Placentophagy has been dated back to the Medieval Times as it was known to nurture the unborn child in both the body and soul. Placenta encapsulation is also performed in many other countries such as Europe and France. As placenta encapsulation has become more popular today, more women are choosing to consume their placenta due to the reported benefits that are being passed down.
WHAT ARE THE REPORTED BENEFITS OF PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION?
It is most common that women choose to consume their placenta because of the reported benefits. These reported benefits will affect everyone differently, but they are found in many different research articles and even success stories from friends and family. These reported benefits are:
- Increase in overall mood and wellbeing
- Decrease in bleeding
- Increase in healing time
- Increased milk supply
- Increased energy
WHAT DOES THE PLACENTA CONTAIN?
The placenta contains a variety of hormones, opioids, nutrients, and minerals. A study on 28 placentas found 15 different hormones present. The hormones present were 11-deoxycortisol, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, 7- ketodehydroepiandrosterone, aldosterone, allopregnanolone, androstenedione, corticosterone, cortisol, cortisone, dehydroepiandrosterone, estradiol, estriol, estrone, progesterone, and testosterone. Melatonin was also found, but only in 9 of the samples. A range of 441 to 1185 ppm of Iron was also found in a study that sampled 28 placentas. That is 24% of the recommended daily amount. There were small amounts of heavy metals found, however, these small amounts will do no harm.
HOW DO I KNOW I WILL GET MY OWN PLACENTA BACK?
As it is the same as my doula business, it is very rare that I will have more than one placenta in my possession. If that is the case, I will ensure each placenta is labeled properly and separately. It is also best to allow your care provider know ahead of time your plans to encapsulate. This will prevent the placenta from being disposed of and instead put in the proper bags to be placed on ice.
WILL CONSUMING MY PLACENTA HELP WITH LACTATION?
Increased lactation is known to be one of the reported benefits when consuming the placenta postpartum. A study was completed by administering the placenta by mouth. This study found that 181 (86.2%) mothers experienced positive results. It was also reported that along with the positive results, 117 (55.7%) had good results and 64 (30.5%) with very good results.
ARE THERE ANY CONDITIONS THAT WILL AFFECT MY PLACENTA FROM BEING ENCAPSULATED?
The only conditions that will affect your placenta from being encapsulated are if any strain of Hepatitis or HIV is present. This is purely for everyone’s safety. Another reason the placenta may not be completely safe is if there is an active infection from being GBS positive. You may read more on this topic from the Association of Placenta Preparation Arts. If you were to have a cesarean section or receive pain medications during, you still may be able to continue with the process.
“ISN’T IT CANNIBALISM?”
No, placentophagy is NOT cannibalism. Cannibalism is defined as “the eating of the flesh of an animal by another animal of its own kind.” Cannibalism is typically performed during sibling rivalry or fatal attractions in animals. Whereas, placentophagy is the act of consuming ones own placenta during the postpartum period.
“MY BABY HAS PASSED MECONIUM, WILL I STILL BE ABLE TO ENCAPSULATE?”
You may absolutely continue the process of encapsulation! Before the process beings, it will be rinsed off and proper protocol will be used!
“IT IS NOT FDA APPROVED.”
While placenta encapsulation is not regulated by the FDA, this service is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is best to understand that you will take full responsibility to research these remedies. Did you know that vitamins are also not regulated by the FDA?
“I AM VEGAN.”
Don’t worry! No one was hurt in this process. We do have the option of using vegan or vegetarian capsules instead of ones that are made from gelatin.
Soykova-Pachnerova, E., Brutar, V., Golova, B., & Zvolska, E. (1954). Placenta as a Lactagogon. Gynaecologia; International monthly review of obstetrics and gynecology, 138(6), 617-627
Young, S., Gryder, L., David, W., Teng, Y., Gerstenberger, S., & Benyshek, D. (2016). Human placenta processed for encapsulation contains modest concentrations of 14 trace minerals and elements. Nutrition Research, 36(8), 872-878. SCIENCEDIRECT
Young, S., Gryder, L., Zava, D., Kimball, D., & Benyshek, D. (2016). Presence and concentration of 17 hormones in human placenta processed for encapsulation and consumption. Placenta, 43, 86-89. PLACENTA JOURNAL