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Articles

The Amazing Placenta
http://www.mothering.com/community/a/the-amazing-placenta
~Sarah J. Buckley, MD    Issue 131, July/August 2005

The Placenta: An Extraordinary Organ
http://www.birthingmagazine.ca/birth.html
~Nicole Stevens R.Ac, HHP, PE, & BWE 

Placenta Encapsulation in the Media
http://doublethink.us.com/paala/2012/03/27/sweet-links-january-jones-on-placenta-vitamins-marc-jacobs-oscar-de-la-renta-kids-clothes-cue-feeding-mamas-boys-spring-trends-braids-organization/

Mother’s Advocate: Happy Pills: Preventing the Baby Blues Naturally?
http://mothersadvocate.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/happy-pills-preventing-the-baby-blues-naturally/
“The majority (80%) of women experience some sort of post-natal mood instability, mostly in the “baby blues” range.  Baby blues shares many common symptoms with full-blown postpartum depression, but is not technically considered a “disorder” by the medical establishment unless the symptoms extend longer than 3-weeks.”

Birthrites: Healing after Caesarean
http://www.birthrites.org/placent.html
~MARY FIELD, RGN, SCM, writes of her personal experience of an "unmentionable" practice.

Placenta for Healing
http://placentabenefits.info/medicinal.asp
~Jodi Selander, founder of Placenta Benefits (www.placentabenefits.org)

Placenta Therapy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NxfOsHmjN4M&noredirect=1
~Jodi Selander, founder of Placenta Benefits, speaks about Placenta Therapy for Mindful Mama Magazine.

Placenta Encapsulation: A Little Too Granola?
http://www.urbaninfant.ca/2012/02/placenta-encapsulation-too-granola/
~Nicole Stevens R.Ac., HHP, PE, & BWE
 
Scientific Research

Have we forgotten the significance of postpartum iron deficiency?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16021056
“The postpartum period is conventionally thought to be the time of lowest iron deficiency risk because iron status is expected to improve dramatically after delivery. Nonetheless, recent studies have reported a high prevalence of postpartum iron deficiency and anemia among ethnically diverse low-income populations in the United States. In light of the recent emergence of this problem in the medical literature, we discuss updated findings on postpartum iron deficiency, including its prevalence, functional consequences, risk factors, and recommended primary and secondary prevention strategies. The productivity and cognitive gains made possible by improving iron nutriture support intervention. We therefore conclude that postpartum iron deficiency warrants greater attention and higher quality care.”
~ Lisa M. Bodnar, et. al.; American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2005) 193, 36–44

Placenta for Pain Relief: Placenta ingestion by rats enhances y- and n-opioid antinociception, but suppresses A-opioid antinociception
http://cogprints.org/5771/1/DiPirro_and_Kristal.pdf
“Ingestion of placenta or amniotic fluid produces a dramatic enhancement of centrally mediated opioid antinociception in the rat. The present experiments investigated the role of each opioid receptor type (A, y, n) in the antinociception-modulating effects of Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF—presumably the active substance). Antinociception was measured on a 52 jC hotplate in adult, female rats after they ingested placenta or control substance (1.0 g) and after they received an intracerebroventricular injection of a y-specific ([D-Pen2,D-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE); 0, 30, 50, 62, or 70 nmol), A-specific ([D-Ala2,N-MePhe4,Gly5-ol]enkephalin (DAMGO); 0, 0.21, 0.29, or 0.39 nmol), or n-specific (U-62066; spiradoline; 0, 100, 150, or 200 nmol) opioid receptor agonist. The results showed that ingestion of placenta potentiated y- and n-opioid antinociception, but attenuated A-opioid antinociception. This finding of POEF action as both opioid receptor-specific and complex provides an important basis for understanding the intrinsic pain-suppression mechanisms that are activated during parturition and modified by placentophagia, and important information for the possible use of POEF as an adjunct to opioids in pain management.”
~Jean M. DiPirro*, Mark B. Kristal

Placenta as Lactagagon
http://placentabenefits.info/research.asp
 “An attempt was made to increase milk secretion in mothers by administration of dried placenta per os. Of 210 controlled cases only 29 (13.8%) gave negative results; 181 women (86.2%) reacted positively to the treatment, 117 (55.7%) with good and 64 (30.5%) with very good results. It could be shown by similar experiments with a beef preparation that the effective substance in placenta is not protein. Nor does the lyofilised placenta act as a biogenic stimulator so that the good results of placenta administration cannot be explained as a form of tissue therapy per os. The question of a hormonal influence remains open. So far it could be shown that progesterone is probably not active in increasing lactation after administration of dried placenta.
 This method of treating hypogalactia seems worth noting since the placenta preparation is easily obtained, has not so far been utilized and in our experience is successful in the majority of women.”
~Soykova-Pachnerova E, et. al. (1954). Gynaecologia 138(6):617-627.

