Archive for July, 2007

Anne gets her placenta!

— Update – Details —

We will be parking near the SE corner of Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn, then meeting near the doors of the Maternal Health unit of Sunrise Hospital. My phone is 702.947.0879 if you need it. I plan to arrive by 12:45.

See you there!


On Wednesday August 1, Anne Swanson will go to Sunrise Hospital at 1pm to pick up her baby’s placenta. After 3 months and a court order, the hospital is finally doing the right thing by releasing the placenta to her.

Join us at the hospital to show them that we support every woman’s right to walk out of a hospital with her baby AND her placenta! We give birth to both, we should be able to take both home to care for them in an appropriate manner, according to our beliefs and values.

Thanks for standing up and fighting, Anne! You are a wonderful advocate for women’s rights.

July 30, 2007 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

Media Blitz

The USA Today article was printed on Wednesday, after the verdict for Swanson vs. Sunrise Hospital was announced on Tuesday last week. I am glad that placentophagy and placenta encapsulation is being discussed in the mainstream press, but the article had a definite negative bent to it. I have a couple of specific issues with it – the first is where Steve Freiss quotes me as saying “every single mammal ingests its placenta. We are the only mammal on Earth that went away from this practice.” Nearly every single mammal ingests its placenta, and apparently I am going to have to qualify my remarks to say LAND mammals, since Mr. Freiss pulled out the exception of some ocean-dwelling mammals that do not practice placentophagy, as well as the camel (?). A wee bit nit-picky, but I suppose that’s his job. Another issue is his use of the phrase that “most lower mammals” practice placentophagy. It really limits placentophagy’s scope, and many detractors latched onto that, as evidenced by some of the comments that are being made in reference to the article.I’m not sure which mammals qualify as “lower” in his opinion, but higher-order mammals such as apes and other primates also ingest their placenta.

I was also very disappointed to read Mr. Kristal’s comments on placenta encapsulation. He is a placentophagy researcher that I cite extensively on Placenta I was surprised to read that he holds such a negative view of the benefits, since we have corresponded in the past and he seemed very supportive of what I’m doing, and was interested in seeing some data from my clients. I must take issue with him when he “says his research leads him to suspect that animals derive pain relief from a substance in the placenta during delivery that humans would not enjoy by ingesting after the fact” (italics are mine). This would come from a man who has never given birth and will never experience the pain and discomfort that women go through after a baby is born. After my first daughter’s birth, I felt like I’d been run over by a truck thanks to the 2.5 hours of pushing I went through to birth her. After my second daughter’s birth, the after-pains were incredibly intense and painful. I think that pain relief would be yet another reason to take placenta capsules.

He goes on to say that “withholding the placenta from the animal mother after birth in lab studies hasn’t caused the mother to become depressed or withdraw from her offspring”. Placenta is routinely withheld from human mothers, yielding much evidence of depression and even withdrawal from her infant in extreme cases. How is Mr. Kristal’s statement useful evidence against placentophagy’s benefits? In addition, there has been research that shows that a particular chemical, contained in the placenta, may help foster the mother-infant bond. As soon as I track down that study, I’ll be adding it to the PBi site. I have come across so much additional research recently that I really need to do an update soon.

All in all, I’m happy the article was published. I have other issues with it, but I have to stop somewhere – my girls will be up soon. At least it starts a dialogue about the concept, which was the whole point of launching PBi in the first place. I wanted to create awareness of placenta encapsulation, and that is happening. As a result of the article, I was asked to do an interview Friday morning on The Commentators radio show, KVI AM 570 in Seattle. That was fun, since I’m a University of Washington graduate, and lived in Seattle for several years. Several people called in, and I was on for nearly an hour. There was a lot of joking, but I think I won them over with my extensive wit and wisdom. Yesterday, I was on the Jay Thomas Show, Sirius Satellite Radio channel 102. Jay Thomas was an actor on Murphy Brown, Cheers, Mr. Holland’s Opus… he was very funny, but very nice, and I had a lot of fun doing the interview. Today a television crew is scheduled to come to my house and do an interview with me, a repeat client, and a client/colleague Sarah Jones who is an outspoken advocate for placenta capsules. From what I understand, this footage will be shopped out to various news agencies across the country, so it will be interesting to see where it ends up. We’re having some storms down here in Las Vegas, so if there is flash flooding today, the story will get trumped by the floods. Obviously, I think a story on placenta is much more interesting than watching water run down the road, but I’m not in charge. I was also contacted by a Miami NBC news affiliate, Telemundo – they may do an interview with myself and two of my Spanish-speaking colleagues in a couple weeks.

