There appears to be a growing trend among pregnant women. More and more are making plans to consume the placenta after their babies are born.

While it might sound gross to some, many women swear by the benefits they claim it provides.

Erin Connelly keeps a bottle of pills in her refrigerator. She takes four a day and there’s no other pill like it in the world. That’s because each capsule is actually the placenta that once nourished her now 6-week-old baby.

“Reaction is at first kind of shock and [people] have to ask for clarification. ‘You’re like eating it?’ No, I’m not eating it. It doesn’t hit my mouth at all. Just ingestion,’” Connelly explained.

More women appear to be consuming their placenta after child birth, primarily for three benefits.

-Help avoiding postpartum depression
-Increased milk production
-And increased energy levels.

With little research available on the subject, there’s no medical evidence that placenta consumption actually produces those results though.

“If feels like it is [working], and I don’t have a reason to think it’s not,” Connelly said.

Typically, the bigger the baby, the bigger the placenta, and that means the more pills someone can produce. Connelly got her placenta encapsulated by her midwife, Lauren Guehl, who allowed KENS 5 to see the process firsthand.

“The mother of this placenta had twins, so it’s actually two smaller placentas,” said Guehl as she was demonstrating the steps of encapsulating the pills. “The amniotic membrane has been removed and the umbilical cord has been removed. It’s been sliced and dehydrated for 20 hours.”

After the dehydration process, the placenta is put in a blender. Other supplements can be added to the pills, even peanut butter powder for taste.

The placenta is blended very finely. The average placenta can produce about 300 pills. There’s a variety of people who provide the service across San Antonio. Guehl charges $250, which, she said, is about average.

Guehl noted that there’s no doubt that mothers consuming their placenta has become a growing trend.

“I can say, just in my own business, it’s increased rapidly in the last few years. I have a son who is 8, and when I had him, no one was talking about placenta encapsulation. And now it’s a question I hear at work daily,” Guehl said.

It’s likely that the service is done out of someone’s home, which is the case with Guehl. And since it’s not FDA regulated, she recommends that you make sure whomever is providing the service for you is very thorough and clean

Guehl says that people need to do their research before choosing someone to encapsulate their placenta.