When my husband asked if I was going to do placenta encapsulation my first reaction was the same as when asked by my patients. “Well, it isn’t something I feel strongly about either way.” Truth be told, I hadn’t done all my research. So I hit the books and did a significant amount of placental reading!
To begin, here is a list of the hormones that exist inside the placenta and their benefits:
Gonadotrophin: the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone
Prolactin: promotes lactation
Oxytocin: for pain and bonding; produced during breastfeeding to facilitate bonding of mother and infant. In pharmaceutical form this is a very addictive drug.
Thyroid stimulating hormone: boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events
Cortisone: combats stress and unlocks energy stores
Interferon: stimulates the immune system to protect against infections
Hemoglobin: replenishes iron deficiency and anemia, a common postpartum condition
Urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing
Gammaglobulin: immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections
List Based on Benefits of PlacentaEncapsulation.com
When most people think about consuming the placenta, they think of either primitive women frying it up over a fire or farm experiences (like mine) where the animal eats it. Most cultures throughout history have some sort of history where the woman consumes the placenta, either raw or with cooking. The culture that most often uses the placenta for mom’s nourishment today is Chinese traditional medicine, but it is also gaining popularity in the world of athletics as a way to recover from athletic events. Athletes not only consume human placenta, which can be purchased, but also bovine placenta. This does however increase disease risk, as the origin of the placenta is unknown.
Personally, I have decided to encapsulate. I have selected the raw method of preparation over the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) preparation. Raw doesn’t mean like sushi. Instead it is dehydrated at 118 degrees Fahrenheit. The TCM Method is steamed then dehydrated with chili and herbs to make it more warming on the body’s system. I am using the raw method since this is slightly cooler and my body tends to crave cooler foods and things when I am in recovery. Heat and cool are based on the acupuncture healing methods of heating and cooling. Raw will produce more capsules than TCM and tends to be slightly more potent as well.
Doulas and Midwives are usually responsible for encapsulation. Here are some local providers for this service. The price is usually around $250-$300.
Elements of Magic
A Labor of Love Doula Care
Your Birth Doula