Posted on: March 15, 2019 | Uncategorized
A is for Afterbirth. Afterbirth is the placenta and the tissue and blood after delivery of a baby. The placenta is what has kept a fetus nourished and growing in utero. The afterbirth can be quite overwhelming and can also be quite beautiful. When thinking of an animal giving birth, we know that the mother often results in cleaning off the offspring by ingesting the placenta and membranes.
Which brings us to placenta encapsulation.
Placenta encapsulation is the ingestion of one’s placenta in capsule form. Human placentophagy, a practice dating back as far as the 1500s and more commonly known through Chinese traditional medicine. Placenta consumption has been known to be beneficial in many different ways for a newly postpartum birthing person. One benefit is known to stabilize hormones due to childbirth. A woman’s body cools or warms and the placenta helps bring the body back to center. Anecdotally, the reaction to the placenta ingestion is also an increase in breast milk production. For a new mom that is already worrying about producing enough milk for her baby, the placenta capsules can be a mental uplift.
Another known anecdotal benefit to placenta encapsulation, is that it will help fend off postpartum depression and anxieties. Of course postpartum depression can happen to any person at any time during the first few years after welcoming a baby.
While ingesting one’s placenta cannot prevent postpartum depression, it has been known to decrease the instances of postpartum depression.
Understanding that 70-80% of women will develop a PMAD (Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorder), this is yet another way to be proactive with one’s mental health.
While some may view placenta encapsulation as weird hippie dippie shenanigans, more and more of mainstream society has began to recognize and embrace the benefits; even if anecdotal. In fact, celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West, Holly Madison, and Chrissy Teigen have all joined the placenta encapsulation club.
Interested in learning more about the benefits, process, and ins and outs of placenta encapsulation? Vegas Family Doulas’ Postpartum Placenta Specialists conduct safe, sanitized, in-home placenta encapsulations.