Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation
“Baby Blues” OR Postpartum Depression
Many people have heard of women experiencing the “baby blues”, but many women also think it won’t happen to them. Women who experience “baby blues” may exhibit:
~Sudden mood swings
Those suffering with postpartum depression may exhibit the same symptoms to a higher degree and may also show symptoms of
~Extreme change of appetite
~Thoughts of suicide
~Disinterest in the Baby
In reality, 80% of women experience some form of “baby blues”. Postpartum depression rates are also likely higher than statistics show, but many women do not seek help, so an accurate number is unknown.
Causes of “baby blues” and Postpartum depression can be linked to
~Rapid Hormonal Changes
~Fatigue and Sleep Deprivation
~Physical & Emotional Stress of Giving Birth
How Placenta Encapsulation Helps
In the animal kingdom, nearly all mammals are known to consume their afterbirth – even herbivores. Some say this is simply to keep their nests clean and prevent the scent from bringing predators. If this were the case, then predators at the top of the food chain would not consume their placenta and non-nesting mammals would not consume their placenta. But they do! Even when the baby has long since been ready to walk, or run, from the birth site, mammals have often been observed taking their time and spending an hour or two consuming the placenta in the same birth site.
The placenta has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in a number of healing remedies. The placenta is most reported to help
~Enhance Milk Supply
~Quicken Postpartum Healing
~Shorten Postpartum Bleeding
~Bring Body Back into Balance
~Assist Uterus to Return to Pre-Pregnancy SIze
~Help Mother Feel Happier
~Help Mother get better sleep
~Replenish Iron, Minerals, & Vitamins
The placenta is truly amazing and can help to heal, strengthen, and sustain your body.
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Placenta Encapsulation Research
“Giving placenta to a new mother following birth has become standard protocol among a growing number of midwives in the United States. By nourishing the blood and fluids, endocrine glands and organs, Placenta will reduce or stop postpartum bleeding, speed up recovery, boost energy and relieve postpartum blues.” Homes, Peter. 1993. Jade Remedies, Snow Lotus Press, 352.
Avoid Postpartum Depression
According to a study performed by the National Institutes of Health, “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. They concluded that the placenta secreted so much CRH that the hypothalamus stopped producing it… After childbirth, the hypothalamus doesn’t immediately receive the signal to begin producing CRH again, which can lead to postpartum depression. Eating the placenta will raise a mother’s CRH levels therefore, reducing postpartum depression.”
Enhance Milk Supply
“It has been shown that the feeding of desiccated placenta to women during the first eleven days after parturition causes an increase in the protein and lactose percent of the milk… All the mothers were receiving the same diet, and to the second set 0.6mg of desiccated placenta was fed three times a day throughout the period. Certain definite differences in the progress of growth of the two sets of infants are to be observed. It is evident that the recovery from the postnatal decline in weight is hastened by the consumption of milk produced under the influence of maternally ingested placenta.” McNeile, Lyle G. 1918. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children, 77. W.A. Townsend & Adams, original press: University of Michigan.
“Powdered Placenta Hominis was used for 57 cases of insufficient lactation. Within 4 days, 48 women had markedly increased milk production, with the remainder following suit over the next three days.” Bensky/Gamble. 1997. Materia Medica, Eastland Press, 549.
