The placenta is really an incredible organ that can not only nourish your growing unborn baby; but can offer some incredible benefits for the mother after birth. In our country, the practice of consuming one’s placenta isn’t something commonly discussed. After struggling with postpartum depression and low milk supply with my first two babies, I knew that when it came to having my third, this was something I needed to explore.
There are many ways that you can consume your placenta: eat it raw, cook it, enjoy in a smoothie, or have in encapsulated. Personally, I chose to have my placenta encapsulated. I wanted to be able to take it as my body needed over the course of my postpartum experience. Before I get too into this- please note that I am not a medical professional. This is just my personal experience.
Why did I choose to consume my placenta?
With my two births prior, I had suffered from postpartum depression, problems with my milk supply and I was seriously lacking in overall energy post-birth. While I loved having babies, I loathed my postpartum period. It was no walk in the park for me or my husband. And I couldn’t put my family through that intentionally again. I was ready to try whatever I could to help myself overcome the depression.
While I was getting more involved in more “natural” communities, I learned about placenta encapsulation. Almost every person I spoke to had incredible experiences with it and I felt overwhelmed with positivity surrounding the whole idea. I no longer felt it was gross, but natural. After all, we’re the only mammal that doesn’t consume their placenta after giving birth!
As I began my research, I came across a wonderful woman in my area that was certified. Working with her made this process very easy! When I gave birth to my son, I had it in my birth plan (and made sure to tell the nurse) that I wanted to keep my placenta. After his birth, the hospital stored my placenta for me to take home. Outside of my hospital, I met up with her and she took my placenta in a cooler. Three days later, she hand delivered my placenta pills and an umbilical cord keepsake at my home.
The placenta is very rich in certain hormones and nutrients, which is just gone after delivery. By encapsulating my placenta, I was able to wean my body off of these hormones naturally. Once the pills were in my possession, my body was just starting to get off that oxytocin high from delivering my sweet new baby. I took these pills 2-4 times a day for a few days as needed, and then gradually came off of them. I took at least one every day for the first six weeks after birth- and I can happily say, my experience was fantastic. While I had postpartum depression with the first two babies, it never touched me with baby number three.
Another perk to placenta encapsulation? My breast milk came in a day or so faster than the previous two births. My milk supply was never something I questioned with him- I had milk and plenty of it! He was gaining weight rather quickly; something his sisters had troubles with as babies. Our breastfeeding journey continued rather smoothly for 17 months, until he self-weaned.
Do I think it actually worked?
The short answer is YES. And to be honest, I know there’s not a whole lot of studies on consuming your placenta and I know some people will believe it’s a placebo effect. And that’s just fine! Personally, I feel very strongly that these pills helped keep me out of one of the deepest, darkest holes I’ve ever been in. It helped me bond with my baby and enjoy his first weeks of life. I will never have another baby and not have my placenta encapsulated – it was just that kind of experience for me.
My “baby” is now 20 months old and my placenta pills are tucked away in my freezer to keep fresh. If I’m having a rather difficult day, my little hormone miracle pill can pull me out of it. I have even been told that some women keep theirs until menopause to help with the hormone imbalance. It really is a magical pill that comes from a super incredible organ; the organ of life.
Interested in finding a placenta encapsulation specialist in your area? Take a look here for a directory.