Placenta Encapsulation

Placentophagy ~ Eating of the Placenta.

placenta_2

Yeah I’m doing it. For one I figured I may not get the opportunity to choose this experience ever again and so far as I could deduce via my (not extensive mind you but pretty thorough) investigations there were no cons to outweigh the pros.

So I typed placenta encapsulation Sydney into Google and went ahead and phoned the Australian Doula College because they train doulas and doulas are all about pregnant women and pregnant women have the placentas…!

I had a lovely first chat with Keira, who had plenty of time to hear me and was genuinely excited about looking after me, I felt at ease about the whole thing straight away. And so it was that at my next midwife appointment I advised them I’d be checking out with my baby and my placenta :)

All I had to do was wash a storage tub in warm soapy water, leave it in the sun to dry, pop the lid on and bring it in a chiller bag to the hospital. After the midwives examined the placenta, they placed it in the container for me and I was provided with a release form to sign. When we got home it was stored in the fridge and Keira came over to pick it up from me the following day.

placenta_1

I wanted to document the experience to share here on K180 and in preparation I asked a few questions of Keira:

Q: What exactly IS placenta encapsulation?

A: Placentophagy, also known as encapsulation is the least invasive way to consume your placenta. Women have been doing this for centuries in a variety of different forms. Placenta encapsulation means your placenta is steamed to ensure the nutrients remain then it is dehydrated and ground to place into capsules for mothers to consume in the postpartum period.

Q: How is it performed, is it clean and safe, how is one trained to do it?

A: Most encapsulators are trained by their mentors, but there is some great international training making its way here as it is becoming more common practice for women to choose this option. Where possible all equipment is disposable and the remainder of the equipment is cleaned according to strict guidelines and isn’t used for a period of time between encapsulations.

Q: How long does it take from delivery of placenta to being able to take the capsules and how much does it cost?

A: The capsules take around 3 – 4 days from the time the placenta is received and the fee is $300 including pick up and delivery. (This is the fee of the Australian Doula College, most charge anywhere between $200 – $300.)

Q: How many capsules should be taken each day, are there any side effects?

A: Dosage guidelines vary from encapsulator to encapsulator, Keira’s advice is to commence with one on the first day then one with breakfast and one with lunch every day thereafter, always with food and best before 3pm as some women may experience a buzz if they take them after 3pm. If taken without food some may experience a ‘meaty’ aftertaste.

Q: What are the benefits of eating the placenta, is there any documented evidence to prove this?

A: Benefits can include the following:

  • Decrease in the “baby blues” and postpartum depression.
  • Increase and enriched milk supply.
  • Increase in energy.
  • Decrease in lochia, postpartum bleeding.
  • Decrease in iron deficiency.
  • Decrease in insomnia and sleep disorders.
  • Balance in hormones.

There is not a lot of documented research, largely as conventional science and medicine are yet to understand the value of placentophagy but there is said to be some great research coming out of America in the next couple of years.

Further reading:

Belly Belly, placenta encapsulation.

Placentophagia: Benefits of Eating the Placenta.

What do I make of it all?

Well, listen it’s my second time around so I know what I’m amongst and I know that it’ll pass, change, get easier so on and so forth. But this acknowledged I am still a control loving, neat freak, list writer, high achiever and a new bubba is going to challenge all of that no matter how experienced I am.

I began taking the placenta capsules on day three, when my milk came in and it was my second day at home with both girls, I was a bit teary and terribly uncomfortable with HUGE norks which Juni wasn’t too interested in as she was poorly with that virus, sob. When the Husbro left for work that morning I cried to him in the kitchen “Waaah, how am I going to get through today??” and I swallowed my first capsule with a glass of water.

A few hours passed before I noticed how oddly calm I was feeling when I had predicted I’d be a fragile mess for the entire day. Hmm, could the capsule have taken immediate effect?

Now the following week was out of the ordinary: being in hospital with a sick newborn baby, so we’ll not consider the emotional roller coaster I was during that time, I continued to take the capsules all throughout however.

I haven’t missed a day and I’m only taking one per day, with breakfast. Last week I was feeling a bit extra tired by late morning so I purposely took one after 3pm to see if I’d get a buzz. I didn’t get a buzz but I did kind of breeze through the afternoon getting everything done without pissing and moaning about it.

My milk supply is great, but keep in mind that I hadn’t stopped breastfeeding SP, so apart from the five months that I wasn’t producing milk whilst I was pregnant (it stopped at 16 weeks) I have been breastfeeding for going on four years now: my body knows what it’s doing where lactation is concerned! And yes, I have milk enough to feed both my girls and the baby is gaining weight, 400 grams in the last week!

I’m sleeping really well despite being worried about bubba after she had been sick and trying to get my head around how to keep two kids comforted and settled during the night if I need to. I am getting to sleep without laying there stewing on things and I am able to sleep really well until awoken and return to sleep easily. This was most certainly not the case the first time around: I would lie there wondering when she’d wake up next and how would I function if it was less than three hours…

And I have a pretty decent energy rating, I’d give myself a 7/10. I’m not dragging my feet during the day, but come night time I am pretty heavy-lidded and ready for bed, I just stay up later so that there’s at least a small part of the day where it’s just ME and no one is hanging off me or interrupting MY time!

In a nutshell I can’t truly confirm or deny if any of this is due to taking my placenta capsules but part of it may very well be. They are certainly not doing me any harm.

~Yours honouring a traditional nutritional practice despite being a bit skeptical anyways, K180, x

 

  • Have you done this? What did you make of it?
  • Have you thought about doing this and you’re into it now?
  • Do you think it’s a bunch of hooey?
  • Do you want to take one of mine and see if you get a buzz?!
  • People out there eat blue cheese, that’s icky if you ask me but you say blue cheese, I say placenta ~ let’s call the whole thing off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I have also used placenta encapsulation and I absolutely loved it.
    The benefit I noticed the most was energy, lot and lot and LOTS of energy.
    Instead I sleeping at night I was reorganizing the whole house so I decided it would be best to lower my dosage because I feared I would soon crash and burn. Also my mood was stabalized, no more going from zero to 60 in minute and I was so happy.
    I also noticed the effects wearing off as I swallowed my last pill (no refills?!?!)
    I would have another baby just for the pills!

    Also I have loosely considered taking someone else’s pills, just call me a pill popper. Although I doubt the circumstance will present itself.
    My fried has her baby 7 weeks after I did and I recommended placenta encapsulation, which she did but she told me she stopped taking the pills because she didn’t feel the need to take them and she didn’t feel they were doing much for her, they were stored in her fridge and every time I opened that fridge for juice (I stayed a few days) I was tempted by those lovely pills but I know my pills were made by my body and specifically for me so I don’t know (she would be totally fine with me taking them off her hands, but I didn’t)

    P.s with my first born I had planned to encapsulate my placenta but he went to the NICU right away so we were distracted and I still have the placenta in my freezer. I was planning on planting it in my backyard along with a tree but I have also thought about encapsulating it, any thought on that?

  2. J and I were just talking yesterday about what we would do with the placenta. We came to the conclusion that it could stay at the hospital, but now I’m thinking about our other options.

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