Placenta Encapsulation- 5 things you should know

Placenta encapsulation, well it is something I never thought I would google, I’ll tell you that. There’s a lot of things you will have to make decisions about during your pregnancy. One of them is going to be what you are going to do about your placenta. Don’t feel too overwhelmed about this, you’ll have a lot of options and there’s no wrong or right way. A generation or so ago, there would be no questions about what to do with the placenta because the doctor would just take care of disposing of it.

Then some celebrity moms decided they would eat their placentas, typically through encapsulation, and other new moms around the country suddenly became curious. Kourtney Kardashian, the queen of trendy motherhood fads, even referred to them as her “yummy placenta pills” and stated she was dreading the day they ran out because they were life-changing and hold so many benefits for new moms. This act of eating your placenta is scientifically called placentophagy, not that you will ever need to know that but hey it’s a fun word and makes you sound pretty smart. Let’s take it back a step, placenta encapsulation was not actually discovered by these celebrity moms but can actually be traced back for centuries especially in Chinese medicine.

While there has not been a ton of research done on the practice yet, there are so many moms who have tried it and can attest to the benefits. So here is everything you need to know to make your decision about placenta encapsulation.

Placenta Encapsulation – 5 things you should know

What is the Placenta?

Keepin’ it simple, the placenta is basically your baby’s safety net and lifeline while you carry them through your pregnancy. It allows for nutrients, waste, and blood to be exchanged between mother and baby. After the birth of your sweet babe, the uterus will also expel the placenta out. Did you know it’s the placenta being separated which actually triggers the production of breast milk? It’s also the only organ created with the purpose of being disposable and it’s created from the cells of both parents. Pretty amazing stuff.

What are My Options?

First of all, talk to your doctor about what options are available to you. The rules about taking your placenta may vary by hospital or state and you want to make sure everything you are doing is within the law and is being done with proper care.

While this article is mainly about encapsulation, we realize this exact process might not be for everyone. You don’t have to eat your placenta to believe that it’s a spectacular organ and somewhat sacred for doing its job in helping to create your baby. Some moms make it into a jewelry piece, an ointment to help with postnatal healing, plant it alongside a tree in their yard rather than have it disposed of in the hospital, or into an art piece for their home.

Placenta Encapsulation Benefits

You might be wondering what the point is of going through all the hassle of having your placenta encapsulated when there are many more simple options. Well, it is possible that consuming your placenta has huge benefits to your postpartum health. It has long been the belief of holistic and traditional medicine that doing so may increase your levels of stress-reducing hormones making the transition into motherhood smoother. It may also help to restore iron levels in your blood, help the uterus return to its natural size, and stimulate milk production. Overall, it just makes you feel more energized and ready to take on the challenges of a new baby. Trust me, you are going to need all the energy you can get. But wait there’s more, many doctors and moms alike believe it will decrease the chance for postpartum depression and in turn help you to bond better with your baby.

Did you know that it is possible 15-20% of new mothers experience postpartum depression? It can leave them feeling hopeless and guilty, but they should know they aren’t alone. There is no guarantee that placenta encapsulation will keep this monster away, but anything is worth a shot in the name of being the happiest & best possible mama we can be. We do so much to ensure that our babies are brought into this world healthy and happy, this is one thing to help boost your own mental health.

Your placenta is able to give you all these benefits because of all the different things it is made of. Just to list a few; oxytocin, prolactin, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, CRH, hemoglobin, and cortisone. You might be like what the heck are any of those, so just take me at my word. They will ALL benefit you.

Placenta Encapsulation – How to & things you should know

  1. You have two options to begin with. You can either learn how to encapsulate your placenta at home or find someone to do it for you. I would highly recommend finding someone that can do this for you just to be safe and ensure proper care. There are many hospitals and doulas that have lots of practice with placenta encapsulation. You can look up some here: 
  2. Research the hospital or doula you have chosen to do your encapsulation thoroughly. Their price should range around $100-200, but will obviously vary a little by location. Check out their process and make sure it follows protocol to your personal standards. It is fair to ask as many questions as you would like. Ask them about their workspace, if they refrigerate until the encapsulation process begins, do they only work with one placenta at a time to avoid mix-ups, and how do they sanitize their equipment. ***Remember there are not really laws regulating placenta encapsulation, so you need to pay close attention. It’s probably a good idea to choose someone who has experience and can prove so with reviews of other mothers.
  3. Along with looking for reviews and researching their process, you can look into what certifications they have. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set guidelines, and that is a good place to start. You may want to ask the hospital or doula doing your placenta encapsulation if they follow food handler guidelines, as that is how you must treat the placenta. You may also want to look for someone who is Blood Borne Pathogen Certified. Other certifications you might want to look for are from the APPA or IPPA.
  4. Once you have made your choice, make sure to discuss it thoroughly with your doctor and add it into your birth plan. You will need to call your service soon after birth, and they will take care of everything from there!
  5. Your capsules will be dropped off to you or picked up and you can begin taking them. Follow the rules for daily ingestion, storing & handling that are provided by your service. Time for some stress-free (okay maybe just less stressed out if we’re being real) mamas!

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