Thursday, 17 July 2014

Placenta Encapsulation in Korea

Updated 23 March 2018

Human placentophagia, or consuming the placenta, is something that I had never heard of before I got pregnant. Typically women do placenta encapsulation, but there are also women who consume the raw placenta in smoothies. There are people who swear that it works and has tons of benefits. There are people who say it's gross and that none of the pros have been scientifically proven.

Legalities in Korea 
I'm not going to argue whether I think this is good or bad, or whether I agree or disagree. I'm simply stating the laws. I did not write these laws, nor did I vote them into existence. Whether I agree or disagree is not going to change the law. It is illegal in Korea, however, it is still done. You can try asking your doula, traditional medicine practitioner, midwife, or doctor if they know of anyone. Here are some placenta specialists in Korea. Some places are hush-hush about it and other places aren't. You can also do-it-yourself. See below for links on where to get supplies. The law was updated in mid January of this year, it's only in Korean.
Where to Find the Laws
Go to Search for 폐기물. You'll click the first blue box on the left that says 벱령 then click the bubble that says 현행법령. As of today (23 March 2018), there are 17 results. It's number 13 and says, 폐기물관리법 시행규칙.

What is Medical Waste?
You can also look for 제31조(폐기물처리업자의 폐기물 보관량 및 처리기한) ① 법 제25조제9항제2호에서 "환경부령으로 정하는 양 또는 기간"이란 다음 각 호와 같다. <개정 2007.12.31., 2008.8.4., 2011.9.27., 2012.7.3., 2012.9.24., 2016.1.21., 2016.7.1., 2016.12.30.> 1. 폐기물 수집·운반업자가 임시보관장소에 폐기물을 보관하는 경우 가. 의료폐기물: 냉장 보관할 수 있는 섭씨 4도 이하의 전용보관시설에서 보관하는 경우 5일 이내, 그 밖의 보관시설에서 보관하는 경우에는 2일 이내. 다만, 영 별표 2 제1호의 격리의료폐기물(이하 "격리의료폐기물"이라 한다)의 경우에는 보관시설과 무관하게 2일 이내로 한다. 나. 의료폐기물 외의 폐기물: 중량 450톤 이하이고 용적이 300세제곱미터 이하, 5일 이내

Then click on this,영 별표 2 which takes you to a pop-up and defines what medical waste is.

The Enforcement Decree of waste management law says human's tissue, organ, part of human body, blood, pus are all biological wastes. It doesn't mention placenta (태반) specifically but is very inclusive.

Placenta Disposal
Search for 제11조(폐기물처리사업장 외의 장소에서의 폐기물보관시설 기준). Or 태반을, which means placenta. That sections talks about the proper disposal of placentas.

USFK Military
The military also talks about the laws in Korea, but it's from 2012. Here's the PDF.

Pros and Cons
I'm not a scientist and can see both the pros and the cons. The pros are that it helps with postpartum recovery, lactation support, and the prevention of fatigue and postpartum depression. The cons are that some people aren't certified to do it, some religions condone it, and some people can't bring themselves to do it.

I highly encourage you to read about placenta encapsulation. There are a lot of women out there who swear by it. Here are some more articles and discussion both the pros and cons of placenta encapsulation.
Where to Get Certified or Buy Supplies to DIY
There are certain organisations that can certify people to do placenta encapsulations, such as APPA, IPPA, ProDoula, and PBi. Some of these websites have places to search for placenta specialists. There's also, Find Placenta Encapsulation. There are some placenta specialists in Korea who will do it for you or you can also do it yourself.

IPPA and PBi have a kit you can buy. Below are some resources you might find helpful.

Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

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