ENCAPSULATING MY PLACENTA FOR THE SECOND TIME
Like most people, when I first heard about placenta encapsulation, the burning question I had was, “Why!? Why would someone want to consume their own placenta in ANY way, even in pill-form!?” At first I was mildly repulsed, which is a very normal reaction. I did not realise at the time that most mammals, even herbivores, consume their own placenta immediately following birth. Our closest primate relative mothers, chimpanzees, do this. I also did not know how the placenta could benefit new mums. Thankfully my doula at the time enlightened me a bit and I started researching placenta encapsulation more while pregnant for my third child. The benefits women spoke of sounded amazing- less hair loss, reduction in postnatal depression symptoms, improved energy levels, reduced bleeding time, an increase in breast milk supply, the list went on and on!
THE SCIENCE BEHIND PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION
While there is research on the placenta itself, there is no research looking at the short term or long term benefits of consumption by humans. What science has shown is the placenta contains seventeen hormones and fourteen trace minerals following encapsulation. Preliminary research out of Jena University in Germany has also shown the placenta is naturally rich in both protein and iron. Many people believe that consuming the placenta following birth allows a new mum to replenish her body after nine intense months of growing a baby. When almost two hundred women self-reported during a 2010 study, 34% indicated they had improved mood after consuming their placenta. Most of the mums consumed their placenta through encapsulation. What we also know is the placenta, including the umbilical cord, also contains stem cells and growth factors that have proven beneficial for humans when these cells were used for wound healing and disease treatment in numerous studies. Some people may argue that placenta consumption by humans has no benefits simply because there is no research saying otherwise. What is often ignored is the massive collection of narratives by thousands of women around the world who have experienced real benefits after consuming their placenta via various remedies. Amidst the rise of #MeToo and the stark acknowledgement that women’s collective voices and experiences DO matter and they should be believed, I think it is wrong to discredit the thousands of positive stories new mums have shared.
There are many reasons to consider placenta encapsulation. Some common benefits women have reported include:
reduced postpartum bleeding
faster postnatal healing/recovery
increased energy levels
improved breast milk production
reduction in postnatal depression symptoms
more balanced mood
less hair loss and clearer skin
rebalancing of iron, hormone and mineral levels
MY POSITIVE ENCAPSULATION EXPERIENCES
Following the birth of my second son in America, my placenta was collected that same day by a professional I hired and the pills, prints and cord keepsake I requested were brought to me two days later. I saw the consumption of my own placenta as a personal experiment of sorts. I knew of the different possible benefits but in the end what I really wanted to know was “Could these pills really help me?” And yes, they did! During my third pregnancy I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition because of some serious health issues that suddenly and severely emerged at six months pregnant. If I'm being totally honest, my third pregnancy was by far the most physically and emotionally challenging time of my life. I literally felt like my body was breaking down further with each passing day. For this reason I assumed my recovery was also going to be the most challenging of all my pregnancies. I was pleasantly surprised when I was wrong! My recovery was much easier with the help of my placenta pills! I had more energy, postnatal depression was reduced in comparison to previous pregnancies, I had postpartum bleeding for a much shorter time, my autoimmune flares reduced following birth and I experienced breast engorgement for the very first time ever! My milk supply was much stronger this time and I attributed it to my easy-to-take placenta capsules! Prior to birth, I was very fearful that my supply would be low or nonexistent because of my difficult pregnancy and overall poor health. To have engorged breasts, although mildly uncomfortable for ~36 hours, was very much welcomed! I was sad when my pills ran out and I wish I had known there are other ways to "preserve" and extend the magic of your placenta, such as an essence, tincture or homeopathic remedy!
My beautiful experience with my own placenta lead me to recommend encapsulation to many other mums. Not only that, it also pushed me to become a Placenta Remedies Specialist with IPEN so I can now provide placenta remedies, including encapsulation, essence, tinctures, balms, creams and homeopathic remedies to women in Ireland!
