Prenatal Acupuncture: Should I Encapsulate My Placenta?
Humans are one of the very few mammals on the planet who do not regularly consume their own placentas after giving birth. Here in the surrounding areas of Boulder, it is not uncommon to hear of women encapsulating and ingesting their own placentas postpartum. In fact, my client list appears to be expanding. But….why?
For one thing, the benefits are significant. Women who have encapsulated and ingested their placenta postpartum discovered that it:
Curbs the infamous ‘baby blues’ Although these feelings are perfectly normal in new mothers, especially first time mothers, they can lead to a more serious condition called Postpartum Depression. With a staggering eighty percent of women experiencing varying degrees of postnatal mood disorders, encapsulating the placenta offers one easy additional step to wellness.
Increases milk supply and enriches breast milk Calling all breastfeeding moms! Your placenta contains nutrients that help to not only increase the amount of milk you make, but make it even healthier for baby.
-Decreases postpartum fatigue: Who knew it was even possible for one person to be so tired! But giving birth is a truly exhausting, natural process of being a woman. Ease the tiredness by consuming your placenta.
Decreases lochia (postpartum bleeding) While nothing will stop the bleeding entirely (it’s necessary and normal!) the encapsulated placenta will help to make the bleeding less intense and shorter in duration.
Decreases anemia (iron deficiencies) Ever crave a non-food item during your pregnancy like soap, dirt, or ice? Most likely, your health care provider reminded you to take your prenatal vitamins and perhaps even an additional iron supplement, depending how low your levels were. Iron deficiency does not stop after you have your baby, especially if you choose to breastfeed. This is where your placenta comes in. It will help you avoid taking any additional supplements postpartum.
Increases energy New moms need every ounce of energy they can get. By adding your placenta to a healthy postpartum diet, you can increase your overall energy level by a considerable level!
Decreases insomnia and other sleep problems Its common for a new mom to watch her baby sleep, who isn’t enchanted by that adorable sleeping face?! But let’s be honest, how on earth is your new family going to find a sleep pattern when you can’t seem to fall into proper rest?
Decreases postpartum night sweats Night sweats happen during postpartum as your body disposes of the extra water you carried during your pregnancy. While the process cannot be stopped completely, it can be lessened to make you more comfortable.
In my practice I have a passion for spreading the word about the benefits of placenta encapsulation to my patients. It is a service I offer for all of my expectant mothers. Before they can be convinced, most of them like to know a little bit about the process. The placenta must be cut into strips dehydrated for about 24 hours. Then, they are ground up in a processor. At the request of the mother I also add a few additional herbs before encapsulation. The types of herbs depend on her individual needs as a patient, as does the amount added. With the majority of my patients, I find that even the smallest amount of herbs added will go a long way in helping them achieve their postpartum health goals.
And here is your result.
Bottom Line: There are no herbs, prescriptions, or vitamins that can do for you what your placenta can. It is customized to YOU, and that’s what is so great. It contains the necessary hormones your body needs to keep you feeling balanced after giving birth, as well as essential nutrients like iron and vitamin B-12. Researchers at the University of Las Vegas in Nevada conducted a study of 200 postpartum moms who had encapsulated their placenta. Any guesses what percentage reported feeling at least one of the listed benefits? Go ahead, guess…if you estimated somewhere in the 95% ballpark, congratulations. With such astonishing feedback, what do you new mommies have to lose?
And finally, welcome to the journey of motherhood, one of the most amazing and dynamic roles you will ever have. Until next time, my friends, let us work in harmony to achieve the Good Life.