The principles behind placenta encapsulation are not new. Far from it. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have been incorporating the placenta in their remedies for centuries. And animals in the wild have long been engaging in placentophagy, the scientific term for consumption of the placenta, following the birth of their offspring.
Though the thought of eating your placenta may be repugnant to many, placenta encapsulation provides an easier and more practical way to access the benefits it can provide without any of the fuss.
What is placenta encapsulation?
Basically, the process contains five steps, during which the placenta is:
1. Carefully rinsed to remove excess blood
2. Lightly steamed, which is believed to enhance its benefits and bio-availability
4. Ground into a powder
5. Filled into vegetarian capsules for consumption
The process needs to be started as soon after the birth as possible, but the placenta can be refrigerated or even frozen within three hours of the birth to preserve it. The whole process only takes around 48 hours to complete and the new mum can start experiencing the benefits straight away.
So, what are the benefits of consuming your placenta?
Tracy, from Byron Placenta Services, has been practising this ancient art in the Byron, Tweed and Brisbane areas for the last four years. She is a Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist who is also trained in Safe Food Handling.
Having your placenta made into capsule form makes it easy to consume and studiesi have shown that it can provide a wide range of benefits, including:
– Faster recovery from the birth – feel stronger and more energetic
– Assists the uterus to return to the pre-pregnancy state more quickly
– Replenishes depleted iron
– Reduces post-natal bleeding
– Increases milk supply
– Reduces the incidence of post-partum depression, or baby blues
– Assists with the fatigue and stress that often accompanies motherhood
Because the placenta contains your own hormones, it is perfectly designed to assist YOU. Taking placenta capsules can also be helpful during times of transition, such as weaning, returning to work, and menopause.
Most new mums find it helpful to start with a higher dose in the days immediately following the birth and gradually taper off by the third week. You should consult a professional for further information on the recommended dose for your specific situation.
Tracy advises new mums to ‘observe what’s happening in their bodies. If they have an abundance of energy and milk supply, dosage can be lowered.’ You may also want to do this to extend the length of time the capsules last. Each placenta yield is different, like the bubs from which they come. ‘The average placenta will yield between 70 – 120 capsules.’