| PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION FACTS
Eating the placenta is not a new practice in human beings. It has been a common practice in many countries since the dawn of history. In some of those
countries such as Indonesia and the Czech Republic, it was once believed that eating the placenta would guarantee future fertility. In China, it was believed
that a bite of dried placenta would speed up labor. Hungarian women believed that if they burned the placenta and placed the ashes in their husbands’
drinks, he would not be able get them pregnant again. In the Ural Mountains in Russia, tribes considered the placenta a caretaker for the child and gave it a
warm welcome. In addition to the knitted clothes prepared for the baby, they knit a tiny shirt for the placenta.
In exploring the benefits of consumption of the placenta after a birth, it would be expedient to read about the placenta itself, its functions, and the
hormones involved in its functioning. Many new mothers in the western cultures are beginning to practice placentophagia, it even though doctors claim that
it does not offer any benefits. Newer studies have revealed that placentophagia can in fact, curb postpartum depression and replace some of the nutrients
lost in birth.
The placenta has very high levels of some vitamins such as B6. This is the one that helps out with postpartum depression. The mother can reclaim these
vitamins and put them to use in her own body by ingesting the placenta. CRH, a corticotrophin-releasing hormone, normally secreted by the hypothalamus,
is well-known to be a stress-reducer. During the last trimester of pregnancy, the placenta secretes high levels of CRH, also pouring great quantities into the
expectant mother's bloodstream. After birth, the mother has much lower than average levels of this hormone, thus triggering depression. Actually, when
so much CRH was being produced during the final weeks of pregnancy, the hypothalamus shut down on its production. After the birth, the hypothalamus
hasn't yet kicked into gear and begun to compensate for the low levels of CRH. A reasonable explanation for postpartum depression and an obvious but
For many, placentophagia seems barbaric although as we've seen, there are very good and practical reasons for it. In China, the placenta is considered a
great life force. It is believed to have the potential for powerful contributions in medicine although there it is usually dried. They simply dehydrate it by one
means or another and use a mortar and pestle to grind it. It can then be taken with food or put in capsules.
“The placenta will remain viable/usable for up to three years in a frozen state however, it is most effective when it is done within 72 hours of birth. The
placenta should be either refrigerated or frozen within four hours of birth. This is most easily done with a portable cooler, with the placenta in a glass bowl.
Some people use plastic bags, but there are residual chemicals contained in plastic, so I recommend glass.
The placenta is believed to:
1. Contain your own natural hormones;
2. Is perfectly made by you, for you;
3. Balance your system;
4. Replenish depleted iron;
5. Give you more energy;
6. Lessen bleeding postnatally;
7. Has been shown to increase milk production;
8. Helps you to have a happier postpartum period by equalizing the quickly reduced
hormonal state of your physical body;
9. Helps to hasten the return of your uterus to its pre-pregnancy state through the
oxytocin contained in your encapsulated placenta.
10. Can also be helpful during menopause if capsules are frozen for later use. (The
amount of time these are viable is currently unstudied.)
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Placenta Encapsulation
Why should I consume my placenta?
Placentophagy, or consumption of the placenta, has been reported for decades to help stop the baby blues and diminish postpartum fatigue. Some women
have cooked the placenta in a stew, mixed it into a smoothie, or even taken it raw to tap into its powerful effects. For many who feel squeamish about this
or want to reap the benefits of placenta for more than just a day or two, there is another option: encapsulation. In the postpartum period, placenta
capsules can be used to: balance your hormones; enhance your milk supply; and increase your energy.
Although current research on human placentophagy does not exist in abundance, what we do know is that women who take placenta capsules report fewer
emotional issues, have more energy and tend to enjoy a faster, more pleasant postpartum recovery. Placentas are rare and powerful – make the best use
of the ONE available. Encapsulation is by far the optimum choice for ingestion and preservation.
Taking the placenta as a powder is an ancient custom. Remedies of placenta powder have been well-known for centuries. As a source of rich nutrients, the
placenta was considered a gift from the baby by many cultures. Across the globe, the placenta has been used medicinally throughout history – from
hormone replacement to the treatment of skin conditions.
The ”Baby blues” is a common occurrence – 80% of mothers experience it in 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, at which time anti-depressants may be prescribed. Anti-depressants, like
almost all drugs, are passed to the baby through breastmilk, and mothers who don’t want to expose their babies to these medications are often faced with
the decision to either stop breastfeeding or struggle with depression. Women suffer through the baby blues almost as a rite of passage to motherhood
but it doesn’t have to be this way.
