Why placenta encapsulators are “bullsh!t”

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This gem, Why Birth Centers Are Bullsh!t, is making the rounds among the homebirth crowd. Who is Doula Anonymous? I don’t know, but the person who appears to have been the first to publicize the post, and has publicized it across multiple platforms, was Katie DiBenedetto, a doula and placenta encapsulator who received her “training” from the Placenta Liberation Front (no, I’m not making that up).

Contacted on Twitter, DiBenedetto denies that the blog is hers. Regardless of whether or not it is, her willingness to promote it indicates a startling lack of insight into her own “profession.” Imagine if a blogger gave placenta encapsulation the same treatment, Doula Anonymous gives birth centers.

It might be something like this:

Now, of-fucking-course, not ALL placenta encapsulators are bullshit. There might be one or two placenta encapsulators who are bringing healthcare and safety in birth to communities of women who have never known such a luxury (although I highly doubt it).

This post is not about THOSE placenta encapsulators.

This post is not to judge mothers who choose to encapsulate their placentas simply for the fucking bragging rights. If you encapsulated your placenta simply because you are stupid and gullible and are triggered by this post: check your shit at the door and calm the hell down. This isn’t about you.

This post is a rant about the for-profit placenta encapsulators that act as a “middle ground” for upper middle class white people who are “too scared” to eat raw placenta and don’t want to admit it.

And all too often it is the woman who desires to eat her placenta raw, the father who ignorantly says no, and placenta encapsulation acts as a compromise.

In terms of safety, equipment, medicine, etc. there is absofuckinglutely no difference between being a gullible fool who eats her placenta raw and a gullible fool who eats her placenta encapsulated. The raw placenta is the same fucking shit that your encapsulator would freeze dry. There is no advantage to encapsulation. Yet placenta encapsulators tout it like there is. How is it that you could NEVER eat raw placenta, which has ZERO fucking health benefits, yet encapsulated placenta, which also has ZERO funcking health benefits is fine? Tell me, what is the fucking difference? Is it psychological? The fact that you are PAYING someone to encapsulate? Is it more socially acceptable to eat encapsulated placenta? (probably because the general public thinks encapsulated placenta is somehow different and safer than raw).

Obviously placenta encapsulation is a fucking businesses. It just fucking is. Placenta encapsulators cost a load of money and they are in it for profit. They saw an audience (upper middle class white women who watched the Business of Being Born) and quickly concocted a brilliant business plan. They package up their doula care, placenta art, placenta encapsulation and placenta guide books, wrap it up with a little sacred pregnancy bow and sell the shit out of it. You can’t blame doulas, really. Providing doula care is no fucking cake walk. You’re not going to get rich attending home births. A placenta encapsulation business on the other hand…

Obviously – you choose whether and how you want to eat your placenta. This is fucking America, right? Just make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons and not because you’re fucking kidding yourself that it is anything other than a scam to enrich placenta encapsulators.

  • Francesca Violi

    And many of the placenta eaters are even vegetarians (I am too, by the way, i.e. vegetarian not placenta eater)… A person I know often claimed that humans are not meant to eat meat, that we can not process it properly in our digesting apparatus, in which meat rots and produces a toxin (cadaverina). But after she got pregnant she considered eating placenta, claiming it’s good for the mother etc. So apparently human body is not fit for eating a hamburger, but it will make an exception for a yummy fresh placenta. And to my objecting that besides disgusting it is also useless, she was like: “But it must be good if Nature put it there for you!” . Little did she think that Nature put it there for the baby, actually… and that’s why gets expelled out of our body as soon as the baby is no longer there.

    • Smoochagator

      Now that you mention it, I had a friend years ago who was a vegan and ingested her placenta. It hadn’t even occurred to me that such a thing was pretty damn weird.

      • Roadstergal

        I’ve heard from a certain subset of vegans who do it for moral reasons that placenta is the only morally acceptable meat to consume, since no animal had to die to produce it. (I’m a vegetarian for reasons of environment/sustainability and personal preference, and placenta doesn’t pass either bar for me…)

  • NoUseForANym

    Oh my, Dr Amy. You caught her likeness exactly.

