WARNING: This blog post may contain images that some viewers find graphic or disturbing. This post contains images of a real human placenta (my placenta) and the encapsulation process following the Traditional Chinese Medicine Method. If you are easily disturbed by blood or graphic images of human organs, please do not continue. Thank you.
So, my husband is amazing.
Like, honestly, he blows my mind sometimes. Early in our pregnancy, we talked about the idea of consuming your own placenta. While we agreed that there probably were many benefits, we (especially I) brushed off the idea. (I mean, honestly, the thought of sitting down to a placenta steak turned my stomach. No offense to all you ladies who consume it that way - you have nerves and stomachs of steel!!!). Later on in the pregnancy, we came across placenta encapsulation, and eagerly brought it to our midwife. She hooked us up with the right woman, a doula in our area, but after hearing the price, we ran far far away.
We had just spent over $400 the night before on our cloth diaper stash, and there was no way we were comfortable with dropping another $300 to have my placenta encapsulated. So, what do you do when you want something done? You do it yourself!
So big A, being the sweet man that he is, stepped up to the job. He had the placenta tucked away in a cooler before my midwife could even finish her uterine "massage". (You all know why that word is in quotations, ha.) And his mom had it safely in our refrigerator before the sun went down. After 24 hours in the hospital, my husband stood in the kitchen with his task at hand. And let me tell you, he handled it with such grace.
We decided to follow the Traditional Chinese Medicine Method. One reason being we were using our own personal dehydrator, and were just uncomfortable putting raw human meat inside. At least cook it first, right?!
So, if you've never seen one, this is a placenta! It's actually a lot bigger than I thought it would be, and just so cool to look at. Now, you really need to rinse this thing off. Try to get as much blood as you can out of there, and some people even say you can poke little holes in to get pooled up blood out of there.
I debated even putting this photo up, because it's just so powerful and I love it so much. This sac is the place that held my little baby for all of those months. I am just so happy that I have this image, and I wanted to share it with you!
Moving right along. Once you get that bad boy rinsed off, you just want to toss it into a pan. Per the TCM method, we added 2 lemons, a jalapeno, and ginger. We boiled it for about 20 minutes. You honestly want to cook it just enough so that it's done. Boiling it does remove some of the nutrients, so you really don't want to cook it longer than necessary.
Many people have asked me about the smell while it's cooking. It didn't really bother me or my husband, it just smelled like cooking meat. Some people do find the smell overpowering though, but we didn't.
I was actually pretty shocked at how small it gets after being boiled. It easily fit into one hand. I will say one thing: it was MUCH easier to cut than I could only imagine cutting it raw would be like. When it's raw, it's extremely slippery and wet, and I think that cutting it after cooking would be much more convenient.
You want to cut it into small strips. The smaller the better! Not only will it make the drying process faster, but it will also make it much easier to turn into a powder. We left ours in the dehydrator overnight (so, about 8-9 hours) and they were very ready when we took them out!
The pieces were put straight into our Ninja blender, and blended into a very fine powder. We used The Capsule Machine (which can be purchased online), and capsules size 00. This was probably the longest and most frustrating part. It's just time consuming, and easy to spill the powder as it is extremely fine.
I still pat my husband on the back, and thank him for doing this for me.
I will definitely be encapsulating all of my placentas with future children - and I will not be paying for it!
Total, I think I had around 200 capsules, so I was able to take them for 6 weeks! I guess the question of the hour is "Did it work?" And, I'd have to say YES! While I do think that it took a couple of days to kick in and actually start working, it did work! The first few days after giving birth, I found myself extremely emotional, sore, and just all over the place. Within a week, I felt more normal that I could've imagined. By two, I was having sex!
I hope this helps, as I know resources for encapsulating your own placenta are limited.
Until next time,
Labels: birth, encapsulation, placenta, postpartum