Placenta Encapsulation – Everything You Need To Know
When you think of a woman ingesting her own placenta it may evoke images that make you feel uncomfortable. In the past women have and continue to ingest it in a variety of ways such as in smoothies or as a pate. Celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian have openly shared their experiences of doing this.
In recent years there are a huge number of companies offering placenta encapsulation services in Ireland. They will “collect” your placenta from the maternity hospital where you have given birth and through a combination of dehydration and grinding the placenta is transformed into a pill that you can take orally like any other pill. They can also visit your home after a home birth.
Placentophagy is a whole area of science that aims to study and understand the placenta more than we do now. For many people, the placenta is a very sacred organ. It is the very reason your baby could survive and grow in your womb. It is the organ that is created for this very reason and it connects your baby’s body to your own body. Understandably a lot of women give little thought to their placenta. It is usually expelled from the body moments after the woman has given birth. For this reason, it is easy to see why it may be overlooked. The baby is the star of the show after all.
Many people believe that a woman’s placenta was made to be consumed by the mother to make up for the blood loss at birth. Many women who have taken a course of placenta capsules claim to have increased energy levels after the birth. They also believe that it sped up their post-partum recovery and improved their mood and milk supply. Some of the other benefits include reduced post-partum hair loss and clearer skin.
There are different methods that one can choose from to turn their placenta into a capsule that they can take at their leisure. Some methods involve combining the placenta with ingredients like ginger and chilli while others involve dehydrating it from its raw state. All of them involve cleaning the placenta thoroughly, removing any clots and handling it with great care in a sterile environment – usually a laboratory.
Placentas can vary in sizes from woman to woman. Full-term pregnancies will generally lead to larger placentas. In general, your placenta will make between 100 and 200 capsules. They should be stored in a cool dry place (not the fridge) and will be safe to ingest for six months. It is recommended that you take one to three capsules per day for the first six weeks of pregnancy. Many women take more when they feel they need a boost or help with their milk supply. Every packet of capsules will have instructions clearly printed.
The baby-blues is a very normal symptom of giving birth. It is something that your care team will most likely encourage you to expect. Many women who took placenta capsules noted a complete lack of the baby-blues or a reduced version in comparison to their previous pregnancies. It is believed that the nutrients and hormones that it puts back into your body help to prevent that “low” which can often lead to postnatal depression.
If you choose to have your placenta encapsulated you should expect to pay about €200. After the birth, the placenta must be kept cool which may require you to bring a cooler bag and ice to the hospital as many hospitals will not allow you to use their fridges.
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.loveofliving.ie.