Becoming a mom comes with a lot of challenges and changes that can be quite overwhelming and one thing I wanted to mitigate as much as possible was the dreaded postpartum depression. I believe more and more mamas are choosing to take control of their postpartum experience these days, especially with the emergence of placenta encapsulation. In this blog post, we will discuss the many benefits of placenta encapsulation to see if it is something you are interested in and why so many women are choosing to consume their placenta.
What is Placenta Encapsulation?
Placenta encapsulation is the process of transforming a new mother's placenta into easy-to-consume capsules. The placenta is cleaned, steamed, dehydrated, ground into a fine powder, and then placed into capsules. The practice is thought to provide numerous benefits which we'll explore in this post.
Why Placenta Encapsulation?
The placenta may be a mama's gateway to wellness postpartum as it contains high levels of various vitamins, such as B6, which may help curb postpartum depression. Consuming the placenta may give Mama back all the nutrients she was providing for her unborn baby. Eating the placenta is thought to increase a mother's blood levels of a hormone known as CRH, a known stress-reducer. This hormone is normally secreted by the hypothalamus. Studies have also shown that eating the placenta can also increase milk production and slow postpartum hemorrhage.
Your baby's placenta, in capsule form, is believed to:
- Contain your natural hormones
- Be perfectly made for you
- Balance your system
- Replenish depleted iron
- Give you more energy
- Lessen bleeding postnatally
- Increase milk production
- Help you prevent the baby blues
- Be helpful during menopause
After birth, many women experience hormonal imbalances, leading to mood swings and postpartum depression. However, consuming placenta capsules may help regulate hormones as the placenta is the primary producer of hormones in the body during pregnancy. By ingesting the placenta post-birth, the mother can experience a balance of hormones, minimizing the effects of postpartum depression.
Enhances Milk Production:
One significant concern for new mothers is the production of breast milk. Encapsulated placenta has been said to enhance the production of milk. It is believed that the hormone prolactin, one of the primary milk production hormones, found in the placenta may be the cause.
Improved Energy Levels:
After delivery, new mothers may feel exhausted and fatigued but the consumption of placenta capsules aids in energy restoration. The placenta is packed with nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that provide energy to new mothers and help them recover quickly from childbirth.
Postpartum bleeding is a natural process that takes place after childbirth. However, consuming placenta capsules has been known to reduce bleeding and blood clots. It's believed that placenta encapsulation helps to keep the uterus contracted, thus minimizing bleeding after delivery.
Boosts Immune System:
After giving birth, a new mother's immune system can be weakened, making her susceptible to infections. However, consuming placenta capsules may enhance the immune system by providing essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals, which are known to boost the immune system.
According to a study performed by the National Institute of Health:
"During the last trimester of pregnancy, the placenta secretes so much CRH that the levels in the bloodstream increase threefold. However, it was also discovered that postpartum women have lower-than-average levels of CRH, triggering depressive symptoms. They concluded that the placenta secreted so much CRH that the hypothalamus stopped producing it."
After childbirth, the hypothalamus doesn't immediately receive the signal to begin producing CRH again, which can lead to postpartum depression. We believe that ingesting the placenta will raise a mother's CRH levels, therefore, reducing postpartum depression in theory.
If you are local to the Oklahoma City area, then I highly recommend Spirited Birth Services.
Spirited Birth Services owner Taryn Goodwin, CPM, APPA-C was Oklahoma's first "Placenta Lady"!
Taryn and her team have prepared over 2000 placentas for placenta encapsulation since 2009 (including mine) and regularly host presentations on the benefits of the placenta for postpartum wellness. In 2010, Taryn worked with an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist to create an OSHA course specific to the standards needed for our industry and has completed the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Training following the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard 29 CFR 1090.1030.
Placenta encapsulation has numerous benefits that can help new mothers during the postpartum period. From hormone balancing to improved energy levels, and enhanced milk production, encapsulated placenta is worth considering as a post-birth alternative. However, before consuming placenta capsules, it's essential to consult with a medical professional to determine the best option for your health. Remember, your postpartum experience should be as comfortable, empowering, and joyful as possible, and placenta encapsulation can be a step towards achieving that.