Placentas have been used in various ways for thousands of years, whether it has been simply honoring them, or in the practice of placentophagy (ingesting the placenta). It is believed that taking your encapsulated placenta pills can help to restore balance within your body after childbirth. Although no large studies have been done on this practice and its effect on mothers, many women who have chosen to have their placentas encapsulated report postpartum benefits including a decrease in mood fluctuations, a reduction in bleeding, an increase in milk supply and energy, and an overall easier postpartum recovery. In my experience encapsulating hundreds of placentas, the feedback from my clients supporting these claims is overwhelming!
The process of encapsulation is fairly simple, and follows guidelines drawn from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Your placenta is first cleaned, then steamed and dehydrated, and finally ground and put into capsules. Some encapsulators, myself included, choose to make a print and umbilical cord keepsake for their clients. You receive back what some like to call “happy pills” for the instant mood boost you experience when taking them. High in iron and nutrients, they are like a perfect multi-vitamin, made by and especially for you.
An experienced encapsulator handles this whole process with minimal disturbance to you as a family, and with the utmost attention given to efficiency and safety. You should expect instructions for storing your placenta, timely transport, and guidelines for taking your pills. You should also expect your encapsulator to practice responsibly within strict guidelines for handling and sanitization to ensure your and your encapsulator’s safety. Your placenta should never be in contact with anything other than the storage container it is placed in, and with dedicated, sanitized equipment and surfaces. With a credible encapsulator, placentas are only processed one at a time, so there is never the chance that your placenta will be mixed up with or contaminated by anyone else’s. When seeking out an encapsulation specialist, feel free to ask questions about her or his specific practices!
Erica Lundgren is an experienced Labor Doula and Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, and loves the chance to do encapsulations for mothers because she believes it is a great tool for an easier postpartum transition! She has a dedicated space in her home for encapsulations, follows strict safety guidelines, and takes great care preparing placenta pills while maintaining a quick turn around time.