“Baby blues” is a common occurrence – 80% of mothers experience it in the first days and weeks after giving birth. Because it is so common, nothing is typically done about it until it worsens into a diagnosis of postpartum depression, at which time anti-depressants may be prescribed. Anti-depressants, like almost all drugs, are passed to the baby through breastmilk, and mothers who don’t want to expose their babies to these medications are often faced with the decision to either stop breastfeeding or struggle with depression. Women suffer through the baby blues almost as a rite of passage to motherhood – but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Placentophagy, or consumption of the placenta, has been reported for decades to help stop the baby blues and diminish postpartum fatigue. Some women have cooked the placenta in a stew, mixed it into a smoothie, or even taken it raw to tap into its powerful effects. For many who feel squeamish about this or want to reap the benefits of placenta for more than just a day or two, there is another option: encapsulation. The placenta can be dried, ground, and encapsulated. The capsules can then be taken daily for a number of weeks. Powdered placenta has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. In the postpartum period, placenta capsules have been shown to:
- Increase and enrich breastmilk
- Increase energy
- Decrease baby blues and postpartum depression
- Decrease lochia, postpartum bleeding
- Decrease iron deficiency
- Decrease insomnia or sleep disorders
- Decreases postpartum "night sweats"
Placentas are rare and powerful - make the best use of the ONE available. Encapsulation is by far the optimum choice for ingestion and preservation.
The Placentas Healing Chemicals
The known ingredients that give the placenta its healing properties are:
Gonadotrophin - the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone
Prolactin - promotes lactation
Oxytocin - for pain and bonding; produced during breastfeeding to facilitate bonding of mother and infant. In pharmaceutical form this is a very addictive drug because it promotes a feeling of connectedness with others and is often referred to as the “love” hormone
Interferon - stimulates the immune system to protect against infection
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone - boosts energy and helps recover from stressful events
Cortisone - combats stress and unlocks stores of energy
Prostaglandins - anti-inflammatory
Hemoglobin - replenishes iron deficiency and anemia
Gammaglobulin - immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections
Urokinase Inhibiting Factor & Factor XIII - stops bleeding and enhances wound healing
The placenta is full of feel-good hormones and healing chemicals, so it makes sense to safely welcome them back into your system during your postpartum period, in order to have a happy babymoon.
My Encapsulation Services
I will pick up your placenta within 48hrs of delivery, I can then bring it to my home (or yours if you prefer) for preparation, dehydration, and encapsulation. The entire process usually takes 2-3 days, depending on size and method of preparation. The total cost for this service is $250. I serve most of the Bay Area in California, excluding the South Bay and S. San Francisco. If you are in those areas and wish for me to encapsulate for you, there will be an additional travel charge.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me!
Soykova-Pachnerova E, et. al.(1954). Gynaecologia 138(6):617-627.
An attempt was made to increase milk secretion in mothers by
administration of dried placenta per os. Of 210 controlled cases only 29
(13.8%) gave negative results; 181 women (86.2%) reacted positively to
the treatment, 117 (55.7%) with good and 64 (30.5%) with very good
results. It could be shown by similar experiments with a beef
preparation that the effective substance in placenta is not protein. Nor
does the lyofilised placenta act as a biogenic stimulator so that the
good results of placenta administration cannot be explained as a form of
tissue therapy per os. The question of a hormonal influence remains
open. So far it could be shown that progesterone is probably not active
in increasing lactation after administration of dried placenta.
This method of treating hypogalactia seems worth noting since the
placenta preparation is easily obtained, has not so far been utilized
and in our experience is successful in the majority of women.
KRISTAL, M. B. NEUROSCI. BIOBEHAV. REV. 4(2) 141-150, 1980.
Although ingestion of the afterbirth during delivery is a
reliable component of parturitional behavior of mothers in most
mammalian species, we know almost nothing of the direct causes or
consequences of the act. Traditional explanations of placentophagia,
such as general or specific hunger, are discussed and evaluated in
light of recent experimental results. Next, research is reviewed which
has attempted to distinguish between placentophagia as a maternal
behavior and placentophagia as an ingestive behavior. Finally,
consequences of the behavior, which may also be viewed as ultimate
causes in an evolutionary sense, are considered, such as the
possibility of beneficial effects on maternal behavior or reproductive
competence, on protection against predators, and on immunological
protection afforded either the mother or the young.
