Why Would I Want to Eat My Placenta?
From mammals in nature to Traditional Chinese Medicine, consuming your placenta isn't anything groundbreaking. What is groundbreaking are the advancements in medical research and the technology that enables us to study anecdotal benefits from across the world. I consider myself lucky to study placentas and their wonderful abilities in detail!
The first thing I usually hear when someone learns I'm a placenta encapsulation specialist invariably is, "Ew, gross! Why would I ever want to eat that?"
Of course my response is that if you don't want to, it's okay that it's not for you! However, if you are squeamish but intrigued, here are a few reasons for you.
The placenta contains lots of helpful hormones such as Prostaglandin, which helps to contract the uterus and decrease bleeding, and Oxytocin, which enhances maternal and newborn bonding, among a list of others.
Your placenta has anti-inflammatory properties and may assist in maternal immune system response while healing from childbirth.
May assist in breastfeeding and maintaining a healthy milk supply.
Offers nutritional benefits such as B vitamins and iron supplementation.
The placenta pills don't look or smell anything like the placenta itself, so there's no concern about smell or chewing. (I also offer flavored, colorful capsules!)
You can get many of the same benefits as encapsulation immediately after giving birth by blending a smoothie or swallowing a small piece of the placenta. It may sound unpleasant, but it's a quick way to get an incredible boost of all the above benefits. This is also something I would recommend trying if you are bleeding significantly.
To keep the placenta stored for raw smoothies, blend it and pour into an ice tray. Keep in your freezer protected by a freezer grade Ziploc bag for up to 6 months. To use, simply pop out a block for your smoothie!
Placenta Smoothie Recipe
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup greek yogurt
Thumbnail size piece of placenta from maternal side (red, squishy side)
2 T peanut butter
In a blender, combine banana, apple, mixed berries and orange juice. Blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again. Enjoy!
Although the benefits of encapsulation are most effective during the first few days and by ingesting the capsules or a raw smoothie, there are a few alternate preparation options. You can prepare these at home or entrust the process to a professional. Most placenta encapsulation specialists will offer a few different preparation options and packages for convenience!
No-bake truffles are a cute, delicious option for those who can't swallow pills or are concerned about the taste of the placenta. They won't last very long fresh, but can be kept in the freezer or made in batches with your finished placenta capsules. Because you use minimal heat in this process, you won't lose any of the placenta's healing properties when choosing this method.
Almost any cookie recipe could be also used to fit your tastes, but oatmeal cookies would be a great place to start. Oats are a galactogogue, a term meaning they increase breastmilk production.
A tincture made by taking a raw piece of your placenta and extracting it in high proof alcohol for at least 6 weeks. If made properly, it will keep indefinitely and the effects degrade minimally over time. I have even heard of moms using this for their teenage daughter's PMS symptoms! This will have the same effects as the capsules, but lasts longer and in a more potent form.
Note: You can make your own "partial strength" mother tincture from dried placenta capsules. This is great to do if you aren't taking your capsules anymore but want to keep the benefits on hand.
To make a placenta salve, beeswax, shea butter, and helpful healing herbs are combined with the contents of a few dried placenta capsules. This salve is useful for postpartum healing, especially with cesarean incisions or perineal tears. You can keep it for the future as it's useful for menstrual cramps and hemorrhoids.
Note: As with the Mother Tincture, you can easily make a Placenta Salve with leftover capsules.
In offering respect and wanting memories of the placenta, you have a few options. You can take photos, have water color prints made, or have the umbilical cord preserved and even made into a dream catcher! You could also plant it in your backyard or a special place to your family. Many people plant it at the roots of a tree, a nod to the tree of life and the cycle of things. It's a way to respect the placenta, give it back to the earth, and creates a space for you to visit and remember your birth.
For me, offering placenta encapsulation means empowering you.
It's giving you the power over your body and what it created. It's giving respect to the bond between your body and your baby. It's giving you natural supplements perfectly made by your body, for your body. It's giving you the ability to respect the placenta in a way your culture or religion sees fit. It's giving you personal keepsakes to look back on and cherish. It's giving you a once in a lifetime experience.