Placenta Encapsulation

I had my first child, my daughter Aden, in February of 2007. I had a difficult pregnancy with blood pressure problems starting in the 2nd trimester, and ended up developing preeclamsia. I went to my 36 week post partum appointment and was immediately sent over to L & D, spent 4 days there and was induced at exactly 37 weeks. It was a very scary experience, and I had no support system. I had planned on having a natural childbirth…but I didn’t have a doula, my ex husband decided to sleep through the whole induction, and the nurses came in every 5 minutes to ask me “if I wanted the epidural yet”. So I caved…got the epidural, had a terrible birth experience even though it went pretty fast and no real emergencies happened. I was just not prepared for the birth OR the emotional upset that came afterwards! I think I cried for the first 3 days straight, and then I wasn’t myself emotionally until about a year after she was born.

I am happy to report that my son, Phineas, was born on December 26th, 2008 ALL NATURAL using the hypnobabies method. I had blood pressure problems again and was induced at 38 weeks, which I was not happy about because I wanted a home birth. Thankfully I had awesome nurses, and ended up having an amazing birth experience that was about as close as you could get to a home birth IN the hospital.

This time around I also decided to encapsulate my placenta. I was hoping it would prevent post partum depression, among the many other benefits.

I did not have any problems getting my placenta from the hospital. We just told the nurses that we wanted to keep it and they packaged it up in a little plastic container and wrapped it in a biohazard bag (see below) which my doula then took home and kept in her refrigerator for us.

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I actually ended up putting it in our freezer at home for about a week because my family in law came to visit and I had heard that the “baking placenta” smell can kind of gross people out.
The first thing I did was take the placenta out of the container and put it in a strainer to rinse it out.

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I put the rinsed placenta in the steamer, the water was already boiling. I let it steam for about 30 minutes on one side and then turned it over and kept steaming it until no juice came out.

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After the placenta was completely done steaming, I took it out and put it on the cutting board. You have to take the membranes off before you cut it up-you want to leave them on when you steam it though because it holds everything together in one piece.

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I cut it into thin strips so it would dry fast

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I had a food dehydrator so I just used that, but you can also bake it in the oven on low heat (200) for several hours.

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Funny side note, I was looking through the food deyhdrator manual to see how long I should leave it on for, and I followed the directions for this:
Placenta jerkey anyone?
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I just left the food processor on overnight and that did the trick 😉
Throw the pieces in a food processor and grind it up!

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Then all you need is some empty capsules (fancy kits are not necessary!). I bought some 00 size capsules from iHerb.com, you might also find them at a local organic grocery store or health food store. I filled mine by hand, it wasn’t hard!

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And that’s it! Easy right? It seemed like quite a daunting task before I started, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought, it didn’t gross me out, and I was so glad I did it. I didn’t have any emotional problems, and a couple days after I started taking it my milk supply just went through the roof! I am currently pumping most of the day while I’m at work and I still haven’t had any problems with supply. I actually have a freezer full of breastmilk because I’m making more than he can drink!

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1 Comment

  1. Angela said,

    Thank you for making this little how to!

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