Pregnancy & Birth

Placenta Encapsulation


Last year I took a certification course from Full Circle Encapsulation and learned how to encapsulate placentas.

I had no intention of doing it for a living, but I am so glad I got the information. I feel that information about placentas is really a lost art and I am thrilled to be a part of this renaissance.

If you’ve been following M+BL for awhile, you know that I encapsulated half of my placenta and then I ate the other half (I made placenta tacos!). I did all my own research and taught myself what to do. I made some mistakes, like I forgot to take the membrane off before cooking it, which made it extra difficult to grind up. Even with my mistakes, I enjoyed the process so much and saw so many benefits that I wanted to learn more.

And learn more I did! I wish I knew what I know now when I had just given birth to my daughter. After her beautiful homebirth, a waterbirth, my intention was to simply bury it in the ground and plant a tree over it, so I immediately put it in the freezer to largely be forgotten.

Postpartum was a nightmare for me since my daughter couldn’t breastfeed, so I really wasn’t able to start thinking clearly until she was about a year old. Around that time, I had the idea to encapsulate my placenta. I had heard that it helped with milk supply and fighting off postpartum depression. Since I exclusively pumped for her entire first year of life and wanted to do it another year, I wanted something to help keep my supply up for the long haul.

But if I could do all over again, I would have eaten a piece of my placenta raw directly after birth. Even though I got many benefits from encapsulating my thawed year-old placenta, I would have received many more if I had eaten or encapsulated it sooner.

You can rip off a piece if you don’t want to take a knife to it, drizzle some honey on it and just shoot it back. Don’t chew! If you want to tuck in your cheek for a few minutes (it does not taste bad, the chewing is what gets most people), that is a great idea too.

If I could do it again, as I waited for my placenta to be encapsulated, I would have made a couple of smoothies with raw pieces of it over the next several days, or continued with the raw honey shoot-it-back style.

Once my placenta was encapsulated, I took it orally everyday for the first couple of weeks, then as needed for as long as they lasted.

Each placenta usually yields 100 to 200 pills, depending on the size of the placenta. The bigger the placenta, the more pills you get.

I ended up saving about ½ cup of my ground, dehydrated placenta. And I am so glad! Did you know that you can take a placenta pill when you are going through menopause? It will help with help with all the symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, emotional unbalance) and make menopause a much easier experience.

You can give placenta pills to your daughter when she gets her first period. Even if it is not her placenta (it may be her brother’s or sister’s), but because she is a female in the direct blood line it is safe and helpful. It will help her regulate her teenage hormones and balance her out. You could also give your placenta pills to your mother when she goes through menopause or simply is having a hard time later in life. I thought that was just fascinating!

So what exactly are the benefits of consuming your placenta?

  • It can help deter against postpartum depression.  The placenta is high in various vitamins and nutrients, such as B6. Assimilating these nutrients help mama’s brain chemistry work properly. It can also increase a mother’s blood levels of a hormone known as CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone), a known stress-reducer.
  • It can slow or prevent postpartum hemorrhage by helping the uterus contract.  The placenta has lots of oxytocin in it. This hormone taken over a long period (as in with encapsulation) will help with feelings of bonding, pain relief, and increase happiness, but taken immediately it also helps significantly with uterine contractions.
  • It can prevent anemia.  Most people don’t realize how much blood and nutrients are lost during a normal childbirth. Consuming your placenta helps restore those lost nutrients, especially iron and protein, very quickly, giving your body the tools it needs to heal and recover fully. I remember after I birthed my daughter, I wanted steak very badly. I ate steak for days afterwards! I wonder how I would have felt if I had just consumed my placenta instead!
  • It can increase breastmilk production. Prolactin is a known hormone found in the placenta. I can at
    to this one! Even consuming my placenta after a year,  I saw an increase in my milk supply.
  • It can provide spiritual and emotional healing, or at least it did for me. Touching my placenta as I began to prepare it for encapsulation was a very powerful experience. I could feel the life force of myself and my daughter, the power of childbirth, the connection to all women and daughters everywhere. I was able to create a beautiful ceremony for myself, honoring the journey I had been on through pregnancy, giving birth and my postpartum struggles. I was able to feel myself, connect to my heart. It helped peel away another layer on my journey to operate as my authentic self at all times.

If you would like to encapsulate your placenta, I encourage you to find someone in your area that has done it before, or even a woman who is a certified placenta encapsulator. You can find a certified placenta encapsulator in your area here. If you do not have one in your area, you can ship your placenta, overnight with dried ice to a certified placenta encapsulator.

Also, I interview the founder of Full Circle in my From Maiden to Mother eCourse ,it’s super interesting! Check it out!

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  • Cindy Collins
    September 23, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Great article, thanks for sharing!!!

    • Stephanie
      September 24, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      Thanks Cindy!

