i read an article this morning about a Miami birth center being raided by federal agents, based on allegations that they had been encapsulating patients' placentas for use to ward off postpartum depression.
yes, i acknowledge that it is illegal to distribute "medicine" that hasn't been approved by the FDA. and no, i do not believe that the midwives at the Miami Maternity Center were doing all the things they are accused of (drying and powdering multiple placentas together at one time, etc.). but take a step back here and think about this for a second...the federal government intervened in a group of women helping other women to use a part of their OWN bodies for their own benefit.
the MMC states that they have never encapsulated placentas for their patients, let alone in an unsanitary manner. instead, they attempted to provide women with the opportunity to benefit from their placentas, without breaking the law, by drying the placentas and then turning them back over to the patients, who can do with them what they choose--encapsulate, bury, eat, throw away, whatever.
is there no space in this culture for traditional medicines, or self-determination, for that matter? i have personally done placenta encapsulation before (check out the pictures and how-to here) and hope to do so again. it's unfortunate that one has to risk their freedom, for the freedom of women to use their placentas as they choose.