I’ll be honest, when I first pondered the idea of placenta encapsulation, I was thoroughly grossed out. I mean, eating your own insides… is that really a thing?!
Since I’m a registered nurse, I was bothered that there wasn’t a whole lot of medical research to support whether consuming my placenta was even safe, let alone beneficial. I began reading testimonials from mommas who had taken the plunge, and they all had great things to say… maybe I was being close minded to this whole placenta encapsulation thing? I considered the fact that humans are one of the only mammals that do not consume our placenta on the regular, and it got me wondering if mother nature has it right. Are we completely missing out by throwing away something magical simply due to an ick factor?
When I got pregnant with my first son, I had every intention of doing things as naturally as I could, including placenta consumption. That all went out the window when I started having contractions at 23 weeks and became a “high risk” pregnancy. I was dealing with taking medication every three hours, 18 weeks of bed rest, and the constant fear that I would deliver early. The idea of setting up for someone to come process my placenta was more than I could handle at the time.
I had, what seemed like, a pretty typical postpartum course, with the exception of breastfeeding. I never quite made enough milk for my little guy, and had to supplement early on. I was heartbroken. How was it that I couldn’t make enough?! With my hormones raging, I blamed myself and cried to my ever-supportive husband daily. “What if we lived in the olden days? Would our baby just starve?!” He was very good at keeping his eye rolls out of my sight, smart man.
When I got pregnant the second time, I decided to entertain the idea of placenta consumption a little more seriously. I refused to believe I wouldn’t be able to exclusively breastfeed my second babe, and maybe the placenta would help. After combing the interwebs, I quickly determined the only way I would be able to stomach the idea was to have my placenta dried and put into capsules. That way I wouldn’t have to see it, smell it, or be reminded that I am eating something that grew inside my person. I hired a doula, at a reasonable fee, to transform my organ into a Pinterest-esque mason jar full of little brown pills. Just another supplement, right?
Not to be cliché, but OMG! Why didn’t I do this the first time again? This postpartum recovery was 100% easier.
The Milk: I was making all the milks! My little guy was eating like crazy and gaining weight. I could not have been more proud of this body of mine. If we lived in the olden days, he most definitely would NOT have starved.
My Hormones: I am not trying to claim that I wasn’t a hormonal mess after baby #2, but I do feel like I wasn’t quite the mess I was the first go around. I felt more like myself months sooner, and even my usually oblivious husband commented on having his wife back.
My Energy: As any new momma, I was tired… but on the days I remembered to take my pills, I was noticeably less so. Obviously not quite ready to run a marathon, I did just birth a human, but also not requiring a nap to make it through each day.
Now I can’t say for sure it was the placenta capsules or a placebo effect all in my head, but honestly, it makes no difference to me. I felt better, things were going better, and I am a believer. Gross as it may be, I would eat my placenta again… except I’m done having babies… so you do it!
Anyone else do placenta encapsulation? I would love to hear your stories!