5 Wonders of the Placenta

Let’s discuss some amazing placenta facts about this mysterious, yet mighty organ.

1. The placenta is the only transient organ. This organ comes and goes after its purpose
has been fulfilled. It brings oxygen, blood and nutrients to the growing fetus inside the
mother’s body. Once the baby has been born, so too will the placenta expel itself.

2. The placenta is one organ yet acts as three. WHAT?! Well, this umbrella-shaped organ
acts as baby’s lungs by carrying oxygen from the mother. It acts as the kidney by filtering
out waste product. It also acts as baby’s immune and gastrointestinal system by
delivering nutrients and antibodies. The placenta allows the fetus to grow a healthy size
before it is born.

3. Mother’s immunity is transferred to the fetus through the placenta. This immunity can
last for six months after baby has been born.

4. In some cultures, the placenta has spiritual significance. In Hawaii, the placenta is
considered part of the baby itself. In Nepal, it is considered a friend to the baby. And in
Malaysia, it is considered an elder sibling.

5. Scientists are able to study the placenta to learn more about cancer. Because pregnancy
progresses in a similar way to a tumor, the placenta is an excellent source for analyzing.
Unlike an organ transplant, the placenta is able to develop in the body without being
attacked by the immune system. By studying this unique organ, researchers can learn
more about how tumors have the ability to grow without intervention from the immune
system.

5 Amazing Benefits of Placenta Tincture

Did you know that the healing properties of the placenta can be stretched even longer than the postpartum period? Tinctures are potent substances extracted from steeping some of the fresh or powdered placenta. This powerful solution can be used in any time trauma, emotional distress, through sleep deprivation; transitions back to work, or even as far out as menopause.

Other benefits of the tincture may include:

Tincture stores indefinitely so it may be used into menopause to reduce hot flashes and balance hormone fluctuations.

The suggested dosage may added to coffee, tea, water or juice two to three times a day during times of need. Because of its potency, it is not a remedy suited for ongoing daily use beyond times of need.

Placenta Print Art

The placenta is an amazing organ that gave your baby life for the 9 or so months that s/he lived inside of your body. Most often this organ is discarded as medical waste with a total disregard for it's important work. Instead of tossing it, how can you honor the birth of your baby and maximize the use of the “tree of life?” Placenta art may be one of the last things that pop into your head, but there are a number of reasons why to consider having your baby's placenta printed:

These prints can be displayed on a wall or kept with baby’s other precious mementos. Whatever you choose to do with your prints, know that it is a lasting way to celebrate the birth of your baby.

Contact us to discuss whether placenta prints are right for you!

 

 

An Encapsulator’s Journey

“So what do you do?”
“I encapsulate placentas.”
Conversation just got awkward.

It began around April 2016 when I was 27 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I had absolutely no idea what motherhood would entail, however, knew for certain I did not want to experience what I had heard referred as “postpartum depression.” That just sounded horrific and being the planner that I am, I knew I had to gather my knowledge and referrals and come up with a proactive strategy. That is when google led me to consuming my placenta. WHAT?!?

So I thought on it more, talked to my skeptical husband about it, polled my mama friends and decided to try it.

I stumbled upon The Nurturing Root after only a few minutes of searching via the web. I mean, what on earth did our parents do without the internet?!?

I called Carmen (in a public place) then realized that this conversation is probably best suited for the privacy of my home. So I whisper inquired about her services.

She was incredibly easy to connect with over the phone and my due date was put into her calendar. BAM! It was set. I would have my placenta encapsulated days after the birth of my baby girl.

She came. We connected. She encapsulated. She left.

I took the pills. I never experienced postpartum depression and was able to successfully breastfeed for 14 months. I had energy and felt like myself.

Fast-forward to 2017 when I found out I was pregnant again. Obviously, I would encapsulate because why change something that unfolded so beautifully.

This time, my best friend was able to encapsulate for me through The Nurturing Root because she was now an encapsulator herself! Again, this postpartum period was beautiful. I had energy. My milk came in successfully. And most importantly, I felt like myself.

Today, I am 4 months postpartum with my second and just completed the training on placenta encapsulation.

I am a firm believer. While it may not be the best dinner conversation, I am confident in my ability to give mamas a tool to help their body, mind, and spirit recover from such an earth-shattering shift in their lives.

