More new moms using placenta pills to treat postpartum depressio - KCTV5

More new moms using placenta pills to treat postpartum depression

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"I was like, 'What's a placenta? And no I’m not doing it'" said Ferrin when she learned of placenta encapsulation.  The same temporary organ a woman's body creates for the baby to live in while inside the womb. (Jessica Reyes/KCTV5 News) "I was like, 'What's a placenta? And no I’m not doing it'" said Ferrin when she learned of placenta encapsulation. The same temporary organ a woman's body creates for the baby to live in while inside the womb. (Jessica Reyes/KCTV5 News)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Becoming a mom was one of the most magical moments of Anna Ferrin's life, but days later, it turned into one of the darkest times.

"My husband would come home and I would be sitting on the floor crying and he'd be like, 'What's going on?' and I'd be like, 'I don't know what's going on!'" Ferrin said.

Ferrin was experiencing postpartum depression.

Dr. Logan Kracht, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Olathe Health, explains postpartum depression as a fairly common but a very serious condition among new moms.

"If it starts lasting longer and you're going down where you can't come back up and not feeling like yourself again, that's when it becomes something abnormal," Kracht said.

A year and a half later, Ferrin was pregnant with her second daughter, but this time she discovered an alternative method to beat the baby blues. 

"I was like, 'What's a placenta? And no I’m not doing it'" said Ferrin when she learned of placenta encapsulation.

The same temporary organ a woman's body creates for the baby to live in while inside the womb.

"It turns out every other mammal actually consumes their placenta after birth as well," Ferrin said after more research.

To encapsulate a placenta a specialist, often times a doula, comes to your house the day you deliver your baby and boils the placenta, slices it before dehydrating it. The powder-like substance is then capped into small pills.

Jessica Walker, with Black Rabbit Doula, says she only encapsulates placentas at the client's home.

"We do actually have clients request not to do it at home and our answer is always no," Walker said. "We choose our location based on legalities and safety issues."

Walker also says a good specialist will be bloodborne pathogen certified to avoid bacterial infection.

During pregnancy, the placenta takes over hormone production and once delivered, it's believed, the hormones leave with the placenta and a woman's body is left hormonally imbalanced and at high risk for depression.

Walker says putting these nutrients back inside the body through the pills helps regulate iron levels, increase milk productions, but most of all, helps combat postpartum depression.

"I took the placenta pills with the second baby it was amazing, total difference, night and day," Ferrin said.

But that's anecdotal research. When it comes to science, the Food and Drug Administration says they do not consider human placenta to be a food or a dietary ingredient for use in dietary supplements.

Even the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says they can't comment because there isn't sufficient scientific data behind it.

Kracht says while there's no evidence that placenta pills help with postpartum depression there's also no evidence that it's harmful to you. He facilitates women who want to take theirs home. But when it comes to advising his patients he'd rather stick with the facts.

"We have some things that have proven to work like medication and counseling, and I like to think I keep an open mind to other things that can be out there," Kracht said.

The two-day process takes one hour each day and costs between $200 to $300.  Whether it really helps new moms fight depression or if it's just the power of the placebo effect, Ferrin says she'll do just about anything to not have postpartum depression again.

"It doesn't matter once you've had postpartum depression and if you can do anything to not have postpartum depression or to deal with it in a different way you'll do it," Ferrin said.

At the end of the day, it's up to mom to decide what's best. 

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