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Placenta Encapsulation

placenta-pillsWhat is Placentophagy?

Placentophagy, or consumption of the placenta, has been reported to help reduce Postpartum Depression (PPD) also known as the "baby blues" and diminish postpartum fatigue. There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence over the years as to the varied benefits of this practice. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been using the placenta for its healing benefits for thousands of years.

To define in its most basic terms, placentophagy is the act of mammals eating the placenta of their young after birth. It is thought that animals did so for nutritional reasons and to hide any trace of birth from predators in the wild.

What is Placenta Encapsulation?

Placenta encapsulation is a process during which the placenta is placed into vegetarian capsules which are easily ingested. There are two main techniques placenta encapsulation:

Traditional Chinese Method - the placenta is first rinsed, then steamed. Often medicinal herbs chosen by the birth mother are added during the process. Next the placenta is cut up in strips and dehydrated, then powdered and put into capsules.

Raw Method - does not cook or steam the placenta prior to dehydration. The rest of the process is the same as the TCM. Raw food activists believe that steaming the placenta destroys some of the essential nutrients. Using this option provides a burst of energy upfront and great hormone stabilization.

Before ingesting the placenta in any form, check with your midwife or other professional to make sure your placenta is healthy.

When is it Done?

Placenta encapsulation is generally done within 24 to 72 hours after birth.

What Benefits Might a Woman Experience?

The numerous benefits will vary from woman to woman, but some of the benefits you might experience are:

  • Increase general energy
  • Allow a quicker return to health after birth
  • Increase production of breast milk
  • Decrease bleeding time 
  • Can aid in better sleep
  • Decrease likelihood of baby blues and postpartum depression
  • Assists the uterus to return to its normal size
  • Decrease likelihood of iron deficiency


The suggested standard dosage of pills is 1 - 2 capsules up to 3 times daily the first 2 weeks postpartum. Then begin decreasing the dosage to 1 or 2 capsules per day, as needed. When you have opted for the Raw Method, capsules should not be ingested in the evening, since they could keep you from sleeping. With this method, you'll take 1 capsule in the morning if you wake up feeling low energy or blue, 1 more can be taken a few hours later if necessary. It is wise to discuss dosing with your birth team.

Who Can I Call in the Phoenix Area for Placenta Encapsulation?

easyBirth says......... We do not endorse do it yourself placenta encapsulation since this is a time when the mother should be resting and settling in with her newborn.

Is there a Book on Placenta Encapsulation?

Yes! "Placenta: The Gift of Life - The Role of the Placenta in Different Cultures and How to Prepare to Use It as Medicine" by Cornelia Enning (2007) Motherbaby Press

Placenta Encapsulation in The News