Welcome to Encapsulate Me!
Many women are now choosing to have their placenta encapsulated following the birth of their baby. This is done by steaming and dehydrating the placenta which is ground into a powder and made into capsules. This method is newer in western society and often divides opinion.
Dried human or animal placenta has been used in Traditional Chinese medicine to treat diseases, infertility, impotency and many other conditions for years. More recently placenta encapsulation is most popular as a postnatal daily supplement and it has been praised for its power and benefits. Removal of water from foods has been used for years as a way to preserve foods and maintain its nutritional value and its no different with the placenta.
Armstrong (2016) recently stated that consuming placenta pills as a daily supplement has been praised for its power to ward off postnatal depression, increase energy levels and boost milk supply and is rapidly becoming a growing trend with celebrities who are promoting the benefits they felt from encapsulating their placenta’s. As human beings you’d think that this is not a usual practice to carry out however, in many different cultures the placentas have been used for many centuries, either eaten raw, made into a tincture’s or dried into a powder and used to treat many ailments and illnesses (Enning, 2011).
Some maintain that boosting a mother’s iron stores in the postpartum period will result in more energy and consequently less postnatal depression (PND) (Berwald, 2010). Studies have proven that the symptoms of post-natal depression are linked with a severe lack of essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin B6 and hormones including CRH (stress reducer hormone), all of which are in high supply in the placenta.
The relationship of the Postnatal Depression theory to the hormonal status of the mother is well recognized. Scientists have discovered that the placenta contains hormones that inhibit stress and trigger the release of Endorphins (Ennings,2011). In non-pregnant women the Hypothalamus produces a stress reducing hormone called Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (CRH), which in turn releases other hormones including Cortisol into the blood, Cortisol balances our blood sugars and maintains our blood pressure which in turn helps us cope with stress so when a woman is pregnant the placenta secretes and stores CRH at high levels in preparation for the third trimester to help us cope with labour and birth (Discover, 1995 & Nezi et al 2011).
When the placenta is expelled, the Hypothalamus forgets to restart producing CRH for a short time and women have been found to then have very low levels of CRH which can cause women to feel depressed. It is hypothesized that ingestion of the hormone rich placenta bridges the gap until the hypothalamus kicks into action again and starts to produce CRH again (Shrief, 2011). Studies have shown that fresh placenta is rich in nutrients and hormones estrogen, progesterone and growth hormone (Jeffe, 2016).
Increased milk supply
A more balanced postpartum mood
Balancing of hormones
Reduction in postpartum bleeding
Replenishes depleted iron stores
A happier postnatal period!
Understandably there are questions and uncertainty about the safety, governance and qualifications surrounding placenta encapsulation as the is no current regulations, this however will soon be changed. Armstong (2016) advises that mothers to be find a good practitioner who will have undertaken a specialist training course and follow high standards of strict sanitization, promote careful storage, strict sanitization preparation skills and that each practitioner possesses the correct training certification, food hygiene and blood-borne pathology knowledge (Weekley 2007; Selander 2011).
Why choose an APPA Certified Provider?
There is a code of ethical conduct which assists The Association of Placenta Arts providers in carrying out their responsibilities to their clients, colleagues, the profession and the community. By defining and agreeing to these responsibilities, APPAC providers are required to uphold the highest possible standards in their professional competence, business practices, quality of services and personal integrity.
Placenta preparation is not a fad, it is an ancient art form serving more mothers than ever before. The Association of Placenta Arts seeks to promote and protect this work through establishing guidelines for safe preparation techniques and placenta encapsulation training.