What do you know about placenta encapsulation? This is something I’d heard of before but I never really understood what it meant and why people did it.
Ariel Ewefada and I met through Instagram and I was immediately drawn to her beautiful family and her stories regarding what she did as a doula, placenta encapsulator and lactation consultant. I started watching her stories and saw her continue to mention that she was bringing placenta encapsulated to her clients. I figured if I was curious about educating myself, I knew others would be too so I contacted Ariel and asked if she would graciously write up a blog post for me to share regarding everything placenta encapsulation. She was honored and willing to do so. After reading this amazing blog I wish I would have known earlier all about this because I would have definitely given it a try after my births.
Placenta – a powerful and beautiful organ
Some people call it their happy pills but what really is the deal with people consuming their placenta? Some call it a recent fad, but the process of consuming human placenta has been documented in history as early as the 1500s in Traditional Chinese Medicine for it’s healing and medicinal benefits. Today, I would like to invite you to learn more about this powerful and beautiful organ. If you’ve birthed a child, you probably already know a little bit about the amazing placenta. It’s a separate temporary organ attached to your uterus that grows in relation to your baby while you’re pregnant. Typically the bigger the baby, the bigger the placenta. It nourishes and sustains life which is why so many birth workers, upon seeing the intricate details of the vessels, fondly call it the tree of life. In fact, one of my favorite things to gift families is a forever keepsake of a dehydrated umbilical cord shaped into a heart – a simple reminder of how two humans were once connected. The placenta contains various pregnancy hormones, iron, potassium, protein and other minerals.
Multiple Benefits for New Moms
While studies in western medicine surrounding placenta encapsulation are hard to conduct, there are some larger studies in the works. The limited data* shows no adverse impact upon use. Anecdotally, many postpartum parents have raved of their experiences citing increased milk production, boosted energy, improved healing of bleeding, regulation of mood and lessening of their postpartum depression and anxiety. The typical hormonal fluctuation within the first few weeks tends to feel more balanced with placenta consumption. It’s important to note that each person may have a different experience. I’ve seen 4th time mothers try encapsulation and have overflowing milk supply which they never had with previous children. Then there’s other mothers whose encapsulation didn’t impact milk supply at all yet greatly impacted their energy and mood- so much so that their partners would notice if they hadn’t taken it that day.
So with the science-y stuff and benefits out of the way, how does one prepare or consume a placenta? The most popular way to consume your placenta is to create capsules from dehydrated placenta. Another option is making a placenta smoothie, and of course there’s the tincture for long term use! The two main ways to encapsulate your placenta are the Raw Prep Method and the Traditional Chinese Steam Method. Raw Prep Method is known for increased milk production and energy, while Traditional Method is known for warming the body, healing and regulating hormones. You will receive about ⅓ more capsules with the Raw Prep Method as the herbal steaming process (lemon, pepper, ginger) with the Traditional Method shrinks the placenta. The placenta prepared in pill form makes it an easy and non intimidating way to consume! The tincture is made with pieces of either raw or traditionally prepared placenta that is placed in 150 proof alcohol that soaks for an extended amount of time before filtering. A placenta smoothie is typically made immediately after birth with raw slices of placenta mixed with your favorite fruits and other smoothie ingredients. Birth Twin Cities offers a placenta preparation service for those living within the Twin Cities metro and surrounding areas. OSHA & EPA guidelines are stringently followed for proper food safety preparation and blood borne pathogen protocols. Read germ freak. In fact, COVID-19 only reinforced that we were already practicing at a high and acceptable standard that included use of face masks, disposable aprons, gloves, hospital grade sterilization wipes, separate at home work spaces and intense sterilization routines- nothing changed other than implementing socially distancing curbside pickup and drop off of the prepared placenta capsules! For more information and to book your placenta encapsulation service, visit www.birthtwincities.com/placenta or email email@example.com.
Ariel Ewefada is a DONA International certified birth doula, certified lactation counselor, Lamaze certified childbirth educator and placenta encapsulator who has been doing birth work for nearly 4 years. She’s the queen mom (at least that’s what she tells her kids) of a vibrant Nigerian-Mexican-Minnesotan melting pot home in Minneapolis with her husband and 3 hilariously shady children. They love entrepreneurship, traveling as a family, baking, faith, and having friends over for bonfires and laughing as a way to keep things light hearted and to diffuse meltdowns (let all the parents understand). Most days you can find her running around with her littles exploring all the fabulous family-friendly spots in the cities, working out at the YMCA and always with (or wanting) a cup of coffee. As an Enneagram 3 wing 2, she has the nurturing heart that is easily adaptable to any birth scenario. Ariel is passionate about educating families about their options as well being a steady mixed presence of peace and appropriate energy throughout the birth and postpartum process. Ariel works to see a shift in the birth culture as the US currently ranks 55th globally for maternal mortality rates with 2/3rds of those being preventable. Of those deaths, black and latino maternal mortality rates are 4x times higher than their white counterparts. While newborn babies are incredible, birth work for Ariel has always primarily been about supporting birthing people through a transformative and sacred season of time. If anything resonates with you and Ariel can be a resource, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org To connect on instagram check out @arielewefada & @birthtwincities or visit www.birthtwincities.com