You ate what?!
When you first heard of placenta encapsulation I’m sure you were grossed out, or at least took pause. Perhaps you had little thoughts running around in your head. Why? How? Gross! I would never…
One thing I’ve learned as a parent is to never say never. I used to say I will never have THAT kid; you know, the kid who is bouncing off of the walls and screaming in a restaurant. The child who sleeps in my bed. The one who breastfed until age 3.
I was wrong. I was naive. It’s so easy to say “I will never” to anything you’re inexperienced with. The reality of the situation is this: you truly don’t know what you will do until you’re in it, wading through, surviving.
So yes, I’m sure the thought of placentophagy (ingesting your placenta) has at least been a little off putting to you. It’s not everyday someone exuberantly volunteers to eat their placenta. So who does it and why?
Who does it?
Anyone! That's right, anyone who wants to have a smooth and happy postpartum experience. I am not here to say that consuming your placenta is the be all, end all, but I am saying it can't hurt! I find that many people inquire about encapsulation for not only fighting postpartum depression, but also to replenish iron levels, help with breast milk output, give them more energy, or to increase healing time. We find that it is more common for second time parents simply because they want to have a better postpartum experience than they had the first time around. This says something. It says that the years and years of anecdotal evidence supports the improved postpartum when the placenta is consumed.
If you’re a first time parent, learn from the parents who came before you. It may be worth it to look more into encapsulation. It may be worth it if you have a history of depression in your family. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that supports the positive benefits of placental consumption. Some of these benefits include:
Prevents or reduces the risk of developing postpartum depression.
Reduces or eliminates the risk of postpartum bleeding and hemorrhage.
Provides mom with a boost of Oxytocin to increase bonding experiences.
Increases energy levels
Helps uterus contract faster
Increases the production of milk and makes breastfeeding easier
Helps to restore the body's iron levels to normal limits
Helps to reduce the risk of insomnia
A natural pain reliever
Hormones that are found in the placenta are:
Oxytocin: natural pain reliever, promotes bonding, helps to increase milk supply.
POEF ( Pain reliever Opioid Enhancing Factor): Pain Reliever.
Cortisone: This hormone unlocks energy stored in the body and combats stress. (cortisol)
Interferon: This hormones stimulates the immune system to fight off infections while the mother is healing from birth.
Hemoglobin: Replenishes iron, stimulates iron production in blood.
Urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII: Lessens bleeding and promotes faster healing.
Prolactin/HPL: Stimulates healthy mammary function and milk production.
Prostaglandins: Acts as an anti-inflammatory.
You can also have a tincture (liquid extract) made with a small piece of your placenta. Your tincture will last for decades (if stored and handled properly) and can be replenished while still holding potency. The tincture can be used:
- During menstruation - For your teething baby - During times of stress and transition. - During menopause (helps with the hormonal hot flashes, mood swings etc.) - When weaning. A lot of people tend to feel the effects of weaning physically, mentally and emotionally.
What Other parents are Saying
“I was never moody, my birth high lingered for days, my lochia or postpartum bleeding stopped by 4 days postpartum, nursing was amazing. All I can say is that my baby moon was phenomenal with #2 and I was so very thankful for my pills. I NEVER experienced what I did with my first.” –
- Stacey, third time mom (1)
"I am so glad I decided to have my placenta encapsulated for my second pregnancy. For my first pregnancy I had postpartum depression and was prescribed an anti-depressant. I also had trouble breastfeeding due to a low supply. A few days after giving birth to my second child I noticed I was starting to feel weepy. My pills happened to arrive the same day and I started taking them right away. From that point on I never had any issues with mood swings or depression. I noticed I had a lot of energy, despite not sleeping very much. In fact, people who visited us kept commenting on how great I looked and how much energy I had. I have not had any issues with breastfeeding this time around either. I have recommended placenta encapsulation to my friends who are pregnant. My recovery was a breeze as well. I would definitely do this again"
- Alicia, second time mom (2)
"The capsules have been a lifesaver, as far as I can tell. When they were delivered, I was still waiting for my milk to come in and feeling anxious and exhausted. The baby had been seen at the pediatrician's office that morning, four days after her birth, and had lost 13 oz, bringing her weight down to 7 lbs. I took the first dose right after you left and within hours my milk came in and the next day I was feeling more energized and less stressed. I have had no problem with
milk production-- indeed, I am dripping with it!-- nor have I had any wild hormonal mood swings; I feel fairly balanced. I believe this has helped me bond more closely with my baby and my husband, which I am very thankful for! In addition, the baby fed so well that by her two week checkup (1.5 weeks after I began taking the capsules), she had gained back all the weight she lost in the first few days. I would most definitely recommend encapsulation to my family and friends!"
- Liz, first time mother of Josefina (2)
"I had my placenta encapsulated with my second baby. I wish I had done it with my first. My recovery was so much quicker this time around. My milk supply is great and my son sleeps so much better than my first did. One day I forgot to take the capsules and I noticed that I was more irritable and that my baby slept worse. I made sure to not forget to take them again. I feel great for having an active 2 1/2 year old and 6 week baby. I'm definitely recommending this to all my pregnant friends. And if we decide to go for a third, I will definitely do this again!”
- Mom to two (2)
What harm is done if you ingest your placenta? There really are no drawbacks. The most common things we see are jitters or headaches. This is commonly due to consuming too many per day. Try cutting back and that generally helps! Overall, it is not common and more often we see great results and repeat clients!
Ultimately, it would be far better to have placenta capsules and a tincture if you find you need them than to need them and not have them. Your placenta is bio specific to your needs and cannot be replaced or purchased. Placenta encapsulation makes consumption a palatable and easy choice.
If you are still unsure, double bag your placenta with gallon sized freezer Ziploc bags and place it in the freezer. This should be done within 72 hours of delivery (placing in fridge or on ice within 3 hours). It is best to encapsulate or make a tincture within 6 months of freezing. If you find yourself weepy, emotional, exhausted and in dire need of help, locate a placenta encapsulator immediately. You’ll be glad you did.
If you need or want any more information or research, please don't hesitate to reach out. I would be happy to chat with you about this service. Informed consent before deciding is ALWAYS my goal and standard.
Peace, Love, and Babies,
PS. We are not licensed medical professionals, such as care providers or physicians, and we are not able to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any health condition. Services and fees are for the service of encapsulating your placenta, not for the sale of the capsules. Each person will react to their placenta capsules in different ways. Some of the ascribed benefits of placenta consumption are supported by ongoing research, however these benefits have not been evaluated or approved by the United States government or the Food and Drug Administration. It is your responsibility to determine whether using placenta capsules can be beneficial to your well-being postpartum.