They smell like liver and taste a bit ropey but from personal experience I can’t recommend them highly enough.
It’s a one time opportunity to have your placenta encapsulated and I thought that I can always not take them but, I can’t change my mind about not having the placenta processed. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
I had been taking them for about 3 months since my first child was born and was feeling amazing. All of a sudden, I fell in a heap. I was very down, became unwell, bitchy, moany and tired, my milk supply took a bit of a hit and generally I felt pretty shit. I realised the only thing different in my diet was that I had stopped taking my placenta pills. It took me about two weeks to figure out but as soon as I started taking them again I bounced back, buoyant milk filled boobs and all.
I was skeptical before even having our baby, and in those early days and weeks I wasn’t really sure if they did anything but that difference in my wellbeing at that 3 month mark is etched on my brain. So much so that when our second baby was born 15 months later I had my placenta encapsulated again.
Of course for lots of people it sounds way too out there, and too much to even consider. Coming from the other side I urge you not to jump to conclusions before you heard all the facts.
What Are Placenta Pills?
Placenta pills are exactly what they sound like, capsules made from the placenta that has nourished your baby since its conception. The pills are made of a processed version of the placenta, a process that is becoming more refined and more readily available as mothers put their confidence in something new.
What Are They Supposed To Do?
Well if you believe the hype (and I have to admit that I do) placenta pills can do a range of things for you after the birth of your baby. They’re thought to balance the hormones, increase and enhance milk supply and even improve your energy levels. There’s also some suggestions that the pills improve iron levels reduce post-natal bleeding, and improve your mood.
All that just from chowing down on some placenta.
And it’s not that uncommon either. In the animal kingdom many mothers eat their placenta after birth, and as more and more celebrities and everyday women catch on, this is one trend that doesn’t look to be slowing down.
Why Does It Help?
The reason the placenta is so good for it is because it’s packed full of nutritious (but not so delicious) things that have been feeding your baby. This includes a large number of rich vitamins and minerals that can help to fight depression, like vitamin B6, as well as loads of iron and protein, which provides much needed energy for recovery.
The stats suggest that it’s probably a smart idea as almost 80% of mums experience what we call ‘the baby blues’ in few days and weeks after their child is born. Although many women think that it’s all par for the course it might not need to be so hard on you. Eating your placenta, also known as placentophagy just might provide the solution you need.
Are There Studies?
Well, in short no.
The problem is that the clinical trials of human placentophagy are just getting started, and have a long way to go before there’s any concrete evidence about the benefits of the pills. However it’s been widely reported by mums who have taken placenta pills that they have fewer emotional issues, more energy, and a smoother postpartum recovery.
How Do They Make It Into Pills?
There are actually three ways that you can turn your placenta into pills, and while some placenta encapsulation services only offer one others will provide all three. Each has their own benefits, so do your research before you decide.
In all cases the placenta needs to be retrieved by the encapsulator within 12 hours of birth, or 24 hours if refrigerated. The pills are then usually returned within a few days, while the tincture takes 6-7 weeks.
TCM Placenta Encapsulation: TCM means Traditional Chinese Medicine, and this is the method this process uses to create placenta pills. During this process the placenta is cleaned, gently heated and then dehydrated before being carefully ground into capsules.
Raw Placenta Encapsulation: Raw Placenta Encapsulation does not believe in heating the placenta, so this step in the process is skipped. Otherwise the same actions are taken, resulting in pills made from the grounds of your dehydrated placenta.
Homeopathic Tincture: This method is based on the age-old studies of homeopathy and is actually not a pill at all. Instead it’s a liquid solution intended to be used only in need and not daily. It’s made from part, or all, of the placenta being blended with high quality alcohol and left to sit for 6 weeks. Mothers have used this on themselves, as well as on their children as they grow.
What Does It Cost?
Depending on the service you go with you can expect to pay between $200 and $400 for your placenta to be encapsulated, with most regular sized placentas producing 100-200 pills. You can of course choose to do it yourself if you think you’ll have the energy after your birth, but many mums choose to let the professionals do it.
Should I Do It?
Look, at the end of the day this is a question that only you can answer. I don’t have the concrete evidence that it works for everyone, but I can tell you that placenta pills were something that I looked into and just decided to try. They would either have worked perfectly, or been a total bust but for me it was worth having a go.