You might have heard of placenta consumption. Whether you have a friend that has done it, or you have heard of celebrities like January Jones
giving it a try. Consumption has been known to be controversial, but many eastern countries and more recently western countries believe it to be restorative. The placenta is the organ that surrounds the growing baby in the womb that nourishes the baby through the umbilical cord. Placenta consumption (placentophagy), which is centuries old, has gained popularity again in the United States in the past decade, mostly in the form of encapsulation. As a Encapsulation Specialist, I have spent the last couple of years learning a great deal about the placenta and had the pleasure of consuming my own with my last child. It was a wonderful experience!
What is Placenta Encapsulation?
Placental encapsulation is the practice of ingesting the placenta after it has been steamed, dehydrated, ground, and placed into pills. It is taken by the mother and it is believed to have a vast amount of health benefits. It is taken shortly after giving birth and taper off as needed. It can be saved to use later in life; whether is be for menstruation, depression, menopause, etc.
What are Some Benefits?
The placenta is FULL of beneficial hormones and chemicals designed just for your body! Iron, estrogen, oxytocin, testosterone, cortizone, and interferon-just to name a few! While there has been no official scientific study on the benefits of placentophagy (a real shame), traditional study and holistic customs recognize a great deal of advantages that come with encapsulation!
- It reduces postpartum bleeding at a faster rate.
- It speeds up recovery. The stimulation of the shrinking uterus is increased.
- It helps combat postpartum depression, something with which I personally struggled in the past.
- It is known to increase milk production.
- It can decrease pain levels shortly after delivery.
Is Encapsulation Safe?
Encapsulation of the placenta has shown to carry no risk if it is taken by the mother that produced it. It is not recommended to take the pills of another mother, as this was not your placenta and not your blood. It also should be noted that capsules need to be refrigerated like any other meat.
The Bottom Line?
There are a number of benefits and very limited risks to placenta encapsulation shown by women all over the world. If you feel like this idea is right for you, call your Midwife, Doula, or OB for more information!
The American Journal of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children
[The opinions expressed on my blog are based on my own research, thoughts and experiences. Please keep in mind that I am NOT a health professional so please do your own research and consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or health. You should always do what is right for you.]