    And watching you use the word fuck so many times is quite hot!

  • Captain Obvious
    • Lisa from NY

      ” In one study, the risk of a 5-minute Apgar score of zero was 1 in 615 home births and 1 in 6,493 hospital births.”

  • PrudentPlanner

    The creepiest part is that the placenta is derived from fetal tissue. They are eating human flesh that has the baby’s DNA.

    • MLE

      Eating your child’s DNA is a great way to bond with them!

      • KarenJJ

        I like Sarah Blaffer Hrdy’s idea that it is possible that the trait for revulsion around the placenta has been selected for in humans. Since the vast majority of humans are disgusted at the idea of eating placentas (including those that pop their placenta into pill form – nobody is wolfing down a huge raw placenta after birth as can be seen sometimes in other animals) I think the idea holds some merit.

        NCBers – doing “natural” wrong.

        • Lion

          I understand why animals eat the placenta – so that predators don’t sniff out mom and baby in their weak state, but even in Africa where I live, we don’t have lion and hyena roaming our hospitals, so I see no need to eat the placenta, or burry it under a tree, or create revolting art with it.

    • Captain Obvious

      Not to mention, any chorioamnionitis infected placenta or meconium stained placenta. Ever see a placenta pathogy report? Chorioamnionitis, funisitis, parenchymal infarction, thrombosis, white blood cells and macrophages (pus), calcifications, and what not. I would rather eat a fresh clean cesarean placenta than a 4 day labor with membranes ruptured that is infected.

      • Who?

        Ickity ick ick ick. This whole post needs a grossness warning and that response needs a special one on its own.

      • Cody

        I have no words…

  • Junebug

    When someone on my friends feed posts about how they plan to eat or encapsulate their placenta I automatically assume they are half as intelligent as I’d previously guessed. Just, no.

    • Young CC Prof

      Hold on, I’m going to encapsulate my placenta: It sucked, but it kept my son alive long enough to be born.

      Wait, you meant physically encapsulate, not verbally? Yeah, that’s dumb.

      • D/

        Yeah, really don’t get placenta encapsulation, but the “Umbilical Cord Keepsake and Amniotic Sac Preservation” on the linked site looks sweet. Evidently you can keep it in a shadow box … but I was thinking more along the lines of a wreath for your front door or something?

        • Petanque

          How festive!

    • Durango

      General rule of thumb: “Don’t eat anything that comes out of your body.”

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

        General rule of thumb: “Don’t eat anything that comes out of your body.”

        Aside from the obvious retort (“like breastmilk?”), I don’t see this in itself as a big problem. I realize that the natural fallacy is a fallacy, but animals do it all the time.*** Vomit, body parts, even feces to an extent (although that can often be a disorder).

        Then again, the animal mentality is generally eat it now and if it’s bad, gack it up later, so don’t be surprised if you upchuck.

        ***My favorite example of eating like animals – when Jane Goodall was watching chimps, if she saw them eat something, she always tried it for herself, figuring hey, if it’s good for chimps, it’s probably not bad for humans.

  • Still tired

    http://www.lucina.ca/placenta.html

    Is it just me or does the logo look exactly like an ascaris lumbricoides? Just a random association.

    • Dr Kitty

      Hmmm..I see tapeworm myself.

      • Petanque

        Toxocara canis, I reckon.

  • Liz Leyden

    Why is Doula Anonymous so angry?

    My OB rotation was at a safety net hospital that had a birth center about 1,000 feet from the main hospital. It was a big Victorian house with 8 labor rooms. If something went wrong, the laboring woman could easily be transferred across the parking lot to the hospital. Even with help so close, birth center babies still died occasionally.

    • Ash

      Minnesota?

    • Liz Leyden

      Massachusetts.

      • Elizabeth A

        I think I know which one you’re talking about. It has a great reputation, but it’s not without problems.

