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Copyright © 2010 Helena Hentz

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“Feeding babies with touches, giving food to their skins and their backs, is just as important as filling their stomachs” - Frederick Leboyer -

Placenta encapsulation / tincture & benefits

For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has revered the placenta as powerful medicine used to increase scanty lactation and tonify Qi, life energy, after the birth. After giving birth many new mothers experience blood loss, fatigue, and a drop in their high pregnancy hormones.

The purpose of placenta encapsulation is to reintroduce the beneficial vitamins, minerals, hormones, proteins, and other nutrients to her body following labor and birth. It helps to restore a more balanced body function, prevent "baby blues" and the more serious postpartum depression, increase breast-milk production, shorten healing time, increase maternal energy levels, boost immunity, and provide an overall feeling of wellness to aid in the transition between pregnancy and the early postpartum period.

Women who take placenta remedies report fewer emotional issues and enjoy a faster, more pleasant postpartum recovery. Women, and their families, notice a marked improvement in overall feelings of happiness and well-being when taking placenta capsules. My Dreambirth clients often refer to their placenta capsules as "the magic pills".

The known ingredients that give the placenta its healing properties are:

Iron - Low iron levels can cause fatigue, poor concentration, and feelings of depression. New moms are often prescribed an iron supplement, due to the loss of iron through bleeding during and after birth. The iron in placenta is very effective in replenishing maternal iron stores after birth so that you do not become anemic. The iron contained in the placenta is thought to be more bio-available (readily absorbed by the digestive system) since it comes from the mother’s own body. There is also less risk of over-supplementation when iron and other nutrients are consumed directly from a natural source, rather than a manufactured pill, thus reducing the risk of side effects such as constipation.

Human Placental Lactogen - This hormone has lactogenic effects which helps to prepare the body for breastfeeding. It also helps to regulate your glucose, protein, and fat levels.

Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone - These hormones contribute to mammary gland development which is needed to prepare your body for lactation. They help to stabilize your mood and decrease depression. They are beneficial in regulating afterbirth contractions (also called "after pains"). They are also helpful in stimulating your libido which commonly goes down after pregnancy and during lactation.

Prolactin - Promotes lactation, increases milk supply, enhances the mothering instinct.

Oxytocin - Boosts energy levels, promotes bonding between mother and child, enhances pain relief, and gives an overall feeling of well-being. Oxytocin is also the hormone of birth - it is responsible for the uterine contractions that push the baby out. This effect continues after birth, as oxytocin helps the uterus return to its original size and reduces bleeding. Oxytocin counteracts the production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, and also enhances the breastfeeding let-down reflex. 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.

Thyroid stimulating hormon - This hormone helps to regulate your thyroid and increase your energy levels, boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events.

Cortisone - This hormone plays a role in reducing inflammation and swelling as well as promoting postpartum healing.

Prostaglandins - They help in regulating uterine contractions after birth, which helps the uterus to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size faster.

IgG - These are immunoglobulins which help to improve your immune system.

Interferon - It is helpful in triggering your immune system to help fight off infection.

Placental Opioid Enhancing Factor - This hormone stimulates endorphins and other natural opioids to help decrease pain in the postpartum time, increases well-being.

Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH) - Regulation of CRH helps prevent depression.

Hemoglobin - Replenishes iron deficiency and anemia, provides a boost in energy.

Urokinase Inhibiting Factor and Factor XIII - Stops bleeding and enhances wound healing.

Gammaglobulin - Immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections.

B Vitamins - Help fight stress, anxiety and depression; boosts mood and memory; helps formation of new red blood cells.

Leftover placenta pills can also be frozen for later use in life! Some mothers have reported that the capsules have helped them get through emotional struggles that come into their lives years after having a baby, hormonal ups and downs when they begin to menstruate again, and even with the hormonal fluctuations of menopause.

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