Placentophagy or the consumption of the placenta is a medical and health practice that has been documented numerous times throughout history and across many countries worldwide. It is thought to have been a practice in Ancient Greece, Jerusalem, India, Jamaica, and South America to name a few.
Placenta consumption in Traditional Chinese Medicine is prevalent today and is documented as far back as the 16th century.
Until fairly recently in the United States placenta consumption was seen as taboo and new age, but the perception of this ancient medicine is beginning to shift. Many people are seeing the incredible benefits of placenta encapsulation and sharing their experiences with all who will listen.
When women experience postpartum depression with their first birth they will try anything to avoid this incredibly challenging illness with their next baby. Many will turn to placenta encapsulation for their next birth for its known effects of helping with postpartum depression.
Your placenta is filled with hormones that are unique to your body and your needs. Throughout pregnancy your body has an increase in hormones and your hormone levels drop drastically after your baby is born. This drop in hormones may be a relief for some, but for many it is a hard adjustment.
The benefits of placenta consumption are both emotional and physical. Your placenta contains high levels of prostaglandin, a hormone that helps your uterus shrink back to its original size. Your placenta also contains oxytocin, which is commonly referred to as the love hormone. This hormone helps to reduce stress and supports milk supply.
Benefits of Placenta encapsulation include:
- Lessening or eliminating postpartum depression
- Balancing hormones after birth
- Gaining energy
- Reduction in fatigue
- Boost in milk supply