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What Is Placenta Encapsulation?

By Bobbie Fredericks
Updated Jan 22, 2024
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Placenta encapsulation is the process of drying out the human placenta and making it into pill form. This organ nourishes the baby before birth and also creates hormones to prepare the mother's body for delivery. Consuming the placenta is said to have many benefits, including easing postpartum depression and menopausal symptoms. Pills are more appealing to most people than cooking the placenta in stews or other dishes.

Around 80 percent of new mothers experience some degree of sadness. A more persistent sadness, called postpartum depression, is estimated to affect up to 25 percent of new mothers for one to three months after giving birth. Severe postpartum psychosis affects one to three of every 1000 new mothers. Proponents of placenta encapsulation claim that the main cause of these conditions is the hormonal imbalances caused by delivery.

Consumption of the placenta, including through placenta encapsulation, has been practiced in numerous cultures for centuries. It is said to provide both hormonal supplement and necessary nutrition. Some sources claim that women who consume their own placentas have an easier time during the postpartum period, have more energy, and produce more breast milk.

For mothers who are interested in placenta encapsulation, home birth is the easiest option. Some hospitals do not allow women to take the placenta home, and there are professionals who do home visits to prepare the placenta. It is also possible for women to buy kits to perform the placenta encapsulation themselves. Like any meat, the placenta should be properly handled and refrigerated prior to use.

To perform placenta encapsulation, the placenta should first be steamed for about 15 minutes on each side. It is then cut into pieces and dried in a dehydrator for at least six hours. The dried pieces are then ground in a food processor or similar appliance. Dried herbs, selected for their unique properties, can be added. Once ground, the placenta is placed into empty capsules.

Placenta capsules can be refrigerated indefinitely. The recommended dose is three capsules once a day for the first week postpartum, and two capsules twice a day for the second week. After that, the mother can take the pills whenever she feels the need. Extra pills can be frozen until the woman hits menopause, which they also are said to relieve symptoms of.

There are many claimed benefits of the placenta, but there have been no medical studies done to back up these claims. No evidence exists that proves that hormones contained within the placenta are retained during cooking. There is no harm in consuming placenta if it has been properly handled and stored, so women should not be afraid to try placenta encapsulation.

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