There are many ways to benefit from your placenta after birth and all are equally
spiritual and physically supportive to the new mother and her newborn. The most modern and uninvasive way to consume the placenta is in capsule form, also known as placenta encapsulation ei. placenta pills or placenta capsules. There are two types of encapsulation methods, Raw Dried Capsules and TCM Capsules.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Placenta Encapsulation (Steamed Capsules)
The most popular placenta encapsulation process used widely around the world is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) techniques, where the placenta is considered a powerful and sacred medicine – a ‘full of life force’ organ that should be consumed to support a healing mother after birth. Placenta remedies are an important part of birthing history. One of the first and greatest medical and pharmaceutical experts of China, Li Shi-Zhen, included placenta zi he chi as a medicine in his first TCM Materia Medica published in 1578.
There is scattered documentation of dried placenta prescribed as a remedy in Europe during the 1700’s however it wasn’t until the mid 80’s when Raven Lang, an American midwife who studied TCM, brought back this lost tradition by promoting placenta remedies during a MANA conference in America. Putting dried placenta powder into empty vegetable capsules, known as placenta encapsulation, has become very popular in recent years in America and Canada and is now available as a service in the UK and Europe.
Some facts about TCM Placenta Encapsulation:
- Placenta Capsules are made from your placenta with no added ingredients
- The placenta is steamed with lemon, ginger and green chilli according to TCM recipes
- The placenta is dehydrated using a food dehydrator or oven for 8-10 hours until crisp
- The dried placenta is ground into a powder and put into empty vegetable capsules
Placenta capsules may:
- significantly reduce post-birth bleeding
- encourage a quick and healthy milk supply
- replenish essential hormones such as oxytocin and CRH(stress reducer)
- replenish essential nutrients such as vit B6 and iron
- reduce stress levels
- prevent the baby blues and post-partum depression
- leave new mothers feeling calmer
- give new mums the energy to cope with a busy day
Will placenta pills help prevent the ‘baby blues’ or post-natal depression?
The ‘baby blues’ is now a named symptom of birth and mothers are told to expect to feel sad, anxious and very emotional around the third day after the birth, usually when the milk engorges the breasts. These symptoms can sometimes develop into post-natal depression. Studies have proven that the symptoms of post-natal depression are linked with a severe lack of essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin B6 and hormones including CRH (our stress reducer homone), all of which are in high supply in the placenta. Consuming the placenta after birth using placenta encapsulation or other placenta remedies nourishes the mother of lost nutrients and hormones and may entirely prevent the ‘baby blues’ and/or post-natal depression. Read our collection of research studies and articles
Doesn’t the cooking process damage the nutrients and hormones present in the placenta?
To some extent, yes but very minimally. However the placenta encapsulation is still very beneficial. Placenta pills give a new mother the chance to benefit from her placenta for months after birth and have incredible benefits to energy levels and breast milk supply. There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest the placenta pills are or are not beneficial. IPEN and other placenta encapsulation specialists rely on personal experiences and testimonials from new mothers who reveal placenta encapsulation was the key to their speedy recovery following birth.
Moreover, many people chose to eat organic meat to avoid added hormones and other artificial growth factors that are injected into livestock by non-organic farmers to produce more meat in a shorter space of time. If artificial hormones that are injected into livestock are still present in cooked non-organic steaks on the dinner table, then hormones surely survive the cooking process and can have an effect on our body.
Will placenta capsules help with my breast milk supply?
Dried placenta powder, used in placenta encapsulation, has been scientifically proven to increase a breast-feeding mother’s milk supply. The first and still one of the few ever studies on using placenta as a lactagagon gave incredible results. 181 out of 210 women who were given dried placenta to increase milk supply had positive results and saw an increase in their milk supply. Placenta as a Lactagogon; Gynaecologia 138: 617-627, 1954
Read IPEN founder Lynnea’s experience with Placenta capsules and Breastfeeding
How many capsules will my placenta make?
A placenta will make between 75-200 capsules depending on the size of the baby, gestation and capsules size. The average amount of capsules from a placenta delivered at 40-42 weeks gestation is 120, size ‘0’ capules.
How often do I take my placenta capsules?
Capsules can be taken 2-4 times a day during the first 6 weeks. Some can be saved for hormonal imbalances like when weaning baby off the breast. Placenta pills should be stored in the refrigerator and then transferred to the freezer after a year to keep for menopause.