Shouted about from the roof tops by celebs, including Coleen Rooney and Kim Kardashian to name just two, the reported benefits of having your placenta encapsulated following the birth of your baby are difficult to ignore. But are these supposedly ‘magic pills’ simply a fad or are they indeed as fabulous as we are led to believe?
Roughly the size of a dinner plate, the placenta essentially serves as a baby’s life support during its time in utero: providing for its nutritional needs, supporting its development and acting as a barrier against harmful bacteria. This beautiful organ, and I genuinely believe it to be so, reminds me of a tree; with its mesmerising network of branch-like vessels, rooted to the mother by the umbilical cord which provides a continuous supply of essential oxygen, nutrients and vitamins to the growing baby and gifts it the freedom to move and grow. I love creating placenta prints and cord keepsakes for my clients, to celebrate and preserve their beauty and magnificence.
On the baby’s side, the placenta is smooth and glossy, the umbilical cord with its two arteries and one vein is attached and radiates outward. On the mother’s side, the placenta appears more meaty, with a spongy surface which attaches to the interior wall of the uterus. Shorty after a baby is born, the placenta falls neatly away from the shrinking uterine wall and is born. The bleeding which occurs after birth, is a result of the bleeding wound left inside the uterus where the placenta was attached. As the placenta is packed full of essential fats, proteins, vast amounts of iron and essential hormones, it is widely believed that placenta consumption helps to heal wounds and aid the body in self recovery after birth.
Understandably, most people find the thought of eating their placenta utterly revolting! Yet, despite the obvious ‘ick-factor’, some people, myself included, still opt to consume part of their placenta raw, either in the form of a raw placenta smoothie, or rubbed directly onto their gums shortly after birth. For most people however, the thought of this is pretty unpalatable, which is why placenta encapsulation has become the preferred method of consumption.
There are two ways in which placenta encapsulation is carried out: the Simple (raw) method or the Steamed (TCM) Method, based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Steamed (TCM) Method, involves steaming the placenta over green chilli: to warm and improve circulation; lemon: for grounding; and ginger: to help the absorption of nutrients in the blood, before it is sliced, dehydrated for between 8 -10 hours and then ground and turned into capsules. The Simple (Raw) Method involves initially dehydrating the placenta at a high temperature for an hour to kill any surface bacteria, before reducing the temperature for the remaining 12 - 14 hours and then being ground and turned into capsules.
Reports reveal that pills made using the Steamed Method are hugely beneficial to mums wanting to reduce their chances of suffering from post natal depression, due to their subtle, calming effect. Whereas clients wishing to increase their energy levels are likely to benefit more from the Simple Method, as these pills have been reported to yield a stronger energetic response. Both methods of encapsulation have been reported to work well to increase milk supply. Other reported benefits include; a rapid reduction or cessation of post birth bleeding as well as creating an overall healthier and quicker post-birth recovery.
Rumour has it that Kate Middleton has recently had her placenta encapsulated. It’s also rumoured that she enjoyed a raw placenta smoothie shortly after the birth of Prince Louie and I fully believe this to be true. I mean, how else was she able to emerge, like the most beautiful butterfly, to greet the world so soon after giving birth?
Quite frankly, if it’s good enough for a princess, then who am I to argue?!
If you’d like to find out more about Placenta Encapsulation and which method would be the right choice for you, or indeed, if you would like to discover the whole range of Placenta Remedies Helen has on offer, then head over to her website: www.BirthWright.co.uk; send her an email or give her a ring. She can chat all day long about placentas and she’d love to hear from you.
Helen Wright, Founder of BirthWright, lives in Wapping, East London, with her partner and their two young children. In her life BC (Before Children), Helen was a primary school Assistant Headteacher, specialising in the Early Years. However, since becoming a mum, she is now a massive advocate for positive birth and is on a mission to help as many families as she can, to have the right births, indeed the best births, for them and their babies. Helen is an IPEN Certified Placenta Remedies Specialist, an IPEN Placenta Remedies Training Instructor, a Positive Birth Coach, KG Hypnobirthing Teacher, creative genius behind BirthWright Affirmation Cards and cohost of a monthly meet up and support group for parents in East London.
Head over to Facebook to join her group: The Pregnancy, Birth and Parenthood Village ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/WelcomeToOurVillage ); and follow her adventures over on Insta ( https://www.instagram.com/birthwrightuk/ )