“omg what is placenta encapsulation?”
“omg you’re going to eat your placenta?”
“omg why would you spend money on that?”
“omg you don’t need that mumbo jumbo, just make sure you sleep when baby sleeps and take care of yourself.”
All things I have heard and all things I am sure others have heard when declaring or telling people that they are having their placenta encapsulated. SO… as a bit of a resource and documentation of my pregnancy, i will discuss placentophagy (consuming your placenta) and why i have decided upon this. And yes – Arnold is on board with no judgment – he actually thinks it’s pretty cool, but for a moment, he was worried i would make him cook it on the stove like a steak… nope. Some people do that, but that is not the route i am taking.
When did i first hear about this? A friend, actually! About six(ish) years ago, when my dear old friend Julie was pregnant with her boy, she talked about encapsulating her placenta after birth. Well six years ago i was a newly-turned 21 year old who was thinking about babies ZERO worth and focusing on my relationship with my new boyfriend (yep, arnold) and enjoying the legalities of alcohol. But i’ve always been inquisitive and questioned her on her methods, hearing answers such as “health benefits for mama AND baby” – cool, cool.
Flash forward to 2016, third trimester, when I am starting to prepare for birth and thinking of all the ways i can be healthy afterwards and provide in the best ways for Forest, not to mention I’m always up for new and “uncommon” and natural ways to live my life… here we are – contemplating encapsulating my placenta. or Forest’s placenta(?)!
First of all, if for any reason you think this is weird or gross, then stop! animals and humans for A LONG TIME and in many cultures have been consuming their placenta for the health benefits it provides. Do yourself a favor and hop on google, do some research, and then come back to this post after you have opened your mind a bit. While i definitely could cook the placenta like a piece of meat, i have decided to have it turned into pill form – steamed with other beneficial herbs and put into little capsules so i can ingest orally starting postpartum and continuing PRN (as needed) afterwards.
W H Y P L A C E N T O P H A G Y
- the thought that “sold” me on this practice is that i am hoping by consuming my placenta, my PPD will be decreased or eliminated if at all possible. I am extremely worried about this after birth – i have struggled with anxiety and panic attacks since middle school, briefly using medication when i was younger, but after extreme side effects with pharmaceuticals, i have tried very hard to work on my mind with natural remedies and also meditation with positive reinforcement thinking. Using oils has helped tenfold, so non-traditional and holistic methods have always been my go to for mental health.
- the health benefits, for myself AND for Forest, are endless. i will go into those later.
- i do enjoy freaking people out by telling them i’m going to eat my placenta. that is 18% the reason – and the reactions, as well as the opportunity to educate, is worth it.
B E N E F I T S
- the placenta is an endocrine organ, which means it helps with hormones! By consuming the placenta, you are providing your body essential hormones until it learns to begin balancing itself out again. it’s actually the only organ that the body creates and dispels itself. Isn’t that cool?
- The chemicals it provides are ENDLESS – lactogen and prolactin, which assist with milk let down and an increase in supply. iron, which was lost from birth and can effect depressive symptoms. oxytocin, which helps with bonding and that euphoric feeling of happiness. vitamin B replenishing for energy!
- assists the uterus to go back to pre-pregnancy size and to also decrease the healing time.
Okay, convinced? :) It’s also SUPER EASY TO DO. I don’t know how accessible it is across the country, but I feel like living in Denver, a more productive and crunchy-type place, there are a lot of options in having my placenta encapsulated. I did a lot of research – reviews, websites, prices – those were all concerns of mine. I’m not from Denver and I don’t know a lot of mamas here who have done this, so word of mouth was not happening. I ended up settling with Divine Doula – she was very sweet and informative and provided a lot of information (as well as paperwork and consent forms, which I thought were important!), requested a deposit (half of the payment) and also provided things like a print of the placenta and also to keep the cord. It’s also important to keep your hospital and midwife on the same page if you plan on having your placenta encapsulated and that you find out if your hospital CAN and what the policies are between them and the person doing the encapsulation.
Things could happen! I am *HOPING* and sending good vibes that I am able to do this and things go my way! After Forest is born and the usage of my pills, I’ll share my experience with how I felt things worked :) Cross your fingers for me!!