The responses to placenta encapsulation vary anywhere from almost a gag response to sheer enthusiasm depending on the experience and education of a person. We have had clients that bring along their smoothie ingredients and chug a placenta smoothie within hours of giving birth. Say what?! Yes, that's okay ... it is not a requirement to giving birth with us :) The benefit of placenta for hormones has historically been used to quickly resolve maternal bleeding by placing a chunk in the cheek which will cause the uterus to contract. You can see this benefit to animals that eat their afterbirth which also causes the uterus to contract to bring another offspring or clamp the uterus in finality of birth.
Hey, but I am not bleeding to death and honestly the idea of pitocin sounds much more palatable to me. Placenta consumption has many benefits outside of saving your life including but not limited to:
Decrease in baby blues and postpartum depression.
Increase and enrich breastmilk.
Decrease in lochia, postpartum bleeding.
Decrease in iron deficiency.
Decrease in insomnia or sleep disorders.
Reduction in feelings of postpartum sadness and anxiety
Higher energy levels
Balanced hormone levels
Faster return of uterus to pre-pregnant state
The idea of a placenta snack still not causing cravings. Exactly where encapsulation and tincture comes into place. Human placenta has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. According to TCM practitioners, placenta has been used historically for insufficient lactation, to boost qi/energy (which woman are believed to be depleted of after birth) and to nourish the blood.
The cooking process is believed to release beneficial properties in the placenta and make nutrients more easily absorbed by the digestive tract. Steaming should destroy any viruses or pathogens that may have been picked up on the placenta’s journey outside the body, making it safer for the mother to consume. We steam ours with fresh lemon and ginger, and occasionally therapeutic grade frankincense essential oil (with traumatic birth or by request) which help with the healing post-partum period. Others may have a different personal preference.
A placenta pill is hormonally unique to a woman's body, therefore having NO serious side effects. On occasion, some women need to cut back dosage do to energy boosts, increased anxiety and inability to sleep.
The placenta is dried, crushed and put into capsules for easy dosing. Prior to steaming, a chunk of the placenta may be cut away and used to make a tincture in 100 proof alcohol which gives it a forever shelf life. One drop of tincture equals one capsule. Encapsulation is quicker and can be used within a few days. The tincture takes 6 weeks to cure but usage lasts longer - one drop = one pill. By doing both, you have immediate and long term health benefits of the placenta. The tincture may be stored in a cool dark place and pills may be stored in a refrigerator or freezer for long term use during painful cycles or emotional or hormonal imbalance during cycles or even menopause. Just imagine the look on your teenage son's face when you can look at him and say, "Thank you for helping me today with the consumption of your placenta".
Always look for someone using utensils expressly used for encapsulation, that sterilizes all equipment and uses safety precautions like gloves. Sometimes sharing isn't the best policy. There are many places online that teach how to encapsulate for yourself or you can search for a provider in your area. You can look at https://www.seedsofgracetx.com/about for services offered from us.
Disclosure: There is no formal controlled study of placenta consumption nor is there any financial incentive for a future study at this time. So any benefits reported are from personal experience or anecdotal evidence. Therefore, the FDA does not endorse any benefits implied.