To eat my placenta or not? That’s a question I never thought I’d ask myself, and I can’t remember what on earth inspired me to look into in the first place. I researched the heck out of placenta encapsulation – what it was, why anybody ever thought of this in the first place, and whether or not this would just be a complete waste of money for me.
There are a butt load of opinions out there, including that of a Doctor (and a relative) of mine who, when I asked, told me that it was mega hokey and I shouldn’t waste my money. My Midwives and some girlfriends of mine, on the other hand, couldn’t rave enough about the benefits. So, here’s what I found and here’s what I did.
Your placenta is essentially this entirely new organ that your body creates during pregnancy in order to provide for your little one. It produces hormones, provide antibodies and protects your baby from infections. Pretty magical stuff huh? The health of your placenta is determined by YOU during pregnancy. This is important because you don’t want to consume something that is toxic or not beneficial to you (or your baby) after you give birth. A healthy placenta needs:
whole foods abundant in vitamins & minerals
protein and iron rich diet
no alcohol or smoking
plenty of water
high quality prenatal multivitamin
P.S. your Doctor or Midwife will be able to tell everything about you from the look of your placenta. The placenta doesn’t lie 😉
Encapsulating and consuming your healthy placenta will help:
increase your milk supply
increase your energy levels and balance out hormones
prevent baby blues
shorten postpartum bleeding
return uterus to normal size
After chatting with plenty of trusted sources and reading soooo much, I decided to go for it and encapsulate my placenta. I got in touch with a company when I was 32 weeks pregnant, told them my approximate due date and a few details along with the payment. There are tons of different placenta packages to choose from, and I decided to go bare bones with just the pills which worked out to be around $220 CAD.
I delivered the placenta approximately 5 minutes after Henry. It was pretty painless in comparison, and according to my Midwives she was a beaut 😉
My Midwives put it into a giant Ziploc bag and delivered it in a cooler on my behalf. Most encapsulators, if that’s what you want to call them, come to your house or the hospital to pick up though. Three days postpartum, there was a knock at my door and there my pills were, hand delivered, no less.
The standard dosage is up to 2 capsules, 3 times a day for the first 2 weeks and then decrease as you see fit. I found them to be extremely potent and my body was super sensitive to them. I felt like I was taking a caffeine pill when I took more than 1 pill (which was awesome) but I didn’t need it. So I figured that 1 pill each morning was perfect for my body. Each placenta is a different size, therefore each placenta will make a different amount of pills. In my case, I received about 100 pills which lasted me just over 3 months.
Working their magic
I was warned that my postpartum hormones were going to go crazy. I was afraid of getting the baby blues, when the adrenaline finally leaves your body 3 days after you give birth. To my surprise, I actually didn’t cry for the first 8 days after Henry was born. I know, I’m a robot.
However, 8 days after he was born, my Husband left for work. When he came back, he found me sitting in the nursing chair literally sobbing over top of Henry. I was telling him that I had no idea what I was doing and was apologizing to Henry for being such a clueless Mama. After I snapped out of it, I realized that I hadn’t taken my placenta pill for the day yet. Coincidence? Possibly, but after being ruthless about taking them each day after that, I didn’t have anymore ‘episodes’. *Phew*
So, should you?
Placenta pills had a massive impact on me in healing postpartum and coping with life changes. I was lucky to not have battled any postpartum depression. Whether I can attribute this to the pills or not, I don’t know. But I truly believe they helped me, or if nothing else, it didn’t hurt taking them 😉 I’ve been judged by so many people for encapsulating my placenta, but this hasn’t fazed me one bit. The next time around, I’ll definitely be doing it again,