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  • Writer's pictureJereka Hunt

The In-Depth Guide To Placenta Encapsulations: What Every Pregnant Woman Needs To Know

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

What is Placenta?

Picture of a kid that is still connected to the embryo by a placenta

Placenta is a temporary organ that develops during pregnancy and serves to nourish, support, and protect the embryo/fetus. The placenta delivers nutrients and oxygen to a developing baby and it is full of vitamins and minerals such as B6, B12, and iron. It is also hormone rich with progesterone and estrogen.

The placenta is expelled from the uterus after childbirth. It is composed of three layers: the inner layer comprising trophoblast cells, the middle layer consisting of smooth muscle fibers, and the outer musculoelastic laminate which covers it all.

This structure provides oxygen and nutrients to the developing baby. Placenta also removes waste products from the baby's blood. It attaches to the wall of the uterus, and the baby's umbilical cord arises from it. After the baby is born, if the delivery is conducted vaginally, the placenta will be delivered the same way. If you give birth through C-section, your health care provider will remove it from your uterus during the procedure.

Placenta encapsulation

Picture of encapsulated placenta, ready to be digested

Placenta encapsulation is the removal of a placenta's outer covering, also known as the placental trophoblast, from a recently delivered baby. This outer layer can be collected and dried out to make nutrient-rich capsules or powder supplements that are ingested orally by the mother and her new infant. This ritual has been practiced for thousands of years by mothers in many cultures, and is now becoming more widespread in America.

Placenta encapsulation is a service that health care practitioners can offer to clients who are interested in ingesting their placentas after birth. The two most common reasons for a mother to choose placenta encapsulation are because they believe it will help with postpartum physical or emotional recovery, and/or because they see the placenta as a symbol of the child's life.

Is it safe to take placenta pills?

As experts have concluded after some long on-going studies, it looks like with the exception of a few species, all mammals consume their placenta after giving birth. We don’t exactly know why they do this, but some experts believe that they eat their placenta because of the nutritional benefits it can potentially offer to the mother after having the baby. Lately, more and more people have been embracing this “trend” of consuming the placenta after giving birth. Let’s take a look into the possible benefits of doing this!

Pros of placenta encapsulation and consumption

A lot of the evidence about placenta encapsulation and consumption comes from mothers that have tried it. The majority of the women that have tried this procedure say that it did indeed work for them. The benefits of consuming placenta pills, according to their experience, include: prevention of postpartum mood disorders and depression, restoration of iron levels following bleeding after birth, increased production of oxytocin, and increased milk supply.

Mother hugging her babi

Researchers have concluded that hormones such as progesterone and estradiol still remain in placentas at such high levels and that they could cause physiological effects when consumed. According to some studies, placenta pills consumption has been demonstrated to help with mood stabilization by supplementing the body's oxytocin levels. This means that placenta encapsulation can have a potential regulatory effect on postpartum hormones, and it will affect postpartum mood and milk supply positively. But, if it’s verified to have some benefits, why is it still such a controversial topic?

The cons…

Again, it should be noted that there’s not a lot of scientific evidence when it comes to placenta consumption’s negative effects either. One of the main possible downsides of this process is the risk of infections. Placentas are literally organs that come out raw

from inside the mother’s body, so they can easily be contaminated if they are not being handled by an experienced professional. They are not sterile, and the process that the placenta goes through to turn into a pill should be carefully scrutinized by an experienced professional. If the mother gets exposed to these infections while she breastfeeds, the infection could get passed through to the baby.

Another side effect that is worth mentioning has to do with the placenta’s exposure to heavy metals like lead, arsenic and mercury during pregnancy. Consuming the pills for a long period of time can prove to be harmful.

Is it safe to take placenta pills? You decide!

Each person’s experience with their placenta pills is a personal one and very different. Since there are no scientific data to support or denote the consumption of placenta pills, you have to rely on your intuition and do what feels right for you.

The key thing you have to pay special attention is the process that the placenta goes through to turn into capsules. It has to be done in the correct and safe way, so even if it won’t show any benefits, at least it won’t cause any harm or issues. If you are interested to know more about this process, feel free to contact us!

Here at WombMart, with more than 10 years of experience in this field, we are more than happy to say that with each encapsulation, we know that we have given our all to help our fellow parents be the best that they can be during what should be a time of beautiful memories. We take a lot of pride in that! Our mission is to be the "Light Bringers" for every home we enter. This is a life mission of ours.

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