Special Delivery: Spokane Mothers Taking Placenta Pills After Gi - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Special Delivery: Spokane Mothers Taking Placenta Pills After Giving Birth

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There's a new trend sweeping maternity wards and birthing centers across the country – but it's really not new at all. What began as ancient Chinese medicine is making a modern comeback and some local mothers say it really makes a big difference.

"The first placenta I ever processed was my own," Cynthia Cecil told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.

That's right: she makes pills out of placenta, the organ created in a mommy to be to give her baby nutrients, protection and regulate hormones. But when you give birth to baby, you also deliver it.

"So when that's suddenly gone, you basically have the hormonal rug pulled out from under you, so you crash really hard from that," Cecil explained. "So there are big ups and down, you cry over spilled milk quite literally."

Advocates say getting those nutrients and hormones back speeds your recovery time, helps with iron levels and milk supply, and can also fight against those baby blues.

But Cynthia Cecil wasn't always an advocate.

"I was completely grossed out by it and thought it was strange when I first heard about it," she added.

But then she had a hard recovery after the birth of her first child. So she made her own "placenta pills" after her second baby was born.

"I bounced back so much faster," she said. "I was so amazed at the difference between the two processes."

Cecil runs "A Sister's Touch Doula Service" in Spokane helping other women through the birth process and now she offers placenta encapsulation to her clients – women like Breanna Buckley.

"I have kind of an attachment to my placenta, I never want to throw it out, so this is a good way to use it to its fullest extent," Buckley said, who just gave birth to her sixth baby and is trying this for the first time. "What really intrigued me was that I could use it for months down the road."

The process begins with Cecil taking the raw placenta (either directly from the hospital or from the client who signed a release), washes it and removes the outer layer. Then it's cut into strips, dehydrated and blended into powder. That powder is then loaded into empty capsules and becomes a very powerful pill.

"It doesn't look or taste any different than a pre-natal vitamin," Cecil added.

Still, while these women swear by it, they know it may not be for everyone and Cecil has gotten her fair share of pushback.

"But I've been so impressed at what I've seen and how beneficial it can be that all those nay-sayers, I don't even pay attention," she explained.

There's not much in the way of scientific research on the benefits of this in humans, but there also doesn't appear to be much in the way of risks.

Cecil says if the pill is a placebo, it's a placebo she'll take.

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