Eating my placenta: Does Placenta Encapsulation really work?
I remember when I was pregnant with Oliver our first born, I met a mum to be in our ante natal classes who said she was having her placenta encapsulated after giving birth. To be honest the first thing I thought was “What the hell is that”? She then went on to tell me and I just thought it was really weird, why would she want to do that?
After giving birth she sent the group a photo of her “Placenta Smoothie”, which at the time seemed really disgusting. I mean why would she do this to herself?
Last summer, after finally getting over morning sickness during my second pregnancy, I ventured out to a Networking meeting by The Parent and Baby Show. It was there, I met the lovely Nikki from Cherished Placentas aka “The Placenta Lady”.
As she shared her story with the rest of the business owners, it instantly resonated with me. I also felt exactly the same after having Oliver; low, depressed, exhausted and alone. Nikki then went on to say that after her second child, she decided to consume her placenta and her mood was completely different. I could tell from her enthusiasm and passion that she felt amazing, I wanted a piece of this and would do anything not to feel terrible after baby no 2 made an appearance.
Once I decided to do this, I noticed everyone appeared to have an opinion on it. It was either disgusting or not safe. Which was rather ironic knowing that I also felt the same without knowing any factual information about it. After a bit of research, talking to mums who had already done it and using my own intuition and initiative, I was in!
I did become a little worried about how to get my placenta to “The Placenta Lady”, I mean I was up for trying this but I definitely did not want to touch it! Nikki explained everything step by step.
All I needed to do was to remember the cool bag and ice packs she provided (easier said than done when you are in labour), get husband to text her when I was in established labour, call her once baby is born, ask the midwife to put my placenta (yuk) in the sterile container she also provided and then place it in the cool bag with the ice packs. Nikki explained she would come to the hospital to collect it and popped back again to give me my smoothies.
There are lots of different products you can have your placenta made into, skin and beauty products, capsules, smoothies and tinctures. I opted for the products that I felt were going to aid my healing physically and emotionally. This included the traditional Chinese medicine and simple hydrated capsules, the smoothie and tincture.
The initial product I tried was the smoothie. After birth, it was really refreshing and somehow felt like it was healing you as you drank it. Don’t worry, it isn’t a blood smoothie, it is fruit mixed with a small part of your placenta. Somehow, I just craved more and I was disappointed when I had finished this.
From memory, Nikki dropped off my capsules within 3 days and I continued to take these for 4 weeks after birth. Today, is the first day I have started my tincture as it takes 6 weeks to make.
All I can say from “eating” my placenta that I felt absolutely incredible after birth. I had a tough labour physically, as Ruby got stuck and I birthed her back to back with no intervention. I left hospital within hours of giving birth and was doing the nursery run within 24 hours. I instantly felt full of energy, positivity and just had a zing that I didn’t experience with my first birth or at any point after our first born.
Sceptics such as my husband may say that this could be just two different children and experiences, and I did wonder that myself. However, there were days as a busy mum that I forgot to take my capsules. This proved to be a great test to see if this whole thing was a placebo. All I can say is on the days I forgot to take them I was in tears, felt very low, and my bleeding started again. Even my husband, “the sceptic” started to notice the difference and would catch himself saying “Quick take your placenta capsules”.
It is hard to describe just how amazing I felt after my smoothie and capsules but what I can say is I wish I could “eat” my placenta again, the only problem being is our little family is complete, so I won’t get the opportunity to again. I do sit here thinking of all the placentas that don’t consumed and it seems such a waste knowing how amazing I felt.
So, would I recommend it to other mums? Of course, what I would say is speak to mums who have done it and do your own research before making the decision. For me, I know that as with anything there will always be negative experiences and reviews, but with every negative experience there are often thousands of positive ones.
If you would like to find out about the reported benefits of encapsulating your placenta, then head over to Cherished Placentas website. Nikki travels across the U.K. helping women to feel amazing after birth, and if you are not from the U.K., I’m sure she can recommend another Placenta professional for you. If you are from the U.K. and would like to go ahead with your placenta encapsulation, then quote “Kathryn Stimpson” to Nikki and you shall receive a £20 discount.