And that is the end of the tale. A public school teacher turned placenta encapsulator.

New Mothers Are Choosing Placenta Encapsulation To Help Them Breastfeed

A growing number of mothers are choosing to consume their placenta, in order to have greater breastfeeding success.

August is National Breastfeeding Month, a time that highlights the importance of increasing a collaborative effort to support a breastfeeding-friendly landscape. A growing community of mothers are turning to alternative practices like placenta encapsulation, to help them establish and meet their breastfeeding goals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control Breastfeeding Report Card, 70% of mothers make the attempt to breastfeed their newborns, but at six months of age, only about 15% of babies are being exclusively breastfeed. This number is in stark contrast to the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that all babies be exclusively breastfed until six months of life.

There are several medical, physical, emotional, and social hurdles that can affect breastfeeding success rates. Changes to policies, practices, and the ability for new mothers to access breastfeeding support is slowly helping to increase these numbers. Some resourceful mothers are choosing a more controversial route to ensure they have the best breastfeeding experience.

The placenta, the temporary organ, that grows along with the baby and serves as its lifeline until birth, is most often treated as medical waste. But it may be a continued source of support to the Mother, after she gives birth. Through placenta encapsulation, the baby’s placenta is steamed, dehydrated, and pulverized. Then it is made into pills. A new mother can take her capsules as a postpartum wellness supplement. In addition to supporting lactation and increasing milk supply, many mothers report a boost in energy, feeling emotionally well and strong, lessened severity of mood swings, and decreased postpartum bleeding. Here are some of the great experience mothers are reporting:

“I am certain that taking my placenta pills allowed me to recover from my c-section at a much quicker rate, and with no baby blues at all! My milk came in immediately, my energy level was great even after long nights establishing a nursing a schedule. I felt stable and clear headed.” Kristen Sharp

“With my first child, I didn't produce much milk - had to supplement from day 1 and was only able to produce the little I did for 4 months. I am currently 2 weeks postpartum with my 2nd [child] and feel fantastic using my placenta pills! My milk came in 3 days postpartum and my supply is really good.” - Amanda Lynn

“Not only did this help me immediately postpartum, I took my capsules again 3.5 months postpartum when I was stressed about leaving my daughter for the first time for a work trip. It not only brought a lightness back into my mood, but increased my pumping output so I could add enough to my stash to leave her. I would recommend The Nurturing Root’s services to everyone.” - Michelle Woolschlager

The Nurturing Root has been providing professional placenta encapsulation services in Baltimore, since 2011, helping over 650 mothers have their best postpartum recovery experience. Additionally, The Nurturing Root supports expectant couples with Birth Boot Camp childbirth education classes and family-centered postpartum doula care in Baltimore. If you are interested in learning more about how placenta encapsulation can enhance you postpartum recovery experience, contact The Nurturing Root here!

Three Reasons Families Love In-Home Placenta Encapsulation

The Nurturing Root has been providing professional placenta encapsulation services to families since 2011, helping over 650 mothers have their best postpartum recovery experience. Placenta encapsulation can improve a mother’s overall postpartum wellness experience, and may help: balance hormones, support lactation and enhance milk supply, replenish essential nutrients, mitigate postpartum bleeding, provide natural pain relief, ease ‘baby blues’, decrease occurrence of postpartum mood disorders, and boost energy. To learn more about what hormones, minerals, and vitamins are in the placenta, and why they can help facilitate postpartum healing, take a look here.

So many families choose The Nurturing Root for placenta encapsulation because of our fantastic reputation. We have rigorous standards and practice strict safety and sanitation protocols. One policy that sets us apart, is that we always complete the entire encapsulation process in our clients’ home. Here are three reasons clients want their placenta encapsulated in their own kitchen:

Personalized Postpartum Support
Our families really value the connection we make while completing the encapsulation process in their homes. If interested, we encourage clients and family to observe the process, and welcome any discussion about the preparation method or questions regarding the placenta, birth experience, or the postpartum healing process. Additionally, our placenta encapsulation specialists are also trained postpartum doulas. We truly offer un-matched support to our families during their transition to parenthood. Our clients love that we hold a wealth of experience regarding the postpartum adjustment period. They can ask questions about normal newborn behavior, infant sleep, postnatal recovery, and breastfeeding. The Nurturing Root is happy to offer referrals and recommendations to other providers and community resources, including, chiropractors, massage therapists, support groups, pediatricians, and more. This family-centered support is a key reason our clients enjoy in-home placenta encapsulation.

