People have been talking more and more about placenta encapsulation. It’s become almost mainstream in some areas, but there are still many people who have no idea what it means or why anyone would do it.
Let’s start with the basics.
The placenta is an organ grown inside the uterus during pregnancy. It’s the only organ created for a specific purpose and then discarded by the body once its task is complete. It is rich in nutrients like iron and Vitamin B12, as well as naturally produced hormones (we’ll get specific in a minute).
We all know that hormones play a huge role in pregnancy and labor, but did you know postpartum is also a time of major hormonal change? Our bodies are working hard to get back to normal, and in the case of breastfeeding mothers, sustain a new life. The birth of the placenta is the first step in that shift of hormones back to their original levels (sort of). At that point, certain other hormones are triggered into high production–one of the most important ones being Prolactin, the milk-making hormone.
But sometimes we run into hurdles. We’ve all heard of women (or have been women) who couldn’t seem to make enough milk to satisfy their babies. We’ve heard countless tales of emotional highs and lows, the “baby blues” or more severely, postpartum depression or PMAD (Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders). We’ve heard struggles of trying to recover from difficult births. Postpartum is a crazy time!
The placenta contains hormones that can help some women with these issues:
Prolactin — The hormone responsible for promoting breast milk production.
Oxytocin — The hormone that stimulates uterine contractions, helping it return to its pre-pregnancy state and reduce post-birth bleeding. It also prompts the letdown reflex to aid in breastfeeding, and contributes to the maternal/child bond. Known as “The Love Hormone”.
Low levels of Vitamin B12 are thought to contribute to the onset of depression, and we all need an iron boost whenever we experience blood loss, as in birth.
While not every woman will experience these benefits from consuming her encapsulated placenta, anecdotal evidence suggests that many do. For women with a history of the aforementioned struggles, this could be a natural way to reduce the chances of them happening again.
If you’re interested in more information, or are wondering if placenta encapsulation could benefit you, contact the Postpartum Placenta Specialist at Kind Roots today.
**Note: This should not be taken as medical advice. Always be in communication with your care provider regarding any treatments. We do not guarantee any specific results.**
Frye, Anne. Holistic Midwifery Volume 2. Portland: Labrys Press, 2004. Print.
Hall-Flavin, Daniel K. “What’s the relationship between Vitamin B12 and depression?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 6 February 2014. Web. 12 April 2016. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/vitamin-b12-and-depression/faq-20058077>
“Oxytocin.” You & Your Hormones. Society for Endocrinology. 31 March 2015. Web. 12 April 2016. <http://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/oxytocin.aspx>
“Prolactin.” You & Your Hormones. Society for Endocrinology. 31 March 2015. Web. 12 April 2016. <http://www.yourhormones.info/Hormones/Prolactin.aspx>