During birth women lose 1/8-1/10 of their blood supply. The mammal placenta was made to be consumed and make up for this loss by giving the new
mother essential fats, amino acids, vast amounts of iron and essential hormones to aid the body in self-recovery after birth. Fatigue is a major indicator for
the development of postpartum depression. There is a strong correlation between iron deficiency anemia, which affects many postpartum women, and
fatigue. The placenta is an incredible source of natural iron, which has a much greater bio-availability than a manufactured supplement. Research has shown
that increasing iron levels through supplementation lowers the risk for postpartum depression. So by providing adequate iron via a natural source, such as
the placenta, we can keep women from becoming iron deficient, which can help avoid postpartum depression.
Will placenta capsules help with my breast milk supply?
Prostaglandin, contained in the placenta in high levels, stimulates the shrinking of the uterus. It cleans the uterus out. It also has small amounts of
oxytocin, an element that reduces birth stress, and brings on the contraction of the mammary cells so they ooze milk. Dried placenta has been proven to
increase a breastfeeding mother’s milk supply. The first and still one of the few ever studies on using placenta as a lactagogon gave incredible results. 181
out of 210 women who were given dried placenta to increase milk supply had positive results and saw an increase in their milk supply. The efficacy of
increasing milk production with dried placenta has been backed up with scientific research, which gave women dried human placenta vs. placebo (dried beef).
The results were that the dried placenta significantly increased milk supply.
I’m delivering in a hospital. Can I still have my placenta encapsulated?
Absolutely! When you sign up for our service, we will provide you with instructions and paperwork to give to all your hospital caregivers to make bringing
the placenta home easy and stress free for you.
How long does the placenta encapsulation take?
Once I receive your placenta I am usually able to complete the encapsulation process is about 24 to 48 hours (Sometimes I have to go to a birth and then it
takes me a day to catch up).
How many capsules can I expect from my placenta?
It all depends on the size of your placenta. I have seen anywhere from 80 – 120 capsules from various placentas.
What about sanitation? I’ve been told the placenta is a bio-hazard.
Uninformed people call the placenta a biohazard. I thoroughly disinfect the area where I work before, during, and after the process. All of my equipment is
used solely for encapsulation and is disinfected with a hospital quality cleaner that is effective against HBV and HIV (the viruses that cause hepatitis B and
AIDS), and meets OSHA requirements for blood spill clean-up. I am careful to go beyond OSHA’s rigid requirements to ensure total safety everyone involved.
I delivered my baby some time ago and my placenta is in the freezer. Is it too late to encapsulate it?
Although it is best to process the placenta within 72 hours, all hormones and some nutrients are still viable and beneficial for up to three years if the
placenta is fully frozen. If refrigerated, the placenta should begin the process of encapsulation within 24 hours of birth.
If I have a Lotus birth, can I still encapsulate the placenta?
For the client who wants EVERYTHING, buy a new thermal lunch bag with a zipper closing around the top. Buy six freezer cold packs that will fit well into
the thermal lunch bag. Have two packs in the freezer at all times. Soon after the placenta is birthed, create a little mini-fridge for it by putting one frozen
pack on the bottom of the bag, then the placenta, then the second frozen pack and, then, do up the zipper with just the cord coming out of the corner of
the zipped up bag. As soon as the cord separates (typically day 4 or 5), the placenta can be encapsulated. You’ll know the placenta has been kept fresh by
the smell, (i.e. it should smell like fresh meat).
There are two ways I do placental encapsulation. It is your preference which one I will use.
1. Western Chinese Method: This method involves rinsing the placenta, removing the membranes and umbilical cord, steaming in a mixture of herbs, then
dehydrating and encapsulating. If you are seeing a Western Chinese Medicine specialist, he/she may recommend that you can also add beneficial herbs to
your placenta before encapsulation, or you may leave it natural.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, placenta is considered a powerful and sacred medicine, The use of placenta during the postpartum course to
aid in recovery from childbirth is often used among TCM practitioners. After the placenta is prepared it is taken in capsule form, 2 capsules at a time, with
white wine. The wine is said to help disperse the energy of the placenta throughout the body. Women can take this dose up to three times a day, and
continue until they no longer feel a need. Remaining placenta can be saved and used homeopathically.
2. Raw Placenta Encapsulation: This method does not involve steaming, but it begins with rinsing and removing the membranes and umbilical cord, then
slicing, dehydrating and encapsulating. As in the Western Chinese Method of encapsulation, there is the option of leaving your product natural, or
adding other herbs that are helpful in postpartum recovery.
