Your Placenta

What is so special about the placenta?

The placenta has long been thought of as a magical part of the creation placenta-picture-d-300x240of a baby.  This incredible organ is uniquely designed for your baby and an integral part of any pregnancy and birth.  The placenta physically connects the mother to her unborn baby, feeding the developing fetus a continuous supply of essential oxygen, nutrients and vitamins through the umbilical cord.

During and after birth women lose 1/8-1/10 of their blood supply from the bleeding wound left inside the uterus, where the placenta was attached for 9 months.  As is true with most mammal species, we believe the human placenta was made to be consumed by the new mother to make up for this loss by replacing essential fats, proteins, vast amounts of iron and essential hormones to heal wounds and aid the body in self-recovery after birth. [4] With pharmaceutical companies and hospitals around the world researching and developing new forms of medicines from donated human placenta to treat a vast array of disease we feel new mothers deserve the option to make use of their own placenta for their own healing after birth.

Below: Abstract from a research hospital in Switzerland that has been experimenting with human placenta as an injectable medicine to help patients with degenerative diseases.

“Placenta therapy actually “wakes up” dormant cells within the human body, thereby stimulating growth and function of existing tissue and repairing or regenerating old and malfunctioning cells. Placenta therapy offers something that vitamins, minerals and other conventional or natural treatments cannot. It can provide the exact components necessary for injured or diseased tissue to heal and regenerate. While most pharmaceutical drugs work by suppressing certain symptoms over a short period of time and only as long as they are taken, placenta therapy stimulates the body’s own healing and revitalising powers and exerts a long term effect.”

September 2005, Ben L. Pfeifer, M.D., PhD, Professor and Director of Clinical Research AESKULAP HOSPITAL,BRUNNEN, SWITZERLAND

Why should pregnant mothers consider consuming their placenta after birth?

Dried placenta powder was recognised as a potent medicine in Europe for centuries and used to treat and cure many ailments, mostly those surrounding birth.  [5] However since the late 19th century most natural birth methods were replaced by modern birthing techniques, losing along the way many valuable traditions practised for centuries.  The benefits of consuming the placenta are being rediscovered and scientists are beginning to study placentophagy in humans.  Testimonials from many new mothers reveal that consuming the placenta after birth helped improve energy levels, increased milk production and slowed or stopped post-birth haemorrhaging, creating an overall healthier and quicker post-birth recovery.

Read through our collection of scientific studies and articles supporting placenta encapsulation and other placenta remedies.

I had terrible problems with my first baby- no milk supply, failed blood transfusion, no iron and very bad post natal depression with baby failure to thrive at 4 months. I cannot express how fabulous the placenta capsules were- and how I’m sure they are responsible for completely changing my breastfeeding experience into an incredibly positive one! Infact I am still solely breastfeeding 9 months on! So thank you 🙂

cow-eat-Do all mammals consume their placenta after birth?

Yes, almost all land mammals consume their placenta immediately after the birth of their young, except for marsupials who re-absorb it, sea mammals and camels. Our closest relative, the chimpanzee has only been observed giving birth a handful of times in the wild (chimpanzee’s do not reproduce very well in captivity).  During each observation, the new mother was seen to consume her placenta within minutes after its birth.  Mammals are thought to consume their placenta for a number of reasons.  It’s important to notice that mammals do not bleed after birth, (humans bleed for 2-6 weeks) and their milk ‘comes in’ within hours after delivery (humans milk takes 2-3 days to ‘come in’).   Mammals are observed to have pain-free births with a very short and easy post-partum recovery except for humans.  Could the missing link be the consumption of the placenta?

Do humans have the same benefits as other mammals when eating the placenta?

Fruit Smoothie 1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt 1 cup frozen mixed berries 1 banana 1 tablespoon honey 1Ú2 cup ice cubes In a blender, place all ingredients. Whirl on high until smooth. Makes 2 servings.
Fruit Smoothie
1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 banana
1 tablespoon honey
1Ú2 cup ice cubes
In a blender, place all ingredients. Whirl on high until smooth. Makes 2 servings.

Enjoying a raw placenta smoothie made with fresh organic berry fruits as soon as possible after birth is the most natural way of consuming the placenta.  Raw placenta smoothies may help stop post-partum haemorrhaging and give the body an immediate boost of hormones, protein and iron much needed following birth to slow bleeding and encourage milk production. Haemorrhage is the single leading cause of maternal mortality. [2] When the placenta separates from the uterine wall it leaves a large wound that leads to average blood loss of >500ml (half a litre) to 1000ml in the first 24 hours after birth. [3] This wound can take weeks to heal hence the average post-natal bleeding time of 3-5 weeks, especially if the new mother is breastfeeding after a particularly traumatic birth. [1] When the placenta is consumed many new mothers have reported having almost immediate reduced bleeding, spiked energy levels and thick breast milk much sooner than predicted. See our testimonials page, where mothers have shared their experience with placenta smoothies.

Once the placenta has been dried and made into capsules it is thought of as a form of medicine and will have different benefits than eating the placenta raw. Even through the cooking process iron, hormones, nutrients and rich growth factors are thought to be present in the placenta capsules – all of which support a new mother’s body through the post-birth recovery period. Read more about the powers of Rich Growth Factors.

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What other nutrients are found in the placenta?

  • Stem Cells – stem cells are the body’s master cells and can transform into almost any type of tissue – from brain cells to blood cells.
  • Iron – essential for oxygen absorption in the cells
  • Vitamins B6 – aids in the making of antibodies
  • Vitamin E – for healing damaged skin cells
  • Oxytocin hormone – the ‘love hormone’, essential for facilitating birth and breastfeeding, bonding and love. Has also been shown to be a pain suppressant
  • Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) – responsible for reducing stress levels
  • Cytokines – fibroblasts that trigger cell metabolism healing and replacing damaged cells and tissue
  • Gonadotrophin: the precursor to oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone
  • Prolactin: a hormone that promotes lactation
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone: boosts energy & helps recovery from stressful events
  • Cortisone: combats stress and unlocks energy stores. Fights depression
  • Interferon: stimulates the immune system to protect against infections
  • Prostaglandins: hormones that have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Haemoglobin: replenishes iron deficiency and anaemia, a common postpartum condition
  • Urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing
  • Gammaglobulin: immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections.

Sources:

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18641491?ordinalpos=50&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

[2] Khan KS, Wojdyla D, Say L, Gülmezoglu AM, Van Look PFA. WHO analysis of causes of maternal death: a systematic review. Lancet. 2006;367:1066–74. [PubMed]

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2878601/

[4] Sex, Time and Power: How Women’s Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution

[5] History of Childbirth by Jacques Gelis

[6] Development and Physiology of the Placenta and Membranes

Information provided by IPEN Placenta Network, Professional Training in Placenta Services

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