Warning: Do not open this post if you have a weak stomach. Placenta in full color at end of the post.
While some still dispute the research that's out there (and admittedly more needs to be done), I decided to encapsulate my placentas from both pregnancies (and would do it again) for the following reasons:
Energy I knew I wouldn't do well with the sleep deprivation and I was eager for anything that could help.
Milk production I was really excited about breastfeeding my babies and wanted to ensure I did everything I could do to get that milk production up and running.
Battling the baby blues An ob once told me that postpartum is a mini-menopause. The hormone withdrawal is real. The placenta is full of those hormones that made you glow while you were pregnant, why not try and make the glow last a little longer?
Waste not, want not Honestly, it seemed wasteful to me to throw it away. Mammals in the wild eat their placentas, why shouldn't I? We eat other organ meats, why not this one? My body created an entire organ that nourished my baby for months. If there was a chance it could help me with any of the above concerns? Awesome.
And my final reason?
- The placebo effect Even if the above is all nonsense or the act of dehydrating the placenta greatly diminishes its efficacy, I was happy to know I was trying to do something to aid my postpartum journey. Having a newborn is intense, learning to breastfeed is intense, taking the pills gave me some semblance of control in a situation in which I sorely lacked it.
When and if you want to follow in my footsteps of eating your placenta, find a local doula or midwife who has had some training in the encapsulation process. Whatever container they deliver it in, I recommend an opaque container that is then stored in the refrigerator. I totally didn't do this the second time and wasted about a third of my pills to mold because I stored them in the clear mason jar my encapsulator delivered them in and had them in a cupboard in my bathroom (hello MOISTURE!). Don't be like me!
In DC, it cost $250 to encapsulate my placenta and in Cville it cost $200. I got about 200 pills both times and both times the encapsulator said that was a lot (not only do I grow BIG babies, but I grow big placentas!).
Talk to your provider, but I took 2 pills each morning for the first 6 weeks and then tapered off to 1 pill a day. I noticed I had trouble sleeping the few times I took them in the afternoon so I wouldn't recommend taking them in the afternoon.
And without further ado, Quincy's placenta in all its gory glory below.