Why Choose Placenta Encapsulation?

Reposted with permission from Holistic Birth of Orlando.

We are one of the only placental mammals that do not eat our placentas after birth. Why is this? It seems that we have been too far removed from trusting our bodies. It’s common in America to think of medicine as something manipulated or invented by man instead of from nature itself. And then there is the gross factor; I hear women often say how they could never do it because it’s just too disgusting a thought.

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The glorious placenta

Ingesting the placenta after birth has amazing benefits to the mother. Childbirth can affect the body in many ways; sometimes women suffer from Postpartum Depression, fatigue, hormone imbalance, excessive bleeding and a general level of aches and pain. The placenta is an amazing organ, designed to protect and nourish our growing baby throughout our entire pregnancy. It contains many valuable hormones and is high in iron, exactly what our bodies need to quickly recover from birth so that we can tend to and provide for our newborn child; hardly a coincidence.

When this powerful organ is eaten by the mother it will aid in shrinking the uterus, increasing milk supply, warding off Postpartum Depression, balancing hormones, stopping hemorrhaging (when taken raw), battling fatigue and healing the body more quickly.

I find it very odd that the general population has less of an argument about eating genetically modified food or taking pills with a long list of side effects, than opening up to the idea of eating something designed by and for our own body because it’s “weird” or “gross,” especially when we as a species are alone in our aversion to eating the placenta. Why not look to nature first for medicine and insight on how to care for our bodies instead of another human being with a degree or a corporation that is focused on profit above all else? Placenta encapsulation is an opportunity to embrace and trust the knowledge of our own body.

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Dehydrating the placenta

By encapsulating this vital organ, many women have found the experience to be more comfortable and less “gross” than eating it raw. Some people choose to consume the placenta raw because it is more potent and less compromised in this state; the flavor is hardly noticeable, if at all, when blended into smoothies. There are different methods of encapsulation too; many people steam the placenta with lemon and ginger before dehydrating and often times it is dehydrated raw. Either way is acceptable; there are benefits to both.

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The encapsulation process

It’s a good idea to let your doctor or midwife know ahead of time that you plan on keeping your placenta; sometimes there is paperwork that must be filled out beforehand.

Typically, placenta encapsulation costs between $150 to $250; usually midwives, doulas or PE specialists will provide this service. And many times you will get a keepsake and/or print with the capsules. You should take two pills a day, one capsule in the morning and one around lunch; because the pills can cause an increase in energy, some women have reported issues getting to sleep when they take the capsules too close to bedtime.

Encapsulated placenta, and umbilical cord love

Encapsulated placenta, and umbilical cord love

There are tremendous benefits to ingesting the placenta after birth. Sharing this information and making it accessible to a larger population is a great way to support and empower other mothers. Trust your body and inform yourself!

Holistic Birth of Orlando

Holistic Birth of Orlando facebook page

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Categories: Nicole

Author:Nicole Donald

My name is Nicole, I am a peaceful and respectful, unschooling parent raising 5 lovely humans with another on the way. I’m also a doula, placenta specialist, kitchen witch, writer and activist.

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14 Comments on “Why Choose Placenta Encapsulation?”

  1. shaybi343
    February 25, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Reblogged this on shaybi343.

  2. Amy
    February 25, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    I was gong to encapsulate mine but never got around to dehydrating it. So, i swallowed frozen, dime-sized pieces of it. They gave me such a horrible headache, im assuming from all the hormones. Have you heard of similar reactions? Im hesitant to try with my next…

    • Nicole Donald
      February 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      Hi Amy! The reason you got a headache may have been because the dosage was too much for you; taking smaller amounts (like in capsules – twice a day) could be easier on your body. I have heard of this once before and when she lowered the amount she ingested, her headache went away. I’d give it a shot; the benefits are so huge. Good luck!

  3. Aeryn
    February 26, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    When is “too late”to ingest the placenta? Mine is in my freezer still (my daughter of 20 months). I was planning on planting it or something but it does seem like such a waste after reading the amazing benefits :)

    • Nicole Donald
      February 26, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      Hi Aeryn,
      The placenta is good for up to three years when frozen. You can thaw it out in the refrigerator; I recommend you encapsulated it within 24 hours of being thawed.

      • Rebecca
        June 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

        How long do the capsules last? My daughter is 6 months, and I have some capsules left because I forgot to take them and then misplaced them when we moved. Could I still take them?

  4. Nadia
    June 23, 2013 at 12:28 am #

    Amy, dehydrating it can allow for a more gradual support…. so you may find the next time you won’t get headaches… Otherwise, like Nicole suggested…just decrease dosage if you don’t get around to dehydrating it again :)

  5. Ashley H.
    June 23, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Hey there! Great article! I did not do this with my two kids, but HOPING to do it with my next, but, how do I go about doing this when I have a c-section? I’m not a candidate for VBAC so who do I ask to be able to keep it and then do I take it (the placenta) to a midwifery place? Thanks!

    • Nicole Donald
      June 25, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      It’s important to discuss your desire to keep the placenta with your doctor/midwife before you birth. Depending on where you are having your baby, there may be paperwork to fill out in advance. Generally a doula/PE specialist will take or come pick up the placenta after your baby is born; you can usually get the name of someone who will perform the encapsulation from your local birthing center or just by searching placenta encapsulation on the internet for your area, if you have not hired a doula that offers this service. It might be helpful to let the nurses know when you arrive at the hospital also, so that there is no confusion later on.

  6. Suzanna
    June 24, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Any recommendations on who I could contact to do this for me? I’m due in a month and have wanted to make the capsules but don’t know anyone. Thank you!

  7. Summer
    July 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    What is the usual recommended amount of capsules to take per day?

    • Nicole Donald
      July 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      I recommend two capsules a day, in the morning and after lunch. Not too close to bedtime because it can make it difficult for some people to get to sleep.

  8. August 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Can you only do this if you have a natural birth? I read somewhere if you have any medications during birth they will be in the placenta and you can’t eat it/take it in pill form. Is that true?

  9. Fiona
    February 11, 2014 at 5:55 am #

    Do they offer this service in Australia?

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