Placenta encapsulation has been around for many years, but so many of us still don’t understand what it really is! To an uneducated mind, eating one’s own placenta might sound bizarre. After all, it is part of your own body! In order to be in the know, we turned to Lisa Zimmermann of Maternal Child Connections.
There are two different methods of placenta encapsulation: a raw method and one that follows Chinese medicine. Lisa uses the Chinese method, as the process is antiseptic and prevents mom from getting sick. So how does it work?
Zimmermann explained that she begins by connecting with mom so that she can provide the best support possible. The encapsulation process takes two days, so it’s important that mom feels comfortable and supported while this person is in her home! The first day of encapsulation involves steaming the placenta in lemon and ginger—a cleansing, antiseptic process—and then dehydrating it at 160˚. Zimmermann noted that it’s important to hit that 160˚ mark to get rid of all bacteria. All of this is done under the guidelines of blood borne pathogen and food handling guidelines, so the risk of anyone getting sick is eliminated!
Day two is a bit more social because the placenta is being ground up and put into the pills. While this is happening, mom can have all her questions answered, go over instructions, or simply talk! While your provider is primarily there to prepare the placenta pills, she is also there to help in any other way she can. Support is the most important thing and mom can find multiple forms of support throughout this process!
By ingesting her own placenta, mom can experience a bunch of benefits including increased energy, milk supply, and iron levels! The placenta is full of many great nutrients that can help mom to feel better faster during her transition into postpartum life. While there isn’t a ton of research on the subject, women often tell of lessened postpartum depression and decreased stress after taking their placenta pills because of an increase in CRH, a stress reducing hormone.
Placenta encapsulation might not be for everyone, but every mother should do her own research into the process to make the decision for herself! Not all women are provided their placenta, but most women are able to obtain it, especially if the healthcare provider is notified well in advance. Start thinking about it while you’re pregnant and reach out to an encapsulation provider to learn more about how encapsulation can make your transition into motherhood happier and healthier!
Lisa Zimmermann RN, CPN, IBCLC is Owner of Maternal Child Connections. She is a board certified lactation consultant, postpartum doula, and placenta encapsulation specialist in addition to having years of experience as a pediatric and postpartum nurse. MCC focuses on the maternal infant bond by supporting the entire family during the postpartum period. Lisa is a mother to a talkative 5 year old and lives in Lincoln Square.