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27 Jun · cmalkin · One Comment

Health Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation

Have you ever considered placenta encapsulation as an alternative therapy? The centuries-old tradition of giving the placenta to new mothers to ingest is gaining popularity in the U.S., and for good reason. Research suggests that placenta encapsulation can have many health benefits for new mothers. Our guest blogger today is Michelle Baas, one of the founders of Afterbirth Bliss in Tucson. Michelle has some great info for readers on the health benefits of postpartum placenta consumption:

“Afterbirth Bliss is the premier provider for placenta encapsulation in Tucson and its surrounding areas.  Afterbirth Bliss was founded by Michelle Baas in 2008.  Michelle is a labor and delivery nurse with 8 years of experience assisting births, educating and supporting childbearing women, and preparing placentas as a form of nutritional and hormonal support.  In 2014, Michelle began a partnership with her twin sister Melissa Rivenbark. Their company offers placenta dehydration and encapsulation and edibles which promote lactation (including lactation cookies and chocolate raspberry truffles). They also offer keepsakes, including fine art placenta prints. Afterbirth Bliss is known for its professional and personal service.  Either Michelle or Melissa will pick up the placenta, process it and return your products to you within 24-48 hours.  Often the mother will receive her supplements and other goodies the very next day!

Many of you are probably wondering, who would consider consuming their placenta as a form of medicine? A great amount of science supports postpartum consumption of the placenta. The placenta is an organ created to support and nourish the growing baby. It acts as a natural filter between the mother and her baby. In addition to this, it has power to assist the mother with her postpartum recovery. It is nutrient-rich and contains high levels of iron, protein, vitamin B6, prostaglandin, prolactin, oxytocin, and other natural hormones. 

Now let’s try to break this down a little further.  Most of you have probably heard about each of these nutrients, but what they do for the body may still be a mystery.  Iron is essential for the production of blood. About 70 percent of the iron in your body is found in the red blood cells. It is necessary for transferring oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and other vital organs. Anemia (lower than average amount of red blood cells) is correlated to low iron.  Supplemental amounts of iron and protein may benefit all women recovering from childbirth. But it is especially beneficial for women who suffer from anemia, enjoy a vegetarian diet, or have suffered a significant loss of blood after delivery.

Vitamin B6 is widely known for helping with mood imbalances. Prostaglandin allows the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy state more quickly. Prolactin is a hormone used by the body to begin and maintain lactation. Oxytocin causes the smooth muscle around the mammary glands to contract and release breast milk. It also supports a strong bond between a mother and her newborn baby. High levels of this stress hormone are released in the body during the postpartum period. It can help relieve stress and decrease pain.

In pregnancy, the placenta doesn’t only house high levels of these nutrients and hormones. It becomes the primary producer of several of them while the pituitary gland in the brain temporarily ceases production.  After the delivery these levels drop significantly, and it takes about 2 weeks for the brain to resume its normal functions.  This delay plays a part in the “baby blues.” This can involve mood swings, fatigue, decreased concentration, and trouble sleeping.  The placenta retains hormones, and gently reintroducing these hormones may assist the body in its recovery. Many women find they don’t experience emotional imbalances as intensely when using their placenta as a daily supplement.

Now that you understand the science behind placenta encapsulation, who wouldn’t want to use their placenta as their own hormone replacement therapy? You can contact Afterbirth Bliss here. Check out their website or Facebook page to learn more about the services they provide!”

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