Placenta Encapsulation: Everything You’ll Ever Need To Know + One Mum’s Experience!

placenta encapsulation: everything you'll ever need to know

Placenta Encapsulation: Everything You’ll Ever Need To Know + One mum’s experience!

What is placenta encapsulation?

Placenta encapsulation is a popular method of placenta consumption. It is the process of dehydrating the placenta, grinding it, and encapsulating it into pills for consumption. Other methods of consumption include in smoothies, eating it raw, or cooking it and adding it to your favorite dish! Placenta encapsulation has increasingly gained popularity over the last few years. This is partly due to the growing list of celebrities who have boasted the benefits, such as Kim and Kourtney Kardashian.

kim Kardashian placenta encapsulation
Kim Kardashian is one of the countless celebs who boast the benefits of placenta encapsulation.

What are the benefits of placenta encapsulation and consumption?

Although there have been no conclusive studies on the benefits of placenta consumption, women and holistic health practitioners world wide have touted the benefits for many years. It is thought to:

  • Increase the release of the hormone oxytocin, which can help to contract the uterus back to its normal size and can also promote bonding with the infant.
  • Increase the production of CRH – a stress reducing hormone.
  • Help to decrease the risk of post-natal depression.
  • Help to restore iron levels in the blood.
  • Help to increase milk supply.
placenta encapsulation story
Ruth Parfitt had her placenta turned into capsuals so she could take them and found it helped with energy levels among other things. Source: Daily Mail

Are there any risks involved with placenta encapsulation?

As the research on placentophagy (consumption of the placenta) is slim, the risks are anecdotal. However, some women report feeling jittery and tense after taking the pills.

The other biggest concern is the lack of regulation around the preparation of the placenta. Placenta pills are often prepared in a home kitchen. As such, there are no health and safety guidelines. This could increase the risk of contracting a bacterial infection or blood bourne illness. Furthermore, the pills need to be treated as a meat product and stored accordingly, to prevent the growth of bacteria.

What is the process of placenta encapsulation?

First the placenta is rinsed, cleaned and any blood clots or membranes are removed. According to the traditional Chinese medicine method, the placenta is then steamed over boiling water for about 20 minutes on each side. The placenta is then sliced into thin strips and placed in a dehydrator for up to 11 hours. After the placenta strips are dry, it is ground into a powder. The powder is then put into capsules and packaged, ready for consumption.

Some mothers decide to have a ‘raw’ placenta encapsulation. The difference is that the placenta is not steamed, and is placed straight into the dehydrator. The placenta is then dehydrated at a lower temperature for a longer period. Some people believe that the raw method ensures stronger benefits for the mother.

Some practitioners will also add herbal remedies into the capsules to increase the benefits of the placenta.

Do the capsules have a taste?

No, the capsules are flavorless.

How much will placenta encapsulation cost?

Placenta encapsulation usually costs between $200-$400 depending on the service provided.

How many capsules will I receive?

You can expect to receive between 90-200 capsules, depending on the size of your placenta.

How can I find someone who offers placenta encapsulation?

Placenta encapsulation is offered by doulas and holistic health practitioners who have become certified as placenta encapsulation specialists. You can visit the website findplacentaencapsulation.com for a worldwide list of placenta encapsulation specialists.

One mum’s experience with placenta encapsulation

Amy Hayden is mum to one-year old Violet. She decided to encapsulate her placenta and has shared her experience with me.

“It was amazing how much energy they gave me…and my milk supply was astounding”

Why did you decide to try placenta encapsulation?

There were a few reasons:
1. I personally hated the idea of this amazing organ being thrown out as waste!
2. I felt a bit of a sentimental attachment to it as it nourished and fed my unborn baby for nearly 10 months without faltering! I mean how phenomenal is that. In a way i felt like i should honor it in any way I could.
3. I didnt want to barbecue it… or sneak it into a stir fry like the Kardashians hahaha (each to their own i suppose).
4. The amazing benefits it provides your body post birth! Baby blues, post natal depression, restoring iron and nutrients lost during birth and breastfeeding, it assists in breastmilk production + more!
placenta encapsulation - Earth and Bloom

What was the procedure like to get the capsules?

 Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision, i researched placenta preservation extensively, from lotus birthing, encapsulation etc. When i stored and froze my colostrum from 20 weeks it was like a safety net for me. I ended up having a caesarean & did not meet my daughter until 2-3 hrs after the birth. But the one thing i made sure every nurse and doctor knew was that i was keeping my placenta! Literally every nurse and midwife, I told them ‘I am keeping it! Please don’t chuck it’. The one thing i worried about  was whether or not the medical staff would support me. They did, and put my placenta straight on ice in an esky!
The placenta has to be picked up within 24 hrs. The lovely Amanda Mcdonald (hired doula) came to the hospital within hours of placenta birth and the capsules were ready the next day!
Her procedure was having it put in an oven, then milling it into a powder and putting the powder straight into the caps. I paid $250 for the natural caps (without the garlic and herbs and photos she takes of the process, which was $350)
I began taking them straight away, about 24 hrs after birth! My encapsulated placenta gave me over 150 caps, which lasted me about 2 months. I took at least 3 every day, usually every morning.
The reccomended dosage was a max of 4 caps per day.

What was your experience taking the placenta capsules, and would you do it again?

 It was amazing how much energy they gave me! I healed so well (my scar), my milk supply was astounding and I believe they prevented me from getting mastitis. I remember my boobs would fill up about an hour after i would take the capsules. I found if my supply was getting a bit dry through the cluster feeds of a night it would just help restore my milk for her big morning feed.
It didnt taste horrible, they werent too smelly either. More like an encapsulated supernutrient! Where my nutrition was lacking from breastfeeding and lack of sleep the placenta pills picked me up. Within 3 weeks i was doing washing, driving walking the streets etc, it gave me nutrients so i could give my baby nutrients and i suppose made me feel better in the long run that i was doing what i could for me and my precious little one!
My blues weren’t overtaking those beautiful newborn days like it can. I had my moments of course, the hormones would win over some days and the traumatic birth experience left me bewildered, but i would do the placenta encapsulation all over again!
– Amy Hayden

Would you ever try placenta encapsulation? Or have you already tried it? Let me know your experience in the comments!

Lucy

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