Placenta ingestion by rats enhances y- and n-opioid antinociception,
but suppresses A-opioid antinociception
Jean M. DiPirro*, Mark B. Kristal
Ingestion of placenta or amniotic fluid produces a
dramatic enhancement of centrally mediated opioid antinociception in the
rat. The present
experiments investigated the role of each opioid receptor type (A,
y, n) in the antinociception-modulating effects of Placental
Factor (POEF—presumably the active substance). Antinociception was
measured on a 52 jC hotplate in adult, female rats after they ingested
placenta or control substance (1.0 g) and after they received an
intracerebroventricular injection of a y-specific
(DPDPE); 0, 30, 50, 62, or 70 nmol), A-specific
([D-Ala2,N-MePhe4,Gly5-ol]enkephalin (DAMGO); 0, 0.21, 0.29, or 0.39
nmol), or n-specific
(U-62066; spiradoline; 0, 100, 150, or 200 nmol) opioid receptor
agonist. The results showed that ingestion of placenta potentiated y-
n-opioid antinociception, but attenuated A-opioid antinociception.
This finding of POEF action as both opioid receptor-specific and
provides an important basis for understanding the intrinsic
pain-suppression mechanisms that are activated during parturition and
by placentophagia, and important information for the possible use
of POEF as an adjunct to opioids in pain management.
D 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Blank MS, Friesen HG.: J Reprod Fertil. 1980 Nov;60(2):273-8.
In rats that were allowed to eat the placentae after
parturition concentrations of
serum prolactin were elevated on Day 1 but concentrations of serum
progesterone were depressed on Days 6 and 8 post partum when compared
to those of rats prevented from eating the placentae. In rats treated
with PMSG to induce superovulation serum prolactin and progesterone
significantly (P < 0.05) elevated on Days 3 and 5 respectively,
after being fed
2 g rat placenta/day for 2 days. However, feeding each rat 4 g
significantly (P < 0.02) lowered serum progesterone on Day 5. Oestrogen
injections or bovine or human placenta in the diet had no effect. The organic
phase of a petroleum ether extract of rat placenta (2 g-equivalents/day)
lowered peripheral concentrations of progesterone on Day 5, but other extracts
were ineffective. We conclude that the rat placenta contains orally-active
substance(s) which modify blood levels of pituitary and ovarian hormones.
Many new mothers feel depressed for weeks after giving
birth. Physicians have vaguely attributed this malaise to exhaustion
and to the demands of motherhood. But a group of researchers at the
National Institutes of Health has found evidence for a more specific
cause of postpartum blues. New mothers, the researchers say, have lower
than normal levels of a stress-fighting hormone that earlier studies
have found helps combat depression.
When we are under stress, a part of the brain called the
hypothalamus secretes corticotropin-releasing hormone, or CRH. Its
secretion triggers a cascade of hormones that ultimately increases the
amount of another hormone - called cortisol - in the blood. Cortisol
raises blood sugar levels and maintains normal blood pressure, which
helps us perform well under stress. Normally the amount of cortisol in
the bloodstream is directly related to the amount of CRH released from
the hypothalamus. That's not the case in pregnant women.
During the last trimester of pregnancy, the placenta secretes a
lot of CRH. The rise is so dramatic that CRH levels in the maternal
bloodstream increase threefold. "We can only speculate," says George
Chrousos, the endocrinologist who led the NIH study, "but we think it
helps women go through the stress of pregnancy, labor, and delivery."
But what happens after birth, when the placenta is gone? Chrousos
and his colleagues monitored CRH levels in 17, women from the last
trimester to a year after they gave birth. All the women had low levels
of CRH - as low as seen in some forms of depression - in the six weeks
following birth. The seven women with the lowest levels felt depressed.
Chrousos suspects that CRH levels are temporarily low in new
mothers because CRH from the placenta disrupts the feedback system that
regulates normal production of the hormone. During pregnancy, when CRH
levels are high in the bloodstream, the hypothalamus releases less
CRH. After birth, however, when this supplementary source of CRH is
gone, it takes a while for the hypothalamus to get the signal that it
needs to start making more CRH.
"This finding gives reassurance to people that postpartum depression
is a transient phenomenon," says Chrousos. "It also suggests that there
is a biological cause."
