Placenta Encapsulation, a practice known as placentophagia
This is my third pregnancy. Up until now, the only purpose I knew of for the placenta was to allow for nutrients to go to the fetus and eliminate waste during pregnancy. I also knew it had to be delivered after the baby. I had NEVER considered nor imagined people would eat it!? I'm not talking some weird religious or cannibalistic ritual. I'm discussing normal, everyday women. Let me share with you what I've learned since I began to research the process and hopefully you'll comment and share what you know.
Placenta encapsulation is a process in which, immediately following the birth of your baby, your placenta is dehydrated and ground into a course powder, which is then placed into small capsules that look exactly just like any other vitamin or supplement we might take. Mothers then consume these capsules to help them rebound from the birth, avoid postpartum blues, and boost their milk supply. I don't know about you, but I myself need all the help I can receive to recover postpartum.
Still even knowing the postpartum benefits of maintaining hormones and iron levels, speedier healing rates, curbing fatigue and anxiety. WHY would a mother want to consume her placenta, in this manner? Apparently, Humans (at least in the Western world) are one of the few land mammals that do not regularly eat their placentas. I still wasn't sold on the idea with that reason...So I researched some more.
Placenta encapsulation boosts milk supply because it contains Oxytocin, which is responsible for the milk ejection reflex, or “let down.”
Placenta encapsulation decreases postpartum mood problems by increasing amounts of iron. Iron-deficiency (anemia) can cause postpartum depression and anxiety. The placenta contains a huge amount of iron. Fatigue is another major causes of postpartum depression, but consuming the placenta can boost energy levels.
Then I realized even if I became sold on the idea, how would I go about having it done. Some mothers choose to dehydrate and encapsulate their own placentas, others hire out the work to a placenta encapsulation professional. These professionals are usually duolas or midwives. The services can be done in your home, although apparently pretty smelly, or the professionals place of work.
I still haven't made arrangements for this procedure, but am completely intrigued by the concept.