Our Comprehensive Education and Safety Standards
The Nurturing Root is proud to have trained with both Placenta Benefits and the Association of Placenta Preparation Arts. We have extensive education and credentialing in placenta preparation. We also hold a current food safety certification. This ensures we have working knowledge in food hazards, proper hygiene practices, cleaning and sanitizing processes, and time and temperature controls. Most importantly, we have completed an OSHA compliant bloodborne pathogens training. This training ensures we fully understand the precautionary guidelines and decontamination practices for handling potentially infectious and biologically hazardous materials.

A family’s house holds a special energy and unique microbiome, and we strongly believe that a client’s placenta belongs in her residence. Transporting and processing the placenta outside a client’s home may introduce unfamiliar bacteria or contaminants to the placenta. Since it will be consumed as food, the placenta needs to be handled with discretion, as it is a perishable item. Proper storage at a safe temperature is paramount. It is also critical that all tools and surfaces be properly sanitized before and after the placenta encapsulation process. When we complete the encapsulation process in our client’s home, they can witness our rigorous safety and sanitation protocols for themselves.

The Nurturing Root Complies With Regulations
Currently, placenta encapsulation services are not explicitly regulated in Ohio. Though placenta encapsulation may operate in a bit of a legal ‘gray area’, there are very clear regulations and legislation pertaining to the production and distribution of potentially hazardous foods, and the transportation of human tissues. In Ohio, it is unlawful to prepare meat in an un-inspected, non-commercial kitchen and then sell that product. This is one of the main reasons we complete the entire placenta encapsulation process in our clients’ homes. It is also important to consider that the transportation of potentially infectious biological materials is highly regulated. If a business is transporting human tissue, like a placenta, both the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Transportation require that the company hold a packing and shipping certification and use specific, standardized packing materials and labels for regulated items. This is the main reason why we have our clients transport their own placenta home. It is very clearly out of scope for The Nurturing Root to pick-up a client’s placenta, process it in an unregulated, non-commercial kitchen, and return the placenta capsules to our client. The Nurturing Root is operating with respect to, and in accordance with all applicable laws, and our clients really appreciate this!

The Nurturing Root steadfastly believes that a placenta should only be transported by the family and processed in their home. We implore those interested in hiring a placenta professional, to be quite diligent when researching encapsulation services. It is crucial that families are able to witness the sanitation protocols implemented by their specialist, and know for certain, that the placenta being encapsulated belongs to them, was processed safely, and was not contaminated by another source. We strongly encourage families to read this post, which lists six tips to consider before hiring a placenta encapsulation specialist. The Nurturing Root has encapsulated over 650 placentas, to date, with a 100% safety record and we have received only overwhelmingly positive reviews from our families. We believe in absolute transparency in the encapsulation process. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have about our philosophy, standards, and protocols.

We want you to have a healthy pregnancy, empowering birth experience, and gentle postpartum recovery. If you want to learn more about placenta encapsulation services and reside in Baltimore please contact The Nurturing Root here!

Is Placenta Encapsulation Safe for GBS+ Mothers?

Is Placenta Encapsulation Safe?

Recently, The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) released an alarming single case report, in which a newborn was found to have a recurrent infection of group B Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS, group B strep), that was attributed to the mother’s consumption of placenta capsules. This has many people asking, ‘Is placenta encapsulation safe?’ We will navigate the findings of this case report, explore how this occurred, and discuss placenta encapsulation safety.

 

What are the findings of this case?