        • Stacy48918

          I know which one it is too. In a life-threatening emergency, though, “just across the street” is much, MUCH too far away.

      • Mariana Baca

        CHA or elsewhere?

    • Susan

      She’s angry because a hospital birth center interferes with her bottom line.

  • Liz Leyden

    “The Placenta Liberation Front” sounds like something out of Monty Python.

    • Carolina

      “The Placenta Liberation Front? No! We’re the Liberation Placenta Front!”

      • MichelleJo

        Sounds something like the PLO. Not much difference really, just in numbers. They manage to kill more babies than homebirth midwives and their ilk do.

        • Zornorph

          PLO. Push Leon Overboard.

          • MichelleJo

            I wish that was funny.

      • Susan

        Is that the same as the Pelican Liberation Army?

        http://www.poetv.com/video.php?vid=9311

      • deafgimp

        Liberace Placenta Front, where we bling the placenta you bring!

    • Zornorph

      I think it sounds creepy, like a group of women who want to cut open pregnant women and rip out their placentas.

  • Trixie

    I’d argue that dehydrated placenta could be more dangerous than fresh and raw. I happen to have my dehydrator out right now. For tomatoes! But this is a similar model to the ones many doulas use. It’s a Nesco Professional 700 Watt model. Here is the underside of the lid, which houses the motor, heating element, and fan. Sorry about the tomato stains — but just imagine they were placenta stains! There is no way to sterilize the inside of this lid, without also completely killing the unit. So even if you sterilize the plastic racks, you’re still blowing air from a fan that’s had accumulated bits of other people’s placentas. If I smell inside that hole, it smells like tomatoes. It will keep smelling like tomatoes until next time, when I dry apples or peaches on it.

    The dehydrator comes with very strict instructions and warnings for drying animal products, including NEVER making jerky without using a prepackaged jerky mix that’s heavily laden with salt and chemical preservatives. The reason for this is that the dehydrator maxes out at 135°F. That’s a perfect temperature for pathogens to multiply on the warm, moist surface of slowly drying meat. Once dehydrated, those pathogens can live for a very long time.

    And yet, amateurs with zero food safety training prepare placentas in their home kitchens all the time, for money, on the same dehydrators. I’m wondering if they can be reported to local food safety inspectors.

    • UsernameError

      We have a different dehydrator. Ours is a giant stainless steel box. We can make jerky and dog treats and stuff in mine, and we can sterilize it. I just use it for tomatoes, too! I had all these plans, and then, I never got around to doing anything but tomatoes. My husband did some bhut jolokia and devil’s tongue peppers once, which started shooting hot pepper smell in the air and made us all cough like crazy. It was like spraying tear gas in the house. Not the smartest thing we have ever done. :)

      • Trixie

        You can sterilize the motor housing?
        We’ve dried hops on it, which makes the house smell…illegal.

        • Spamamander

          Not here in WA ;)

      • Young CC Prof

        Processed hot peppers can be dangerous. My friend once spilled half a jar of ghost pepper powder into a hot frying pan, which rendered the entire floor uninhabitable for two days.

        • Trixie

          I dried hot peppers one year, outside, but then ended up using all the powder to get revenge on a groundhog.

    • Trixie

      There are hundreds of google image hits for doula dehydration services using the same dehydrator I have: http://www.nurturingheartsbirthservices.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/placenta1.jpg

  • Dr Kitty

    Birth centre birth with CPMs is just a HB in somebody else’s home.
    Placenta encapsulation, just like eating placenta raw or cooked, is of no health benefit, fairly unsanitary and of no additional nutritional benefit compared to eating chopped liver or a nice steak.

    People who think eating placenta is useful because of “hormones” need to refresh their understanding of the physiology of human digestion. Like the fact that it relies on acids and enzymes which digest ingested hormones to their components, making them useless.

    Placenta encapsulation is a way of selling expensive placebos to people who should be spending their money on things that will direct benefit themselves or their new baby. Placenta encapsulators are taking candy away from babies.

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

      People who think eating placenta is useful because of “hormones” need to refresh their understanding of the physiology of human digestion.

      Quick Quiz: identify the error in Dr Kitty’s sentence.

      • Dinolindor

        All I can come up with is that “refresh” implies they ever had an understanding in the first place. Is that it?

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

          We have a winner!

          • Dr Kitty

            Don’t American high schools cover digestion in biology?

            We had fun experiments with mixing hydrochloric acid to the pH of stomach acid and putting pieces of fruit into it and watching it dissolve. Another fun experiment involved putting iodine on bread, then chewing another piece of bread and spitting it out and seeing that the salivary amylase had started to digest the starch and the iodine wouldn’t turn black.

            Did I overestimate science education?

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Did I overestimate science education?

            Yes, by assuming they ever “understood” it.

            Putting pieces of fruit in acid and watching it dissolve doesn’t require any understanding.

          • Dr Kitty

            Oh…that explains a LOT.

            My five year old has a cardboard skeleton with pull out organs and The Usborne Body Book is her favourite bedtime story. I have a feeling her knowledge of anatomy is better than some CPMs.

            There is clearly an untapped market for “how your body works” books for adults who never took that class.

          • Young CC Prof

            I once met a massage therapist who believed that muscle knots were calcium deposits, which then caused arthritis. She was rather skilled at removing said knots, but shockingly ignorant of anything about anatomy.

          • Sue

            But where did she think the calcium from the ”knots” went? If her model was true, she was releasing it from muscle and distributing it – maybe causing hypercalcaemia!

          • Young CC Prof

            Don’t overthink it. She sure didn’t.

          • KarenJJ

            Geez I think I’d need something like that. I get regular abdominal ultrasounds done and have been utterly surprised at how high up kidneys are.

          • Amy M

            Well, kidneys need protection too! :)

          • Cait

            Is that a good book for that age? My four-year-old keeps asking me to explain kidneys and rib cages and whether broken bones can ever stick out of your skin (he was not impressed with the answer to that one), so I’ve been meaning to pick up a book about bodies for him.

          • Amy M

            Ha! I just had a whole conversation with one of my 5yr olds, about how various parts of the body work. His conversation style is little weird, and he tends to jump from topic to topic in random order, but it was fun. He wanted to know about digestion, kidneys and how plants breathe (we looked it up–stomata on the leaves). Both of them started to ask how babies were made, and as I was trying to formulate a correct answer that was a) on their level and b)not going to generate REALLY awkward questions, they moved on to babies in trees, and were making themselves laugh like loons.

          • auntbea

            *I* taught it to my students, in the few weeks between the state tests and the end of the year, but it was most definitely not in the curriculum. You could learn about it in anatomy, which was a one-term elective. You could get out of high school with no understanding of physiology whatsoever.

          • Young CC Prof

            Also, doing the experiment in science class and then actually using that knowledge without prompting in out-of-class situations are rather different.

          • Trixie

            Yes.

          • Dinolindor

            It depends on the school and, of course, the student. My husband never took biology of any kind in high school (he took extra AP/upper level chemistry and physics instead, so I’m sure he would have understood and learned virtually everything taught in bio. That’s not necessarily the case with all students though). His understanding of basic biology is rather lacking, which sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out when discussing our children’s health, women’s health, sanitary practices in the home, or basic nutrition. I don’t believe you could get away with skipping bio of any sort at my high school, but I don’t really remember. We grew up in different states, so different requirements and curricula.

          • KarenJJ

            Same. I chose Physics and Chemistry over Biology in High School. As a result I haven’t studied any biology since I was 14/15.

          • yugaya

            “People who think” and “eating placenta” do not belong the same sentence.

          • D/

            Although strategically placed within the sentence they could … ;)

            I think “people who think” that “eating placenta” is useful are ___________________.

          • guest

            Hahaha!! Excellent!!!!

      • Smoochagator

        “need to refresh their understanding” as opposed to “need an understanding.”

        • Young CC Prof

          Need to fresh their understanding?

    • PickAUserNameForDisqus

      What about birth control pills?

      • Medwife

        The hormones in birth control pills are derivatives of the estrogen and progesterone our bodies make. They are made to be orally bioactive.

      • fiftyfifty1

        Hormones come in 2 forms: peptide /protein hormones and steroid hormones. Steroids survive digestion, peptides don’t. Cortisone, estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, and progesterone are examples of peptide hormones. Insulin, oxytocin and prolactin are examples of peptides.

        • Young CC Prof

          Typo: The first group are steroids, the second group are peptides.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Thanks CCProf! I’ll fix it.

      • TsuDhoNimh

        Birth control pills are manufactured to protect them from digestion … they dissolve at a point where the hormones can be absorbed.

    • Still tired

      Well, technically, placental steroids can survive the pH ordeal. But the protein ones, yes they are doomed. My issue with placental encapsulation is…well, it’s multiple issues, but the one that makes me scratch my head the most is that we need to expel the placenta and clear the hormones out of the body in order to start lactating. That’s why milk doesn’t come in instantaneously after the baby is born, it takes a few days. So why re-introduce the placenta into the body in order to “boost lactation”? It seems illogical. Good thing is it’s likely useless, since the placenta supplementers I’ve dealt with made milk just fine. There’s lots of encapsulation services in Ontario and many local midwives are very much into it. Sad.

  • Ellen Mary

    Regarding the original post, there are several advantages of Birth Center over home, however I would think Dr. A would agree with the basic premise that there is no real difference in terms of safety unless the Birth Center is accredited, staffed by CNMs & very close to a hospital.

    One advantage is not having a huge list of cleaning tasks at home right before your baby is born . . .

    • Elizabeth A

      I’ve never heard of a mom cleaning the birth center in preparation for the midwife’s arrival.

      A mom at a birth center is not expected to provide snacks for the “birth team.”

      At the birth center, there is no risk that the birth pool will leak on your own living room carpet.

      I have, however, heard of one couple who had to labor on the porch of the birth center for 45 minutes, because it was only staffed for births, and there was no one there to let the expecting parents in when they arrived. It was February.

  • TsuDhoNimh

    Do the “placenta encapsulators” have the appropriate food production licensing? In most states, processing raw meat for others requires a commercial kitchen, regular inspections and a food handler’s certificate.

    How are they ensuring no cross-contamination ?

    Are they really delivering placenta?

    Or are they dumping the placenta and handing over powdered liver from the health food store?

    How would the customer know?

    • Ellen Mary

      They do generally have a food handlers card and/or blood borne pathogens training. I mean a food handlers card is $10 and an online module in my state so . . . Not something I will pay $250 for . . .

      • Trixie

        Do they, though?

      • TsuDhoNimh

        In most states, if you are processing “food” (herbs, honey, jerky, baked goods) you have to have an dedicated, inspected production area that is separate from your home kitchen. And it has strict code requirements.

        Especially if it’s got a high potential for being a health hazard if mis-processed, and I think placentas would qualify.

        I may ask a few states about the placenta processors in their jurisdictions.

        • Trixie

          The doulas who post about it online almost always just have pictures in their kitchen with their regular household crap all around.

          • TsuDhoNimh

            ORLY?

            I have to hang around tomorrow and supervise repairmen … I think I found something to pass the time.

      • Sue

        I have Certificate 1 in Food Hygiene. I must go get a dehydrator and get going making those $$$!

    • Young CC Prof

      “Or are they dumping the placenta and handing over powdered liver from the health food store?”

      If I didn’t have ethics, I’d make a bundle doing just that. Then I’d buy a lot of baby formula, the kind that actually smells like milk, and sell it to people on Craigslist, claiming it was my breast milk.

      Damned ethics.

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

        If I didn’t have ethics, I’d make a bundle doing just that.

        Sorry, that’s my gig.

        Although I don’t understand why anyone would think that it needs to have powdered liver. I was thinking sawdust. Then again, 1 dried up liver would make a lifetime supply of encapsulated placentas, so it’s not like it is going to be a cost.

