Have you heard about placental encapsulation? Just the phrase gets a range of reactions from parents, but over the last year I would estimate a third to half of my clients have encapsulated their placentas. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive! I am often asked by clients - I did not have my placentas encapsulated, and had not heard much about it until this last year. Back when I had my youngest two years ago I didn't know anyone in my area who offered the service, but there are numerous options now and I'll post links below. Warning, there are also some placenta pictures! 🙂
The FDA has not evaluated placental ingestion and reports are anecdotal, but the reviews are glowing. It's actually a simple process for the parents - immediately after birth the placenta is bagged and placed into a cooler with ice to be kept cold. You contact your certified encapsulation specialist who then comes to your home with all of the necessary supplies to encapsulate the placenta. You can watch - or not - and they clean up, then return later to finish the process and leave you with a jar of capsules that resemble any other herb. They also provide directions for how many and when to take your capsules.
* increase milk supply
* minimize postpartum bleeding
* help prevent anemia
* replenish iron and B vitamin levels
* assist with hormone and mood stability postpartum
* help prevent postpartum depression
* improves energy levels
If you think about it, this amazing organ nourished your baby for nine months, carrying nutrients and oxygen from you to your growing child. Other mammals consume their placenta right after their baby is born, and it's known to help prevent postpartum hemorrhage. Especially if a mom has experienced postpartum depression in the past and needed an antidepressant medication, the possibility of encapsulation providing a defense against that depression and fatigue is compelling!
Here Joy shares her experience having her placenta encapsulated after her second child's birth.
Other moms have tinctures made with their placentas (which Betty & Mary offer with the assistance of Regina from Howling Wolf Herbs) or have placenta prints made - the placenta is pressed onto a piece of paper to preserve the image. Some moms choose to not ingest the placenta but bring it home to plant under a tree or flowering bush in the baby's honor. The two hospitals and birth center in my town all will release the placenta to mothers, though policies of hospitals varies across the metroplex.