As a Brisbane-based Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, the majority of mothers that I’ve encapsulated placentas for report one or more of the following:
- Improved state of well-being
- Increased milk-supply
- Increased energy levels immediately after birth
- Speedier recovery from birth and return to normal hormonal balance
- Better ability to cope with interrupted sleep
What I find most interesting are the women who didn’t encapsulate their placenta for their first birth but have done so for their second or subsequent births. These women have a clear point of reference and frequently report a significant difference in their postpartum recovery. Many report less lochia (postpartum bleeding) and an overall increase in energy levels than with their firstborn, and this is while caring for a newborn, getting up during the night and caring for a toddler or older children.
Some women report an increase in milk supply. This has been particularly evident for those mothers who have needed to express breast milk for their firstborn as well as for their second. As mum of two, Skye has said “My recovery has been amazing but most importantly for me is the difference in my milk supply. I am so grateful for this as my bub has an upper lip tie and this made breastfeeding very difficult and extremely painful. This led to the decision again to pump for her as I did with my first child (she also has a tie). The difference between both times is huge! With my first child I only pumped for the first few months and total average pumped in 24hour period was 60ml max, this time I’m getting approximately 1ltr per day which means we are not needing to supplement with formula. I now can see us having a long and successful pumping journey.”
For the first time mums who have tried placenta encapsulation they report feeling great, no baby blues and generally bounce back quickly from the birth. Some also mention that their partners can tell a difference in moods if they forget to take their placenta capsules for a day or so.
So how does it work?
The placenta is rich in iron and protein which when taken by the mother help replenish these on a physical level after the toll taken on the body through pregnancy and birth. Pregnant mothers can frequently become iron-deficient in the later stages of pregnancy and need to up their iron intake or supplement. Consuming the placenta after pregnancy and birth is said to replenish a mother’s iron levels quickly, this is particularly so for vegetarians.
The placenta also contains a variety of hormones and there is a significant hormonal shift as all the pregnancy hormones deplete after birth. This hormonal shift can make for a more emotional and difficult adjustment period after birth. Taking placenta capsules is said to help ‘balance’ the body and hormone levels in the days and weeks following birth.
Most mothers take placenta capsules regularly in the first two weeks postpartum and then take as required e.g. when lacking energy or feeling tired. Some women like to keep some capsules for times when they may be feeling low in energy or mood, have low milk supply, feel stressed out, or are experiencing difficult transition periods.
It’s important to note that while there is little scientific research to support the claims made by women who have tried placenta encapsulation there is mounting anecdotal evidence supporting these claims as more and more women opt for encapsulation. It may not be for everyone but placenta encapsulation services offer women a service, it’s their body, their birth, their choice.