        • Young CC Prof

          Actually, those butcher’s packages of beef or pig liver are about the same size as a placenta, 1-2 pounds.

          • Trixie

            But again, you’d need to dry it yourself safely, which these people aren’t capable of. Better to just order bulk packs of liver capsules off Amazon and repackage in little mason jars with placenta art labels.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            But again, you’d need to dry it yourself safely, which these people aren’t capable of.

            Dude, we are talking about scamming people by substituting filler in for their placenta. You think that “drying it safely” is of any concern?

            Shoot, that’s why I’m using sawdust.

          • Trixie

            I mean, if you wanted to steal people’s money, but not potentially kill them.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Sawdust pills won’t kill anyone.

          • Trixie

            Only if they’re GMO trees…

          • Trixie

            Also, sawdust is the wrong color/texture.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Who cares? What are they doing, opening up and pouring them out?

            And if they do, just tell them that is what it is like when you dehydrate it.

            You are giving these people way too much credit.

          • Trixie

            Yeah, sometimes they open them up and sprinkle it in stuff.

          • Amy M

            What about dirt? Just dig up some dirt from the yard, crumble it up fine, and encapsulate. That should be the right color, plus: its free!

          • D/

            I wonder if it would somehow become more unethical to fill a sand table in the corner of the living room and just encourage the kids to pack a jar full of capsules every day for fun?

            If I didn’t have ethics … I’d make a bundle *and* let someone else do the work ;)

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Just make them wash their hands first. Don’t want any germs.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Trixie, don’t worry about drying it safely. If it caries bacteria and makes someone sick just throw the blame back onto the mother: “Well of course your placenta made you sick. Your mind was so full of negative thoughts that of course the bad vibes crossed over and contaminated the placenta. Also you didn’t eat enough Kale. And I bet you let your parents vaccinate you as a child”.
            Now if it is so bacteria laden that it kills someone I suggest you go one step further and change your name. You could change it to Trixibelle, or maybe something with a spiritual Native American theme like CoyoteTrixter, or maybe just Moongoddess. After all a name change seems to work just fine for homebirth midwives when they kill someone.

          • Amy M

            Hahhahaa!! Coyote Trixter! I love it.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Yeah, but how many pills does it make?

            Although that is pre-dehydration. The bulk of that is water.

        • fiftyfifty1

          “Sorry, that’s my gig.”

          And my gig is to remind you that a con man, in order to be successful, has to be not just dishonest but also charming and likable.

          • Young CC Prof

            The advantage of using dessicated liver in place of placenta and real infant formula in place of donor breast milk is that I’d actually believe I was helping the “client,” or at least reducing harm. Sort of. (In that horribly paternalistic way natural health providers do things, while condemning the paternalism of the conventional medical establishment.)

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            If you think that is going to make me want you bring in as a partner, you are mistaken.

    • Trixie

      I actually hope they’re just reselling liver. That would be a lot safer.

  • Ellen Mary

    When someone says they want to encapsulate their placenta to me, I say, spend your money on a dehydrator and do it yourself . . . At least at the end you have a dehydrator.

    I took my placenta home from my Section, because I could and the OB decided that there would not be that much gained by sending it to pathology that I couldn’t have it. But I looked at the list of indications & they said True Knot was one of them. Does anyone here know what I could have found out? It is still in my freezer . . .

    • LovleAnjel

      I had an emergency CS and missed my chance to ask for the placenta. If I have another kid I’ll have an RCS and put ” please give me my placenta back in a jar” on the birth plan.

    • Lion

      I got asked if I wanted my placenta with both my births in different hospitals. I was horrified and asked who would want it. I was told that Islam requires the placenta be buried with someone when they die. Not sure if that us true or not, but I said I’d rather not see it at all.

      • TsuDhoNimh

        “I was told that Islam requires the placenta be buried with someone when they die. ”

        Totally not true. None of the Muslims I know are toting their placentas around with them in case of death.
        Some Muslim scholars say you should bury hair, nail clippings, and other things “removed from the body”, which would include the placenta, and others say it’s superstition.

