Postpartum

Why I Chose to Encapsulate My Placenta + FAQ

July 31, 2020
placenta pills

I recently shared on Instagram that I hired my doula to encapsulate my placenta. This is the first time I’ve done it (fifth birth). I got SO many questions about it and figured the best way to answer them was to share here!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This is just my experience and research I’ve done on my own time.

Big thank you to Amanda from Heaven Sent Doula & Placenta for helping answer some of these and for encapsulating my placenta! 

What is placenta encapsulation?

Placenta encapsulation is the process of transforming a fresh placenta into a capsule form. The encapsulation process begins with complete dehydration of the placenta, powdering the desiccated placenta and then encapsulating the powder into empty capsules.  Maternal ingestion of the placenta has been practiced in various cultures around the world for thousands of years, and is even considered the norm in some cultures.  The entire process is typically done within 2-4 days.

What’s the cost?

It would depend on who you hire to encapsulate. Prices range from $150-350. With my doula/placenta encapsulator, the standard package includes your encapsulated placenta and umbilical cord keepsake (upon request).
– $175 (includes pick up of placenta & drop off of capsules)

- $150 (if placenta is dropped off and capsules are picked up when completed)

What are the benefits?

In the animal kingdom, nearly all mammals are known to consume their afterbirth – even herbivores. Some say this is simply to keep their nests clean and prevent the scent from bringing predators. If this were the case, then predators at the top of the food chain would not consume their placenta and non-nesting mammals would not consume their placenta. But they do! Even when the baby has long since been ready to walk, or run, from the birth site, mammals have often been observed taking their time and spending an hour or two consuming the placenta in the same birth site.

The placenta is most reported to help:

  • Increase energy

  • Balance hormones

  • Enhance milk supply

  • Quicken postpartum healing

  • Shorten postpartum bleeding

  • Bring body back into balance

  • Assist uterus to return to pre-pregnancy size

  • Help mother feel happier

  • Help mother get better sleep

  • Replenish iron, minerals, & vitamins

  • Help avoid “baby blues”

The placenta is truly amazing and can help to heal, strengthen, and sustain your body.

(Info from Heaven Sent Doula & Placenta)

What about the toxins the placenta might have in it?

A recent study shows “There were no toxic levels of any elements that they looked at that could be harmful. There didn’t seem to be any toxic ingredients in the placenta capsules.” Read more at Evidence Based Birth.

What does it taste like?

It doesn’t have any taste. The jar smells a little funky, but I quickly open and close it and avoid smelling it.

Is there any after-taste?

I haven’t noticed any after-taste at all. The only thing I’ve noticed is I burp a few times after and it tastes a little bit like Ritz crackers? Weird comparison, I know.

Can you do it if you had a c-section?

Yes!

Circumstances that WOULD be a contradiction to encapsulating your placenta:

– Infection present in mom or baby at the time of birth

– Chorioamnionitis

Circumstances that DO NOT prevent you from encapsulating:

– Meconium

– Group B Strep positive

– Medicated Birth

– Cesarean Birth

– Delayed Cord Clamping

– Cord Blood Banking

Evidence suggests that eating highly nutritious food is just as beneficial. So why?

Everyone’s placenta is completely unique to them. Your placenta is essentially an organ created specifically BY you, FOR you, and it has helped regulate your hormones for the past 10 months. There is no food that would give a specific cocktail of hormones that has been in your body for almost a year.

Are there any side effects?

I haven’t noticed any negative side effects.

Can you encapsulate if your pregnancy is high risk?

Most likely, yes. See answer to c-section question above.

If you birth in a hospital, how do you encapsulate?

Your placenta encapsulator will come pick it up, or you can have someone drop it off to them.

How long do you take them?

Every placenta is completely unique in size, so one person’s placenta might yield more pills than another persons. You take the pills until you run out!

What benefits have you noticed personally?

I’ve been taking them for 9 days now. The first thing I noticed was an energy boost. Usually during the postpartum period, especially the first several weeks, it’s like I’m living in a fog. When I take my placenta pills, it’s like the fog is lifted almost immediately. The second thing I noticed was that I stopped passing large blood clots and my vaginal bleeding got lighter. And post-delivery cramps pretty much ceased once I started taking them.

I will keep updating this (once a week) as I continue taking them.

The takeaway?

In my opinion, there’s no reason NOT to encapsulate your placenta if you have the means to. There’s so many potential benefits, it can’t hurt to try! Please just make sure you find a reputable encapsulator, read their reviews, and make sure they can answer all your questions.

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