Placenta encapsulation is the number once method of preparing a placenta for consumption post birth, but it is not a one type fits all service! Encapsulating your placenta comes with a number of different method choices. The number one question that we, as placenta specialists, are asked is which method is best?
There are two main types of encapsulation: the Traditional Chinese method (also known as TCM) and the raw method. Each method has its own unique benefits, and only you can decide which is best for you.
TRADITIONAL Chinese Method
This is the preparation method developed by Raven Lang, a midwife and TCM practitioner, in accordance with TCM principles and the specific needs of the postpartum period. This is the most commonly used placenta preparation method, and the one we strongly suggest for most of our clients. The main differentiating factor in this form of preparation is the step in which the placenta is gently steamed. In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, birth leaves an open, empty space within ones self, which is very yin, or cold. The practice of gently steaming the placenta creates a warm energy, or yang. This method is most recommended for long term use, which is appropriate as clients usually take their placenta capsules over a six week period. By incorporating steam and warming herbs in the process, the final result is warming, tonifying, and nourishing during the initial postpartum period. The method of steaming also is known to balance the hormones of the placenta which allows the body to more easily absorb the nutrients.
The raw method is just as it states. The raw placenta is dehydrated and then encapsulated. This method aligns with the Raw Diet, where food is not to be heated about 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Some believe that heating food above this temperature kills off vital nutrients. In reference to the placenta, people often argue that this method yields a medicinal remedy with more hormones and nutrients than the TCM method.
But which do we recommend?
We recommend the Traditional Chinese Method form of encapsulation to all of our clients, especially those with any history of depression or anxiety. We have found through studies and other woman's experience that the Raw method of prep if much too strong for most new mothers. Most woman with any history of mental illness or anxiety report that taking capsules created using the Raw method make their symptoms worse. It has even been reported to have caused mothers to develop symptoms of postpartum depression. The TCM method creates a much more balanced experience, gently warming the mother and not overwhelming the system. For those interested in Raw prep, we recommend consuming the placenta via smoothies for no more than a one week period postpartum. After that, capsules created using the TCM method will gently allow the body to wean off of any hormones it has come accustomed to over their pregnancy. Smoothie cubes immediately post birth are fantastic for blood building and returning iron stores, while capsules using the TCM method are more appropriate for long term affects such as increased milk supply, decreased PPD depression symptoms, and overall nourishing of the new mother.
Each person is drawn to the method they feel will be best for their postpartum period, and there is no right or wrong decision! We, as placenta specalists, make it our main goal to give every new mother a more blissful postpartum period. We will gladly share any and all knowledge we have to help you make a more informed decision!