Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that one of my (many) passions within the birth community is the promotion of placenta medicine, that is, the maternal consumption of the placenta post-birth. It sounds yucky, and it's counter-cultural in modern America, but there is nothing in the world to beat it for preventing postpartum blues/depression, lessening afterpains, and returning the mother's energy and vitality pronto. I utilized placenta medicine with my last birth, and the difference was night and day. I will never have another birth without using placenta medicine.
You can read my entries about placenta medicine here and here, and you can read more about placenta medicine here and here.
If you're squeamish and would rather not have anything to do with your placenta in person, placenta encapsulation is a great way to get the benefits. The placenta is dried, ground up, and put into gel capsules, which you can take like a vitamin. One of my friends, BreAnna, who is also a birth doula, offers placenta encapsulation services. Here is what she writes about placenta encapsulation:
Why would someone do that?... Why would someone encapsulate their placenta?
That question has been asked to me so many times while starting to get into placenta encapsulation.
Before I had my baby I have heard numerous amounts of women swear that encapsulating the placenta has helped them enhance energy, balance hormones, and increase milk supply.
So then I had to look into this for myself. I have experienced baby blues and PPD for a good part of all my pregnancies due to hormone unbalance. I know women who have hemorrhaged and women who are having the hardest time nursing all claim that this has helped. Story after story of how amazing they feel weeks after birth and a lot of them have gone through the baby blues to know the difference.
The thing is baby blues happens to 80% of women the first days and weeks after giving birth. Because it is so common, nothing is typically done about it until it worsens into a diagnosis of postpartum depression.
These are the symptoms of "Baby Blues"
Feeling sad and overwhelmed
Anxiety mood swings/irritability
Inability to cope
Inability to sleep
So the question.... Why would someone do that? Why would someone encapsulate their placenta?
I now always say... "Why not?"
Placentophagy, or consumption of the placenta, has been reported for decades to help stop the baby blues and postpartum fatigue.
For many women this is a new concept and they have never heard of this. This is why I am here! :) I love informing mothers of new things I have tried and have worked for me.
Placenta encapsulation is done by steaming, dehydrating, making into powder for capsules. You can add herbs to it like Alfalfa, red raspberry and blessed thistle to increase milk. You take about 6 capsules a day throughout the day for the 1st week and then 4 throughout the day for the 2nd week. You can get about 150 capsules per placenta. And you can’t taste it, there are also berry flavored capsules if you want.
So why would someone want to do this???
Here are the benefits that women for centuries have sworn by…
contains your own natural hormones
it’s perfectly made for you
it balances your system
it replenishes depleted iron
gives you more energy
increases milk production
helps you have a happier postpartum period
helps for faster return of uterus to pre-pregnancy state
Because I have seen the benefits for myself I want to help more mothers out there who want to do this. This is why I have started encapsulating placentas. I absolutely love doing it, I love helping moms and if this is what I can do until I'm ready to get back into Doula work then I'm here.
So far I have done 3 and have 4 lined up.
I think once you get past the idea of what it is and think more of what it can do then you realize the same answer that I have “Why not?”
If you have any questions about anything please ask!
Interested in placenta encapsulation or doula services? You can reach BreAnna here!