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Your placenta is an amazing organ that is grown specifically to nourish your baby in the womb.  It is rich in hormones, proteins and vitamins.  Why not use it to help you heal from childbirth?  Placenta encapsulation has been around for centuries, and is becoming increasingly popular among American women who want a more natural, organic way to recover from birth.  It is a process of dehydrating the placenta after birth, and grinding it into a powder before it is placed into capsules for easy digestion.  

Mothers report the following benefits: (1)

  • Increased energy

  • Decreased postpartum depression

  • Better milk supply

  • Less anxiety

  • Decreased postpartum bleeding

  • Quicker recovery from birth

  • More stable emotions

What is in your placenta that is so beneficial? (1) (2) (3)

  • Vitamins and minerals, including iron, B6 & calcium - helps maintain healthy levels

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone - boosts energy and combats stress

  • Oxytocin - for pain relief and bonding; "The Love Hormone"

  • Prolactin - promotes lactation

  • Prostaglandins - anti-inflammatory

  • Cortisone - combats stress and unlocks stores of energy

  • Interferon - stimulates the immune system to protect against infections

  • Hemoglobin - replenishes iron deficiency and anemia

  • POEF (Placenta Opioid Enhancing Factor) - for pain relief

Postpartum Depression (4)

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), 11-20% of women who give birth each year experience postpartum depression (approximately 600,000 in the US).  In a study at the National Institutes of Health, researchers found that new mothers have lower levels of a stress fighting hormone called CRH (Corticotropin Releasing Hormone) which helps combat depression.  In the third month of pregnancy, the placenta produces three times the normal amount of CRH necessary for pregnancy, labor and delivery.  After the placenta is expelled, the mother's level of CRH is drastically lowered, leaving her deprived of the vital hormone.  We also know that the placenta is a big producer of iron during pregnancy, producing an increased level necessary for mother and fetus.  Again, when the placenta is expelled, the mom's iron levels can get dangerously low.  A new mom may find placenta encapsulation can help maintain healthy levels of iron and hormones to give her emotional and physical balance. 

 

Resources:  (1) Beacock, Michelle.  "Does eating placenta offer postpartum health benefits?"  British Journal of Midwifery, Vol 20, No 7 (July 2012); pp. 464-469.  (2)  Hendrick, Victoria: Altshuler, Lori L.: Suri, Rita.  "Hormonal Changes in the Postpartum and Implications for Postpartum Depression."  Psychosomatics.  Volume 39, No. 2, (March-April); 93-101.  (3) Kristal, Mark B. "Enhancement of Opioid-Mediated Analgesia:  A Solution to the Enigma of Placentophagia."  Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.  15(3).  1991; 425-435.  (4) Center for Disease Control (CDC).  http://www.cdc.gov.  "Depression Among Women," August 18, 2016.