  • Lauren
    September 28, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    I’m done having children but I think that this is something every woman should know. There are so many “things” on the market to help mothers that we don’t even realize that we are the best source! Thanks for the post!

  • Katrina
    October 2, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    I just had my last baby (last and final baby) this past June – he is our #10 baby, and I had never heard of consuming your placenta until THIS last pregnancy. I know! Where have I been? Anyway, so with this placenta, my midwife made me a smoothie right after my birth, and then while I was drinking that she took the rest of the placenta and blended it up and poured it into a few ice trays. Yes, I had placenta ice cubes in my freezer for a few weeks! Every day I would take a cube and put it into our blender with some yogurt and berries — and I never tasted anything but the berries. And I felt great with lots of energy and a very, very easy recovery. I will say that I was much more emotional postpartum with this last baby – I felt like I cried at almost anything sentimental. Not in a depressed way at all, but I was just weepy a lot. I have no idea if that was because of the hormones in the placenta….? Perhaps. But it wasn’t a bad thing. I just teared up at EVERYTHING. Like, looking down at my baby made me start to cry, as in, “I LOVE HIM SO, SO MUCH!!” LOL. As far as consuming my placenta, it made me a bit sad, actually, to think that all my other placentas had been simply thrown out. I mean, this makes me really, really sad! They were all just as important and could have been used to benefit me after having a baby, but I threw them out!! How could I have done that!! I know, I know….when you know better you do better. I know. But still. I still get upset when I think about it. Anyway, when I got down to my LAST placenta ice cube…I didn’t want to consume it! I felt strangely attached to it. Okay , now I’m sounding crazy, I know. But I kept looking at that thing and I thought….THIS here is my LAST EVER placenta! No more babies for me. No more of these wonderful life sustaining organs will grow in my body. And I just didn’t want it to be gone. So, I put it in a big glass of water and dissolved it, and I watered my one and only house plant with it. Now, a little history on this house plant. Back in February 1997 my then 4 year old daughter was severely brain injured in a car accident. She spent 6 weeks in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and was for the most part in a coma during that time. Her room was kept sterile and the plant that we received as a “get well” gift could not be in her room. So, the PICU nurses kept it on their desk for the 6 weeks that we were there. Then we took it to her Rehabilitation unit where she lived for another 2 months. Then it came home with us when we finally moved her back home. I have never, ever been able to keep a house plant alive, but yet this one has lived for over 16 years with us. It is our only house plant. There have been times when it looked about to die, but it always came back. I do nothing special for this plant except to pour water in it every once in a while. It’s still in it’s original plastic pot! So back to the placenta ice cube…. I dissolved it into a big glass of water and poured it into the plant. That was about a month ago. And you should SEE this plant now! It has sprouted about 35 more leaves, and it’s grown so much and looks the greenest and healthiest that it’s ever been before! And it’s all because its soil has my precious placenta mixed in there. Anyway, it’s a way for me to keep my placenta with us always. Well, as long as the plant is still alive. I think that thing is going to live a long, long time 🙂

    • Stephanie
      October 2, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      That is such a cool story Katrina!!! I loved how you honor your feelings and intuition and make the every day sacred. Keep up the great work!!!

  • Rebecca
    October 23, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    I am 5 weeks postpardum and this is the first time I encapsulated my placenta. Amazing!!!!! This is my 4th baby. I have tons more energy, even after hemmoraging. I usually get depressed, not this time. I want to shout it from the rooftops how life changing these pills are.

    • Stephanie
      October 24, 2013 at 1:08 AM

      Yay for you!!!

  • Becca Newmark
    January 8, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    Hi Stephanie,

    I absolutely love your website. I am actually a student at Princeton University, and I am writing my thesis on postpartum placenta consumption and placenta encapsulation. I would absolutely love to speak with you, if you are willing, interested, and able! I think you could lend an amazing and unique perspective to my work. If you are interested, please contact me at [email protected]

    Thank you so much for spreading the word about this amazing practice — women should know about the amazing healing potential they carry within their bodies!

    Becca Newmark

  • kristian
    January 28, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    This was a lovely post, I enjoyed reading it. But I must makes me a little sad because I REALLY wanted to eat/capsulize my placenta! After a 16 hr labor & 3 hrs of pushing, I was rushed to have an emergency c section. (baby was stuck & heart rate was dropping & spiking) Through the trauma/pain and chaos, I didn’t wake up to meet my son for a few hrs. My entire plan was changed! My heart was broke.

    • Stephanie
      January 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      My heart goes out to you, Kristian. I pray for your healing. Please stayed tuned, there will be many more posts, products and resources coming this year about healing for mothers.

  • kristian
    January 28, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Also, I VERY interested in getting involved in placenta certification. Any information and advice would be greatly appreciated! 🙂 [email protected]

    • Stephanie
      January 28, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      Check out the link above, Full Circle is a great organization that certifies women.