Placenta is the term used to refer to an organ which connects the fetus in the uterus to the uterine wall of the mother. The purpose of the organ is to provide the fetus with the much needed nutrients. The placenta surrounds the fetus inside the uterus and is also responsible for the exchange of blood and waste between the mother and the fetus.
The concept of placenta encapsulation and consuming of the placenta has been in practice in Chinese medicine. Though centuries old, the tradition was not in practice in any other part of the world. It was only recently that the concept has started gaining popularity in US and many other parts of the world.
How is Placenta Encapsulation Done?
Under placenta encapsulation soon after the birth of the child the placenta from the mother’s uterus (which was otherwise discarded) is dehydrated and is ground into a sort of a coarse powder. The powder is then collected in small capsules; which look exactly like any other vitamin pills etc.
Traditionally, these placenta capsules are then consumed by the mother shortly after the birth. It is believed that the placenta contains many minerals and hormones which play a crucial part in the recovery of the mother post delivery. Further information on the benefits of placenta encapsulation and consumption is mentioned below.
Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation
The suggested benefits of placenta encapsulations include the following:
- It said that placenta contains huge amounts of hormones which when consumed in the post delivery period may result in balancing the hormones. A new mother is short of many important hormones soon after she delivers. A good dose of hormones can thus help her in the postpartum healing process.
- One of the hormones being referred to in the above point is- oxytocin. This hormone helps in restoring the original size of the uterus.
- There are also high levels of iron in the placenta. Placenta encapsulation and consumption is hence said to maintain the iron level of the mother few weeks after delivery.
- Another component of the placenta is CRH, which is a stress reducing hormone. This is how the placenta helps in preventing or curbing the post-partum depression most new mother are found to suffer from.
- As per some observations, placenta can also help in reducing post natal delivery.
- Placenta also helps in increasing the energy levels and maintaining them. Many new mothers vouch for the fact that they had a smoother and enjoyable post-natal period since they were consuming placenta caps.
Is It Safe to Carry on with Placenta Encapsulation
As per studies, placenta encapsulation does not carry any inherent risks to the mother and the studies on the negative effects of placenta capsules are not as conclusive. More researches are needed to be done to draw a decisive conclusion (positive or negative) to the above statement.
There is one point that all mothers-to-be must consider when deciding whether to get placenta encapsulation done or not, is the cost of the procedure. The cost of getting the encapsulation done from service providers seems to be steep for most people thus making it an economically unviable option.