that time i ate my placenta (not really).

I figured it might be a good time talk about it on the blog again, since it’s been a topic of interest on my Twitter and Instagram feed lately. Some of you can already testify to the goodness that is placenta encapsulation. Some of you are curious and interested in trying it after your babies come. Some of you have never heard of it and are downright disgusted by the idea. I’m here to share my story only, as always, because I’m all about families doing what works for them. But for the Kincaid Parade, placenta encapsulation is an absolute must after childbirth.

Ingesting one’s own placenta gives most people a pretty graphic image. Let me put you slightly more at ease. Most moms in this country are not taking huge bites out of their placenta moments after birth, although it can be used in emergency situations to stop hemorrhaging! Most moms are not sitting at home eating it raw with a knife and fork. In fact, most moms who ingest their placentas never even handle it or see it themselves. For the last two of my births, I’ve had my placentas encapsulated by a professional. Away went a red plastic biohazard bag, and back to me came a dark glass jar filled with pills that looked like vitamins. You can read more about the process here. Carolina Placenta Lady’s website really demystifies a lot of the skeptism and initial ick-factor surrounding the concept.

Now, let’s talk about the benefits and how you can make this work for your own situation, if you’re so inclined. I wrote a post regarding placenta encapsulation shortly after the twins were born, and I was even able to give the service away to a local mama. Thanks again, Christina! I looked forward to working with her again this time, and I was not disappointed. She had my capsules ready in less than twenty-four hours, and you’d better believe I was popping those things before I even left the hospital.

I’ve tasted and seen, y’all. I can truly vouch for the effects of encapsulation! My breastmilk came in quickly and regulated itself quickly as well. My mood is worlds different from how I felt after Ames arrived. I’ve got more energy, and I’m able to keep the usual postpartum headaches at bay by taking an extra pill throughout the day. I really just felt better, quicker, with these on board. It makes sense, though, when you read about the hormone shift that takes place after birth. It’s easier on the body to keep a balance going after baby comes, and that’s where these pills come in!

Obviously, home births and birth centers are more convenient to facilitate the placenta transfer. But let’s face it – most women give birth at hospitals! I was able to get mine done twice in a hospital, two years apart, without a single issue. It was easy enough to remind the staff during my most recent birth, since I had a support team with me and I stayed in the same room for everything. The twins’ birth was truly special, though, because it would have been easy for the thing to get lost after my c-section. However, my doctor reminded everyone before he started (with quite a few jokes sprinkled in), and a staff member delivered the placenta to my room shortly after I was moved from the operating room.

When we learned we were expecting twins and it became apparent that I would not have another home birth, I began to do my research regarding hospitals and placentas. Rumors were flying around that women weren’t allowed to take theirs home. I even heard of local women being told they weren’t allowed to have their placenta before/during/after their births. I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I spoke with the manager of the maternity center, who directed me to my state’s capitol. A fancy-sounding department regarding health services and biohazard waste has a director who’s very familiar with the topic.

I spoke with said director on the phone, twice. He confirmed that there is no law prohibiting a woman from taking her placenta with her after a hospital birth. Contrary to popular belief, it does not belong to the hospital. One might bump up against resistance, he warned me, but only because staff aren’t being educated. In the end, it’s up to the doctor. My OB said it wouldn’t be a problem, as long as it looked okay once I delivered it. He reminded me that if he had any qualms about it (infection, etc), he’d send it to the lab for pathology tests and I probably wouldn’t want it anyway. He made a note on my chart and that was that! This time, I just mentioned it as I walked into the hospital during labor and everyone nodded like they were already familiar with the idea. It’s becoming more and more common, and my hospital’s staff was on board all the way.

See? Not as gross or as complicated as one might think… I hope!

Anyone here ever used placenta encapsulation after birth?

Local and interested? 

Consider using Carolina Placenta Lady. 
I guarantee that you will not regret it.

10 thoughts on “that time i ate my placenta (not really).”

  1. I’m not local but I checked out the placenta lady’s website and it’s full of wonderful information! I’m pregnant with baby #3 and baby #2’s placenta is still in the freezer while I figure out what to do with it. I think I’m going to take the dive this time and try encapsulating it. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Hi Rachael, I had never heard of placenta encapsulation until reading this post – I knew that some people ate their plancenta, and frankly, the idea freaked me right out, but taking a tablet seems far more tolerable! I live in England and am currently pregnant with my first baby, and have just made contact with someone local to my area to find out more about placenta encapsulation here – thank you for sharing and educating us!

  3. yup :) for my third. wasn’t going to b/c i hadn’t had trouble with PPD or milk, but 1 week after birth, husband had surgery with 30days of no weightbearing prescribed. cue anxiety/stressful PP mama and enter: placenta pills to the rescue :)

    i found they made the different between normal ebb and flow of emotions and teetering on the edge of screaming at my children for having the wrong socks on ;)

  4. Very interesting. I have considered this and have thought about doing it with a future babe, but the husband is not on board. I keep telling him it couldn’t hurt!

  5. I didn’t with my son, but waiting on my doula to do it for me!! She’s still in the process of getting her doula training and the placenta encapsuling done, so she’s just a beginner, but I trust her!

    My hospital had no problems with her taking it home with her too. They even put it in a little box, almost like a doggy bag!, and biohazard bags. My doctor didn’t have a problem with it. I’m thankful my hospital is a small one so its easy to communicate to!

  6. yes! with my first i ended up doing it myself (six months after) because we were living in sweden and no one had ever heard of this crazy thing! A very kind US-based doula skyped me and walked me through it beforehand, and I followed YouTube vids during the actual process. With my 2nd, I was going to pay one of my midwives to do it (many doulas/midwives in my area offer this service), but at the last minute my frugal husband volunteered instead. Highly recommend!

  7. you and i have more in comment than I thought LOL

    I did this, and have the cord heart, too :)
    She made a tincture as well for Eli and I, which he takes each time he is sick and we both take when things just seem “off.” I’ll definitely do it again!

  8. At the birthing centers here in Japan they serve up the placenta sashimi style, with chopsticks and everything. Don’t think I can stomach that, but will now look into encapsulating! Thanks for the info!

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