When it comes to placenta encapsulation, you wouldn’t believe some of things I have heard. Some good and true, but some just simply false and I’m not entirely sure how they got started. In this blog, I am going to go over some of the most common myths that I hear when it comes to this service and why they are untrue.
1. I can’t take my placenta home from the hospital.
I have had people talk about how placenta encapsulation isn’t an option for them because they are having a hospital birth and doctors don’t allow the placenta to be taken home. While it is rare, there are a select few hospitals that make you jump through hoops to take your placenta home. However, most of the time it’s as easy as just letting your care provider know you would like to keep it and then they package it up for you. Otherwise they generally discard it, or put chemicals on it that make it unfit for consumption. Sometimes they will not be able to release your placenta due to infection or other reasons that make it unsafe to encapsulate, and other times hospitals may have a policy that require the placenta to be taken to pathology for testing, but you can request that they only take a small piece so you can keep the rest for encapsulation. Talk with your care provider beforehand to make sure they are aware that you want to keep it, and see if they have any specific policy in place for your specialist.
2. It is only safe to have my placenta encapsulated in my own home.
False. This is a new one that I’ve been hearing. Placenta encapsulation is safe if the workspace is clean, disinfected and proper protocols are followed. This is why it is important to make sure that your placenta specialist is the right fit for you and has been trained in preparing in either your home, or their workspace. Ask the right questions to ensure that they are doing all the proper things and making this a safe process not only for you, but for the rest of their clients as well. You can check my blog about questions to ask your placenta specialist here. From not wanting to explain it to visitors, having a stranger in their home for hours, or even just not wanting the smell that comes with it, sometimes people don’t want the hassle of having it prepared in their home, and that is 100% okay. You should have the choice about where you want your placenta processed. So, interview some specialists and make sure you find the right one for you.
3. Placenta encapsulation is a fad only for “crunchy” parents.
I would say it’s more for anyone who wants to take extra care of themselves after having a baby. While it is considered a more “natural” type of thing, you will find people of all types participating in this practice. From celebrities like Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, to everyday people like you and me, moms who want to reap the benefits of placenta encapsulation require no labels to have this done for them. This is also hardly a new fad. Placenta encapsulation has been around for thousands of years in the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
4. I can’t take pills, so I can’t do placenta encapsulation.
Luckily there are so many ways to have your placenta processed! Some of the options include: smoothies, tinctures, and even just having the powder in a jar so you can add to your own smoothies. There are countless ways to use the powder. Some even make chocolate truffles that are so delicious that you would never guess that placenta was an ingredient! Ask your placenta specialist about everything they offer and you may just be pleasantly surprised.
5. I’m doing cord blood banking so I can’t keep my placenta.
Cord blood banking is an awesome thing to participate in, and the good news is that it doesn’t hinder your ability to take your placenta home. With cord blood banking, the cord is “milked” of the remaining blood, and this can be done in the room so there isn’t a chance of your placenta being mishandled. After that, you can just have it packaged up and then it is ready for your specialist!
6. Placenta encapsulation is cannibalism!
This was actually my husband’s response when I first told him I wanted to encapsulate my placenta after the birth of our second child. However, encapsulation doesn’t meet the definition of cannibalism.
1. the eating of human flesh by another human being.
2. the eating of the flesh of an animal by another animal of its own kind.
3. the ceremonial eating of human flesh or parts of the human body for magical or religious purposes, as to acquire the power or skill of a person recently killed.
So, since no one is being killed and you aren’t eating the flesh of another person, this isn’t comparable.
7. Placenta pills are a magic, cure all for the postpartum period!
Oh, how I wish this was true! While some people may attribute their amazing recovery to the pills, the fact remains that these pills won’t work the same for every woman. For some, their recovery will be faster, their milk supply supple, and their hormones will be more stable, leading to less mood swings. For others, they will barely notice a difference, or their pills will make them anxious and jittery. I’ve been doing this for two years and I will say that only one of my clients has ever said they didn’t notice a difference, but I would hate for anyone to go into this process thinking that it will “cure” them of postpartum depression and fatigue. The odds are in your favor of at least one benefit, but results vary from woman to woman.
Have you heard any crazy things about placenta encapsulation? While these aren’t all of them, they are the most common. Let us know in the comments down below!
Sarah is a work at home mom with three beautiful boys, two dogs, and a loving husband. She is a certified childbirth educator, placenta specialist, and creates custom, high quality keepsakes made from breastmilk, placenta powder, cremation ashes, and so much more.