The CDC report discussed findings about a newborn who experienced a recurrent group B strep infection. GBS is a common bacterium, found in a person’s intestines or lower genital tract. Group B strep is present in about 25% of pregnant women, and is usually harmless. If transmitted to a newborn during birth, it can cause a rare but serious, illness known as group B strep infection. Because of this, it is standard practice for obstetricians and midwives to test expectant mothers for GBS, to determine if colonization is present. In this CDC report, the maternal GBS culture taken at 37 weeks was negative, meaning the mother’s lab test showed no colonization. Very shortly after birth, the newborn exhibited signs of an infection and lab results revealed the infant tested positive for group B strep. The infant was treated with antibiotics and hospitalized for about eleven days. Five days after the newborn’s release from the hospital, the baby again presented with GBS symptoms and tested positive for the same strain of group B strep. The baby was treated and was again released from the hospital after antibiotic therapy. At this point, it was discovered that the baby’s placenta had been encapsulated. The mother had been taking the placenta as capsules from three days postpartum. The capsules were tested and found to contain the same GBS strain that had infected the newborn. The mother’s breast milk was tested and did not contain group B strep, thus breastfeeding was ruled out as a potential source of reinfection. The authors of this report infer that ingestion of the GBS positive placenta capsules may have elevated maternal group B strep intestinal and skin colonization, facilitating transfer to the infant. The authors conclude by stating ‘placenta encapsulation process does not, per se, eradicate infectious pathogens; thus, placenta capsule ingestion should be avoided.’

 

So, How Did This Happen?

According to the report, the mother hired a company to pick up the placenta from her hospital and encapsulate it. The encapsulated placenta was returned to the mother three days later, and she began taking her capsules until it was suspected that they may be a source of group B strep. The encapsulator, who remained unnamed in the report, prepared the placenta from a raw state, dehydrating it at temperatures ranging from 115°F–160°F. According the CDC, heating at 130°F for 121 minutes is required to reduce bacteria present in placental tissue.

There are three problems with this case contributing to the placenta capsules testing positive for GBS, possibly re-infecting the newborn, and demonstrating unsafe processing practices.

 

The placenta was dehydrated from a raw state: This placenta was not heated to an adequate temperature, and possibly not for a long enough period of time to kill pathogens, like group B strep. Proper encapsulation protocols, require a specialist to steam the placenta, at 160°F, and then dehydrate it at 130°F for twelve hours. This method drastically reduces the occurrences of potentially harmful bacteria remaining present in the placenta. If the placenta referenced in this case was processed properly, it would almost certainly not have tested positive for group B strep.

 

Infection was present in baby: It is not a contraindication to encapsulate a placenta if a mother is found to have GBS. But if there is in an infection occurring in the infant or mother following birth, the placenta should absolutely not be encapsulated or consumed. Responsible and properly trained encapsulators will always inform their clients about any and all contradictions to placenta consumption.

 

The placenta was not processed in the client’s home: Another concern, is that this placenta was picked-up from the mother’s birth place and processed in a location other than her residence. It is impossible to know what type of preparation space the specialist worked in, if proper food safety protocols were followed, and if precautionary guidelines and decontamination practices for handling potentially infectious and biologically hazardous materials were utilized.

 

So, Is Placenta Encapsulation Safe?

A placenta from a normal, healthy infant and mother, when processed correctly is almost always safe to consume. With proper preparation, placenta encapsulation and consumption possesses almost no danger to a mother or baby.

 

Final Thoughts

Though startling, this report is only a single case study, and represents the findings and extrapolated assumptions of the authors. This is not an official CDC recommendation pertaining to placenta consumption. The report should serve as a caution for businesses offering encapsulation remedies and for families searching for placenta services. The Nurturing Root steadfastly believes that a placenta should ONLY be processed in a client’s home, using the traditional method, which steams the placenta first, to eradicate possible pathogens. It is crucial that you are able to witness the sanitation protocols implemented by your specialist, and know for certain, that the placenta being encapsulated is yours, it is processed correctly, and it is not contaminated by another source. We strongly encourage you to read this post, that lists six tips to consider before hiring a placenta encapsulation specialist. The Nurturing Root has encapsulated over 650 placentas, to date, with a 100% safety record and we have received only overwhelmingly positive reviews from our families. We believe in absolute transparency in the encapsulation process. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have about the CDC report or placenta encapsulation safety. Ohio families contact us here, and Maryland families, here.

Six Tips For Hiring A Placenta Encapsulation Specialist

Are you considering hiring a specialist to encapsulate your placenta?

Placenta encapsulation is an awesome process that transforms your baby’s placenta into capsules. You then take your ‘placenta pills’ as a postpartum supplement. Placenta encapsulation can improve your overall postpartum wellness experience, and may help: balance hormones, support lactation and enhance milk supply, replenish iron, minerals, and vitamins, mitigate postpartum bleeding, provide natural pain relief, ease ‘Baby Blues’, decrease severity of postpartum mood disorders, and boost energy. If you are wanting to know more about what hormones, minerals, and vitamins are in your placenta and why they can help facilitate postpartum healing, take a look here.

