Pregnant? Think About Encapsulating Your Placenta
What is placenta encapsulation?
The placenta is natures perfect gift to the mother. It helps get the uterus back to its normal size, increases milk supply, and helps with mood swings. Placenta encapsulation is the best way to help you recover from child birth. It involves converting your placenta into pills rather than eating it raw. For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which originated in ancient China, has considered the placenta a powerful medicine because of its many health benefits. It has started to become very popular and accepted in the United States among celebrities and other people around the world.
Placenta for Postpartum
Health benefits of placenta encapsulation
- contains your natural hormones
- lactation support (earlier and increased supply)
- decrease in postpartum blues and depression
- lessen's bleeding
- quicker postpartum recovery (such as tears/incisions and bleeding)
- replenished iron stores (let me know if you were anemic during pregnancy and/or lost a lot of blood so that I can prepare your placenta in a way that maximizes iron levels)
- help you have a happier postpartum period
- more balanced hormone levels
- increased energy
- support during times of stress
- nourishes blood and fluids
If you are interested in encapsulating your placenta, search for a Birth Doula in your area who can prepare it for you after you give birth. Also, make sure you mention it on your birth plan, or to your nurse upon arrival at the hospital, that you are planning to take your placenta home with you. Do not forget to let your spouse or family member know, so they can remind the hospital staff. Inform them that there should be no Formalin or Formaldehyde to be used in storing your placenta if they want to take your placenta to pathology for examination (this happens in rare cases). If your placenta comes into contact with that it will become contaminated. It is better to let your doctor know in advance that you are planning on taking your placenta home. You do not have to go into detail on what you plan on doing with it.
How to care for your baby's placenta
Make sure to bring a cooler with you or a gallon-size round tupperware container with ice while you are on the way to the hospital, so you can freeze the placenta as soon as you receive it. If you forget to bring your cooler, you can use the tub that you are given in your hospital room and fill it with ice and place your placenta on it.
Before you give birth, request that your doctor waits at least two minutes before he clamps the cord, so that the baby's blood drains from the placenta and your baby is given back all it's blood volume that is still in circulation outside it's body. Cord blood is also full of stem cells that the baby's body can use to potentially treat illnesses or diseases. Studies suggests that waiting a few minutes to cut the umbilical cord can help newborns receive an influx of nutrients that can benefit their health even months later.
Remember to call your doula to let her know your placenta is ready. As soon as you get home, store the placenta in your freezer for a few days before encapsulation so you can avoid spoilage. Think of it as fresh meat. Your doula may prepare the placenta encapsulation at your home. For the best results, encapsulation should happen as soon as possible.
Find a Doula
Preparing and encapsulating the placenta using either the raw method or TCM is very affordable. It should cost around $125-$200. Fees will vary depending on the method of preparation used and location of pickup site. You may be able to get a free keepsake of the baby's cord. It is nicely cleaned and is usually trimmed in the shape of a heart. It is very pretty and placed in a keepsake bag.