Missouri woman gets in the business of making placenta pills for new mothers

Lack of FDA regulations makes process legal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - We take pills for practically everything these days. But the pills one woman in Lee's Summit makes for new mothers may have you doing a double-take.

As we toured Morgan Jones' home in Lee's Summit, it looked like it was an average day in the kitchen, but you would probably not guess what's cooking.

A red cooler she had picked up from the hospital the night before sat on the kitchen floor. As she reached into it, it had a red plastic bag sitting on ice. It crinkled as she pulled it from the chilled water and opened it over the sink. Inside, was a placenta.

"Have you ever seen a placenta before?" she asked.

Jones is in the business of making placenta pills and the process is simple. She'll take the organ and wash it in the sink with running water, cut away stray pieces and then place it in a pot of hot boiling water on the stove. After it boils for about a half an hour, she chops it into small pieces.

"OK," she said as she opened the lid and poked around on the placenta.

The small blanched pieces are then laid out flat on a dehydrator sheet and put into the machine. This is the longest waiting period in the process. It dehydrates for several hours throughout the day.

"At first, were you even a little grossed out?" we asked.

"Sure. Yeah. Yeah I was. It has a total ‘ick' factor to it. I totally realize that," Jones said.

But she explained to 41 Action News, as her four young children played on a swing outside with her and her husband, that it took until her fourth child to even consider placenta pills. But she said she had suffered from postpartum depression, and she was desperate for help.

"It helps with postpartum depression, it helps with milk supply and it helps strengthen the uterus a whole lot faster so moms get back into shape a whole lot faster. The iron in it helps build the blood supply back for mom," Jones explained.

She said she made them the first time for herself, and then decided to make some extra money on the side doing it for other moms, too.

"She brought it up to me and I said ‘That sounds nasty,"" her husband, Michael Jones, said.

Although he admits that he doesn't like to be in the house while she is cooking the placenta, he'll take the benefits.

"It turned out that it worked really well," Michael said.

Overland Park OBGYB Janetta Proverbs, with Blue Valley Women's Care, said it is a growing trend.
 
Although placenta pills are completely natural, Proverbs worries that there could be risks.    

"Basically our placentas are like a liver. So just like our livers filter everything, it's organ meat and it can have any of the toxins that you've ingested while you're pregnant that had been filtered," Proverbs said.

But Jones and dozens of other moms swear by the pills because they had a positive, personal experience and she'll keep her business of placenta pill-making going as long as there is a need for moms.

There are currently no laws against making placenta pills, and there is no FDA regulation for the pills, which makes the practice completely legal.

You can watch Jadiann Thompson's broadcast report on 41 Action News Friday at 10:00 p.m.

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