Once you have decided that encapsulation is right for you, the next step is to find a qualified placenta specialist. So you search Google for ‘Placenta Encapsulation Cleveland’, but what next? Here are six tips to help you hire the best placenta encapsulation specialist.

Find A Specialist That Is ‘Triple Trained’

Placenta services are an unregulated industry, but there are certain standards, trainings, and precautions your professional specialist should follow. You want to find a placenta encapsulation specialist that has:

Completed training and certification with a comprehensive, research-based placenta education program. Ask your prospective placenta encapsulator with whom they have trained. Check out their certifying agency’s website to learn about the curriculum and requirements. Is their organization listed with the Better Business Bureau? If yes, what is their rating? Does internet search results return positive feedback?

The Nurturing Root is proud to have trained with both Placenta Benefits (PBi) and the Association of Placenta Preparation Arts (APPA). Both PBi and APPA are very well-respected organizations providing extensive education and credentialing in placenta preparation. We recommend using either the PBi directory or APPA directory to find an encapsulator in you area.

A current food safety certification. A food safety certification ensures that your placenta encapsulation specialist has tested knowledge in food hazards, proper hygiene practices, cleaning and sanitizing processes, and time and temperature controls.

The Nurturing Root Ohio holds a current ServSafeⓇ Food Handler Certificate.

Completed an OSHA compliant Bloodborne Pathogens training. It is crucial that your placenta encapsulation specialist has demonstrated competency regarding the precautionary guidelines and decontamination practices for handling potentially infectious and biologically hazardous materials.

The Nurturing Root has completed the Biologix Solutions Bloodborne Pathogens Training for Doulas and Placenta Encapsulators.

Decide Which Preparation Method Is Right For You

There are two preparation styles for placenta encapsulation, the Raw Foods Inspired method and the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) method.

Raw Foods Inspired Method  

This method is based largely on the principles surrounding the raw foods philosophy of eating. Raw foods principles teach that food is most nutritious if it is heated no higher than 118℉. Above this temperature certain enzymes will begin to degrade. For the Raw Foods preparation, your placenta is cleaned, sliced, then dehydrated at either 118℉ OR 160℉ overnight. The Association of Placenta Preparation Arts recommends drying the placenta at the higher temperature of 160℉ to ensure any possible bacteria are eliminated.  Then your placenta is ground into a fine powder and placed in capsules. With this placenta process, it is thought that the potency of hormones and nutrients will be best preserved and available for your body.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Method

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been incorporating placenta in powerful remedies for 1400 years. It is used to increase lactation and augment the ‘Qi’ or life energy, after birth. The many hormones and nutrients found in placenta can help you heal, and find optimal balance, during the postpartum transition period. With the TCM method your placenta is cleaned, lightly steamed with ginger and myrrh, sliced thin, and dehydrated overnight. Then your placenta is ground into a fine powder and placed into capsules. Steaming the placenta with ‘warming herbs’ is an integral part of this preparation method. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a mother’s postpartum body requires heat and warmth to replenish the energy that is lost during childbirth. Raw foods are generally seen as a cooling element. Therefore, consuming raw placenta not recommended for the tonifying elements needed to nourish the blood and restore energy and balance to the body.

The Nurturing Root offers the Traditional Chinese Medicine method of placenta encapsulation to our clients. We believe that this preparation, and the Chinese medicine philosophy, offers the greatest healing benefits to new mothers.

Know Where Your Specialist Performs Their Work

A placenta encapsulation specialist will prepare the placenta either in their workspace or in their client's home. With both workspaces, your ‘triple trained’ placenta encapsulation specialist should implement identical sanitizing protocol. Also with both methods, capsules will usually be processed and made available within 72 hours of birth.

Specialist’s Workspace

Your placenta encapsulation specialist will either personally pick-up or use a courier service to collect your placenta from the hospital or birth center and have it brought to their workspace. Their workspace can be a family kitchen, a dedicated encapsulation processing space in their home, or a dedicated space in another location (like their studio or a commercial-style kitchen.) Once your placenta capsules are ready, your specialist will most likely bring the capsules to you at home.

