Understanding Placentophagy: An Informed Response Discussion



Leslee Larsen RM, BSc., BHSc., MEd. (C)

Placenta encapsulation involves stripping the membranes and umbilical cord from the placenta, dehydration, grinding the placenta and putting the ground dried placenta into capsules for maternal ingestion. Increasingly in midwifery practice, women in care are asking what the recommendations are regarding placenta encapsulation. Placentophagy is the maternal consumption of the placenta by humans. The placenta may be eaten raw, incorporated into other foods, made into tinctures or encapsulated. A 2013 survey of 189 women who had consumed their placentas concluded that women had a positive experience and would repeat the process again. Interest in placentophagy is on the rise. A 2014 internet study demonstrated that 66% of those surveyed had heard about this practice.


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