Fad or Fabulous? Modern Day Placenta Encapsulation
With so many stars encapsulating their placentas and talking about their experiences in the media, placenta encapsulation has become much less of a taboo in our society. This has been great, because casual discussions about whether or not a woman will encapsulate placenta have become much more commonplace. Some women who would not ever consider encpasulating their placenta are begining to think, "could this work for me?" Is placenta encapsulation just a fad, endorsed by celebrities? Or are women really experiencing fabulous benefits from consuming their placenta?
When we take a look at how we answer these questions, we have to consider the source of our information. As of today, there is little about placentophagy (consuming one's placenta) that has been scientifically studied. Most of the information we have about the benefits of placenta encapsulation is testimonial. This means that the majority of information we receive about women's experiences with encapsulation is reported by the women who are consuming their placentas. In the scientific community, this kind of evidence doesn't hold much weight, because it's just what someone has said.
In 2013, the University of Nevada Las Vegas came out with the first comprehensive survey study. This study asked women to report their experience with placentophagy and analyzed any benefits or detriments these women experienced. You can read the study here. Although this study still a compilation of testimonial evidence, it is also the foundation that the same group of researchers used to launch their double-blind scientific study about the actual (not perceived) benefits of placentophagy.
All of us birth workers have been waiting patiently to hopefully hear what we alreayd know - that women actually DO benefit from consuming their placenta. But until the study is released, we are left to rely on the evidence we do have. And that evidence is listening to the experiences of women who have tried it. As birth professionals who have witnessed many women experience and report benefits from placenta encapsulation. At My San Diego Placenta, we have our own ongoing placenta survey "study," where we have compiled the reported benefits of our own clients. How does this information pan out? Here are the stats:
All of our clients who responded to our survey reported at least one positive benefit, with most reporting multiple benefits. Our top reported benefits are better mood and quicker healing, for around 80% of our clients. 75% of our clients reported feeling more balanced, while at least half of our clients reported various mood and energy benefits, icluding reduced stress and anxiety and less weepiness. 43% of our clients reported a boost in milk supply, which benefits both mom and baby! Around 30-40% reported benefits related to sleep, icluding sleeping better and decreased insomnia. And 10% of our clients reported other benefits not specifically outlined in our survey.
As you can see, the testimonials are quite compelling! And until the findings of the next UNLV study are published, testimonials are our best form of evidence. By listening to the women around us, we validate their experiences and support them in having positive and healing postpartums. But we know you're still asking the big question - "will encapsulation help ME?" The only way to really find out is to give it a try, of course!
For more information about encapsulation or to have your questions answered, get in touch with us here. It is an honor and a pleasure to support you during your pregnancy, birth and postpartum!