Client's Home

After having your baby, you, a family member, or a friend will bring the placenta to your home.  Your placenta encapsulation specialist will then come to your house to process your placenta. The capsules will be left with you, or arrangements may be made to take them to your birthplace if you are not at home yet.

The Nurturing Root exclusively processes your (our client) placenta in your home. Your house is a special space with your family’s energy and unique microbiome, and we strongly believe that your placenta belongs in your residence. We also value the connection we make by processing your placenta in your house. We encourage you or family to observe the process, and welcome any discussion about the preparation method or questions you have regarding your placenta, birth experience, or the postpartum healing process.

Consider Hiring A Professional That Offers Complimentary Services

In addition to placenta capsules, look for a placenta encapsulation specialist that offers other placenta specialties, like: placenta art prints, tincture, or mother’s broth. You may also want to find a placenta encapsulation specialist that provides additional prenatal and postnatal services.

The Nurturing Root offers a variety of placenta remedies.  In addition, we also offer Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth education for couples, labor comfort measure workshops, birth and postpartum planning sessions, and family-centered postpartum doula care. We are quite active in the birth community, so we also have available a comprehensive list of community resources for expectant and new moms.

Hire A Well-Respected, Highly Reviewed, and Experienced Specialist

Using a placenta encapsulation specialist recommended by a trusted friend is a great option. But make sure to do your own research on any prospective encapsulator. Look through their website, check their social media accounts, and read or ask for testimonials. Schedule a call or meet with the placenta encapsulation specialist you are interested in hiring. Get an idea of who they are, how and why they chose to become a professional placenta encapsulator, and ask them how many placentas they have encapsulated.

The Nurturing Root has been providing placenta encapsulation services to families since 2011. We have helped nearly 600 mothers experience their best postpartum, with our placenta encapsulation services. We are honored to have overwhelmingly positive reviews and testimonials from our Baltimore families.

Have Your Questions Answered Before Booking Services

Your placenta encapsulation specialist should return your email, message, or call promptly and provide you with an overview of their services, fees, policies, and protocols. You should also see if your prospective specialist has a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page on their website. You want to feel confident about your specialist and her services before paying a deposit.

The Nurturing Root keeps an updated FAQs page on our website, so you can learn all about our placenta encapsulation services. We also respond to inquiries with thorough details about the placenta encapsulation process.

We want you to have a healthy pregnancy, empowering birth experience, and gentle postpartum recovery. If you are wanting to learn more about placenta encapsulation services and reside in Cleveland or greater Northeast Ohio please contact The Nurturing Root here!

This post, in part, was re-published on Parent.co

Is Placenta The Perfect Postnatal Supplement?

While pregnant did you take a prenatal supplement? And what about after baby is born; have you considered taking a postnatal vitamin? It is well known that a high quality prenatal supplement can provide you with extra folate, vitamin D, and magnesium to support a healthy pregnancy. Once baby arrives, you may still need additional vitamins to facilitate breastfeeding and healing. Your placenta may be the perfect postpartum supplement! In this post I’ll discuss what hormones, nutrients, and vitamins are present in your placenta, various research supporting placenta consumption, and how it can help you heal and find balance during the postpartum transition period.

What hormones, nutrients, & vitamins are in my placenta?

Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone (CRH) Stress relieving hormone.
Human Placental Lactogen (hPL) Regulates maternal insulin, protein, and fat levels; promotes breast tissue growth.
Oxytocin Decreases pain; controls uterine contractions; enhances 'letdown' reflex; counteracts stress hormones.
Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF) Stimulates the production of your body’s natural opioids reducing pain.
Prolactin (PRL) Promotes lactation and increases milk supply.
Interferon Signaling protein that stimulates the immune system to help fight infections.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Regulates metabolism and energy, and supports recovery from stressful events.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) Type of antibody that protects against infections and enhances immune system response.
Fibrin Stabilizing Factor (XIII) Enzyme that stops bleeding and promotes wound healing.
Vitamin B-6 An essential vitamin that supports metabolism, energy levels, and nervous system function.
Hemoglobin (Hb or Hgb) An iron-rich protein that carries oxygen throughout the body.

What research supports postnatal placenta consumption?

