Placenta Encapsulation – What is it and how can it help you?
Nicole Seamons CLD(CBI), PBI

Placenta has been consumed by women for centuries. Some cultures even hold rituals. Most western cultures now however frown upon it or consider the placenta medical waste. A lot of birthing women won’t even look at the placenta after birth let alone consume it. Should you reconsider that? I believe so!

Let me tell you how the placenta can benefit you AFTER you have had your baby.

Helps rebalance your hormones & increase energy ~ If you’ve had a baby before you may remember around day 3-5 what is known as the baby blues, those periods of crying or being angry at everyone around you. There are 8 hormones said to impact a woman during the postpartum period (Thyriod T3 & T4, Prolactin, Cortisol, CRH, Oxytocin, Vasopressin, Progesterone and Estrogen) because the levels of these hormones drop significantly after the delivery of the placenta. By consuming the placenta you are adding these hormones back to your body reducing the risks of negative feeling and even postpartum depression which is linked to these hormones.

*Reduce postpartum bleeding & shrinking of the uterus ~ The shrinking of the uterus is stimulated by a high level of Prostaglandins which are a group of biologically active compounds, it also helps slow down postpartum bleeding and reduces the risk of postpartum anemia.

*Postpartum anemia ~ During childbirth (vaginal or cesarean) we lose blood and continue to lose blood for a few weeks after, the placenta is filled with iron being a blood filled organ by consuming the placenta the iron levels won’t drop so dramatically if at all.

*Pain relief ~ The placenta is filled with natural opioid enhancing factors which act as a natural pain reliever, amniotic fluid is even greater and can provide more of a pain relief than the placenta. The advantage to a natural pain reliever like amniotic fluid and the placenta is that the mother isn’t effected by any side effects that many synthetic pain relievers have.

*Increases milk supply ~ In a study conducted by Soykova 210 women who were struggling with milk supply were given dried placenta in test conditions and an amazing 86% noticed fast improvements in the amounts of milk they were producing, some results were so great that they had increased production of up to 70g per feed!

The placenta doesn’t stop benefiting you after the postpartum period, the capsules can be frozen and taken during hard time or leading up to and during menstruation when hormones are raging.

Placenta encapsulation article

So now you know the benefits how is the placenta encapsulated? A placenta encapsulation specialist will do this either in your home or a special workspace of their own. If you birth in a hospital it is most likely it will be encapsulated at the specialists house or workplace so you can have the capsules before you are discharged (based on the average 3 day stay) where as a homebirth is entirely up to you where you’d prefer the specialist to encapsulate the placenta.
Once the placenta is in the hands of the specialist they will rinse and remove membranes and the cord (this is after doing placenta prints if you’d like them) what happens now depends on which method you choose;

Traditional Chinese Medicine Method - The oldest method and also the most commonly used. Labour is considered to be Yin which means cold, it is believed the process of labour and birth leaves a lot of open and empty space. The TCM of encapsulation is Yang which means warm because of the spices, herbs and steaming involved in the encapsulation process. By adding warm energy it is believed to help postpartum healing even further and for longer since some believe that since the raw method is considered cold it isn't suitable for longer term use (when period returns, menopause etc)

Traditionally used ingredients such as lemongrass (or lemon when this is not available), ginger and peppers all add a warm energy then the placenta is steamed, the steamed placenta is then dehydrated, ground and placed into capsules, the result is an energy balanced placenta remedy that is nourishing and warm.
Raw Method - This method is based on the more modern beliefs that heat destroys vital enzymes. When using this method most specialists will not go above 50°C as many believe that the heat would kill lots of nutrients and the hormones we are trying to add back to the body. The placenta is then sliced and dehydrated then ground and put in capsules.

What else can be done with your placenta? Yes there is more! A placenta balm can be made (HIGHLY recommended for c-section mothers) simply open up a capsule and mix with a natural oil such as coconut oil and rub on nappy rash, eczema, c-section scars *should not be used on viral or bacterial infections*
A tincture can also be made which is where a slice or raw placenta is placed into alcohol and steeped for 6 weeks it is very beneficial during PMS and menopause as it is used for emotional, mental and physiological instability but should not be used instead of seeking medical advice with signs of depression or mental illness.

Benefits of Consuming the placenta
Placenta capsules

It is time the world saw what a beautiful organ the placenta is and the amazing thing it can do for women all around the world.

Sources: My own learnings from studying with PBi (Placenta Benefits info