Pregnancy and the placenta go together. In fact, the placenta is the only organ in your body that forms and grows during pregnancy. Isn’t that amazing?

Upon your baby’s delivery, in a biological process referred to as afterbirth, your body will naturally get rid of the placenta.

However, some say that placentas do not outlive their importance after the delivery of the baby. Some even argue that a placenta may benefit you even after giving birth.

Want to know more? Keep on reading!

 

What exactly is a placenta?

The placenta is a pancake-shaped organ that is the first to be formed in the uterus after you conceive. Yes, even before your baby is formed.

A placenta’s main function is to connect you and your baby during pregnancy through the umbilical cord. Your placenta facilitates the delivery of oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to your baby as it grows in your tummy. It also functions as a filter to remove waste and toxins in your baby’s blood.

And just like your baby, a placenta grows throughout your pregnancy. It grows and attaches itself to a woman’s uterus. It is normally located at the top of the uterus, on its side walls, or at the front and back part of the uterus.

 

What happens to the placenta after the baby is delivered?

A placenta ceases its usefulness when you deliver your baby. Now that your baby is in the outside world, it will breathe and feed on its own, taking in the oxygen and nutrients they need for growth. Waste and toxins in babies’ bodies will also be expelled through normal biological functions.

Your body will naturally expel the placenta from the uterus during vaginal delivery. In a C-section, your doctor will remove the placenta after the delivery of your baby.

Now here is the part where things get even more interesting. While the commonly-held belief is that your placenta is no longer needed after you give birth, some subscribe to the notion that it is still valuable to you after delivery.

How? 

Through ingestion by encapsulating your placenta.

 

What is placental encapsulation?

Placental encapsulation is modern society’s way of preparing the placenta for ingestion by moms. This process involves steaming, dehydrating, grounding, and placing the placenta by-product in clear capsules. Ingesting a placenta is a practice found in some cultures and civilizations and is often referred to as placentophagy.

Others take placenta in the form of a smoothie, or as an ingredient in a cooked dish. A quick Google search of placenta recipes will yield varied results from placenta patties to placenta spaghetti or lasagna.

These various methods make it easier for new moms to ingest placenta, similar to taking daily supplements after birth.

There are celebrities and social media influencers who subscribe to the practice of ingesting placenta through encapsulation and who swear by its benefits. This has increased new moms’ curiosity about ingesting placenta through a pill.

 

What are some reasons to encapsulate your placenta?

Let’s talk about the reasons why some celebrities, social media influencers, midwives, doulas, or moms subscribe to the practice of placenta encapsulation and ingestion.

The practice of ingesting your placenta is believed to have post-partum benefits for moms such as increasing milk production and raising moms’ energy levels. Some believe that it has a positive impact on moms’ hormones, thus decreasing the likelihood of post-partum depression or insomnia.

Below, we discuss five reasons to encapsulate your placenta.

 

The placenta is a source of nutrients for babies and moms alike.

Remember that for the nine months that your baby is growing in your tummy, their source of nutrients, oxygen, and hormones is by way of the placenta. Therefore, if a placenta was able to provide the nutrients needed by babies, it should provide the same nutrients to mommies as well.

 

Placenta ingestion may help regulate emotions after birth.

Many moms report going through post-partum depression, mood disorders, or stress after the birth of their child. Throughout your pregnancy, your placenta provided your baby with your hormones – the good ones – as part of their growth and development. And we all know that hormones affect our emotions, right?

Encapsulating the placenta is believed to provide moms with a natural method of addressing the emotional downside that accompanies childbirth. This is an attractive idea, especially for moms who feel like they have hopped on the emotional roller coaster express after the delivery of their child. 

 

Placenta ingestion may serve as a post-partum energy boost for moms.

We’re telling your right now: Caring for your baby after delivery will consume a lot of your energy. After giving birth, women continue to feel exhausted due to lack of sleep and the demands of being a new mom. The placenta is believed to be rich in iron and may help give new moms that much-needed energy boost to see them through demanding days ahead.

 

It Increases the milk supply for babies.

Breastfeeding is such a unique experience for moms and babies alike. Some moms produce more than enough milk for their babies while others seem to struggle with producing the milk needed by their babies to grow and fully develop.

Another motivation therefore for new moms to encapsulate their placenta for ingestion is the belief that it helps increase their milk production. The benefit, therefore, is not just for moms but for their newborns. Formula feeding is fine, but getting the benefits of breast milk would definitely be advantageous to babies.

 

It reduces the feelings of post-partum pain.

One more benefit of ingesting the placenta is that it is believed to reduce post-partum pain that moms who have just given birth feel. Yes, you will be aching all over after giving birth. Any relief from pain after a baby’s delivery is good news to new moms!

 

Northeast Doulas: Empowering moms to make an informed choice on placenta encapsulation

In caring for our babies and our bodies throughout pregnancy and post-delivery, you moms should feel empowered to make informed decisions and choices. Part of a doula’s role in a woman’s pregnancy, labor, delivery, and post-partum is to provide informational support in a sensitive and non-judgmental way.

This kind of informational support from a doula is certainly helpful in facilitating conversations and discussions on placenta encapsulation. This is to complement various studies and articles on the practice of ingesting placenta, including its pros and cons.

New moms have also offered testimonies of how the placenta encapsulation and ingestion have helped them with the post-partum challenges that they experience. Blog articles where moms share how ingesting placenta in a pill allowed them to experience the benefits of ingesting placenta can be searched online. These include having a mood-swing fee post-partum experience and more energy to take care of her baby.

You can talk to our team at Northeast Doulas if you want to learn more about placenta encapsulation. Our trained and experienced doulas can thoroughly discuss placenta encapsulation to help you arrive at a decision that you feel is beneficial to you and your baby.

Reach out to us today and let us address any concerns you may have about placenta encapsulation. We look forward to hearing from you!