Would you like to boost your energy after giving birth? Have a faster recovery? Boost your immune-system? And avoid hormonal imbalances? You can have all these benefits naturally, without chemicals! In the US and the UK placenta encapsulation has gained a lot in popularity over the last few years. And now we can see this trend emerging in The Netherlands too.
Medical anthropologist Dr. Daniel Benhysek published a study in which 189 women were interviewed about their experience with placenta consumption. The overwhelming majority of these women, 96%, reported it had been very positive and they would do it again if they had another baby. But hold on, did that say ‘placenta consumption’? Yes, you read that right. Let me explain.
The placenta is a very particular organ and is created to sustain your baby’s life in uterus.
This incredible organ is designed by your body for your baby and without it life would not exist….
What is placenta encapsulation?
In placenta encapsulation the placenta is used to make a nutritional dietary supplement. That’s it. But why, you ask? The placenta is a very particular organ and is created to not only sustain your baby’s life in uterus, but to help your baby grow and develop in all the right ways. It provides oxygen, all the right nutrients and hormones for 9 months while your baby grows inside of you. This incredible organ is designed by your body for your baby and without it life would not exist. When you throw away the placenta after birth, you simultaneously throw away a lot of benefits that come with the placenta post-natal.
What is inside the placenta?
There is still a lot we need to learn about the placenta, but we do know it the following nutrients and hormones are found in it:
- Stem cells
- Vitamin B6 (creates antibodies)
- Vitamin E (for the healing of damaged skin cells)
- Oxytocin (a.k.a. the love hormone, essential for facilitating the birth, breastfeeding, and bonding)
- Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (reduces stress)
- Prolactin (promotes lactation/milk supply)
It is possible to have capsules made from the placenta which the mother takes orally after childbirth. This capsules give back these valuable nutrients and hormones to the mother’s body, completing the circle of giving life. The placenta can also be used for salve and tincture making.
How does it work?
Even though the process is not complicated, there are some important steps to follow with regards to hygiene and safety. So, it’s best to have the placenta encapsulated by a professional like Janneke de Vries-Foole of Happy Mama Pills. Janneke has two children and has been fascinated by anything related to pregnancy and childbirth ever since she started her journey into motherhood. She feels especially passionate about the postpartum period and wants to bring more awareness to placenta encapsulation because she herself has experienced the amazing benefits of it after the birth of her second child.
For best results you want to get the placenta to Janneke within 48 hours of birth. You can keep it in a refrigerator until then or if you know you won’t be able to get it there in that timeframe it is best to freeze it as soon as possible. It can be frozen for up to 3 months and still be used for placenta encapsulation.
To encapsulate placenta pills
The placenta is cleaned, sliced and dried in a dedicated dehydrator (drying oven). Depending on the size of the placenta, this process takes 48 to 72 hours. Finally, the dried placenta is ground and encapsulated and the capsules are returned to the mother. She then takes some capsules every day for the first month postpartum and as needed after that.
The placenta is also known to have a healing effect on the skin. It can be used to help heal:
- Wound healing Caesarean section after the stitches are removed)
- Diaper Rash
- Perineum rupture
If desired, a salve can be made of just a small piece of dried placenta in addition to having capsules made. Janneke makes 50 ml of placenta salve with only organic ingredients such as: beeswax, calendula and lavender essential oil.
A tincture is an alcohol solution with placenta fermented in it. It can be kept for years and can be used when you run out of capsules. Uses over the years include:
Balancing your hormones whenever needed
It can also be given to the baby in times of stress and even in the female baby when she matures and starts her own feminine cycles.
Are placenta pills right for you?
Now, 5 months postpartum Janneke still notices the positive effects of the capsules, salve and tincture and she is very excited about helping other women discover those same benefits. Of course it is a personal choice whether to use the placenta or not. But now at least you know that the magic goes beyond what this organ does for the growing baby inside your womb…
Here are some other international references, to ease your curiosity: