Placenta Encapsulation: another bloody thing to fork out for?
I'm really excited to welcome Helen Wright, founder of BirthWright and Placenta specialist as this week's guest blogger. Placenta encapsulation wasn't something I looked much into for my own postnatal period, but as something a lot of women are becoming more interested in, I was keen to find out more! At present there's only anecdotal evidence to describe the benefits, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there aren't any! (Just that no one has put the money into proving it - or not). For a look into the current evidence you can click here. If you have further questions about Placenta Encapsulation you can join us in The Positively Birthing Space on Facebook for Helen's Live Q&A soon!
Your baby budget’s already stretched: you’ve paid for hypnobirthing classes, the cot, the buggy, the car seat… and your maternity pay won’t last forever. But can you really afford not to invest in having your placenta encapsulated? What’s all the fuss about, anyway?
Today, there is profound anecdotal evidence backed up by a number of scientific studies (references below), which suggest that consuming the placenta may be just as beneficial for humans as it is for other mammals. Testimonials from our clients have revealed that consuming the placenta after birth may indeed live up to the celebrity ‘hype’ and thereby serve to offer an overall healthier post-birth recovery.
Claim #1: Consuming your placenta may encourage a quick and healthy milk supply.
Although we offer no guarantee, many of our clients notice that their milk comes in quickly and in plentiful supply, soon after having taken their pills. We have received a number of reports from clients, telling us that their placenta pills have supported them through many months, indeed years, of successful breastfeeding.
Claim #2: Consuming your placenta may reduce stress levels, prevent the ‘baby blues’ and post-natal depression (PND).
The ‘baby blues’ is a known symptom of birth. 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 PND. Studies have proven that the symptoms of PND are linked with the severe lack of essential nutrients such as vitamin B6 and the hormone CRH (our stress reducer hormone), both of which are in high supply in the placenta. Consuming the placenta in raw smoothies or in capsule form, is thought to nourish the mother, replacing lost essential nutrients and hormones following birth and may entirely prevent the ‘baby blues’ and PND.
Claim #3: Consuming your placenta may reduce post-birth bleeding.
During and after birth, women lose between 1/8 - 1/10 of their blood supply from the bleeding wound left inside the uterus where the placenta was attached during pregnancy. We believe that the placenta was made to be consumed to make up for this loss, by giving the new mother essential fats, proteins, vast amounts of iron and essential hormones to heal the wound and aid the body in self recovery after birth.
There are two methods of placenta encapsulation for you to choose from: the Simple (raw) method or the Steamed (TCM) Method which is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Steamed (TCM) Method, involves steaming the placenta over green chilli (to warm the body and improve circulation), lemon (for grounding) and ginger (to help the absorption of nutrients in the blood), before it is sliced, dehydrated for between 8 -10 hours and then ground and turned into capsules. The Simple (Raw) Method involves initially dehydrating the placenta at a high temperature for an hour to kill any surface bacteria, before reducing the temperature for the remaining 12 - 14 hours and then being ground and turned into capsules.
Both methods of encapsulation offers all of the benefits mentioned above and may help to create an overall healthier and quicker post-birth recovery. However, reports tell us that pills made using the Steamed Method are particularly beneficial to mums wanting to reduce their chances of suffering from PND, due to their subtle, calming effect. Whereas clients wishing to increase their energy levels are likely to benefit more from the Simple Method, as these pills have been reported to yield a stronger energetic response. Which method you choose is really a matter of personal choice.
One placenta will make between 75-200 capsules, depending on the size of the baby, gestation and capsule size. The average amount of capsules from a placenta delivered at 40-42 weeks gestation, for example, is 120 using size ‘0’ capsules. The capsules can be taken 2-4 times a day during the first 6 weeks. Some women choose to save some of their capsules to support them during times of hormonal imbalance, for example; when weaning baby off the breast or during the menopause.
There are also a number of additional remedies which your Placenta Remedies Specialist can make for you, using any ‘left-over’ capsules. For example; a Placenta Tincture, which is a life-long remedy, particularly useful to support you during periods of emotional, mental and psychological instability and may be very beneficial for easing PMS and during the menopause. Creams, balms and facial oils, as well as homeopathy can also be made. Speak to your specialist for more details.
For me, the decision to invest in having my placenta encapsulated was an absolute no-brainer: it was too good an opportunity to miss. I'm so glad I went for it: my milk came in immediately, my bleeding stopped quickly and I never felt ‘blue’. Second time round, I encapsulated my own placenta, but that’s a story for another time…
If you’d like to find out more about placenta encapsulation and which method might be the right choice for you, or indeed, if you would like to discover the whole range of Placenta Remedies Helen has to offer, then head over to her website: www.BirthWright.co.uk; send her an email or give her a ring. She can chat all day long about placentas and she’d love to hear from you.
Helen Wright, Founder of BirthWright, lives in Wapping, East London, with her partner and their two children. In her life BC (Before Children), Helen was a primary school Assistant Headteacher, specialising in the Early Years. However, since becoming a mum, Helen is now a massive advocate for positive birth and she is on a mission to help as many families as she can, to have the right births, indeed the best births, for them and their babies. Helen is an IPEN Certified Placenta Remedies Specialist, a Positive Birth Coach, KG Hypnobirthing Teacher, creative genius behind BirthWright Affirmation Cards, a Breastfeeding Helper with the Breastfeeding Network and cohost of a monthly meet up and support group for parents in East London.
Head over to Facebook to join Helen’s group: The Pregnancy, Birth and Parenthood Village https://www.facebook.com/groups/WelcomeToOurVillage ; and follow her adventures on Insta https://www.instagram.com/birthwrightuk/
To find a Placenta Remedies Specialist in your area, head over to the Placenta Remedies Network: https://placentaremediesnetwork.org/placenta-remedy-specialists/
Links to the studies referred to above, are all available in the Research Library over on the Placenta Remedies Network (PRN): https://placentaremediesnetwork.org/research-and-articles/