Everything You Wanted to Know About Placenta Encapsulation – Should You Do It?

There is a growing number of new moms who are opting for placenta encapsulation. If you have ever seen
a National Geographic wildlife documentary involving an animal giving birth, you already know that
animals lick and eat their own placenta after the birthing process. As it turns out, there might be some
health benefits, which may help in recovery. The hormonal and nutritional content of the placenta allows
the animals to replenish their bodies.


While there is no evidence that prehistoric humans practiced placentophagy, the trend of moms eating their
own placenta after giving birth has been on the rise in the last decade. The trend was further popularized
when celebrities like Kim Kardashian and January Jones joined the movement.

In this post, we answer some of the most fundamental questions about this postpartum practice, so you can
make an informed decision.

What is Placenta Encapsulation?


Placenta in its raw form is not safe to ingest. Placenta encapsulation is a process where the placenta is
collected after the delivery, then steamed, dried, and powdered. This process kills the dangerous pathogens
and the dry powdered placenta is then put inside pills.  This entire process starting from collection to
transforming the placenta into pills is called placenta encapsulation.

What Are the Claimed Health Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation?

While there are still no studies that conclusively prove the health benefits of placenta encapsulation, there
are individual reports from thousands of women who experienced positive results. The following are the
most commonly reported health benefits of placenta encapsulation.

Faster Recovery: One of the most commonly reported benefits of placenta encapsulation is it helps the
mother recover. The nutrition and the hormonal content help the uterus to recover faster.

Reduction in Postpartum Depression: It’s reported by many women that consumption of placenta pills
after childbirth helped with reducing postpartum depression.  One of the theories behind why that might
actually be true is the fact that the placenta is rich in hormones. These hormones may trigger the secretion
of CRH, which is a known stress-reducing hormone.

Increased Milk Production: Women who had their placenta encapsulated also reported increased production
of milk. Women with multiple children often reported that the see a positive change in milk production after
having placenta capsules regularly.

Increases Iron Supply in the Body: Placenta is rich in iron and thus it helps in replenishing the iron supply
after birth. However, some scientists argue that the percentage of iron is not significant enough to make any
discernible difference.

Increase Bond with the Newly Born Infant: There is also reports that the practice of eating placenta can
improve the production oxytocin. This helps to bond  more with the newly-born child.

What are the Risks of Eating Your Own Placenta?

The biggest risk of eating placenta is the presence of pathogens. However, if a woman is having her own
placenta, she already has the pathogens in her body. Therefore, there is no new danger.

Treating the placenta is also very important. The steaming and pilling process kills off the pathogens and
drastically reduces the chances of complications. This is where a good placenta encapsulation service plays
such as vital role. 

You ideally want the encapsulation process done in a sterilized environment or be done at home, where
there is little chance of cross contamination.

3 Critical Tips When Choosing a Placenta Encapsulation Service Provider

Check Certification: Before selecting a placenta encapsulation specialist or hiring a company, be sure to
ask for their certifications. Make sure the person performing the encapsulation is a qualified midwife or a
doula.     

Do They Help with the Hospital Paperwork: Hospitals need to be informed and there is often paperwork
required for the placenta collection process. Ask the placenta encapsulation service provider, if they help
with that. Some hospitals may have strict policies about not allowing collection of the placenta after
childbirth. To avoid such instances, you need to contact the encapsulation specialist. They usually have a
list of hospitals that allow placenta to be collected.  

Will They Perform the Encapsulation Service At Your Home: One of the biggest risks of placenta
encapsulation is cross infections. The risk totally depends on the cleanliness and the safety measure of
individual placenta encapsulation facilities. The best way to avoid that is by asking specialist to perform
the encapsulation process at your home. Be sure to ask in advance as a lot of these services do not offer
at-home encapsulation. 



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