Placenta Encapsulation. What is it? Why would you do it? And that is just gross…or is it?
I am an instinctual person. I parent instinctively and try to live my life this way. I am not they type to need evidence or science behind something for me to believe it. If it feels right then, for me, it is. If it feels wrong then, for me, it is. I encapsulate placentas and for those that are wondering what this is all about I’m going to tell you. I’m not going to tell you how to do it, but why to do it.
In short: placenta encapsulation is turning the placenta into a capsule to ingest. It has less of the ick factor so you can get the amazing benefits of what the placenta has to offer. Your placenta is made by your body for your body. It is the safest and most efficient way to assist your body in getting back to the pre-pregnancy state.
Some benefits of consuming the placenta may include:
-stabilizing hormones, reducing your chances of postpartum depression and assisting in treating PPD
-Reduction in postpartum “baby blues” which is not classified as depression, although can be very alarming
-Increase in milk supply, and also to help milk come in faster
-Decrease postpartum bleeding
-Replenish lost vitamins & minerals (specifically iron) due to pregnancy and birth
Nutrients found in the placenta include:
-Iron – essential for oxygen absorption in the cells
-Vitamin E – for healing damaged skin cells
-Oxytocin hormone – the love hormone to increase successful breastfeeding
-Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) – responsible for reducing stress levels
-and many more!!!
Discovering why mammals consume the placenta is quite a science. Focusing on the theory that mammals consume the placenta to clean the nest site and keep their offspring safe from harm has a few flaws in the idea. For instance, there are many species that are able to leave the birth site directly after birth; however the mothers of these species will stay at the birth site to consume the placenta. Along the same lines, some primates will give birth high in the trees; they will not drop the placenta, though, to the ground but consume it in the trees. Also, species that are not a threat from predators will still consume their placenta. Furthermore, there is more than just placenta delivered during birth; however there isn’t an effort to clean up the nest site of other fluids.
Iron, Placenta and Postpartum Depression
Iron deficiency affects between 20% and 50% of the world’s population. During pregnancy a woman needs more iron to supply oxygen to the fetus. Women tend to supplement during pregnancy because the typical diet cannot meet what is needed during pregnancy. Iron status is expected to improve after delivery; however recent studies have shown high levels of postpartum iron deficiency. There are many signs that can be expected from iron deficiency but two main signs are fatigue and depressive behaviors.
Studies have proved the iron content of placentas and cords are high in concentration. The infant should receive most of their iron from the cord, hoping the cord is not severed till after it isn’t pulsating. The expulsion of the placenta leaves the mother losing valuable iron content. Ensuring the mother regains the iron she needs could potentially deviate from fatigue and depression.
Consuming the placenta is the most efficient way to regain the iron a new mother needs. Iron helps treat fatigue. Postpartum fatigue is consistent with postpartum depression; treating woman immediately after birth surging their bodies with the lost iron will help prevent and treat postpartum fatigue and postpartum depression.
Postpartum Hormonal Fluctuations
We understand the concept of hormones and their use during pregnancy and labor. At the beginning of pregnancy the placenta begins to release hormones to sustain pregnancy and they steadily increase throughout a pregnancy to 3 times the normal level by the third trimester. Some of these hormones, such as Cortisol, help combat stress. It is suggested that with the loss of the placenta the body loses its main store of elevated hormones and it takes a while for the body to start making more; which in turn can create depressive symptoms.
Other hormones such as estrogen and progesterone also help with stress and anxiety. These hormones also decrease sharply after the birth of the placenta and can take up to 5 days to reach the pre-pregnancy state. Of course, we know how tired a new mother can be, and sleep deprivation can quickly lead to depression. Lack of iron has a big part in women feeling fatigued, and the placenta is full of iron therefore leading to relief of fatigue which may decrease the risk of depression.
The placenta has been the primary provider of the hormones needed to sustain a pregnancy, and after delivery the body takes a while to catch up in making these hormones again. Ingesting the placenta will help re-balance new mothers systems more quickly.
Above is just a small portion of beginning to understand the science behind consuming the placenta. As a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist I recommend for anyone interested in doing this to do their research, ask questions and find a specialist or someone that has previously encapsulated before. If encapsulating isn’t something you would be interested in there are many other forms of using the placenta, such as; smoothies, creams and salves, tinctures, placenta prints, and a dried keepsake cord. The benefits of the placenta are endless and there is NO way I could get everything out in just one blog post!! Come like my page on FB BabymoonBliss.