Placenta Capsules! Many of you probably clicked on this page because you had heard a little bit about it, thought it sounded weird, but wanted to learn more.
I was very skeptical when I first was exposed to this over 20 years ago when one of my midwifery clients gave birth. She was an N.D. (Naturopathic Physician) and knew much more than I about the benefits of consuming your own dehydrated placenta. She did the process herself, took the capsules, and I forgot all about it.
However, almost 6 years ago I had 2 separate labor support clients who were having someone encapsulate their placentas. Both were seeing psychologists who recommended that they consider it. One was a first time mom with a history of anxiety and depression prior to getting pregnant, and she was very concerned about postpartum mood disorder. Her intention was to focus on prevention as much as she could.
My other client was a second time mom who had struggled with achieving a sufficient milk supply for her first baby. Additionally, she said that for the first 9 months of her new motherhood, she loved her daughter, but didn’t find much joy in being a mom. She also found that her husband wasn’t very helpful, and their relationship suffered. Around that 9 month mark however, she found that one day, it felt as if “the sun came out.” She hadn’t realized that she had been seeing everything through the lens of depression. She knew she had been exhausted, and thought her relationship was in a challenging space. Once the fog lifted, her relationship returned to its pre-pregnancy health, and she loved being a mom.
Since then, I worked very hard to become certified as a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist through PBi, and have now done over 50 placentas.
What are some of the negatives I hear from my clients around taking their capsules?
- “Placenta burps” if the capsules were not taken with meals or kept frozen
- Around 20% weren’t sure that they noticed a difference
- 10% experienced weapiness or blues when the capsules were completed, especially if they didn’t taper their dosing for the last few days
What some of my clients tell me:
- They can tell the difference when they forgot to take their capsules for a day
- Their husbands can tell by their behavior if they have forgotten their capsules
- During increased milk need with growth spurts, increases in their dosages has seemed to help
- A decreased sense of anxiety or stress, especially around “being a good mom”
- Reduced postpartum bleeding or faster healing
- Faster recovery from postpartum hemorrhage
These are NOT my claims – these comments are from my clients based on their own experiences. When talking with a family about encapsulation, I always encourage looking at it as a preventative measure. If possible, encapsulation is ideally done within the first 48-72 hours. If someone chooses not to use the capsules, they can be frozen, used after another pregnancy, or even during menopause. Perhaps also an available tool when pumping and going back to work creates some concern over milk production. If a family is still undecided, the placenta can be frozen and encapsulated later. This is generally not recommended, but it is better than throwing it away, only to find that there were bumps in the road ahead.
Placenta Encapsulation Articles from PBi with research and studies are available. One of the struggles seen here in the US is that most research is funded for the benefit of pharmaceutical research. Placentaphagia is not likely to be an area with much, if any, financial gain for companies, and therefore there are few studies of good quality that have been completed at this time. However, Placeta Benefits is currently working with the University of Nevada – Los Vegas on the first prospective, double blind study on placentaphagia in humans. They are using the Traditional Chinese Medicine Method of Encapsulation in their study, which is also my method of preparation.
I am currently attending Pacific College of Oriental Medicine for my Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. I was thrilled to find out that the placenta has been used for over 2000 years as a medicine in China! An article from Wen Acupuncture on Placenta uses.
Feel free to read my info sheet on the process of encapsulation – hospital release, the steps involved for dehydrating and encapsulating the placenta, and commonly asked questions. Placenta Encapsulation Info
- 2 step process
- We arrange for pick up of your placenta at your home
- 2-3 days later I bring veggie capsules to you and give you all the how-to and information for your next 6 weeks
- Often this is an opportunity to hear your birth story and walk through any breastfeeding issues also.
Please contact me for more information or to be added to my calendar.
- Due to the lack of quality research or safety information on placenta encapsulation for lactating mothers and breastfed infants, Evidence Based Birth (EBB) cannot and does not endorse placenta encapsulation at this time.