Maitri Midwifery provides a variety of placenta encapsulation services including encapsulation, tincture, placenta prints, and umbilical heart/spiral. To request any of these services please contact us here. For more information on benefits of encapsulation and how we prepare placenta continue to read below.
Your placenta is the amazing organ that supported your baby for the nine or so months before birth. It has done such a good job of nourishing and supporting your growing baby in the womb and yet it is often regarded as nothing more than “medical waste” after it is born. In many other cultures, the placenta is honored in a variety of ways and considered medicinally beneficial to both the mother and child. Just as it protected, nourished, supported and sustained its baby, the placenta when carefully prepared for consumption continues its job by
Facilitating an easier postpartum recovery
Increasing maternal energy
Easing life transitions
Avoiding postpartum depression
Click here to review a recent study on maternal benefit of placenta ingestion, led researchers at the University of Nevada to learn more.
Your Placenta Contains:
HORMONES:Estrogen, prolacin, oxytocin, cortisol. The placenta contains hormones that may help the body recover from childbirth, increase milk-supply, manage stress and prevent depression and fatigue. If you are sensitive to hormonal changes, having placenta following childbirth has the potential to be enormously helpful in balancing your hormones, which could support you to feel emotionally stable and strong.
IRON:The iron present in placenta has greater bioavailability–the mother’s body can easily reabsorb it. Many women are low in iron during pregnancy and following childbirth and placenta may help rebuild your iron stores, which may increase energy, mental clarity and aid in improving your physical recovery. NUTRIENTS AND MINERALS:Placenta contains other beneficial nutrients and minerals and is considered a superfood. Good postpartum nutrition is key in ensuring a successful recovery.
Placenta Encapsulation Services
For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine has recognized the placenta as powerful medicine used to increase scanty lactation and tonify Qi, life energy, after the birth. Today, many women look to placenta encapsulation as a natural way to even their hormones after birth and avoid postpartum depression. I use Traditional Chinese Medicine methods to gently steam, dehydrate, powder and encapsulate the placenta. Each placenta is different in size and substance so the amount of capsules it makes can vary from 90 to 200. After 2 weeks you can start to decrease the dosage down to 1 or 2 pills a day as needed. By ingesting your placenta in pill form you can reap the benefits of your placenta medicine without the “yuck” factor that some people feel about cooking and eating it after the birth. Additionally, you get a longer, sustained application over the first month postpartum than if it was ingested immediately after the birth. Some people even save some of their remaining placenta capsules and freeze them for later, as they can be useful during menopause or other physically/hormonally stressful times.
These forms of placenta medicine are not as well known as the dried, encapsulated placenta. However, it is so easy to do and has so many potential benefits, that I include it in my placenta preparation. I select a portion of the raw placenta, before I prepare the rest of it for encapsulation, and tincture it in one hundred proof alcohol. After steeping for a while, the placenta solids can be strained off to create a long lasting, pure placenta “mother” tincture which can have a multiplicity of uses.
Placenta Prints and Umbilical Heart/Spiral
The prints are done before I wash and prepare the placenta. They are printed with the natural placenta blood on acid-free artists paper. Some families frame them as art or some just choose to save them as personal keepsakes. The prints are unique imprints that displays the size, shape and general appearance of the placenta and also reminds us why the placenta is often referred to as “the tree of life.” The umbilical heart is the dried umbilical cord in the shape of a heart or spiral. This is another keepsake to save or use any way you like. Some people have cultural or spiritual significance attached to this original connector between mother and child. Other people save it along with baby’s first hair cutting or first tooth.
How to Prepare for Placenta Encapsulation
Talk to your care provider about taking your placenta home right after the birth. If you are birthing in a hospital, many of them have a general policy of holding the placenta for 5 to 15 days and then discarding it without notifying you. You will need to make special arrangements with the hospital staff to either release it right away, or have it immediately frozen rather than refrigerated if they insist on keeping it for a while. You are not required to explain why you want your placenta, if you don’t want to. Your placenta legally belongs to you. If, upon admission, you are asked to sign anything regarding care of the afterbirth, you may write “I do not consent” on the form. In your birth plan and at the time of birth, insist on delayed cord clamping (although this may not be possible in emergency situations). By delaying cord clamping and cutting until the cord has totally stopped pulsing, the placenta is naturally drained of fetal blood. Early cord clamping leaves the placenta engorged with blood and the baby may be deprived of up to half of his or her blood volume and precious stem cells! For more information, please watch this wonderful, short video on the benefits of delayed cord clamping.