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“The afterbirth was taken to increase the secretion of milk, which in all the women had failed without obvious cause after previous confinements. The treatment is said to have been successful after other methods of stimulating the milk secretion had failed. Madame Louise Toussaint, a French midwife, quoted by Cabanes in his Remedes d’autrefois (Paris, 1905), speaking of women in labour, says, “ Notwithstanding the disgusted protests which will come to the lips of many of you, O accoucheurs and midwives in reading me, give them, believe me, some fragments of their own placenta and you will tell me what happens. You will see how much you will in this way promote rapid recovery and with what abundance and rapidity the milk with come on. Do not forget that even in non-pregnant women and in virgins the milk secretion may be made to appear by simple placental feeding”. Cabanes tells us that at the fourth French Congress of Internal Medicine, held at Montpellier in April 1898, Dr. Iscovesco presented a communication on the therapeutic action of the placenta illustrated by more than a hundred cases of placenta tablets having a favourable effect on the secretion of milk..” The British Medical Journal, Vol. 1 No. 2928, February 10, 1917 page 203
Placenta for Pain Relief
Placenta ingestion by rats enhances y- and n-opioid antinociception, but suppresses A-opioid antinociception
Jean M. DiPirro*, Mark B. Kristal
Ingestion of placenta or amniotic fluid produces a dramatic enhancement of centrally mediated opioid antinociception in the rat. The present experiments investigated the role of each opioid receptor type (A, y, n) in the antinociception-modulating effects of Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF—presumably the active substance). Antinociception was measured on a 52 jC hotplate in adult, female rats after they ingested placenta or control substance (1.0 g) and after they received an intracerebroventricular injection of a y-specific ([D-Pen2,D-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE); 0, 30, 50, 62, or 70 nmol), A-specific ([D-Ala2,N-MePhe4,Gly5-ol]enkephalin (DAMGO); 0, 0.21, 0.29, or 0.39 nmol), or n-specific (U-62066; spiradoline; 0, 100, 150, or 200 nmol) opioid receptor agonist. The results showed that ingestion of placenta potentiated y- and n-opioid antinociception, but attenuated A-opioid antinociception. This finding of POEF action as both opioid receptor-specific and complex provides an important basis for understanding the intrinsic pain-suppression mechanisms that are activated during parturition and modified by placentophagia, and important information for the possible use of POEF as an adjunct to opioids in pain management.
D 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
“Daniel Benyshek, a UNLV medical anthropologist, and Sharon Young, a doctoral student of anthropology, asked 189 women who consumed their placentas after childbirth why they did it, how they preferred to have the placenta prepared, and if they would do it again. The results were published online Feb. 27, 2013 in the journal Ecology, Food and Nutrition. The survey found most women who participated in the practice, called placentophagy, were American, Caucasian, married, middle class, and college-educated and were more likely to give birth at home. Overall, 75% of participants said they had very positive experiences, 20% reported positive experiences and 4% were slightly positive. The most commonly reported negative aspect of placentophagy was the placenta’s appeal — the taste or smell of it was simply kind of icky. But most reported positive placentophagy experiences. “Our survey participants generally reported some type of perceived benefit from the practice, felt that their postpartum experience with placentophagy was a positive one, and overwhelmingly indicated that they would engage in placentophagy again after subsequent pregnancies. In fact, both of the  participants who selected negative or very negative to describe their placentophagy experience also indicated that they would engage in placentophagy again.” the authors write. According to the survey, the top three positive effects of placentophagy were improved mood, increased energy and improved lactation.” University of Nevada Las Vegas, February 2013
Avoid Iron Deficiency
A 1961 study on the Iron Content of Placentas and Cords by Bonnie McCoy, M.S, Roberta Bleiler, Ph.D, and Margaret Ohlson Ph.D states, “”Data obtained on the fifty placentas and cords were expressed as milligrams of total iron and milligrams per 100 grams of the wet weight of the sample. The total iron content of the samples averaged 75.5mg and ranged from 34.5 to 170mg, excluding one value, 396.7mg which was 6 standard deviations from the mean. The latter total iron value was also omitted in the calculation of the iron concentrations in placentas plus cords which ranged from 7.1 to 34.8mg with a mean of 13.6mg per 100gm of the wet weight of the sample. The weights of the placentas and cords averaged 560gm but varied from 385 to 880 gm.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 9, September-October 1961
Links to Placenta Research Articles
Placentophagia: A Biobehavioral Enigma
Postpartum Depression attributed to low levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone
Placentophagy alters hormone levels
Iron supplementation helps fatigue
The significance of postpartum iron deficiency
Maternal iron deficiency affects postpartum emotions
Fatigue linked to Postpartum Depression
Placenta increases milk production
Placentophagy opioid affect
Does eating placenta offer postpartum health benefits?