When I became pregnant for the fourth time, there was no question that I was going to consume my placenta again following birth. I decided I would process my placenta myself with the help of my husband and create literally all the placenta remedies available! I was once again curious to see how my placenta remedies would benefit me. I inherently know that every pregnancy is different and thus, each placenta is too. Would any benefits I experienced after my fourth pregnancy also be different?
The answer is yes! I still experienced benefits but they were unique to my fourth postpartum period. Following my fourth birth I experienced a bit of extra blood loss, but nothing to the extreme of a haemorrhage. I started to feel nauseous, light headed and very tired. When my husband and midwives noticed I had some extra bleeding during my home birth, one of the midwives wanted to give me synthetic pitocin (syntocinon) right away via an injection. Because of my knowledge in placenta usage, I know there are numerous cultures around the world where medical professionals will place a small piece of the raw placenta into the mother's mouth along her gumline to stop any postpartum bleeding. I asked my midwives if I could try this first and they agreed. My husband quickly removed a piece from my placenta, I put it between my gumline and cheek and within minutes my bleeding stopped! The syntocinon was no longer needed and I was relieved. Had the bleeding continued, of course I would have agreed to the injection but it was great to have a natural, fast-acting alternative!
I had fruit smoothies with a piece of raw placenta after both my third and fourth pregnancies but I chose to have more following this extra blood loss. I had five smoothies over a three day period and I felt they gave me an energy boost to support my more difficult recovery. And for the record, no, you cannot taste the small piece of placenta when it has been blended with fruit! Consuming my placenta pills was easy and I was excited to have 249 pills to benefit from! I took approximately six a day for the first two weeks and reduced the number over time. I used my intuition to adjust the amount I took depending on whether I felt I needed a bit more energy or not. The first benefit I noticed was my skin tone improved and it was something my husband also mentioned! I felt my energy levels increase, which was great since I was chasing after an additional child whether I was sleep deprived or not! I also felt more steady emotionally. It’s hard to describe what a relief this was again since I have a history of postnatal depression (after my second pregnancy). One of the most awesome things this time around was my breast milk came in after 48 hours! I knew it had officially come in because my newborn started to gulp at the breast, I could see a ring of white milk around his lips as he nursed, my milk changed colour from the yellowish colostrum to white and my breasts became engorged! For someone with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which can negatively impact milk supply, having my milk come in at 48 hours didn’t seem like something that was even possible! And I felt engorged! Yes, it is mildly uncomfortable but it passed quickly.
These are my two experiences with placenta consumption. You may experience similar benefits or others unique to you. I have made other remedies with my placenta, including an essence, tincture and homeopathic remedy, which I hope to use during times of illness, instability and for hormone balancing. I love that I can still reap the benefits of my placenta for years following birth if I choose to!
If you're considering placenta encapsulation or other services, I encourage you to hire someone in your area who has both experience and proper training. As a certified Placenta Remedies Specialist with IPEN, you can rest assured that the highest safety standards will always be followed when your placenta is in my care. Please see my Placenta Encapsulation Page for more information, FAQs and my price listing!
Have more questions or would you like to set up a booking? Click on the "Remedies Guide" button below to read more about my services or click "Book Online Now" to be taken to our convenient online booking form!
For More Information...
Presence and concentration of 17 hormones in human placenta processed for encapsulation and consumption: Young, Benyshek, Gryder, Zava & Kimball, April 2016.
Human placenta processed for encapsulation contains modest concentrations of 14 trace minerals and elements: Young SM, Gryder LK, David WB, Teng Y, Gerstenberger S, Benyshek DC, 2016.
Placentophagy Survey (Selander, Cantor, Young and Benyshek 2013): A Survey of Self-Reported Motivations and Experiences Associated with Placenta Consumption By Jodi Selander , Allison Cantor, Sharon M. Young & Daniel C. Benyshek.
Full-Thickness Skin Wound Healing Using Human Placenta-Derived Extracellular Matrix Containing Bioactive Molecules: Ji Suk Choi, Jae Dong Kim , Hyun Soo Yoon, Yong Woo Cho NCBI 2012
Stem Cells from Placenta show potential in treating Heart Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and More
By Neal Ungerleider Tuesday 29th March 2011.
Preliminary research out of Jena University, 2017.