Does Placenta Encapsulation Have Health Benefits? And My Own Personal Experience
Before I got pregnant, I thought all the “crunchy” birth stuff was weird AF. Giving birth in a tub? Gross. Going the unmedicated route? Hell no. Eating your placenta? You’re out of your GD mind! Well…I had an unmedicated birth, in a tub, and quickly put my placenta on ice so I could get it encapsulated and start consuming it the next day. And then that’s exactly what I did. The day after I gave birth, I started popping those placenta pills in hopes of a better postpartum experience. Did I get it? Hell yes I did. I’m currently 7 weeks postpartum and I’ve had a really amazing experience. My health has been fantastic, I’ve dealt with no postpartum depression or anxiety, and even my energy has been high while continually not sleeping much. Is it just luck? Is it placebo? I will never actually know. But one thing I do know is that I’m SO glad I decided to do placenta encapsulation.
What Is Placenta Encapsulation?
Placenta encapsulation is a process where they take the placenta after birth, steam it, dehydrate it, and then pulverize it before putting the powder into pills.
Why Would Someone Ingest Their Placenta?
The placenta is what delivers the baby nutrients and oxygen during pregnancy. It takes vitamins and minerals from the mother and transfers them to the baby. So once the baby is born, many of the vitamins and minerals such as B6, B12, and iron are depleted in the mother since that organ is removed after the baby is born. Plus, the placenta is rich with sex hormones which are pretty out of whack during the postpartum period. The thought is that consuming the placenta, like many other mammals out there do, will help with replenishing those vitamins and minerals. It’s also thought to help balance hormones, help with postpartum depression, increase milk supply, increase oxytocin production, decrease stress hormones, and more. And many women have shared these positive experiences and outcomes from consuming their placenta. But does that mean it’s proven that consuming your placenta will reap those benefits? No.
Are There Risks With Consuming Your Placenta?
Yes. Just like women have experienced positive outcomes from consuming their placenta, other women have experienced downsides. Some women have shared experiencing an increase in anxiety and/or feeling jittery, which can often be fixed by simply reducing the dosage. And some women have experienced a decrease in milk supply. There is also risk for infection, exposure to heavy metals which accumulate in the placenta during pregnancy, and even blood clots.
How Much Does Placenta Encapsulation Cost?
This will range depend on different factors and cost anywhere between $100-$500. That is, unless you want to do it yourself! You go, Glen Coco!
Who Does The Placenta Encapsulation For You?
This will also depend where you live. It is best to ask a doula if they do this or if they know anyone who does. Oftentimes, midwiferies will do this for their patients.
How Do I Know If Placenta Encapsulation Is Right For Me?
So here’s the thing about placenta encapsulation – there isn’t much research on it. So if you’re looking for hard data to tell you if you should or shouldn’t do it, well you just aren’t going to find it. The CDC is against placenta encapsulation and believes that it should be avoided. I’m not sure if that means much to you, because it didn’t for me, but it’s definitely worth noting. With any health decision, the pros have to outweigh the cons. And you’ll be going in not knowing what the opposite experience could look like. But if you do decide to do it, you’ll want to make sure you find someone who you trust, who has safe and clean practices, and who will be honest with you when it comes to the health of your placenta and IF you should be consuming it after examination of it.
Like I said before, I decided to do placenta encapsulation and I’ve been so happy with that choice. I had my fertility acupuncturist do my placenta encapsulation after seeing her my entire pregnancy and trusting her greatly. She let me know that my placenta looked very healthy and it cost me $250. I took 3 capsules twice a day for the first week then 2 capsules twice a day for the second week and now I just take them if I’m low on energy, but I’m saving the extra for future use! I experienced absolutely no postpartum depression or anxiety, I’ve had extremely high energy all of the past 7 weeks, and my mood has been surprisingly stable and upbeat. I will never know if it’s because of these placenta pills, but I don’t think they have hurt. During pregnancy, I made a lot of choices in hopes of having a more optimal birth experience. I saw a chiropractor, acupuncturist, and massage therapist regularly to hopefully ensure that I had an unmedicated, vaginal birth. And I did! Is it because of those choices that I had that experience? I’ll never know. But I felt the same about placenta encapsulation – if there was maybe a chance of having a better postpartum experience, I was going to try it. And so far, so good! Now all you gotta do is decide if it’s the right choice for yourself. Only you will know what is best!
Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.
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