What do Kourtney Kardashian, Alicia Silverstone and January Jones all have in common? All three of these celebrity moms encapsulated their placenta after giving birth.
Let’s get up to speed. Placenta encapsulation is the process of ingesting placenta after it has been steamed, dehydrated, ground and placed into pills. Grossed out at the thought? When I first heard of this century old tradition found most common in Chinese medicine, I have to admit I wasn’t grossed out. I was actually intrigued.
When my son was born in 2010, I had never even heard about a woman ingesting her own placenta. I had heard stories of people planting it in the ground which, to me, always seemed too hippy for my liking. By the time I had my daughter just 3 years later, placenta encapsulation was gaining popularity, fueling my intrigue on the topic. I researched the possible benefits, which include:
- Increased release of the hormone oxytocin, which helps the uterus return to normal size and encourages bonding with the infant
- Increase in CRH, a stress-reducing hormone
- Decrease in post partum depression levels
- Restoration of iron levels in the blood
- Increase in milk production
Other than my celebrity friends who have no idea who I am, I knew zero women who had embarked on the placenta encapsulation journey. After reading the possible benefits, I decided to pave the way and do it! I received some referrals from my doctor and selected a doula with awesome references in my area.
The day my daughter was born, I reminded the hospital staff several times that I would be keeping my placenta. The hospital packed it all up and the doula picked it up. Two days later, she delivered the 140 pills to my house. Door to door placenta pill service.
While there is no confirmed research on whether or not this process works, I can report that I 100% experienced the benefits. I saw a huge difference in taking the pills after my daughter was born from when I didn’t take them after the birth of my son. Here are the benefits I experienced:
Serious milk production – this wasn’t a problem the first time around but my milk came in more quickly and with more volume the second time around. I had to actually stop taking as many pills to get my milk to slow down a bit. A good problem to have if you ask me!
Reduced bleeding – I had natural (as in no epidural or other pain meds) vaginal deliveries with both of my kids. After taking the placenta pills, my bleeding was significantly lighter and shorter than when I didn’t take the pills.
Leveled hormones – I was MUCH less mopey, moody and overall emotional when I took the pills.
Energetic – Yes, I was still an exhausted mom of a newborn. But I also found that I had more energy the second time around.
All of these benefits could have been due to the placenta pills, or they could not be linked at all. But I truly believe it did wonders for my body, soul and mind. If you are thinking about encapsulating your placenta, I’d strongly encourage you to do your research, talk to your doctor and explore if it may be a good option for you.
Have questions? I’d love to chat about it!