The USA Today article was printed on Wednesday, after the verdict for Swanson vs. Sunrise Hospital was announced on Tuesday last week. I am glad that placentophagy and placenta encapsulation is being discussed in the mainstream press, but the article had a definite negative bent to it. I have a couple of specific issues with it – the first is where Steve Freiss quotes me as saying “every single mammal ingests its placenta. We are the only mammal on Earth that went away from this practice.” Nearly every single mammal ingests its placenta, and apparently I am going to have to qualify my remarks to say LAND mammals, since Mr. Freiss pulled out the exception of some ocean-dwelling mammals that do not practice placentophagy, as well as the camel (?). A wee bit nit-picky, but I suppose that’s his job. Another issue is his use of the phrase that “most lower mammals” practice placentophagy. It really limits placentophagy’s scope, and many detractors latched onto that, as evidenced by some of the comments that are being made in reference to the article.I’m not sure which mammals qualify as “lower” in his opinion, but higher-order mammals such as apes and other primates also ingest their placenta.
I was also very disappointed to read Mr. Kristal’s comments on placenta encapsulation. He is a placentophagy researcher that I cite extensively on Placenta Benefits.info. I was surprised to read that he holds such a negative view of the benefits, since we have corresponded in the past and he seemed very supportive of what I’m doing, and was interested in seeing some data from my clients. I must take issue with him when he “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” (italics are mine). This would come from a man who has never given birth and will never experience the pain and discomfort that women go through after a baby is born. After my first daughter’s birth, I felt like I’d been run over by a truck thanks to the 2.5 hours of pushing I went through to birth her. After my second daughter’s birth, the after-pains were incredibly intense and painful. I think that pain relief would be yet another reason to take placenta capsules.
He goes on to say that “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”. Placenta is routinely withheld from human mothers, yielding much evidence of depression and even withdrawal from her infant in extreme cases. How is Mr. Kristal’s statement useful evidence against placentophagy’s benefits? In addition, there has been research that shows that a particular chemical, contained in the placenta, may help foster the mother-infant bond. As soon as I track down that study, I’ll be adding it to the PBi site. I have come across so much additional research recently that I really need to do an update soon.
All in all, I’m happy the article was published. I have other issues with it, but I have to stop somewhere – my girls will be up soon. At least it starts a dialogue about the concept, which was the whole point of launching PBi in the first place. I wanted to create awareness of placenta encapsulation, and that is happening. As a result of the article, I was asked to do an interview Friday morning on The Commentators radio show, KVI AM 570 in Seattle. That was fun, since I’m a University of Washington graduate, and lived in Seattle for several years. Several people called in, and I was on for nearly an hour. There was a lot of joking, but I think I won them over with my extensive wit and wisdom. Yesterday, I was on the Jay Thomas Show, Sirius Satellite Radio channel 102. Jay Thomas was an actor on Murphy Brown, Cheers, Mr. Holland’s Opus… he was very funny, but very nice, and I had a lot of fun doing the interview. Today a television crew is scheduled to come to my house and do an interview with me, a repeat client, and a client/colleague Sarah Jones who is an outspoken advocate for placenta capsules. From what I understand, this footage will be shopped out to various news agencies across the country, so it will be interesting to see where it ends up. We’re having some storms down here in Las Vegas, so if there is flash flooding today, the story will get trumped by the floods. Obviously, I think a story on placenta is much more interesting than watching water run down the road, but I’m not in charge. I was also contacted by a Miami NBC news affiliate, Telemundo – they may do an interview with myself and two of my Spanish-speaking colleagues in a couple weeks.
All of the attention is a bit overwhelming for this former farm girl from Minnesota! But I’m having fun, and just giddy that women around the country may come across PlacentaBenefits.info, and maybe the idea of using their placenta for its natural purpose will not seem so weird and freaky. If I can get the idea out there enough, and we talk about it enough, and a woman hears about it in the news, then on the radio, then from a friend or sister – pretty soon it will become more normal, and people won’t be so afraid of it. That’s my goal and my mission.
Now, with all of this going on, I’m leaving town! We have another camping trip planned, so I’m heading to California, where it is hopefully a bit cooler (under 100 degrees would be nice). I am looking forward to getting outdoors, sleeping in a tent, and having some down time with my family. I return on Sunday. I hope everyone has a fabulous week!