My baby and I are incredibly fortunate. We share a partner and father who isn’t afraid to go to lengths for our health and happiness.
Knowing that I tend to frequent the emotional rollercoaster, bringing my husband, Joel, along for the ride, we made encapsulating my placenta for my postpartum consumption a priority. In fact, it was the first thing Joel did when we came from the hospital. That and making me a giant Pad Thai filled with organic produce. He’s kind of the best. So what is placenta encapsulation and what did he have to do to prepare it?
Placenta encapsulation is the process of steaming, dehydrating, and grounding a placenta to be put into capsules for consumption. Believed to provide the mother with hormones and minimize the effects of Baby Blues, encapsulating placenta seems to be growing in practice in recent years. I first heard of this practice, like most things, from my sister who encapsulated her placenta after the birth of her second child.
Scientific research isn’t readily available on the practice of consuming placenta, but doing so has a place among tradition and holistic medical practice. Not to mention, many other mammals and animals eat the afterbirth. If the goals is to keep in mind our natural tendencies, then it seems logical that the practice holds some merit.
Benefits of consuming placenta are believed to:
Be an aid against Postpartum Depression
Aid in the release of the hormone oxytocin, which would help the uterus return to its usual size and encourage bonding with baby
Increase the release of CRH – a stress-reducing hormone
Encourage milk production
Work with the body to restore iron levels
How did we do it?
Begin by washing the placenta and opening it fully.
2. Steam the placenta on a stove top until it darkens looks “cooked” through.
3. Once the placenta is steamed, cut it into thin pieces. My husband commented here that cutting this was much like cutting a sausage.
4. Using a dehydrator, dehydrate for 8-10 hours or until placenta is dry enough to grind. (Alternatively it could be baked in the oven at the lowest temperature — even with the oven door ajar to maintain the lowest temperatures possible).
5. Grind the placenta into a fine grind. We used a coffee grinder here.
6. Using The Capsule Machine, filled unflavoured vegetarian capsules with finely ground placenta. We ordered our Capsule Machine and encapsulation kit from Placenta Benefits.
7. Voila! Take one-two three times daily. Be sure to fully close the capsules. When I took my first round of capsules, the powder opened in my mouth, which was a bit unexpected and unsettling.
What were the effects for me?
These little pills were a life saver! Initially I was only taking one three times daily, but was still experiencing teary late afternoons and evenings — mainly because for the first week or two I wasn’t sleeping at all at night. After a few days I upped my dose to two capsules three times daily and the tears went away and the fatigue was manageable.