This morning, as I was in the midst of getting ready to leave for work, I heard the words “encapsulated placenta” emit from the radio. It was CBC’s The Current* with Anna Maria Tremonti, and she was talking to a young woman about the process of encapsulating a placenta into pill form for the mother to ingest. It piqued my interest so, I had to sit and listen. I’ll bet, if you didn’t already hear it for yourself, that I have piqued your interest too.
Apparently, it it customary for many women who choose home births to have their placenta treated immediately after birth. This involves steaming, dehydrating and then grinding the placenta into powder to put into pill capsules. These pills are then consumed by the mother to, hopefully, treat iron and mineral deficiency, depression, to increase milk production, possibly counteract symptoms of menopause and some other benefits I can’t remember. I have to say, I sat at my table with my jaw a little slack ’cause I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing.
The encapsulation is performed by either the doula or another placenta-encapsulating specialist. She brings her own equipment. (Thank God, or I’d never look at the soup pot the same way again.) This is all done to the tune of something like $350(+tax); at least that is what I think the woman on the radio said, and she encapsulates, on average, 5 placentas per month. Let’s see…5 x $350 equals $1750/mth. Not bad!
The thing is, none of this placenta encapsulating is regulated. Nor is the ingesting scientifically proven to benefit the mother**. Here’s what I think…
Once my kidneys aren’t preforming anymore, let’s cut one of those suckers out, boil the hell out of it, dehydrate it, pound it into dust, stuff it in a biodegradable capsule and bury it out in the back yard with a new hydrangea plant or flowering dogwood and watch how it blooms into something beautiful every single year.
The benefit? Sweet satisfaction of turning something ugly into something beautiful.