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I Am Going to Eat My Placenta

But seriously folks, I’m not saying that with complete enthusiasm at this point. I still cringe at the idea even though I have already made arrangements with my doula to have it encapsulated after my birth. We were recently speaking about other options besides encapsulation such as eating it raw in smoothies. She advised me that it won’t completely pulverize in the blender and there would still be small chunks to swallow. I was just about yacking on her shoes although there are plenty of people that do this every day. There is the side of me that is intrigued by the overwhelming anecdotal evidence that it can help in postpartum recovery and then the other side of me that is intensely grossed out by it. I just haven’t been exposed to this type of thing for very long. I can easily become hung up on the oddity of it like the time I ate alligator. Couldn’t do it, had to spit it out, I totally freaked myself out.

placenta encapsulation

Placenta encapsulation was not invented by freaky weirdoes. In fact, its practice has been traced back in Asia at least 2,000 years. It is also being practiced here in the modern western world far more than most people know. There is not a large body of scientific research to draw upon which seems to bother people. That doesn’t bother me and I doubt it would change my mind either way. The placenta itself is known scientifically, historically and in the natural world to have amazing and broad health benefits. After all, most mammals eat their placentas after birth. So for me the question is only: will I be able to swallow it and not gag? I believe I can, I am going to try very hard!

placenta encapsulation

The anecdotal evidence of the benefits of placenta encapsulation range from “I don’t think it did much for me” to “it saved my life.” I figure it’s really a no-lose situation. Either I don’t feel it does much or it really does make the postpartum phase easier. The benefits include: balanced hormones, increased milk supply, replenished iron, lessened postpartum bleeding, lowered risk of postpartum depression, assist the uterus in returning to prenatal state and increased energy.

My doula has the training herself to be able to encapsulate it. So basically, she will be present during my birth doing her doula thing and then when the cord is cut she will take the placenta home in a container or a couple of plastic bags where she will dehydrate it, grind it up and pack it into gelatin capsules. And my plan is to suck it up and swallow the pills. I will report back to let you know what my personal experience is with it. I’m so excited!! (not really)

placenta encapsulation

The above pills were prepared by my doula, Lauren Franzen at Sunny Side Up Doula Services

What about you? Have you heard of placenta encapsulation? What do you think of it? Would you try it? Do you have experience with it? What was your experience? 

Abby Theuring, MSW


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