The placenta that has been flooding the woman with this feel-good CRH (Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone) is taken out, and it’s a huge downer. So instead of going cold turkey we wean her off the hormones. It is thought to be rich in iron and vitamin B6, which helps the mother recover more readily.
– Felicia Roche, in The Mercury News
photo by: jane tyska / encapsulation by Felicia Roche
There are many ways to prepare your placenta for ingestion. Some women feel comfortable putting placenta in a smoothie, or creating a special recipe for it. Some women even consume it raw. These methods will work, but they limit the length of time you are able to utilize the benefits of placenta to a matter of days.
The preferred method of ingestion is by capsule. The placenta can be dried, ground, and encapsulated. The capsules can then be taken daily for a number of weeks. You reap all of the healthful benefits of placenta quickly, easily and discreetly, and the capsules will last indefinitely (for years). When you have recovered from childbirth, you can freeze the capsules and save them for menopause.
Placentas are rare and powerful – make the best use of the ONE available. Encapsulation is by far the optimum choice for ingestion and preservation.
Why do this?
Mostly, placenta pills may help to:
- Increase general energy
- Allow a quicker return to health after birth
- Increase production of breast milk
- Decrease likelihood of baby blues and post natal depression
- Decrease likelihood of iron deficiency
- Decrease likelihood of insomnia or sleep disorders
- The hospital wraps up the placenta and I bring it home. This is not an unusual request, and very easily accomplished. I make the capsules in my home.
- The placenta is treated with respect and with all standards of sterilization to eliminate any possibility of ‘cross contamination’ .
- The placenta is steamed with herbs, ground and then encapsulated.
- I deliver the capsules to you within a few days of your birth, as I do your follow up breastfeeding check-in for your immediate consumption and enjoyment.
Follow this link to visit an article featuring Felicia Roche that was published in the San Jose Mercury News, Sunday, May 20, 2012 for a photo documentary on the encapsulation process as well as an article discussing the benefits from many Bay Area locals.
Placenta Power? – Mercury News
Placenta for Healing
Many people of the world have known the secret power of the placenta as a medicinal supplement. Among the Chinese and Vietnamese, it is a customary practice to prepare the placenta for consumption by the mother. The placenta is thought to be rich in nutrients that the mother needs to recover more readily from childbirth. In Italy, women have been known to eat parts of the placenta to help with lactation. Hungarian women bite the placenta to expedite the completion of labor. And knowledgeable midwives in this country have their birth mothers take bites of raw placenta to help stop hemorrhaging, due to its beneficial oxytocin content.
There are a variety of potential benefits to placentophagy. For one, the placenta contains vitamins and minerals that may help fight depression symptoms, such as vitamin B6. For another, the placenta is considered rich in iron and protein, which would be useful to women recovering from childbirth, and a particular benefit to vegetarian women.
Research on placentophagy is still in its infancy, although there is a large body of research beginning to develop on postpartum hormone fluctuations and health. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a study that focused on CRH (Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone). CRH is a stress reducer, and is generally produced by the hypothalamus. During the last trimester of pregnancy, the placenta secretes so much CRH that the levels in the bloodstream increase threefold. However, it was also discovered that postpartum women have lower than average levels of CRH, triggering depressive symptoms.1 They concluded that the placenta secreted so much CRH that the hypothalamus stopped producing it. Once the placenta was born, it took some time for the hypothalamus to get the signal that the CRH levels were low, and to begin producing it again. This is another sign that there is likely a biological cause for the baby blues.
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been using placenta medicinally for thousands of years. One of the well-known TCM uses for placenta, or Zî hé che¯, is to help with insufficient lactation.2 Interestingly enough, in 1954, researchers conducted a study on 210 women who were expected to have insufficient milk supply. They gave dried placenta to the women, and discovered that 86% of them had a positive increase in their milk production within a matter of days.3 It is exciting to see that some scientific research has validated TCM theories of the benefits of placenta. More recent research has discovered that placentophagia could enhance pain tolerance by increasing the opium-like substances activated during childbirth.4 This would obviously be beneficial during the postpartum healing process.
In my personal experience, women who have taken placenta capsules report positive results in an overwhelming number of cases. Some women have even reported feeling positive effects as quickly as the same afternoon of the day they began their first dose. Women who were already feeling “weepy”, or experiencing other early signs of the baby blues, have felt better within days. Although the current scientific research is exciting, we have barely begun to scratch the surface of the potential benefits of placentophagy. Considering that placenta is a completely natural substance, created by a woman’s own body, encapsulation of the placenta is definitely worth considering as part of a holistic postpartum recovery for every expectant woman.
Thank you to Placenta Benefits for providing the information above. Please visit their website linked below.
For more information: The Evidence on Placenta Encapsulation
Frequently Asked Questions
The standard dosage is up to 2 capsules, 3 times a day for the first 2 weeks. Some TCM practitioners suggest taking the pills with a little white wine, saying that it helps diffuse the placenta energy throughout the body. After 2 weeks you can start to decrease the dosage down to 1 or 2 pills a day as needed.
How many capsules will my placenta make?
Each placenta is different in size and substance so the amount of capsules it makes can vary from 90 to 150.
How long do I use my capsules?
The first two weeks are the most important and effective time to be taking the placenta. You can taper off after that or continue to take them at the original dosage. We encourage women to follow their body’s cues and adjust the dosage accordingly.
Is there anytime I should NOT take placenta capsules?
Placenta should not be taken if the body is fighting off a common cold, flu, or infection. If you should get a breast infection (mastitis), the placenta should not be taken until infection is cleared. If symptoms such as chills, fever, sneezing, aches, flushed cheeks, hot palms and feet or night sweats should occur, stop taking the capsules until the body has fought this off. The reason for this is because placenta is extremely tonifying in nature and can cause a pathogen to grow stronger and go deeper into the body.
How do I store my capsules?
Placenta capsules should be stored in the refrigerator while being used. Keep capsules dry. Store any remaining capsules in the freezer for long-term use. Placenta capsules will last at least 1 year if stored properly and possibly longer.
***The information on this page has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The services offered by me are not clinical, pharmaceutical, or intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Families who choose to utilize the services on this page take full responsibility of their own health and for researching and using the remedies***
Thank you to Placenta Apothecary, my mentors in this process, for lending me the above information to provide to you.
How much does it cost?
It is $200 for Felicia’s doula clients and $350 for non clients.