Effects of placentophagy on serum prolactin and progesterone concentrations in rats after parturition or superovulation
http://www.reproduction-online.org/content/60/2/273.short
“In rats that were allowed to eat the placentae after parturition concentrations of serum prolactin were elevated on Day 1 but concentrations of serum progesterone were depressed on Days 6 and 8 postpartum when compared to those of rats prevented from eating the placentae. In rats treated with PMSG to induce superovulation serum prolactin and progesterone values were significantly (P < 0.05) elevated on Days 3 and 5 respectively, after being fed 2 g rat placenta/day for 2 days. However, feeding each rat 4 g placenta/day significantly (P < 0.02) lowered serum progesterone on Day 5. Oestrogen injections or bovine or human placenta in the diet had no effect. The organic phase of a petroleum ether extract of rat placenta (2 g-equivalents/day) lowered peripheral concentrations of progesterone on Day 5, but other extracts were ineffective. We conclude that the rat placenta contains orally-active substance(s) which modify blood levels of pituitary and ovarian hormones.”
~Blank MS, Friesen HG.: J Reprod Fertil. 1980 Nov; 60(2):273-8
 
Placentophagia: A Biobehavioral Enigma
http://api.ning.com/files/EfX4**M*LKKhLNZJzSwl7XAdrLgSECTTufJGGhny1N*hdJIIIKz09lI9kEKSt1ajFFxp54pDIaCuW6oyRBzsyrU1cPm7QEDt/Kristal_biobehavioral.pdf
“Although ingestion of the afterbirth during delivery is a reliable component of parturitional behavior of mothers in most mammalian species, we know almost nothing of the direct causes or consequences of the act. Traditional explanations of placentophagia, such as general or specific hunger, are discussed and evaluated in light of recent experimental results. Next, research is reviewed which has attempted to distinguish between placentophagia as a maternal behavior and placentophagia as an ingestive behavior. Finally, consequences of the behavior, which may also be viewed as ultimate causes in an evolutionary sense, are considered, such as the possibility of beneficial effects on maternal behavior or reproductive competence, on protection against predators, and on immunological protection afforded either the mother or the young.”
~KRISTAL, M. B. NEUROSCI. BIOBEHAV. REV. 4(2) 141-150, 1980.

Elevated Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone in Human Pregnancy Increases the Risk of Postpartum Depressive Symptoms
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2768579/
~Yim, I. et al. (2009). Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009 February; 66(2): 162–169.

Postpartum depression attributed to low levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone after placenta is gone
http://placentabenefits.info/research.asp
Many new mothers feel depressed for weeks after giving birth. Physicians have vaguely attributed this malaise to exhaustion and to the demands of motherhood. But a group of researchers at the National Institutes of Health has found evidence for a more specific cause of postpartum blues. New mothers, the researchers say, have lower than normal levels of a stress-fighting hormone that earlier studies have found helps combat depression.
 When we are under stress, a part of the brain called the hypothalamus secretes corticotropin-releasing hormone, or CRH. Its secretion triggers a cascade of hormones that ultimately increases the amount of another hormone – called cortisol – in the blood. Cortisol raises blood sugar levels and maintains normal blood pressure, which helps us perform well under stress. Normally the amount of cortisol in the bloodstream is directly related to the amount of CRH released from the hypothalamus. That’s not the case in pregnant women.
 During the last trimester of pregnancy, the placenta secretes a lot of CRH. The rise is so dramatic that CRH levels in the maternal bloodstream increase threefold. “We can only speculate,” says George Chrousos, the endocrinologist who led the NIH study, “but we think it helps women go through the stress of pregnancy, labor, and delivery.”
 But what happens after birth, when the placenta is gone? Chrousos and his colleagues monitored CRH levels in 17, women from the last trimester to a year after they gave birth. All the women had low levels of CRH – as low as seen in some forms of depression – in the six weeks following birth. The seven women with the lowest levels felt depressed.
 Chrousos suspects that CRH levels are temporarily low in new mothers because CRH from the placenta disrupts the feedback system that regulates normal production of the hormone. During pregnancy, when CRH levels are high in the bloodstream, the hypothalamus releases less CRH. After birth, however, when this supplementary source of CRH is gone, it takes a while for the hypothalamus to get the signal that it needs to start making more CRH. “This finding gives reassurance to people that postpartum depression is a transient phenomenon,” says Chrousos. “It also suggests that there is a biological cause.”
 COPYRIGHT 1995 Discover, COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group
 
Maternal Iron Deficiency Anemia Affects Postpartum Emotions and Cognition
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/135/2/267.short
~John L. Beard, et. al.; J. Nutr. 135: 267–272, 2005.
 
The Impact of Fatigue on the Development of Postpartum Depression
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1177/0884217505279997/abstract
~Elizabeth J. Corwin, et.al. (2005); Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing 34 (5) , 577–586
 
Iron supplementation for unexplained fatigue in non-anaemic women: double blind randomised placebo controlled trial
http://www.bmj.com/content/326/7399/1124
~F Verdon, et. al.; BMJ 2003;326:1124 (24 May), doi:10.1136/bmj.326.7399.1124

 
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