One of the many German words for placenta is Mutterkuchen – “mother cake.” I assume it’s named as such because of its round, spongy, cake-like appearance, but I’m going to read into it further! Everybody loves cake- a treat that lifts the spirits. And that’s exactly what placenta encapsulation is- without the sugar and the guilt!
I am so excited to expand my birth services to include the fascinating practice of placenta encapsulation! After talking with client after client who had their placenta encapsulated by others, and hearing their positive reviews, I figured I’d love to be able to provide continuity of care for my clients, as well as bring this service to the expat/military community in Germany where natural living practices are beginning to take hold! German women have been ingesting their placentas for a long time- in fact, when I retrieved one from a hospital here, the midwives were so glad to hear that the Americans are doing it too!
The placenta is composed of hormones and chemicals that YOU created to help give your baby life. When ingesting your placenta, you receive those hormones and iron that were abruptly lost during the birth process. This abrupt dip in hormones is what is implicated in the “baby blues” that can affect every mother to some degree.
The known ingredients that give the placenta its healing properties are:
- Cortisone: combats stress and unlocks energy stores
- Gammaglobulin: immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections.
- Gonadotrophin: the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone
- Hemoglobin: replenishes iron and treats anemia, a common postpartum condition
- Interferon: stimulates the immune system to protect against infections
- Oxytocin: for pain and bonding; produced during breastfeeding to facilitate bonding of mother and infant, helps uterus return to its non-pregnant state, a very important stage in postpartum healing. This hormone is integral to the human social experience and a feeling of connectedness with others.
- Prolactin: promotes lactation
- Prostaglandins: anti-inflammatory
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH): boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events
- Urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing,
Together, these hormones when restored after birth may help:
- balance your hormones, minimizing “baby blues” or other postpartum mood issues
- enhance your milk supply
- increase your energy
- speed up physical recovery from birth: assist uterus in returning to its pre-pregnant size, shorten lochia (bleeding) period, increase postpartum iron levels.
Formal studies are currently being done on women who have ingested their placentas; the study results are expected this year. My anecdotal experience with clients who had their placentas encapsulated has been that they all experienced positive effects on milk and mood as compared with the births of their prior children where they did not ingest their placentas. Placebo effect or not, any possibility of lessening healing, mood or milk issues postpartum is worth it.
I offer both the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Raw methods of encapsulation.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Method:
Placenta is steamed with ginger, lemon, and cayenne added to the steaming water, then dehydrated, ground, and encapsulated in 00-size vegetarian capsules. This method produces a steady, long-term balancing effect in the body. The steaming and specific herbs are considered “warming,” which is considered necessary in TCM for a postpartum mother, to counteract the “cold,” open space of the empty uterus.
Dosage is 1-2 capsules (depending on mood), three times daily for two weeks, then tapered to 1-2 pills a day, as needed, until capsules are gone.
Placenta is not steamed before dehydration. Dehydration is done at a low temperature, then placenta is ground and added to 00-size vegetarian capsules. The raw method avoids using higher heat which destroys enzymes and possibly some hormones, and is believed to produce pills that are of a more acute, higher, brighter energy quality than TCM; if taken in the afternoon or evening, they may affect sleep. Raw method is great for those who have experienced a large blood loss or do not expect long-term milk production issues.
Dosage is only one capsule in the morning as needed for low mood or lethargy, and another capsule a few hours later if mood is not improved.
Do you have a placenta that has been in your freezer a while? It may still be beneficial!
Are you not local to Wiesbaden? We can arrange same-day/overnight shipment from any location in Deutschland! Contact me for details.
I prepare placentas with the utmost respect, care and precaution. I am trained in sterile technique and pathogen control through Biologix OSHA bloodborne pathogens training, homebirth midwifery assistant training and several placenta preparation observations. The equipment I use to prepare your placenta is either disposable one-time-use or sterilized between placentas using a 1:10 bleach soak and boiling water wash per FDA guidelines.
The information on this page has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The services I offer 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 for researching and using the remedies.