All of the attention is a bit overwhelming for this former farm girl from Minnesota! But I’m having fun, and just giddy that women around the country may come across, and maybe the idea of using their placenta for its natural purpose will not seem so weird and freaky. If I can get the idea out there enough, and we talk about it enough, and a woman hears about it in the news, then on the radio, then from a friend or sister – pretty soon it will become more normal, and people won’t be so afraid of it. That’s my goal and my mission.

Now, with all of this going on, I’m leaving town! We have another camping trip planned, so I’m heading to California, where it is hopefully a bit cooler (under 100 degrees would be nice). I am looking forward to getting outdoors, sleeping in a tent, and having some down time with my family. I return on Sunday. I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

July 25, 2007 at 6:36 am 1 comment

Swanson vs. Sunrise Hospital

David Lee, the attorney representing Anne Swanson, started the proceedings by saying there is no law on the points of this case, that it instead had to be decided on common sense. John Bailey, the attorney for Sunrise Hospital, said they based their decision to refuse to release the placenta on the fact that a potential risk may or may not be present; that the placenta had been contaminated (which was their doing anyway); and that her statement that she wished to ingest the placenta caused concern.

Judge Susan Johnson raised some questions over whether the placenta was considered a body part or a byproduct. She used the analogy of liposuction, where fat is removed – that would be considered a byproduct. David Lee didn’t directly answer that question, but instead talked about the now-common practice of cord blood removal and storage. The umbilical cord and stem-cell-rich cord blood is removed and given to the parents for a potential medical benefit. The placenta has value to the mother, and also may have a potential medical benefit to her. The placenta has no value for the hospital; in fact, they just want to destroy it.

Judge Johnson began her decision by saying this was the most unusual case she had ever heard, and that she understood the hospital’s concerns. She granted the plaintiff’s motion for injunction, and ordered Sunrise Hospital to release the placenta to Anne Swanson. Sunrise’s attorneys can write their own release of liaibility, and that the patient understands the placenta is likely contaminated. The two sides will work out a method of transport that is acceptable to both sides. Judge Johnson pointed out that in some parts of the world, it’s considered beneficial to drink one’s own urine – while that is not something she would recommend doing, she can’t say that it’s necessarily a bad thing, either. I’m not sure I would liken the benefits of placenta to drinking urine, but if that correlation brought the judge around to our side, then so be it.

So, there is the full disclosure of the court proceedings on 7.17.07, according to my observations. I am pleased that the judge saw that Anne has the right to her own baby’s placenta.

I want to thank the multitude of supporters that lent time, money or other resources to this case. It has been so gratifying to see our local community pull together in such a big way to create real change. This is just the first step toward solidifying a woman’s right to her own body’s natural creation – more action will need to be taken in order to protect every woman from this type of situation.

I will follow this up by saying that I do NOT recommend any woman in Las Vegas deliver at Sunrise Hospital – particularly if she hopes to take her placenta home. I just talked to a woman today who is due soon; she was considering either Sunrise Hospital or Southern Hills Hospital and I strongly encouraged her to avoid Sunrise. Any hospital who would subject a new mother to the level of intimidation, stress and heartache that Sunrise imposed upon Anne Swanson does not deserve the patronage of one more pregnant woman. There are other, more positive hospitals that are willing to accomodate and respect the choices a grown woman makes about her own body and health.

I am currently putting together a list of area hospitals that willingly release placentas, and will post it here as soon as it is done. If you are curious about a particular hospital’s stance in the meantime, please contact me – if I don’t know, I will find out for you.

July 21, 2007 at 1:58 pm Leave a comment

We won!

Judge Susan Johnson decided to grant Anne Swanson’s request for possession of her baby’s placenta!

We are both thrilled at this outcome. The judge only had to rule today whether the injunction was granted, which would stop the hospital from destroying the placenta. She went one step further and issued that Anne should be given back her placenta, in a timely manner.

I am going to put my notes together a bit more before posting the full details, but I wanted to get this out right away.

Congratulations, Anne!

July 17, 2007 at 11:48 am 7 comments

Injunction hearing tomorrow

The hearing for the injunction that Anne Swanson filed against Sunrise Hospital is tomorrow morning at the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Avenue. I am going to be there to support Anne, and am very interested in what the judge will have to say regarding the hospital holding her baby’s placenta for the past three months. I will post to the blog as soon as possible to keep everyone updated. Channel 13 news has already called to verify the time and date, so hopefully we will have some media coverage at the hearing.

July 16, 2007 at 3:30 pm 1 comment

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July 2007