  • GiddyUpGo123

    I tried to read the original post, and I couldn’t fucking get past all the fucking fucks in order to fucking figure out what her fucking point was.

    • attitude devant

      I began to wonder if she has quicktext for the word or if she actually typed it out every fucking time.

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

      It made me think of that scene in Forrest Gump.

      Abbie Hoffman: “Tell us about the war, man”
      Forrest: “The war in Vietnam?”
      Abbie Hoffman: “The war in Viet-Fucking-nam!”
      (cheering)

      So that’s how I envision Katie, looking like Abbie Hoffman in Forrest Gump.

    • Michelle

      I was reading Dr. Amy’s post and was thinking that’s not her style, then I absofuckinglutely read the original post and got it. LMAO.

      • D/

        Me too! But LM*F*AO actually.

  • MLE

    I actually agree with her that there is no difference between a birth center and a home birth, except for the dangerously misleading sense of security a birth center provides. Is that what she means? ;)

  • guest

    My God these people truly are freaks… how disturbing that they have so much power over so many women and the choices they make…

  • Roadstergal

    “Placenta Liberation Front”

    No, we’re the Placenta Front of Judea!

    • attitude devant

      Damn I love that movie!

      • Karen in SC

        What movie? I am missing that PCM credit. :)

        • attitude devant

          Monty Python’s Life of Brian

          • Roadstergal
          • Roadstergal

            “The only people we hate more than OBs are the Placenta Liberation Front!”

            Also, the bit after does seem oddly apropos.

          • Sue

            Life of Brian never loses its magic for me.

          • Amy M

            Always look on the bright side of life!

  • UsernameError

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was told by my sister who is a L&D nurse that all placentas are sent to the morgue. Her hospital will release the placenta to the patient, but that is after it has been sent to the morgue because the pathologists check them over. I don’t know about anyone else, but there is no way I’m ingesting anything that has been laying around the morgue.

    Is this standard procedure in most hospitals?

    • guest

      I’ve worked in several hospitals in L&D and for the most part they are trashed, unless the parents want to take them home. Sometimes we send them to pathology if there is a reason like maternal fever, or some other issue.. every hospital has it’s own policies..

      • Ellen Mary

        The morgue? Do you mean Pathology? I have heard they can just use a piece of it for Pathology . . . If it has been in formulin though, you don’t really want to take it home. They thought mine had been sent to Path & dunked in formulin for a minute (turned out not) and I was going to have to sign all sorts of risk management forms to get it back, which made me realize that I wouldn’t even want it mixed with formaldehyde (even to bury) . . .

      • UsernameError

        Where do they send them to trash them? My understanding was that all, um, human stuff, was sent to the morgue for disposal at her hospital, because that is where the biohazard waste disposal system is.

    • http://www.antigonos.blogspot.com/ Antigonos CNM

      We sent certain placentas, in cases of obvious abnormality, or when there was an IUFD, to the morgue, but not all.

    • TsuDhoNimh

      Where I worked, they were sent to the pathology lab (not the morgue) for exam to make sure it had all come loose … then usually discarded as biomedical waste.

      Certain abnormal ones were kept and tissue section taken.

      in the 1970s a few patients requested that we return the placenta to them for “proper disposal” … usually they were OK with our incinerating it. Their fear was that it would fall into the hands of the local witch doctor and used to do harm to the mother or the child.

    • Young CC Prof

      Mine was sent to pathology, but it was because the obstetrician wanted more information about certain issues that had happened in my pregnancy. I got the impression that, although they often examined placentas, it was not standard procedure to send them there unless there was a reason.

    • Sue

      When I was a medical student on OB rotation, the food in the hospital cafeteria was so bad that we had speculated whether the placenta-diposal chute was linked to the kitchen… (I know, eeeewwwwww!!)

  • Smoochagator

    It’s all bullshit. Bullshit for everybody!