The research surrounding the positive attributes of placenta encapsulation is very promising. Your placenta is the lifeline to your baby, and this temporary organ is made to nourish. It brings vital nutrients and exchanges waste, to support the normal growth and development of your baby. Your placenta is also an integral member of your endocrine system. It produces and contains critical hormones, nutrients, and molecules, including: corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), human placental lactogen (hPL), oxytocin, placental opioid-enhancing factor (POEF), and more.

Corticotropin-releasing hormone is a stress relieving hormone usually produced by the hypothalamus. But during pregnancy, your placenta takes over synthesization of CRH. A woman's level of CRH increases three-fold during pregnancy. After birth, it takes a few weeks for the hypothalamus to begin re-regulating CRH. Low levels of CRH in postpartum women may be linked to depression.

Human placental lactogen is responsible for regulating maternal insulin, protein, and fat levels, to benefit the growth of the baby. It is crucial for milk gland stimulation and for the initiation of colostrum production. In a small study from the 1950's, 210 new mothers were given dried placenta, which is rich in hPL. Over 86% of participants in the study noted an increase in milk production.

Oxytocin, often called 'the love hormone', is responsible for uterine contractions and the 'letdown' reflex while breastfeeding. Oxytocin also promotes love, empathy, and bonding. When you consume your placenta, its high levels of oxytocin can help slow your postpartum bleeding, relieve discomfort, and facilitate breastfeeding.

Placental opioid-enhancing factor is only present in the placenta and amniotic fluid. POEF can stimulate the production of your body's natural opioids, reducing pain and enhancing your sense of wellness. In one study, the benefits of placenta ingestion by nonhuman mammalian mothers (rats) are significant. It provoked an increase in mother-infant interaction, and increased the effects of pregnancy-mediated pain relief.

How can a postnatal placenta supplement help me recover from birth?

Our culture of childbirth and the postpartum period are rife with trauma, stress, anxiety, and depression. Placenta encapsulation presents a gentler, and perhaps, biologically normal, way of balancing the chaos that can come with a new baby.

Placenta is ancient medicine for modern healing. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been using placenta as a remedy for 1400 years. The many hormones and nutrients found in your placenta can help you heal, and find optimal balance, during the postpartum transition period. Choosing to encapsulate your placenta may help:

Balance Hormones
Support Lactation & Enhance Milk Supply
Replenish Iron, Minerals, & Vitamins
Mitigate Postpartum Bleeding
Provide Natural Pain Relief
Ease 'Baby Blues'
Decrease Severity of Postpartum Mood Disorders
Boost Energy

Welcoming a new baby is a joyous occasion, but this exciting time of transition can be challenging. Our placenta encapsulation services can help you have a calmer, more peaceful, and restorative postpartum experience.

If Most Mammals Consume Placenta, Why Don’t We?

The placenta, a temporary organ, has a crucial role to play in pregnancy.  It nourishes the fetus, also bringing oxygen and removing waste for the mother’s kidneys to dispose of.  This essential organ also regulates hormone production throughout pregnancy and is responsible for sustaining the pregnancy. The placenta, attached to the baby via the umbilical cord, is born shortly after the birth of the baby.

We know that with the exception of just a few species, all mammals, including herbivores, consume their placenta as an innate behavior after giving birth to their young. Some say the behavior, also known as placentophagy, satisfies a nutritional need of the mother.  Others claim it is a way for the animal to clean their nest in an effort not to attract predators.  While at first glance, the cleaning-of-the-nest theory makes sense, we know that animals whose young can walk immediately after the birth, such as horses or giraffes, still consume their afterbirth with great enthusiasm even though they could just walk away from the birth site to a perceived safer location. Similarly, monkey species also engage in placenta consumption even though they could let the placenta fall to the ground below away from their tree-top birthing location.

If mammalian mothers only consume placenta as a way to clean the nest site, why don’t they take the time to lick up the blood and other fluids from giving birth?  What are they gaining from the practice? And finally, if most other mammals do it, why don’t humans eat placenta after birth?

 

The Fire Hypothesis:

Last spring, I had the pleasure of attending PlacentCon, a conference for birth workers that hosted many presentations centered around the placenta and placentophagy.  The conference, held in Las Vegas, had speakers from a variety of specialties, but one of the most memorable talks was given by Dr. Daniel Benyshek, medical anthropologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).  Dr. Benyshek, along with researcher, Sharon Young, discussed their work with the groundbreaking placebo VS. placenta study currently underway at UNLV.  When asked about why humans don’t innately engage in placentophagy, Dr. Benyshek had a fascinating hypothesis.

