You may hear people talking about it, and even know someone whose done it. But what is placenta encapsulation?
Ingesting the placenta is not a new concept but often evokes a resounding, “eat your whaaaat??” when mentioned. In our experience, many people picture ingesting placenta as biting off a hunk of placenta meat, frying it up with onions, or eating some form of placenta jerky. Thankfully that is FAR from the truth.
Placenta encapsulation is a relatively straightforward process. The placenta is first cleaned off to remove any extra blood or tissues. Next it is steamed to kill potential bacteria before being sliced into thin strips, which aid in the dehydration process. Once fully dehydrated, the placenta is ground into fine powder. That powder is then put in the capsules and is ready for the mother to ingest. The mother ingests her own placenta in powdered pill form after her baby is born. We take the “icky” factor away so it is more like taking a vitamin supplement than eating a placenta steak.
Why would someone want to encapsulate their placenta?
Many women find welcomed effects when ingesting their placenta. They report having more energy and an increase in their breast milk supply. Some find that their mood is more even and their postpartum depression symptoms are lessened. These are of course all anecdotal as there is no hard evidence supporting or disproving these effects.
Are there any risks to placenta encapsulation?
Even though the process seems simple enough, it is important that whoever does the encapsulation is using the most stringent transportation and sanitation methods possible. Poor handling could result in a mix up of placentas, introduction of foreign contaminants, or storage at unsafe temperatures. Poor sanitation and encapsulation methods could result in cross contamination of not only food, allergens, or bacteria, but even blood borne pathogens.
Choosing your encapsulation specialist.
It is important that you ask about the encapsulation specialist’s training first. Was their training online or was it comprehensive in person using an actual placenta? Are they certified and if so, by what organization and what requirements? Does the specialist encapsulate in your home or theirs? If your placenta is not prepared in your home, how do they guarantee your placenta is transported according to the World Health Organization standards and processed with OSHA standard disinfecting and Blood Borne Pathogen precautions ?
We strongly advocate for encapsulation in your home, where you can ensure we are meeting those standards. Learn more about in-home encapsulation in this blog post.
How to get started.
Contact Doulas of Bellingham today with any questions you have about our encapsulation specialists or our training, certification and processes. If you are ready to book, complete our booking form to be added to our calendar.
Stay tuned for our next “What is…” blog post about rebozo sifting!