Courtney Gowin is a new mom of two. Things were rocky after she gave birth to her older daughter Amelia.
"You're sad, and you don't know how to take care of this human being who is 100 percent dependent on you," said Gowin, 28. “My [milk] supply wasn't up, and so we had to get milk from another woman. That didn't help the depression at all."
When Capri was born three weeks ago via home birth, Gowin had a plan to get her placenta encapsulated.
“When I first heard of it, probably like anybody else, I was like 'That's weird,'” said Gowin.
Still, she’s giving it a shot. She takes three pills every day and is already experiencing a big difference after her second delivery.
“I really feel like the energy is there, and I'm able to start freezing milk,” said the mom, who is also a chiropractor in Addison.
More women like Gowin are ingesting their placenta after childbirth primarily for three benefits: to help avoid post-partum depression, increased milk production, and increase energy levels.
Although, so far, there’s still little research or medical evidence to back this up.
Midwife Lauren Guehl showed WFAA how she encapsulates placenta.
“The mother of this placenta had twins, so it's actually two smaller placentas,” said Guehl. “The amniotic membrane has been removed and the umbilical cord has been removed. It's been sliced, then dehydrated for 20 hours."
After it’s been dehydrated, the placenta is blended finely. The bigger the baby, the bigger the placenta, and the more pills you get. An average placenta can produce about 300 pills and costs $225.
“It comes in a really cute tin, and it looks like a multi-vitamin,” said Gowin, who added the pill is tasteless and odorless.
Since it's not FDA regulated, experts recommend the provider is thorough and clean. Gowin did a lot of research before choosing DFW Placenta, whose owner told WFAA they encapsulate at least 40 placentas per month.
Their medical courier picked up Gowin’s placenta, processed it, and made the final delivery to the mom – three days after her own delivery.
“I feel like this was my solution,” said Gowin.
Under Texas law, moms who wish to take their placentas home from hospitals after delivery can do so. They just need to sign a waiver and test negative for infectious diseases, which the placenta can carry.
Some hospitals also require moms to make their request ahead of time and also bring a cooler or container for their placenta.