Did you know a pregnant woman not only grows a brand-new human during gestation, but also a brand-new organ?! The placenta is an amazing thing, used to provide oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus and discard its waste. Pregnancy cannot work without it. After birth, it detaches from the uterine wall and passes through the birth canal within 30 minutes after the baby is born.
Placenta encapsulation is a new idea for many of us, but the practice is quite antique. When you bring it up with someone, you’ll either get a nod of approval or, well, bulging eyes of bewilderment. It is a strange concept in the context of our modern world, so I think it’s important for us to seek to understand it scientifically.
For this, I reached out to Kayla Levine of Nourishing Her, the most knowledgeable and professional placenta lady I know. Read below for her basics on placenta encapsulation.
Placenta encapsulation is the process of turning the placenta into pills or tincture after birth for the mother to take as a natural way to support her healing. Consuming the placenta has been noted in Chinese medicine textbooks dating back thousands of years and is still a traditional practice in many cultures around the world.
When choosing to have your placenta encapsulated it is important to select a placenta specialist who is trained and preferably certified for bloodborne pathogens safety to ensure they know how to properly handle the placenta and avoid contamination. Different specialists also offer different types of placenta medicine. Most all make placenta pills, and many also offer placenta tinctures which can last you many years, placenta prints to have a keepsake painting of your placenta, placenta essence which is a very gentle energetic medicine, and even cesarean balm that is a healing salve that includes dried placenta to boost the cesarean incision healing.
There are few studies at this time about placenta medicine, but the current research does show that placenta pills can provide about 25% of your daily iron, which is essential for postpartum recovery, especially if you had significant blood loss. Placenta also contains a mix of hormones that support balanced moods, help support breastmilk supply, and supplement your body until your ovaries begin making these hormones again at 4-6 weeks postpartum.
Placenta encapsulation has also been proven safe for the infant, there are no side effects known for your baby while taking the pills. The pills have a significant amount of protein to help give you energy and placenta pills are known to reduce pain and speed healing because of the stem cells and a substance called Placenta Opioid Enhancing Factor which is found in the amniotic fluid.
Every state is a little different with their rules and regulations around taking the placenta home from the hospital, so check with your local placenta specialist to find out before your birth. It is best to book with your specialist ahead of time, sign the forms, and make the payment so then you can just call them when you are in labor and they will come pick up the placenta. Usually 1-3 days later they will return the placenta medicine back to you and go over all the instructions for consuming the pills.
Nearly all clients report improved energy levels, better breastmilk supply, more stable moods, and faster healing, especially when they compare to their previous birth and postpartum experience where they did not consume the pills! Consider adding placenta pills to your postpartum plan because you may feel great and not need them, or you may really wish you had them and regret not doing it. It’s better to have them and not need them, you can save them for when you do feel hormonally imbalanced or when your period returns.
If you’d like to know more, you can contact Kayla Levine of Nourishing Her. Kayla is a Certified Placenta Specialist since 2017 and also a Postpartum Doula and Certified Vaginal Steam Facilitator. Kayla provides online postpartum coaching and postpartum planning sessions to anyone around the world and placenta services to families in Southern Arizona. You can learn more about Kayla at www.NourishingHer.com.
How does Marabou support women?
We live in culture where “bouncing back” is more valued than proper rest. As admirable as it may be for a sports star to get back on the field, the same rules don’t apply to postpartum recovery. The traditional resting period has been stolen from women through pressure to get back to their job or simply through lack of presence.
Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood often live too far away to be of any help. Household chores and caring for older children inevitably fall on the mom. But she just delivered a new life! She needs rest.
Marabou Services is a unique gift registry which provides services instead of stuff. Most mom’s get too many onesies, too many baby blankets and not enough helping hands. Break out of a destructive cultural norm and start a Marabou registry today.
With a Marabou registry you can sing up for any service which will benefit you or someone you know during the postpartum recovery period.
Postpartum doulas for a first time mom
House cleanings for moms of multiples
Childcare for moms with older children!
Once your registry is created, add it to any other registry or post it to your Facebook and ask friends and family contribute to your postpartum service, rather than buying you more stuff.