What is placental encapsulation?
Placental encapsulation involves the drying of the placenta and grinding into a powdered form within a few hours after birth and pouring it into a vegetable capsule for consumption. Essentially, it’s your placenta in a pill! You simply swallow the placenta capsule as you would your morning vitamins.
The placenta is large enough to produce a 30- to 60-day supply of placenta pills. Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits that this process can offer.
Placenta Encapsulation Benefits
There have been very few formal studies conducted on placental encapsulation, but most research that does exist shows the benefits of placental encapsulation. For example, one study surveyed 189 postpartum women who had consumed their placentas. A full 95% of these women reported positive outcomes.
Help for Postpartum Depression
The baby blues are very real — as many as 15% of postpartum mothers develop some form of depression that can make the everyday demands of nurturing a baby seem almost impossible. There is anecdotal evidence that consuming the placenta may help ease symptoms of postpartum depression. According to one mom who encapsulated her placenta from the comfort of her own kitchen:
Once I started taking the placenta capsules, I was more energetic, less grumpy, sleeping better, producing more milk, and happier.
While it hasn’t been scientifically proven that popping a placenta pill will cure postpartum depression, many women swear by it, and it could be a natural remedy worth trying. But if your postpartum depression is severe and you’re having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, it’s critical that you seek immediate professional help.
Release of Oxytocin
According to the American Pregnancy Association, ingesting the placenta has shown in some cases to boost the release of the feel-good hormone of oxytocin. In addition to stabilizing your mood, oxytocin also helps return the uterus to its normal size while facilitating bonding with your baby.
Placenta pills may supplement your oxytocin levels, but the best way to enrich your oxytocin and bond with baby is always through good, old-fashioned touch.
Increased Iron Levels
Iron levels are often depleted after pregnancy, which can lead to a profound lack of energy. Anemia, which stems from low iron levels, can be a problem for some new moms as iron has been lost through bleeding during delivery and through sharing with baby in utero. Iron deficiency can result in insufficient milk syndrome and can also lead to urinary tract infections. In addition to these physical symptoms, low iron levels can contribute to irritability and postpartum depression.
The potential benefits of placental encapsulation may be physical, mental, and emotional. Your experience will be a personal one, though, and the biggest benefit may simply be knowing that you’re carrying on the natural cycle of your life-giving placenta.