When you first hear about placenta encapsulation, your reaction may be one of disgust. Some people may look at it as consuming a waste product, or diseased organ like the appendix or tonsils, but that is just not true. The placenta is an organ not a waste product, and it certainly isn't diseased. Unlike other organs that come out of our body, the placenta is still healthy and able to provide benefits. The only reason it is expelled is that it can no longer do any good in your uterus. Without the baby there, it can cause infection if left in.
During pregnancy, the placenta provides immune support and hormones to your baby. Many women receive those same benefits by ingesting their placentas, and babies may receive them through breast milk.
Encapsulating the placenta means turning it into pills. This is done by steaming it, drying it out, grinding it up, and putting it in gel capsules. Encapsulation is generally done within the first few days postpartum, however, if you aren't sure if you want to do it, you can have your placenta released from a hospital or birth center or keep it if you give birth at home, put it in the freezer (double bagged in zippered freezer bags), and it is there if you feel you need it. You can dispose of it if you decide it isn't needed.
The majority of new moms have a great reaction to consuming their placentas. As with any other supplement, reactions and benefits are not guaranteed. If you have a negative reaction, stop taking your pills to see if they may be the cause. You can take the pills for as long as you like, and if you have leftovers, you can freeze them and save them for menopause, or any other stressful time when your hormones could use some balance.
Other optional services include placenta prints, placenta tincture, and drying the cord. Here is a picture of everything you will receive if you want the entire package excluding the tincture. Check out this page to learn more about placenta services at Women's Massage Therapy.