It is clear that more research needs to be conducted to determine the benefits of placenta consumption.Despite the lack of evidence, many women who have taken part in the practice speak of the many benefits they perceive to have gained from the experience.
The claimed possible benefits are:
• Make for a happier, more enjoyable post-natal period
• Decrease in post-partum depression levels
• Increase energy levels
• Nutritional value
• Pain relief
• Increase in the release of the hormone oxytocin, which helps the uterus return to normal size, encourages bonding with the infant and also increases overall wellbeing.
• Increase the release of Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH), a stress-reducing hormone which helps the mother to deal with stress and anxiety better and may help prevent post-partum depression.
• Increase in Placental Opioid Enhancing Factor (POEF), which enhances already available opioids. It can help increase pain-relief and lead to better moods.
• Increase in Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) helps regulate the thyroid and boost energy.
• Increase in the hormone Prolactin, which increases the mother’s milk production and enables a good supply for the newborn baby.
• Replenish depleted iron levels in the blood, which helps the mother recover from blood loss, gives more energy and plays a big role in helping prevent postpartum depression.
Placenta Preparation is not a fad, it is an ancient art form, serving more mothers than ever before.
Is Placental Encapsulation Safe?
Unfortunately, there has been very little human research done into placentophagy (mainly because there is very little money to be made in this industry). Thus far, no major studies have been done. However, science is starting to back up what has been reported anecdotally.
For safe consumption, proper sanitisation, handling, and testing are essential. Placenta encapsulation is a growing industry, providing women with a safe method to consume their placenta. (Joseph, R., Giovinazzo, M., & Brown, M., 2016).
The placenta is kept refrigerated until retrieval by the encapsulation specialist. The size, weight, appearance, odour, and variations to the placenta are all observed and documented by the encapsulation specialist before encapsulation occurs (APPA, 2016). The process then involves steaming and dehydrating the placenta for 8 to 10 hours, grinding it into a powder, and placing the powder into capsules. Approximately 75 to 200 capsules can be made from one human placenta depending on the placenta and capsule sizes. Placentas are generally prepared off-site, however it is possible to do it in your home.
The Association of Placenta Preparation Arts (APPA) establishes safe preparation guidelines and placenta encapsulation training to promote optimal protocols and sanitation practices for safe consumption.
It’s important you discuss any concerns you might have with whoever the person preparing your placenta, so you are aware of their qualifications and also procedures.
I only offer the ‘Traditional Method’ of preparation. This method is inspired by the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) preparation of lightly steaming the placenta before dehydration.
TCM teaches that after the first 48-hours after the birth of the baby and their placenta, warming foods are the most beneficial for a mother to boost her yang energy. Cooked or steamed foods such as the steamed and dehydrated encapsulated placenta, is considered warming. TCM believes they help rebuild blood, qi or chi, and they slowly help to increase the body's various endocrine functions. It is said to be effective through the lung, liver, kidney, and heart channels of the body when taken orally after it is steamed and dehydrated.
“Cooking makes A LOT more nutrients available to the digestive tract that would otherwise pass through the system unabsorbed, and this is especially true for meat,” (Nolan, 2010 and Ellgen, 2010). Steaming also kills off any surface bacteria that the placenta may have been exposed to during the birth process. (Selander, J., Cantor, A., Young, S. and Benyshek, D., 2013).
What I Offer
Click each link to find out more about each service and their price value.
Please Note: All of my doula clients will receive a 10% discount for any one of these services.
The Association of Placenta Preparation Arts, LLC (APPA) is considered the “Bachelor’s Degree in Placenta Arts”, APPA is the most comprehensive placenta preparation training available. APPA is an ever-evolving, dynamic, international placenta preparation training and certification (APPAC) program. Built on the collective wisdom and accomplishment of industry pioneers, APPA elevates the standards for safety and ethics in placenta encapsulation education by combining time-honored traditions with scientific fact.
Hayes, E. (2016). Consumption of the Placenta in the Postpartum Period. Journal Of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 45(1), 78-89. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jogn.2015.10.008
Joseph, R., Giovinazzo, M., & Brown, M. (2016). A Literature Review on the Practice of Placentophagia. Nursing For Women's Health, 20(5), 476-483.
Please consider eating your placenta, here’s why - APPA. (2018). Retrieved from
Schwering, T., Hoffman, M., Laudenslager, M., Kramer, A., Hankins, C., & Powell, T. (2017). 926: Placentophagy: comparison of plausible biologically active compounds that might support this practice. American Journal of Obstetrics &
Gynecology, 216(1), S527-S528. Retrieved 27 October 2017, from http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(16)31814-2/fulltext
Selander, J., Cantor, A., Young, S. and Benyshek, D. (2013). Human Maternal Placentophagy: A Survey of Self-Reported Motivations and Experiences Associated with Placenta Consumption. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 52(2), pp.93-115. https://doi.org/10.1080/03670244.2012.719356