New to me: Placenta Encapsulation? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 11-02-2010, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Everyone,

I am looking for doulas and one that I liked said she was an expert in placenta encapsulation. I had no idea what it was and I looked it up. I guess it involves drying your placenta, drying it, putting it into capsules and taking it post partum? I read that it is supposed to prevent PPD which I definitely want to avoid however, my first thought was, yuck! It's also supposed to help with energy level and overall recovery. I've gone to Chinese Medicine Dr.'s in the past and taken all kinds of herb mixtures, and it says this is something that is followed in Chinese medicine. I have a lot of respect for that as it helped me when Western medicine couldn't.

Has anyone else heard/thought about this? I think it's too much for me but I don't want to be close minded about it....

Thanks,
Stella
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#2 of 18 Old 11-02-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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I've read about this, as well as various opinions (and recipes) on consuming your placenta (like as a meal). I believe there's an ongoing thread on MDC about this. Fortunately I did not suffer from PPD after my daughter was born, and if I had I might feel differently about it, but consuming my placenta in any form is beyond what I'm able to stomach.

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#3 of 18 Old 11-02-2010, 09:27 PM
 
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I did this last time (although I tend not to tell people "in real life" about it). My daughter was born via c/s in the hospital but they let us take the placenta home (why? why? they kept asking and we had to sign a release to get it out). My midwife forgot to bring the capsules over, but she just dried small pieces of it out and then I swallowed one a day for 3 or 4 days. They were so small I hardly noticed it.

I felt really good, not sure if it helped at all, but it also felt good to honor the placenta. When my husband went to throw the rest of it out (it was huge), he said "ugh, it's so ugly!" and I actually burst into tears, saying "that grew our baby!" I felt very proud of it. That being said, I couldn't understand what we would have done with a placenta print, so eating a tiny bit then chucking it out seemed the best idea.

I plan to do it again this time, it really can't hurt to try.

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#4 of 18 Old 11-02-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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I've heard of it, as well as other ways of consuming the placenta. it is supposed to give more energy, decreased PPD, and a speedier recovery in general.

Considering I was Vegetarian for almost a decade, but had to give it up for this pregnancy, it's just always felt a bit wrong for me. I'm sure you can find plenty of people on different parts of MDC who have done it though.

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#5 of 18 Old 11-02-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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I have not done it, but have a very good friend who is a doula and encapsulates placentas. She suffered from PPD, and after reading about placenta encapsulation, she did her own. She now offers the service to others. That's about the limit of what I know about it.

I felt a little odd about it at first, too, though when you think about some of the things we eat, placenta encapsulation doesn't seem so far out. (Where does honey come from? How about chicken eggs - ever think about where they come from? Have you ever seen a cow being milked via milking machine, after just coming in from the field?) Yeah, placentas don't seem so weird.

Proud Catholic, homeschooling, RN-student mama of
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#6 of 18 Old 11-02-2010, 10:03 PM
 
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DDCC - I am planning on encapsulating mine. I did suffer from PPD last time and quite frankly if it will mean that it won't happen again and that I won't have to be medicated I'm all for it.

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#7 of 18 Old 11-02-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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I haven't actually encapsulated my own placentas in the past, but I am planning on doing it this time. Actually my midwife does it for a very reasonable fee. My sister in law had a baby about a month ago though, and I encapsulated hers for her. The process was not really bad at all. Kind of a lot of steps I guess, but it wasn't really gross. I don't know if she feels like the placenta has contributed to her recovery, but I have to say from a third party perspective that her recovery seems to have been the fastest of her 3 kids. I'm very curious to try it myself. (note that neither of us have had issues with PPD in particular, just were interested in aiding the postpartum recovery/energy/milk)
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#8 of 18 Old 11-02-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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I'm hoping to do that this time too. Like a pp said- if it helps me avoid PPD this time, I'm all for it!! And the capsules sound MUCH more appealing to me than eating it raw and/or in a smoothie after the birth. (Although if I have an issue with hemorrhaging, I may very well change my mind, because eating the placenta is supposed to help.)

