A few weeks ago I met with my new friend Lauren Bullington at the beautiful Northpark Mall in Dallas for coffee to discuss the benefits of placenta encapsulation. As a maternity and newborn photographer topics surrounding birth come up a lot with my clients. Until I met with Lauren I knew next to nothing about placenta encapsulation. Frankly, and I’m now embarrassed to say this, the idea of it grossed me out and I didn’t do it with any of my children.
Placenta encapsulation wasn’t readily available when I had my two oldest and as for my third and fourth kiddos I just didn’t know anything about it. But with more and more information out there about the benefits of this practice, I knew I needed to learn more. I also wanted to share it with my clients and blog followers. After learning more about the practice of placenta encapsulation I think it sounds intriguing and it’s definitely something I would consider if I were still in the business of having babies.
The following are Lauren’s answers to my questions about placenta encapsulation.
Placenta encapsulation is the practice of a mother consuming her placenta afterbirth, most routinely through capsule form. There are several forms of consumption. Some forms involve raw placenta, others do not. Ingesting the placenta can provide several benefits for a postpartum mother.
What is a placenta?
Let’s begin with understanding the anatomical parts and purpose of a placenta during pregnancy. The placenta is an organ. It develops and attaches to a mother’s uterine wall within the first six weeks of gestation. It connects to the fetus through an umbilical cord which develops from the center of the placenta and binds to the fetuses belly button. The umbilical cord contains one vein and two arteries. This vein is used to transport nutrients, oxygen, and blood to the growing fetus. These arteries are used to carry waste away from the fetus. The umbilical cord is the only resource connecting the mother and fetus throughout pregnancy.
What is the function of the placenta?
The primary function of the placenta is to act as a filter and catch basin for all products being transferred between mother and fetus. Throughout pregnancy, the placenta retains and produces several important hormones and nutrients.
Why would you ingest placenta?
If a mother ingests her placenta postpartum, she will be replenishing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone hormones, all which aid in the development of mammary glands and prepares the breasts for lactation. The placenta also contains prolactin, which is the key hormone used to produce breast milk. Prolactin increases a woman’s milk supply. Other benefits that ingesting placenta provides are decreasing postpartum depression or baby blues, replenishing iron from blood loss during birth which helps prevent postpartum anemia, produces a consistent flow of oxytocin after birth euphoria has dissipated, provides the HPL hormone which helps establish early and healthy milk supply, encourages stabilizing ever-changing hormones post birth, restores B vitamins and energy, can inhibit infection and bleeding, and it can offer natural pain relief from the process of labor and birth of baby.
How do you ingest placenta?
The most common placenta encapsulation process is called Raw Foods Method which involves the placenta to be cut into strips and placed in a food-grade-dehydrator for 18-24 hours, until the strips are crisp. The strips are then placed in a blender which turns them into a powder to be encapsulated. The other common placenta encapsulation method is derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine. This involves steaming the raw placenta in natural herbs before placing the strips into a food-grade-dehydrator and blender to be encapsulated. Another common option for postpartum placenta consumption is in the form of a tincture, an alternative to gain longevity from the placenta. The tincture contains 100 proof of brandy or vodka and a thumb nail size piece of placenta, it is also possible to tincture the entire placenta but is a less used practice. It is necessary for the tincture to ferment for 6 weeks before digesting 7-10 drops under the tongue 3-4 times a day.
Where do you go in Dallas for placenta encapsulation?
North Dallas Doula Associates in Downtown Dallas offers many different services including placenta encapsulation. Lauren Bullington the talented doula who wrote this guest blog offers placenta encapsulation services at NDDA. Contact NDDA for more information: