Placenta encapsulation is the process by which the placenta is prepared and dehydrated immediately after birth and encapsulated into a nutrient dense supplement for the new mother. This centuries old tradition has been used to boost iron, balance hormones and provide vital support to a deficient system after the challenges of labor and delivery.
What is a Placenta?
The placenta is an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall and provides nutrients, oxygen and waste elimination for the baby. It acts as a protective filter for bacteria, secretes essential hormones for fetal development and helps to fight against internal infection for the mother. It is the only “disposable organ” in that the body creates and then discards it once its purpose is fulfilled.
What Are the Benefits to Placenta Encapsulation?
Placenta encapsulation is one of the best things a new mother can do to support her body post partrum. As the mother’s body created the placenta to facilitate life, the high nutrient content in the placenta is often more bioavailable and compatible with her system than generic supplementation. Placenta encapsulation can:
* Lessen the risk of postpartum depression or ‘baby blues’
* Replenish your iron from blood loss during birth that can cause anemia
* Lend you a consistent flow of oxytocin (the love hormone)
* Provide the HPL hormone to help establish early and healthy milk supply
* Stabilize your ever-changing hormones post birth
* Replenish your B vitamins and energy that were used during the birthing process
* Protect from infection and bleeding due to retained placenta tissue or membrane
* Offer natural pain relief from labor and birth
Is It Safe?
Placentophagy (consuming the placenta) has been used globally since the 1500’s by cultures as a way to honor and nurture the mother postpartum. It is generally a very safe practice when strict guidelines for handling and sanitation are followed.
It is always important to choose a specialist who has been certified in encapsulation, and received training in both safety and handling and blood borne pathogens.
For some women who experience preeclampsia, PUPPS, hyperemesis gravidarum, cholestasis or gestational diabetes during pregnancy, placenta encapsulation may be ill advised immediately after delivery.
Your specialists will advise you of all cautions and contradictions during your initial consultation.