Placenta Encapsulation Show and Tell
You’ve heard all the hype about you’re placenta curious! Welcome to placenta encapsulation show and tell!
My name is Elizabeth Luke, certified Postpartum Placenta Specialist. I thoroughly enjoy providing this service. Each week on average we receive anywhere from 3-10 calls with questions about placenta encapsulation and I’m more than happy to answer all of them!
People go into this with an open mind.
When most people daydream about their future and having a baby, never in a million years did they think that one day they’d be eating their placenta, but here they are living the dream! Believe me, never in my wildest dreams did I think this would be part of my career! While around half of our clients are choosing placenta encapsulation we understand it isn’t for everyone. That’s okay!
Typically we don’t share pics of placentas, but we’ve had a lot of requests.So…today I get to have a little fun doing placenta encapsulation show and tell!
This blog is in no way meant to serve as a DIY guide. So many crucial steps of the process have been left out. Likewise there’s no blog, video, or online modules that can properly teach this practice. These photos were taken by our clients as I prepared their placentas. While we recognize that not everyone wants to see the placenta in its natural state, these clients, along with about 45-50% of our clients do want to see at least some part of the process.
No one ever has to see it if they don’t want to.
After placenta encapsulation show and tell I’ll answer the BIG question. These photos belong to First Coast Doulas are our clients. They are not to be shared, cropped, or reproduced in anyway. Not all steps of the process are shown.
WARNING: This blog contains pictures of a (beautiful) human placenta. If you really don’t want to see it scroll quickly down to the next blog.
The first step in preparing the placenta begins with a properly sanitized and prepared workspace!
As the owner of First Coast Doulas I take safety and our client’s privacy very seriously. Training, certification, continued education, and impeccably maintained equipment are non-negotiable. When I arrive to prepare your placenta this is my first line of business, properly sanitizing and setting up my workspace.
Without further ado I introduce to you the fetal side of the placenta.
This side of the placenta is the side that’s faces the baby and the side that the umbilical cord is attached to. The umbilical cord is seen hanging from the center of the placenta. This umbilical cord was average length and had one tiny false knot.
Look at that incredible vasculature throughout!
This picture was taken before removing the amniotic sac (shown hanging off the placenta in the picture). Interesting enough the amniotic sac is actually made up of two layers, not one. The inner layer is called the amnion and the outer lay is called the chorion.
I bet you never imagine you’d call an umbilical cord cute!
This heart-shaped cord just might make you smile though. Shown here after removing it from the placenta, the umbilical cord is almost ready to be dried into a tiny keepsake for the mom and baby! It can be tucked away in a safe place, displayed in a frame with placenta artwork or you and your child can plant it along side a special tree or plant later.
In the 1500s the use of dried placenta in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was first documented in Compendium of Materia Medica by Li Shizhen.
Similarly to TCM we use a specific preparation method that includes steaming of the placenta. Steaming kills surface bacteria and with this special preparation also helps retain the tonifying or warming properties. Our modern placenta encapsulation process utilizes the very same principles as TCM for best possible results.
Shown here the placenta is being prepared using this method.
The placenta is sliced and then neatly arranged on trays to begin the drying process.
Some moms and dads comment that it looks like steak. I would have to agree. This step is no more or less critical than any other step. Each part of the process is carefully thought out and executed so every client has the best possible experience every time.
Shown below the placenta is sliced and ready to be arranged on the trays.
Once properly dried and ground up the placenta is put into capsules and a tincture for extended use.
The type of capsules and liquid used to make your tincture will depend greatly on whose preparing the placenta. All of our clients receive the safest tincture base and capsules every single time. Only the best for our clients. On average clients will receive 75-200 capsules that will last them about 4-6 weeks postpartum (after birth). For long term usage a tincture is recommended. The size of your placenta is generally related to the size of your baby. In almost all cases the bigger the baby, the bigger the placenta. Expecting twins and you’ll likely have a bigger yeild.
The next two pictures show the capsules filled and being capped.
A final count is done, the capsules are put into a jar, and the tincture is made.
After this last encapsulation step the client’s kitchen is thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and put back just the way it was before we began. The first round of cleaning and sanitation of equipment is also done. This final photo shows the capsule jar, tinctures, and the one of a kind cord keepsake. Then we sit down together and discuss how to take the capsules, storage and handling, and special circumstances and protocol.
The placenta encapsulation show and tell is over, but the process isn’t quite finished.
After encapsulation and the first round of cleaning and sanitizing at the client’s home we then do a second cleaning process following OSHA guidelines to ensure every piece of equipment is sanitized thoroughly.
Now I’ll answer the big question! Why?
1. Energy! The demands of motherhood are insane. Many moms are looking for help meeting those demands.
2. Breastmilk production! They are hoping to get off to the best possible start, and for some placenta encapsulation has been helpful with milk production!
3. Hormonal Stability! Within hours of birth hormones that supported the pregnancy are dumped from the body. Hormones that support lactation and relaxation are increasing. This hormonal fluctuation can be vicious and many say placenta encapsulation helped them feel more balanced and less outta wack yo!
4. Iron deficiency/Anemia! As if the physical and emotional challenges of life with a baby aren’t enough, a good population of people are iron deficient or anemic. Many report they’ve found some improvement while taking their placenta capsules.
5. Natural healing! They want to help their bodies heal in the most natural way possible. They’ve heard from others who have chosen encapsulation and it helped them heal and recover from birth.
I’m happy to discuss placenta encapsulation open and honestly with anyone who wants to know more. Contact us with questions and we can also set up a placenta curious presentation for you and your group! I understand this practice will appeal to some and turn others off completely. Placenta encapsulation is not for everyone and that is okay!
Happy birth and parenting! ~ Elizabeth