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#9 of 18 Old 11-03-2010, 12:23 AM
 
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I had my placenta raw in a smoothie in 2 batches on day 2 and 3 as my milk was coming in. I didn't have PPD, but those first few days especially were very emotional for me, and I felt very strengthened by it. I wonder if it helped long term. I am a very sensitive person and have lots of emotional ups and downs. My midwife also recommended from 6 months pregnant to 6 months postpartum taking cod liver oil daily - the combo of EFA's and breastfeeding is supposed to significantly reduce PPD chances.
I plan on eating my placenta again this time. I wrote about what I did in another thread here in the DDC, but I'd be happy to share again if anyone is interested.

Wife to great guy and mama to 2 beautiful girls S Oct 15, 2008 and Z March 22, 2011
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#10 of 18 Old 11-03-2010, 01:09 AM
 
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Ooh- that's a good reminder that I need to start taking my FCLO again!!

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
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#11 of 18 Old 11-03-2010, 08:12 AM
 
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I had PPD with baby #3...it was bad. We UC'd for baby #4 and encapsulated the placenta. I can't even begin to describe how much better the post-partum period was. Aside from ABSOLUTELY NO ppd, the biggest noteworthy difference was hair loss. After I have a baby, I lose tons of hair. We're not talking normal postpartum hair loss here, I mean big bald spots on the front of my scalp at my hairline. After encapsulating, none of that!

For baby #5, I assumed the placenta thing was a fluke - so I didn't worry about it. While I didn't have PPD this time, every other thing that was better with baby number 4 was not better this time (hair loss, lochia lasting a LONG TIME, feeling like my insides were falling out, etc.)

I'll definitely encapsulate this time.

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#12 of 18 Old 11-03-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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I had mine encapsulated last time and it was a bit hard to get over the I'm-a-vegan-so-why-am-I-consuming-this-organ factor. I think it helped with PPD, though I did still have a bit of it. I felt a difference when I took them.

I think I'll probably do it again, but I'll have to find someone to do it. My doula, who did it last time, has moved.

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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#13 of 18 Old 11-03-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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I'm pretty fascinated by the whole idea, and as much I don't want to (from a yuck raw organ meat stand point) I would kind of lean toward eating it raw in a smoothie. I just wonder if you lose some of the benefit through the cooking required for the encapsulation process.

How long and how often do you take the capsules?

Jacksonmom-I'm interested to see what happens with your pp symptoms, this should really be the acid test, right?

Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...

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#14 of 18 Old 11-07-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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I've never done it but have heard such good things I'm interested to find out more. It completely squicks me out to think of placenta eating but maybe in pills I can handle it. It rubs my veg diet totally wrong to think about, but then it helps rather than harms all the things I'm vegan for.

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#15 of 18 Old 11-08-2010, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for sharing your insights, knowledge & experiences! I'm intrigued...I'd definitely have to go the pill route I think.

Stella
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#16 of 18 Old 11-08-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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Another vegan here... I really don't think that I could eat it raw, or cooked, or in any way like that. I am very seriously considering encapsulation though. That's more like just taking a vitamin and isn't so unappealing to me.

It's funny because about 6 months ago the whole concept of placentophagy just seemed really weird to me. The more I read about people's experiences with it, the more I'm willing to try it. (I haven't seen any proper studies done on the subject, so if anyone knows of any I'd love to see them). Even if it is just placebo effect, it's still an effect right? I figure it can't hurt to try and might actually help
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#17 of 18 Old 11-08-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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I've prepared other peoples for them and I am going to do it for myself this time. My last 2 pregnancies were surrogacies and I felt too weird since they weren't my biological babies.

Anyway, my understanding is that it is a Chinese medicine thing. It is supposed to help minimize the hormone drop off that can be so unpleasant postpartum.

I am considering making a homeopathic remedy out of a piece before I dry it.

Here is a pretty good website about it:
www.placentalremedy.com

Mama to DD-9, DSS-11, happily married and living with 1dog, 1 cat, 7 chickens, and 2 ducks....expecting 03/11
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#18 of 18 Old 12-16-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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I can't recommend it enough!  It helped so much with my post-partum anxiety!  And it helped with my bleeding post partum (I hemorrhaged after birthing my placenta believe it or not, and became VERY anemic).  Now I offer this service to women in my area because I believe in it so much.  Yes, it is a traditional Chinese method.  To explain it shortly: the placenta is dehydrated and ground up into capsules so you take them like vitamins.  :)

Heather (mama to Carter - almost 2 1/2)

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