He explained that as a species, early humans probably did consume their placenta after birth.  When fire was discovered millions of years ago, trees, absorbing heavy metals from the earth, were then burned.  As a result, expecting mothers were around smoke and inhaling it regularly.  While we know that the placenta does not act like a filter, holding onto toxins, it does have difficulty ridding itself of heavy metals.  As the women were around smoke more and more, their placentas had increased levels of cadmium and lead.  Upon ingesting their placentas after giving birth, women began either getting very ill or dying, and over time, we evolved to discontinue the practice.  For the same reason, in present day, it is thought that cigarette smoking in mothers is a contraindication of placenta encapsulation.

Though there is research supporting the benefits of placentophagy in new mothers, the body of research is small and incomplete.  The anecdotal evidence, however, showing that placenta encapsulation can help ease a new mother’s transition into motherhood is overwhelming.  Women who consume their placentas often report:

Whatever the cause of placentophagy in the animal kingdom, it’s clear that moms from across the world are pleased with the results from utilizing their placenta for postpartum recovery. It’s exciting to see more research developing about this practice.  Stay tuned in 2016 for the results of UNLV placenta VS. placebo study to be published!

 

To read what moms in Baltimore and the surrounding area have to say about their experience with placenta encapsulation, visit our testimonials page & our Facebook page.

Baltimore Placenta Encapsulation Specialists featured in The Baltimore Sun

Last February I was interviewed by Baltimore Sun reporter, Arlene Karidis about placenta encapsulation, its history, and the benefits. While the interviewer, only in the beginning stages of her research, seemed very uneasy and even squeamish about the topic, I could tell by the end of our hour-long chat, she was intrigued.

Last February I was interviewed by Baltimore Sun reporter, Arlene Karidis about placenta encapsulation, its history, and the benefits. While the interviewer, only in the beginning stages of her research, seemed very uneasy and even squeamish about the topic, I could tell by the end of our hour-long chat, she was intrigued.

Arlene went on to interview my friend and fellow placenta encapsulation specialist, Lauren Agro, 3 of my clients, a midwife from Special Beginnings, and an OB from Mercy Medical Center. The article was just published in Maryland Family Magazine, a Baltimore Sun publication, last week.

I’d like to thank my clients and colleagues for agreeing to an interview. Every little bit of press helps spread the word about the power of placenta and its use for postpartum recovery. I’m happy if even 1 mom has a peaceful postpartum by learning about placenta encapsulation from this article.

Click here to read the article.

Click here to read the article.

If you are looking for Baltimore placenta encapsulation specialist to serve you after your baby is born, contact us for more information.

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Peace, Love, Placenta,

Carmen

Placenta Encapsulation: Why it works

March 24, 2013

Jodi Selander, founder and director of Placenta Benefits, recently wrote a terrific article discussing the reasoning behind using placenta for postpartum recovery.  The article addresses which hormones and components are contained in the placenta and how losing these components can impact a mother’s postpartum experience.  By reintroducing those hormones into new mothers via placenta encapsulation, they can reach homeostasis with more ease and without the blues and depression.

“Since the placenta is known to contain many of the components that a postpartum woman is lacking following parturition, many believe that by ingesting the placenta postpartum women can re-balance their systems more quickly.” (Selander 2013)

In the article, Jodi also discusses the new research recently published by UNLV and how the Traditional Chinese preparation affects and/or alters the placenta, its components, and its benefits.

If you are on the fence about whether placenta encapsulation is for you or are curious to learn more, you can read the article here.

New Study Finds Placenta Encapsulation Benefits New Moms

March 8, 2013

New and exciting research coming out of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas finds new moms benefit from placenta encapsulate during their postpartum recovery. Researchers surveyed 189 women about their placenta consumption and outcomes. Most of the women said they engaged in placentophagy to improve their mood and to enhance lactation after birth. The survey concluded that 96% of the women said they had a positive experience and found it helpful and 98% of the women surveyed said they would do it again.

Read more about the study in Ecology of Food and Nutrition