Many people find themselves wondering how much a placenta costs after birth. Over time, placentas have been used in a lot of ways. Some of them are known to be worth it and are accepted by the medical field, while other ways of using them are not recommended, not considered safe, and non-approved.
You should never try to sell or purchase a placenta outside of a hospital setting. Still, your own placenta from birth has value both to the baby and to the family of the baby after delivery. You can save the placenta to be used by the family or you can donate it to others who might need its properties. We can’t emphasize this enough: The placenta is an organ and should never be sold or bought outside of a hospital setting. But how much does a placenta cost?
How much does a placenta cost?
The cost of a placenta is currently estimated at around $50,000, but this price is bound to increase up to five times in the next ten years. As the placenta is a very precious organ, it holds significant medical value. As more studies are conducted and the research continues, the value increases more and more.
You should know that you won’t be able to sell or buy a placenta for this amount. This value is just a figure that experts use to show just how important this placenta is and how much it would mean if you waste it or discard it.
Donate your placenta
If you choose to donate your placenta, there is no risk to you as a parent or to the child. If you decide to donate your placenta, you might have to sign a consent with the healthcare provider or have to answer several other questions. But this shouldn’t interfere in any way with the birth itself or other measures.
The placenta provides very valuable resources for people who need surgery, treatment of wounds, and so on, and it will cost you nothing to donate. Also, when donating your placenta, this will have no effect on the ability to bank the cord blood.
So not only the placenta can be saved, but the cord blood can also be used for essential procedures in the future. As science evolves, a lot of new, unique ways of using these tissues are found, as well as unique cells that can be used in future medical procedures, which is why there is no reason not to keep the placenta and the cord blood.
At this time, it is considered illegal to compensate donors when they donate organs. But what if a person wants to donate their placenta and receive money for it? In this case, the process has to occur ethically, so there can’t be monetary donations involved in any steps of the process.
As the placenta is often simply discarded, there have been talks and some speculation around incentivizing donors, to make the process more widespread. Improving education on the need to bank the placenta along with cord blood can help improve the number of people who choose to donate or save, rather than discard, the placenta after birth.
Freeze your placenta for stem cells
The placenta is known as one of the richest sources of stem cells, a type of cells that can turn into many different cell types, like brain cells or muscle cells (experts even go as far as to call them “blank cells”). These cells are the only type of cell in your body that have this interesting natural ability to become a new type of cell.
Inside the placenta, you will find not only amniotic mesenchymal stem cells, but also amniotic epithelial cells, both of which are studied as treatment options for orthopedic conditions, neurological disorders, lung diseases, gynecological conditions, and even autoimmune diseases. You will be able to take advantage of many potential treatment options in the future if you choose to freeze both your placenta and the umbilical cord blood stem cells.
There are multiple stem cell sources, but out of them, the most used is the bone marrow. Still, there is a limited ability to harvest bone marrow stem cells from infants, and the process is pretty invasive. This is why the placenta comes as an alternative source for stem cells that is highly attractive. It requires no invasive procedure to collect and is abundant in stem cells. Both the baby and other family members can get medical value from the stem cells collected from your placenta.
So sending your cord blood and placenta stem cells to a private cord blood bank can give the whole family an option for future cell-based treatment options, which can probably save someone’s life.
When cord blood is kept privately, only the family owns those stem cells, which means that only they have access to them, as they aren’t publicly available.
Other common uses and benefits of placenta
Eating the placenta
There are people who choose to eat their placenta after birth. This is a practice more commonly known as the human placentophagy. In this situation, the placental tissue is usually encapsulated in placenta capsules or placenta pills.
Although most people have heard at least once that consuming the placenta comes with a lot of health benefits, none of these claims has ever been proven true, and, furthermore, this comes with risks like spreading illness and contamination. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, a healthy baby got group B strep from his mother after she consumed her placenta.
Burying or planting
There are cultures where planting or burying the placenta is part of their tradition, as this is a way for the mother to reconnect to the earth. There are people that receive the placenta and then bury it under a stone structure or a tree, as a token of remembrance. Even though this sounds really cute, there are better ways of utilizing your placenta.
Making keepsake jewelry
There are people who turn their placenta into jewelry as a way of remembering the whole process of birth and pregnancy. This type of jewelry is usually made of dried and ground placental tissue placed in resin, which preserves the birth tissue forever, creating a stone-like material. You can place this material in earrings, pendants, rings, and so on. You can also make a similar piece of jewelry out of dried and ground umbilical cord tissue.
If you’re considering buying or purchasing a placenta, or even part of a placenta, you should be very wary of scams. Scams are very prevalent in the case of stem cells and placentas, just like for other organs sold on the black market.
As stem cell use and treatments related to stem cells are regulated within the United States by the FDA, avoid using any procedure that is not FDA-approved. Among the most common scams are buying items made to be consumed that are said to contain placenta, or even selling the placenta to a non-authorized entity.
These scams are not only dangerous, but they can even reach a point in which they become harmful. You should only consume your own placenta if you choose to do this, and its consumption should be done with extreme caution.
Using the placenta in any other way, like applying it topically via creams, can cause more health issues than it presumably fixes. Selling the placenta is illegal, as this is an organ like any other organ in your body.
Your placenta is worth around $50,000, although you won’t find a reputable buyer to sell it for this sum. The cost of a placenta is given by how important it is and how beneficial the stem cells inside it can be.