More About Raw Placenta Encapsulation
Unlike the Traditional Chinese Medicine preparation of the placenta I do not steam the placenta with herbs during this raw encapsulation process. I forgo the
steaming to save the vital nutrients and hormones that may be depleted once the placenta has heated to above 118 degrees. This method follows the
general “Raw Foods” rule that nothing should be heated beyond 118 degrees fahrenheit, or vital enzymes could be lost. This is not to say one method is
better than the other, just that you have several options for encapsulation and should choose the method that best suits your needs and preferences.
Women have called these capsules “happy pills” and report phenomenal energy levels while taking them. Raw placenta is extremely high in hormones such as
progesterone and oxytocin. Midwives have traditionally used fresh placenta to stop bleeding immediately postpartum by slicing off a piece of the maternal
side and having the mother put this between her cheek and gums. The high hormone levels cause the uterus to close down and bleeding is diminished.
Disclaimer: Despite centuries of safe placenta use, the information contained here has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The
services I offer are not clinical, pharmaceutical, or intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Families who choose to utilize my encapsulation services agree
to take full responsibility for researching and using these natural remedies.
Whatever you decide to do with your placenta, just remember that it is yours and you can do what you want with it. The life it helped you produce and
nourish is, of course, to be valued above all else.
OTHER PLACENTA RECIPES
Making Placenta Tincture (Essence)
Another method of using your placenta is to make a Placenta Tincture (also called Essence). This can be very helpful for postpartum depression, or anytime
you need a little hormonal help.
One 40 Ounce Bottle of 80-100 Proof Vodka
One Quart-Sized Mason Jar (You can use a larger jar if needed.)
The size of the jar will depend on how much tincture you want to make. Take your placenta after the birth, while it is still fresh, and put a fair sized piece of it
in the jar you are going to use. If using the large pickling jar size, you can put the whole placenta inside it. Whatever size you use, cover the piece of placenta
completely with distilled water. When I Have made herbal tinctures, I have used good quality bottled spring water when I can't find distilled water.
Place the jar in the sunlight or in a well-lit room for about 4 hours. Once done, take the piece of placenta out and add enough vodka so that its 50% vodka
and 50% placenta water.
Keep it this way to preserve it, it will last the rest of your life. The instructions didn't say anything about storing the placenta water-alcohol mixture, but I
would probably want to make sure it is kept in a well sealed jar and in the refrigerator where it can stay cool.
Now, to put it in usable form, get a small bottle with a dropper top. Put 50% regular water and 50% vodka in the bottle, add 7 to 10 drops of the placenta
water to the bottle.
This seems like a very small amount, but it has been said that it works. Many women that have had postpartum depression swear by it.
If you want the placenta water to be stronger and more the color of strong tea, use a larger piece of placenta in a smaller bottle.
It is important that this is done when the placenta is strong and very new, so if you don't feel like doing it yourself while hubby holds the baby, you may need
someone else to do this for you. Your may ask your midwife to do this for you if she is willing.
I have been told that it doesn't matter how much placenta you use as long as you follow the instructions well and it is completely submerged in the water.
PLACENTA ART - Making Placenta Prints
This may appeal to some of you who enjoy doing artistic endeavors. Before the birth, pick up a few sheets of nice quality art paper. This can be watercolor
paper, or some of the really unique specialty papers found in an art supply store. After the birth, take the fresh placenta and lay it out on the paper. You can
make the prints with the blood that covers it, or wipe it off and put ink or paint on it first. To get the best prints, make sure there isn't too much or too little
fluid for the print. To make placenta prints start by laying the paper on a clean flat surface (kitchen floor). Take the placenta and wipe off the extra blood
leaving just enough to get a print. If you don't do this then you will just get a big blob. Lay the placenta down trying not to move it around or you will
smudge the print. You can get lots of prints because there is lots of blood in a placenta! Try printing both sides of the placenta and using the cord too, if it is
still attached. Trial and error will help you to learn how it works best. It will take a few practice prints but you will get beautiful, one of a kind prints. This
project is not for the squeamish; it's messy good fun!
Just a note that blood is not color-fast and will fade. You may want to frame your print(s) using special UV glass and keep it out of direct sunlight so it will last
longer. As well, if you are having a hospital birth you can ask for your placenta (and cord) or they will dispose of it. Bring it home and keep it in the fridge! Get
your prints done soon as placentas spoil quickly! When you are done printing have a placenta planting ceremony or use it for consumption.
Many parents have found this to be a fun activity as well as giving them a very unique, artistic keepsake of their pregnancy.