Placenta encapsulation has been something that I knew I wanted to try even before becoming pregnant. Although there is no scientific based evidence or controlled studies to back up the theory, many new moms are speaking out about the differences they have felt after consuming their placenta. After much research and consideration, I figured it ought to be worth a try.
Placenta encapsulation is believed to have many benefits which may include:
- Restoration of iron levels
- Increase in milk production
- Increased energy
- Increased release of the hormone oxytocin, which helps the uterus return to normal size and encourages bonding with the infant
- Increase in CRH, a stress-reducing hormone
- Decrease in postpartum depression levels
Placenta encapsulation by a professional can cost anywhere from 200-300 dollars. I started looking up videos and reading up on how it’s done and I was convinced It was something I could achieve on my own.
Here’s what I purchased
- Size “00” capsules
- A capsule machine (note: if you don’t want to spend that extra $20 you can encapsulate them yourself by hand. But I highly recommend getting one!)
- A dehydrater. Again you can do it in the oven at 200° F but I wanted to make sure everything was going to be right since I only had one chance!
- Steamer basket
- And you’ll need a high-speed blender! I used my ninja.
There are two ways to encapsulate your placenta. The Raw method or traditional Chinese medicine method (TCM). There’s also a lot of sources on the internet which go into detail about the two methods if you’re interested. I chose to do the TCM method because it is said that giving birth is considered to be very yin (cold energy). By steaming the placenta and adding a variety of ingredients, you’re essentially adding yang energy (hot) to it and back into your body. This method is also the most used within the placenta encapsulating community.
- Your placenta of course!
- Any other ingredients you want to add.
Other random stuff you need:
- Cutting board
- Pot to steam in
- Paper towels
Many hospitals have a policy of not releasing any “hazardous waste” I lucked out by having a hospital who released my placenta by just signing a simple form.
I obviously couldn’t take my placenta home right away to be refrigerated after giving birth so I had my mom bag it up and take it home to put in the fridge for me. Note: bring your own gallon sized ziplock bags and make sure you double bag it so nothing escapes!
I gave birth on Wednesday morning, was released Thursday afternoon and encapsulated my placenta on Saturday. It’s recommended that you encapsulate the placenta 24-72 hours after giving birth.
Okay so let’s get started.
First PRE step: set up steamer basket/a pot with water filled not higher than the basket and turn on your stove to have everything ready for step two! Cut up a lemon or two, a jalapeño, and some ginger. If your curious to adding different/more herbs just look up info on the internet.
Step one: Make sure your sink is well sanitized and cleaned. I also put a plastic bags over it and the counter space so blood wouldn’t be spattered everywhere. Start by washing your hands and putting on gloves. Rinse your placenta as best you can. The amniotic sac will still be attached as well as the umbilical cord. You can remove it by using some scissors make sure you sanitized them before hand. And watch out because your placenta will be slippery!
After you’re done rinsing, set your placenta on a cutting board. I had a plastic cutting board that I threw away afterward. Pat down placenta with some paper towels. Clean up the sink mess because it will look like a crime scene! I don’t have any pictures of the rinsing process because I was home alone.
Here is my placenta! I really thought I was going to be grossed out by it but it was actually super cool to work with it and to see where Kaia lived and got her nutrients from.
Step two: you’ve already done the work for step two so just place your placenta in the steamer basket along with the ingredients you wish to add. Steam placenta on both sides for about 15 minutes each piercing it a few times to let extra blood out. You’ll be surprised about how it looks afterward! Note: leave a window/door and stove fan on. It may smell a little weird but the ginger and lemon kind of help!
Step three: weird right? Here is the placenta after it’s steamed! Place back on the cutting board and cut into thin strips.
Step four: load up your dehydrator and if you want you can do a cute heart-shaped (or what ever shape you want) keep sake of the umbilical cord. Dehydrate for 8-10 hours. I checked at the 8 hour mark for crispness and to see if it can snap in half easily. I decided to add another two hours to the timer.
Step five: after its dehydrated place a few pieces at a time in the blender and blend until powder-like consistency!
Step six: Start the encapsulating process. Read the directions that the capsule machine comes with. Its supper easy and gives you 24 pills at a time! Its pretty messy so use a plate or tray underneath the machine itself. I don’t have really great pictures of this process because again I was home alone and my hands were a little dirty!
Finished product: I got 126 pills out of my placenta! Plus a cute heart-shaped umbilical cord. Store them in a mason jar in the fridge.
Taking the pills: My Experience. So during pregnancy my hormones were crazy. I was emotional, mean, had no patience, and super short-tempered. Trust me, pregnancy literally turned me into a different person. I encapsulated my placenta solely because I heard it helped with postpartum baby blues and since I was already on edge and prone to depression I really thought it would help me out. After I gave birth I transformed within a day. I felt at peace, calm, emotionally stable and I was actually my nice self again. After encapsulating my placenta I was a bit nervous to take that first pill. You’re suppose to take two pills three times a day for the first two weeks and then slowly decrease it afterwards. I started with two pills after breakfast and I had a complete crying spell. I held Kaia and just cried and cried for no apparent reason. I decided not to take the second dose that day because before I took the pill I was feeling GREAT. I tried to take another pill the next day and the same thing happened. A week went by without me taking any of them and then I tried again. It made me feel weirdly emotional and I had thoughts like “I can’t do this” so I decided to stop taking them all together.
I’m not saying that taking placenta pills will have the same effect on you or anyone else. Because everyone is so different I have no doubts that other mama’s who’ve taken their placenta have felt great and had no side-effects. I truly belive it helps women with baby blues and milk production. But because I was feeling great after birth and had no sign of baby blues I just think it had a counter effect on me.
I still have my placenta pills in the fridge so if there every comes a day a feel like I need a little boost.
Encapsulating my own placenta was easy, saved me $300 and nothing like I had expected. I’m super glad I got to try it out for myself and see what it was all about. For my next baby (if I choose to have another one) haha I will for sure try encapsulating my placenta again!