COPYRIGHT 1995 Discover
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group
John L. Beard, et. al.; J. Nutr. 135: 267–272, 2005.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to determine whether iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in mothers alters their
maternal cognitive and behavioral performance, the mother-infant interaction, and the infant’s development. This article
focuses on the relation between IDA and cognition as well as behavioral affect in the young mothers. This prospective,
randomized, controlled, intervention trial was conducted in South Africa among 3 groups of mothers: nonanemic
controls and anemic mothers receiving either placebo (10 g folate and 25 mg vitamin C) or daily iron (125 mg FeS04,
10 g folate, 25 mg vitamin C). Mothers of full-term normal birth weight babies were followed from 10 wk to 9 mo
postpartum (n 81). Maternal hematologic and iron status, socioeconomic, cognitive, and emotional status, motherinfant
interaction, and the development of the infants were assessed at 10 wk and 9 mo postpartum. Behavioral and
cognitive variables at baseline did not differ between iron-deficient anemic mothers and nonanemic mothers. However,
iron treatment resulted in a 25% improvement (P 0.05) in previously iron-deficient mothers’ depression and stress
scales as well as in the Raven’s Progressive Matrices test. Anemic mothers administered placebo did not improve in
behavioral measures. Multivariate analysis showed a strong association between iron status variables (hemoglobin,
mean corpuscular volume, and transferrin saturation) and cognitive variables (Digit Symbol) as well as behavioral
variables (anxiety, stress, depression). This study demonstrates that there is a strong relation between iron status and
depression, stress, and cognitive functioning in poor African mothers during the postpartum period. There are likely
ramifications of this poorer "functioning" on mother-child interactions and infant development, but the constraints
around this relation will have to be defined in larger studies.
Elizabeth J. Corwin, et.al. (2005);
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing 34 (5) , 577–586
Background: Previous research suggests early postpartum
fatigue (PPF) plays a significant role in the development of postpartum
depression (PPD). Predicting risk for PPD via early identification of
PPF may provide opportunity for intervention.
Objective: To replicate and extend previous studies concerning
the impact of PPF on symptoms of PPD and to describe the relationships
among PPF, PPD, and other variables using the theory of unpleasant
Design: Correlational, longitudinal study.
Setting: Participants’ homes.
Participants: Convenience sample of 42 community-dwelling women recruited before 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Main Outcome Measures: PPF, depressive symptoms, and stress
measured during prenatal weeks 36 to 38, and on Days 7, 14, and 28
after childbirth. Salivary cortisol was measured as a physiological
marker of stress.
Results: Significant correlations were obtained between PPF
and symptoms of PPD on Days 7, 14, and 28, with Day 14 PPF levels
predicting future development of PPD symptoms in 10 of 11 women.
Perceived stress, but not cortisol, was also correlated with symptoms
of PPD on Days 7, 14, and 28. Women with a history of depression had
elevated depression scores compared to women without, but no variable
was as effective at predicting PPD as PPF.
Conclusions: Fatigue by Day 14 postpartum was the most predictive variable for symptoms of PPD on Day 28 in this population.
F Verdon, et. al.; BMJ 2003;326:1124 (24 May), doi:10.1136/bmj.326.7399.1124
Objective: To determine the subjective response to iron therapy in non-anaemic women with unexplained fatigue.
Design: Double blind randomised placebo controlled trial.
Setting: Academic primary care centre and eight general practices in western Switzerland.
Participants: 144 women aged 18 to 55, assigned to either oral
ferrous sulphate (80 mg/day of elemental iron daily; n=75) or placebo
(n=69) for four weeks.
Main outcome measures: Level of fatigue, measured by a 10 point visual analogue scale.
Results: 136 (94%) women completed the study. Most had a low serum ferritin concentration;
20 µg/l in 69 (51%) women. Mean age, haemoglobin concentration, serum
ferritin concentration, level of fatigue, depression, and anxiety
were similar in both groups at baseline. Both groups were also similar
for compliance and dropout rates. The level of fatigue after one
month decreased by -1.82/6.37 points (29%) in the iron group compared
with -0.85/6.46 points (13%) in the placebo group (difference 0.95
points, 95% confidence interval 0.32 to 1.62; P=0.004). Subgroups
analysis showed that only women with ferritin concentrations 50 µg/l improved with oral supplementation.
Conclusion: Non-anaemic women with unexplained fatigue may
benefit from iron supplementation. The effect may be restricted to
women with low or borderline serum ferritin concentrations.
Lisa M. Bodnar, et. al.; American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2005) 193, 36–44
The postpartum period is conventionally thought to be the time of lowest iron deficiency risk
because iron status is expected to improve dramatically after delivery. Nonetheless, recent studies
have reported a high prevalence of postpartum iron deficiency and anemia among ethnically
diverse low-income populations in the United States. In light of the recent emergence of this
problem in the medical literature, we discuss updated findings on postpartum iron deficiency,
including its prevalence, functional consequences, risk factors, and recommended primary and
secondary prevention strategies. The productivity and cognitive gains made possible by
improving iron nutriture support intervention. We therefore conclude that postpartum iron
deficiency warrants greater attention and higher quality care.