I've had enough of you ask me about placenta encapsulation lately that I figured I needed to get an answer. To the uninitiated, this means …

if you're the queasy type, stop reading right here

… having someone dry, powder and encapsulateyour own placenta after the birth of your baby and then taking the placenta capsulesfor a few weeksbecause it is purported to give you more energy and prevent PPD.

I reached out to Dr. Marlene Freeman of the MGH Center for Women's Mental Health. She practices integrative medicine, has published many important papers on the topic, including this one and this one. She knows of what she speaks. Here's her response:

"From an evidence-based perspective, even with a viewpoint open to complementary and alternative therapies, this doesn't pass the test for women with postpartum illness or at risk for postpartum illness. My concern with this and other unsubstantiated claims about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments is that 'natural' is often assumed safe and seen as advantageous over more rigorously tested treatments. At worst, a woman with postpartum illness or at risk for it might forego a comprehensive assessment (that she deserves to have), a full menu of options for treatment (that could include more proven CAM treatment options) and careful monitoring of her symptoms."

Update: Be sure to check out the comments below. Very interesting differing viewpoints Just click on the underlined word "comments" directly beneath this post.