In many communities, postpartum consumption of the placenta is increasing. What do we know about this practice from a historical and modern perspective? 

Amongst some, placenta medicine is considered a galactogogue, a substance that increases milk supply. What do we know about the risks and benefits of placentophagy in the postpartum period? This presentation reviews the existing literature and evidence regarding placenta medicine, especially from a galactogogue standpoint.

This course provides midwives, nurses, lactation consultants, and all perinatal healthcare providers with the evidence based information available on the practice of placentophagy for the purpose of increasing milk production.

Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:

1. Identify reasons why some choose to consume their placenta in the postpartum period

2. Describe the differences between animal and human placenta consumption

3. Identify available historical and modern research regarding placenta as a galactagogue

4. Describe ethical considerations around placenta medicine

HiveCE is an approved provider of continuing education by the California Board of Nursing, and this course meets the California Board of Nursing criteria for 2 hours of continuing education. Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number 17686, for 2 contact hours. (This is widely accepted nationwide as continuing education for nurses and midwives.) More information about this provider approval may be found here.

IBLCE has allocated 2 L-CERPs for this course. IBLCE verification numbers: C2002322 from 2/3/2021 to 2/2/2022, C2002012 from 2/3/2022 to 2/2/2023,  C2023007 through March 5th, 2024, and C2023298 through March 5th, 2025.

IBLCE also previously allocated 2 L-CERPs for this course under IBLCE verification number C1991358.

Previously approved by MEAC for 2 hours of continuing education. Approval number M1920-52-1230DE, through January 31, 2022

Note: Course completion does not authorize the learner to use skills outside their scope. Please refer to your state guidelines for determining scope of care.

For information regarding our refund policy and other Frequently Asked Questions, please refer to our FAQ. If you have additional questions, please email [email protected].

Course Evaluations

Shared with permission from our

“I wish there were more recent studies, but I'm glad we're continuing to learn!”

Caty J

CLC, birth doula, placenta encapsulation specialist

“Great topic with evidence based information!”

Kjersten G

Certified Lactation Counselor

“Exceeded my expectations”

Lisa B


  • Instructor Bio:

    Melissa Cole is a board-certified lactation consultant, neonatal oral-motor assessment professional and clinical herbalist in private practice. Melissa is passionate about providing comprehensive, holistic lactation support and improving the level of clinical lactation skills for health professional. She enjoys researching and writing, especially on topics such tongue tie and botanical medicine. Her bachelor’s degree is in maternal/child health and lactation and her master’s degree is in therapeutic herbalism. Before pursuing her current path, Melissa’s background was in education and cultural arts, which has served her well in her work as a lactation consultant and healthcare educator. She loves living, working and playing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her 3 children.

    Melissa Cole, MS, IBCLC

Course curriculum

  • 01
    1: Overview and Origins of Placentophagy
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    • 1.1 Overview of Placenta Medicine
    • 1.2 Placentophagy in Non-Human Mammals
    • 1.3 Placentophagy in Humans
    • Placenta Burial Rituals
  • 02
    2: Impacts of Placentophagy
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    • 2.1 Studies on Placentophagy and Lactation
    • Article: Effect of Ingestion of Dessicated Placenta During First Eleven Days of Lactation (1918)
    • Article: The Effect of the Maternal Ingestion of Desiccated Placenta Upon the Rate of Growth of Breast-Fed Infants (1918)
    • Article: Placenta As A Lactagogon (1954)
    • 2.2 What's In That Capsule?
    • 2.3 Safety
  • 03
    3 Conclusion
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    • 3.1 Going Forward
    • 3.2 Q&A with Live Audience
    • Article: Placenta Medicine as a Galactogogue (2014)
  • 04
    Post-tests and CE / CERP Certificates
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    • Course Evaluation
    • Post-test

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Take the course, print your CE certificate, retain access for later reference.


  • By April bland

    “Piqued my interest - and didn't disappoint! Loved the information presented - and even loved hearing the negative side effects so I can be fair when clients ask about placenta consumption.”

    “Piqued my interest - and didn't disappoint! Loved the information presented - and even loved hearing the negative side effects so I can be fair when clients ask about placenta consumption.”

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