Updated: Jul 29
It's not something you do everyday, right? So you're bound to have questions aplenty when it comes to the wonderful world of placenta remedies. Here to start you off on your quest for answers are a few of the most commonly asked questions: What does the placenta do? What kinds of people encapsulate their placenta? How many capsules will I receive? Can I encapsulate if I'm having a c-birth? What are the benefits? When should I book in?
Better start with perhaps the most obvious:
What is the placenta and what does it do?
Now I know I'm not being biased here when I say that placentas (placentae?!) are INCREDIBLE!
The interface between the mother and the foetus, the placenta is a highly specialised organ of pregnancy which supports the growth of the foetus.
Flattish and disc-shaped (although they are all so wonderfully unique), it attaches to the lining of the womb and connects to the baby via the umbilical cord.
With the help of the mother's blood, the placenta functions as the baby's lungs, kidneys, liver, digestive system and immune system. It provides oxygen and nutrients to the growing baby while removing carbon dioxide and other waste products, which are taken to the mother's organs to process. It also releases hormones into both the fetal and maternal circulations.
It offers some protection against infection and towards the end of pregnancy passes antibodies from you to your baby, giving them immunity from certain things for about three months. Such a multifaceted, amazing organ!
Information taken from PubMed.gov and the NHS.
So what kind of people encapsulate their placenta? Erm... home birthers, hospital birthers, birth centre birthers, breast/chest feeders, bottle feeders, people who have a cesarean section, people who birth vaginally, people who choose to use pain relief, people who don’t... there’s of course no ‘type’ of person in that respect despite certain stereotypes persisting.
But what these people often have in common is that they like to research things, not only their birth preferences but postnatal options too, considering how they can support themselves and allow others to support them once baby is here.
Having these sorts of plans in place (whether they include keeping your placenta or not) can really help to put yourself in a strong position post birth.
How many capsules will I receive?
Good question! Placentas vary in shape and size and unsurprisingly it’s the size of the placenta which influences the number of capsules.
The size of the placenta usually corresponds with the size of the baby so generally (though as with most things, there are ALWAYS exceptions) the placenta of a pre term or smaller baby tends to yield less capsules than the placenta of a full term or larger baby.
It also depends a little upon the method you choose for your capsules.
A full-term placenta processed using the Simple method will yield an average of 150/160 capsules. (The Steamed method yields slightly less.) It really can range from 90-250 though, sometimes even outside of those ranges!
Is that more or less than you expected?
2nd most popular question- Can I encapsulate my placenta if I have a caesarean?
YES! There is nothing about the process itself that prevents you from keeping your placenta and benefitting from it. In fact, many mamas have benefitted from it and reported that it has aided their healing.
You'll need to make sure that your birth partner/midwives/surgeon know of your intention to keep the placenta to avoid them disposing of it out of habit. Putting this on your birth plan will help and it's a good idea for your birth partner to remind them verbally, too.
Personal experience- my second birth was a c section and before we went into theatre the midwives asked about my birth preferences. That’s when I gave them the storage kit and info sheets and they were very keen to support this and make sure that the placenta was stored correctly.
Some of those not in the know might say ‘Why on earth would you want to keep your placenta?’ whereas those in the know often say ‘Why doesn’t everyone do this? It should be available on the NHS!’
So how could placenta remedies help you after you’ve had your baby? The 4 main areas that come up consistently in the feedback are as follows:
Balanced hormones, meaning reduced or no baby blues and general improved mood
Fantastic healing and recovery whether vaginal or c section birth
Increased energy levels even when sleep is hard to come by
A great milk supply, with many parents reporting their milk coming in early, particularly with smoothies and even after cesarean sections.
You can read about people’s personal experiences with placenta remedies over on the testimonials page.
When to book in? It’s completely up to you. I don’t go in for scarcity marketing: ‘Book now so that you don’t miss out/ Only one space left!’ kind of nonsense... So if I ever say that, you’ll know I’m telling the truth and am getting busy
Any time between 12-36 weeks is typical. You can still contact me after 36 weeks and I’ll let you know if I have space available. Booking in before the placenta is here is very much recommended so that you can complete the booking form and be sent a storage kit to safely house your placenta but otherwise- book in when you feel ready to book in!
Do you still have questions or want to know more? Pop me your email address or contact me via WhatsApp to receive an information pack.