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For those interested in a natural birthing process and holistic approaches to postpartum care, there are great benefits of placenta encapsulation. If you’re planning a natural labor, you might have heard about it in hushed whispers. Maybe you heard a friend of a friend did it. Maybe they raved about it and swore they would do it again with the next one. Maybe you’ve only read about it. Perhaps you had always thought it was crazy but are now starting to wonder more about it. Maybe it’s something you’ve been thinking about but have been afraid to ask questions. I mean DO people really eat their placenta?!!
Well, kind of. Placenta encapsulation, or consuming the placenta (placentophagy) has been a practice in various cultures around the world for centuries. It can be found in literature going as far back as the 1500s. Some cultures consume the placenta in a raw form or add it into a food dish but, our culture finds the encapsulation method a tad bit more palatable.
There are two methods of encapsulation; both methods dehydrate the placenta, grind it down into a fine powder, and then put it in a gel capsule. In the Traditional Chinese Method, the placenta is steamed with herbs prior to dehydration, in contrast to the Raw method where the placenta is directly dehydrated. Origins encapsulates placentas using the Raw method.
It’s essential to pause and make mention that the practice of encapsulation is still relatively new with current randomized control studies ongoing to expand our understanding and knowledge. While there aren’t concrete studies demonstrating the benefits of placenta (yet!), there is a bounty of anecdotal evidence. Origins has first hand seen the benefits and believes it to be effective. “How do I know it’s not just a placebo effect?” We really don’t. But we’ve been encapsulating for moms for over a decade now with good reports across the board. And you have to ask yourself; does it really matter if it’s a placebo? By the very definition of placebo, it’s a benefit.
So what ARE the benefits? Why do this? In short: you’ll feel better. And that’s HUGE. After all, you’ll have a new baby wrapped up in your arms and you want to feel your best with and for them.
Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation
Nutritional Benefits: The placenta contains vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin B6 and iron. These elements help replenish the body after childbirth and combat postpartum fatigue. You worked so hard growing and birthing your baby, now replenish yourself!
Oxytocin Production: The placenta contains oxytocin, the LOVE hormone, a hormone essential for uterus contraction. This helps in shrinking the uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size. It also aids in milk letdown during breastfeeding. Love for your baby and love hormones for your milk, win-win.
Reducing Postpartum Depression: The hormones present in the placenta may help stabilize normal mood fluctuations after childbirth as the body strives to return to a prepregnant state. Mental health is so very important and any tools to help that we are a fan of.
Enhanced Milk Supply: Consumption might boost milk supply for breastfeeding mothers, due to the presence of prolactin in the placenta. Breastfeeding is a journey and we love having all the tools in your toolbelt to help you do it.
Natural Pain Relief: The placenta is believed to release endorphins, which can act as painkillers (yes, please!), aiding in postpartum recovery. You deserve that!
Boosted Energy: The placenta is rich in various hormones and nutrients, such as corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and stem cells, which are believed to play a role in mitigating fatigue. Babies are cute but on the best sleepers around, energy is amazing.
Making an Informed Decision
Remember all of the above, while awesome, it has yet to be scientifically proven. All we have is years of anecdotal evidence to rely upon. With this in mind, there are a few things to consider:
Consult with Healthcare Professionals: Before deciding on placenta encapsulation, talk with your midwife or doctor to get their insights and recommendations.
Ensure Safe Preparation: If you choose to proceed with encapsulation, make sure to hire a trained and reputable professional to handle the process. This ensures the placenta is properly prepared, minimizing the risk of contamination. Origins uses a licensed midwife who has been encapsulating for 13+ years!
Pay Attention to Your Body: While many mothers have had positive experiences with placenta encapsulation, everyone’s body is different. Remember that placenta pills are a SUPPLEMENT, to help support your body. As with all supplements, there is no one-size-fits-all. It’s important to pay attention to any changes and communicate with healthcare professionals if you experience any adverse effects.
Origins Offers Pills and Tinctures
A tincture is a liquid that has raw parts of the cord and placenta within it. Where your pills are long-lasting, the tincture is fast-acting and short-lasting. Think of the tincture as your own personal stress relief remedy. It is ready for consumption after 6 weeks. A quick dose will help to bring everything down to an even keel. Parenting is full of ups and downs and having the tincture when a boost to help you come back up is worth a ton.
At Origins, you can also choose to have us capture your placenta as a print. This is such a beautiful keepsake of this amazing organ that brings oxygen and nutrients to your little one. It is an incredible reminder of how powerful and strong you are and all your body has done for your baby.
As with any health decision, it’s essential to stay informed, consult with professionals, and make the choice that feels right for you and your body. Whatever you decide, here’s to a healthy and joyful postpartum journey!
Always consult with a healthcare professional, your certified midwife, or a registered dietitian before starting any supplement.