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Placenta Encapsulation. Why You Might Want to Consider It.

Placenta Encapsulation. Why You Might Want to Consider It.

Placenta encapsulation.

Have you heard of it?

It's the act of taking the placenta after delivery, cleaning, dehydrating, and grinding it up, putting it into capsules to be consumed by the mother.

Seems totally gross, right? However there have been reported some amazing benefits that might take the gross out of it and be something you could be interested in doing.

Placenta capsules have been reported to help:

  • curb postpartum depression, anxiety, psychosis.
  • replenish lost nutrients.
  • increase milk production.
  • increase energy, combat fatigue.
  • stop/lessen postpartum bleeding.
  • provide natural iron supplementation.
  • help contract the uterus back to normal size after birth.
  • Increase in CRH, a stress-reducing hormone.

HOW can consuming my placenta help with all those things?

Think about how the second you got pregnant and for 9 whole months hormones and nutrients are coursing through your body to sustain the life of another human being. Then the baby is born and with it, the placenta, the nutrient center. A lot of times the body slows the production of those nutrients and hormones after delivery so ingesting the placenta can help remind the body what it still needs.

Researchers have measured some of the substances in term human placental tissue and have found the following:

  • iron
  • selenium
  • vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, pyridoxine)
  • fatty acids (AA and DHA)
  • oxytocin
  • progesterone
  • human placental lactogen
  • relaxin
  • inhibin and activin
  • beta-endorphin and beta-lipotrophin
  • calcium
  • copper
  • zinc
  • placental opioid-enhancing factor 
  • blood-clotting particles such as fibrinogen and thrombocytic fractions

To say the placenta is chuck full of nutrients would be an understatement. And all the nutrients are YOUR nutrients and hormones so it's perfect for your body.

My personal experience with encapsulating my placenta

After I had my first baby I bled for 12 weeks. I didn't know that wasn't normal. I heard that ingesting my placenta could help reduce postpartum bleeding. I decided to do it with my second baby. I only bled for 2 weeks. Plus I noticed an added benefit of it evening out my mood. I had my baby at the end of December, which I often get seasonal depression PLUS my husband was traveling a lot with his job so I was left alone with two small children in the middle of winter and I did really well. I honestly attribute that to the placenta. 

The placenta does have blood clotting properties. For a long time, especially in the old days, if a woman hemorrhaged after childbirth the midwife would snip of a chunk of the placenta and have her put it in her cheek, it would help stop the bleeding.

Trust Yourself.

Do some research and decide it it's right for you. You might decide it's not for you. If you can't decide before you have your baby you can take your placenta home and put it in the freezer. For up to 6 months you can keep your placenta in your freezer as "insurance." In case some postpartum depression develops months after the birth of your baby. 

How do I get my placenta.

Talk you your care provider, make sure they know you want to keep your placenta. Write it in your birth plan. And tell the nurses when you are in labor that you are keeping it. Take a couple gallon size heavy duty zip-lock bags to put it in. 

If you have decided you really want to have it done, research and contact an encapsulator in your area. Typically you call them once you have had your baby and they will come to the place of your delivery and pick up the placenta, process it, and return it within 48 hours. But definitely confirm with your encapsulator the details and expectations.

Our Recommendations for encapsulators:

UTAH: Bloom Birth Utah

IDAHO: Boise Birth Services

 

sources: 

https://midwiferytoday.com/mt-articles/the-power-of-placenta/

https://americanpregnancy.org/first-year-of-life/placental-encapsulation/ 

https://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-on-placenta-encapsulation/ 

To watch the full discussion with some additional information and some great questions. Plus a few stories:




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