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!