Let's just be very clear here right from the start. I am FULLY aware that this is weird, crazy and... "disgusting" to some people. Now, that we have that out of the way, let me tell you WHY I eat my placenta.
This will be my 4th time doing so and the benefits are crazy good. The first time I heard about people doing this, I thought they were absolutely crazy bonkers. But then, on my 3rd kid in, I tried it out and felt the difference for myself.
Now, you can pick and choose how you "take" your placenta but I will share with you how I utilize it's goodness.
1. Raw smoothie (drinking within 1-2 days after birth)
2. Capsules (ingesting using dehydrated placenta + herbs)
3. Tincture (ingesting using a method with soaking the placenta in vodka for 6 weeks)
4. Salve (heating dehydrated placenta with ghee/oil for topical application)
Now that I have thoroughly grossed you out, let me count just some of the ways that the placenta is so good for new mamas. Your placenta is FILLED with nutrients and hormones specifically beneficial to your own body because your own body created it. After all, your baby THRIVED and GREW in it and got everything she needed from it for like 10 freakin' months!
1. It contains your own natural hormones.
2. It is specifically and perfectly made for you.
3. It replenishes your depleted iron.
4. Gives you more energy.
5. Helps your uterus to return to pre-pregnancy state sooner.
6. Helps to increase milk production.
7. It lessens your postnatal bleeding. Seriously.
8. It balances your system.
9. Helps prevent baby blues and postpartum depression.
10. Encapsulation pills can be frozen and used during menopause.
11. It stimulates the immune system to protect against infections.
12. Boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful times and events.
13. Anti-inflammatory benefits.
14. More oxytocin present to facilitate bonding with baby.
15. Enhances wound healing and stop bleeding sooner.
16. Combats stress and unlocks energy stores.
17. It is completely natural.
18. Tinctures can be used when mother has PMS or menopause. Tinctures can also be used for your baby when teething, during times of transition, or when they are getting sick.
19. Salve can be used for perineal tearing, C-section incision, hemorrhoids, burns, diaper rash, cracked or sore nipples, eczema, and other common skin irritations.
Some people just do the placenta encapsulation and use it like a daily vitamin but I do like to utilize all 4 methods with one placenta after each birth. If the smoothie really freaks you out, let me tell you, it's not that bad at all. We cut off a piece of placenta about the size of the palm of your hand and put it into the blender with juice, yogurt, essential oils, and mixed berries. (I always use red fruit so that the color does not bother me because it can be a huge mental hurdle.) And I kid you not, it tastes exactly like a normal smoothie. I usually have my first one within a couple hours of the birth and then we freeze another 2-3 more to drink the next day.
The tincture is made by cutting off a piece of the placenta and placing it in a covered jar filled with vodka and letting it soak for about 6 weeks, spinning the jar every day or so. At the end of the timeframe, you sift out the placenta and the remaining vodka is your tincture that can be used into menopause if kept in a dark, cool place.
The remainder of the placenta is then cut up and dehydrated for 24-48 hours. It is then ground up (herbs can be added at this point) and the powder is placed into capsules. The salve is made by heating up the placenta powder with carrier creams/oils of your choosing. The capsules can also be used into menopause to help with the transitioning occurring at that time in your life. (I still have a jar of placenta capsules of my 4 year olds placenta in our freezer that I will take when I feel my immune system needs a boost.)
There you have it. My weird, crazy placenta adventures that I embark on after each baby. Normally, my sisters pitch in and create all this goodness for me after each birth but on #6, I had a dear friend that took over the encapsulation portion for me. She is incredible and if you are local to Minnesota, I highly recommend you try out her services.
Ariel Ewefawda is a birth doula, childbirth educator and placenta encapsulator that has been a part of the professional birth community in the Twin Cities since 2016. She does raw and TCM prep for placentas and all her work is done in a separate workspace in her home. She provides a streamlined process of picking it up from birth location, processing it and delivering it within 48 hours.
Raw- cleaned and dehydrated (energy boost and milk production)
TCM- cleaned, steamed with jalapenos and ginger before dehydrating (warms the body, healing, + hormone regulation)
Ariel travels within the Twin Cities Metro area (additional fee for further than 50 miles from Fridley, MN.)