Placenta Encapsulation: A Traditional Galactagogue

Placentophagy is the mammalian act of the mother consuming the placenta after birth. While there are no clinical trials in humans to prove or disprove the effectiveness of this practice, science shows benefits of placentophagy in other mammals. Mammalian placentas contain high levels of prostaglandin which help the uterus shrink back after birth. Anecdotes suggest that mothers have less bleeding post partum when they consume their placentas. The amount of oxytocin in the placenta is also said to aid in lactation. Some also believe placentophagy  can stave off post partum depression.

If you are looking for a placenta preparing service in the Atlanta Metro Area, please scroll to the bottom for breastfeeding friendly providers.

The following instructions and images are for a raw preparation of the placenta.

Tools:

– cutting board
– large chef’s knife or boning/ fillet knife — at least an 8 inch blade to reduce tearing of the placenta
– encapsulation tray and tamper
00 veggie caps
– food processor, herb grinder, or coffee grinder for pulverizing dried placenta
– wax paper or parchment to cover dry work area and capture spills
– dehydrator that adjusts to temperature under 140 degrees F

This is a 4 Step process
1. slice placenta
2. dehydrate placenta
3. grind placenta
4. fill caps with dried placenta

Dehydrate the placenta to get all the water out, but do not cook it. Dry it under 140 degree F to keep the enzymes and bio-active components intact. This placenta pictured here was eventually dried for 24 hours at 100 degrees F.

This is the placenta “shiny side” up. The membranes are the wrinkly layer around the edges. They gather up on each other. The cord and major vessels here will be cut away. Some save the cord and membranes for homeopathic tinctures or to plant with a tree in the child’s honor.

The cord and membranes have been cut away. The placenta is still shiny side up. This is a 10 inch chef’s knife for size reference. The child who grew with this placenta measured 6lbs 10oz and 18 inches, gestation 39 weeks and 3 days.

This is the “dull side” or the side that was attached to the mother’s uterus. This is the “meat” that will be cut away. The dark red-purple spots are blood clots. Either rinse those away or dehydrate them. They will shrink down considerably.

Half of the “meat” has been filleted off¬† with the membrane left on the bottom. It is very “spider-webby” and spongy. It is possible to feel with the knife that the tissue is too tough to cut through very well.

The tray with the cut placenta before going into the dehydrator

After dehydration

Note how thin and crisp the pieces are after dehydration. All the water is out.

In the food processor bow is ALL of the dried placenta. Note that not much is left after drying. Next to it is red raspberry leaf that this mother chose to add. The addition of optional herbs is completely up to the mother.

This is the capping station. The pill pamper is at the top. The loader tray at the bottom. This is a baking sheet covered with waxed paper to hold spills. The tray brand is Cap M Quik

These are the loaded pills before getting the top of the cap added. They fluffiness of the red raspberry leaf or other dried herb may prevent of uniform filling.

Finished caps

This placenta with herbs yielded 150 caps total.

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Looking for a certified placenta encapsulator in the Atlanta Metro Area? Check out Melanie at Natural Afterbirth Placenta Services. She is a veteran breastfeeding mother and placenta preparer. Her services include pick up and delivery, in hospital or in home raw smoothie preparation, keepsake placenta printing, placenta chocolate truffles, and both TCM and raw encapsulation methods.

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The information contained here is not intended to treat, diagnose, or prevent any illness. Pregnant and lactating women should always consult with their health care provider before taking any supplements.

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Do I Need a Lactation Consult?

Plenty of moms have “just a quick question” about breastfeeding that really seems simple enough. Internet forums are an easy way to get quick answers or find links to published information. But what happens when that information is contradictory? Or what if your question has many layers that the forum didn’t consider? Or what if you just didn’t like the answers that you got?

It’s probably time to call the LC.

Most of the time, a breastfeeding question does not have a simple answer. Each mother-baby pair is unique and has unique needs. The solutions that may work for one family might be inaccessible to yours, culturally inappropriate, or medically inadvisable. Most breastfeeding “rules” describe feeding patterns for healthy, full-term infants. If your baby came early, was low birth weight, or has a health issue that is uncommon, those “rules” may not apply. A lactation counselor can walk you through the twists and turns of meeting your breastfeeding goals with your individual needs in mind.

The modern age allows people to share information more rapidly than ever before. Finding outdated information is one risk a family takes when researching breastfeeding answers. If you’re finding inconsistent information or solutions that just don’t seem right, trust your gut and call in the professional. An LC can help you sort through the studies to find the most current information and explain why certain recommendations have changed.

Many new moms worry that a phone call will end in another appointment with the doctor. Fortunately, many breastfeeding challenges can begin to disappear from a simple phone call. Many LCs make home visits as well, eliminating the struggle of leaving the house with a brand new hungry baby. If your baby’s needs are great, the LC will give you an action plan to feed your baby and protect your supply until you can be seen in person.

Just like your pediatrician says, “Just call us if you have questions,” LCs are pretty much the same way. Your family’s health matters.

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