
she
a
cannibal?:
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:01 PM   #11
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Originally posted by yolland

What's your source for this?
i don't have any articles. but i used to work there with a student who was majoring in some sort of food science. we were talking about the quality of beef mcdonald's uses, and she spoke of some things she learned in class about mcdonald's compared to the rest of the major fast food chains. i think she compared mcdonald's to bk & wendy's...and something else....and it had the worst quality of them. she said the grade of beef has something to do with what parts are used. mcd's has quality E beef, fyi. at least it did back then. who knows, they may have changed things now. i heard they have since changed their chicken nuggets...so maybe they are up to D now

she was the one who opened me up to the world of the meat packing industry...which i would think is probably one of the more dangerous jobs out there. the workers are treated like crap and have to work in awful conditions, which make them prone to many accidents. it isn't that any beef industry intentionally adds human flesh to their product. it's that a number of accidents result in these conditions. i.e. performing the same swiping motion as fast as you can more than 10,000 times a day with a large weapon. thus human blood is spilled, fingers/limbs are lost, etc. and they get mixed in with the beef. she told me that the meat packing plants used by mcdonalds were just awful. after knowing all of this, i was surprised she worked there...but i guess she wanted to see the other side of her field.

now...to be fair...i'm just speaking of beef in general. i referenced mcdonalds because of that catchy slogan, and also my personal experience working there and that student that i met. and i probably shouldn't have said that so matter-of-factly. beef in general is sketchy because of these working conditions, and the companies don't improve these conditions because that would cost money, and they want to maximize profits. there are many injuries that occur in these places, but i honestly admit, eating beef doesn't mean you will consume some portion of the worker every time. but that doesn't mean that beef eaters have never had any portion of a work related accident in their big mac.

i just prefer not to take that chance
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico

it's that a number of accidents result in these conditions. i.e. performing the same swiping motion as fast as you can more than 10,000 times a day with a large weapon. thus human blood is spilled, fingers/limbs are lost, etc. and they get mixed in with the beef.
I don't doubt this for a second and I don't eat at McDonalds and have no interest in defending them. Yet, at the same time, horrible things can happen in fine-dining kitchens as well. Waiter friends have confessed some pretty shocking things to me and, frankly, I'm surprised I can still even eat out half the time!

Anyway, about the placenta. Whatever. If women feel it helps and they want to do it, they should be allowed to. I know people who have ingested their own urine for its alleged health benefits so
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:42 PM   #13
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Anyway, about the placenta. Whatever. If women feel it helps and they want to do it, they should be allowed to. I know people who have ingested their own urine for its alleged health benefits so
REALLY??? I heard about rubbing it on your face. I didn't know about ingesting.

It is interesting though...I really find our human bodies fascinating. I'm sure there are tons of things our body produces that we don't even think of that can be used as natural supplements to a healthy lifestyle.

i'm not gonna judge people for eating stuff, as i expect the same respect in return.

but...i dunno...if the placenta is cooked in tikka masala i might be convinced
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:45 PM   #14
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Some of you girls are scaring me in here.

dbs
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:10 PM   #15
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have you had tikka masala?
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