Is Placenta Encapsulation Safe?

is placenta encapsulation safe lehi doula

Placenta encapsulation has been gaining popularity in recent years among expecting parents, as it is believed to provide several health benefits postpartum. But, is placenta encapsulation safe? To answer this question, it’s important to first understand that there are two main methods of placenta encapsulation – Traditional Chinese Method and raw method. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between these two methods to help expecting parents make an informed decision regarding placenta encapsulation.

Traditional Chinese Method of Placenta Encapsulation

The Traditional Chinese Method (TCM) of placenta encapsulation involves steaming the placenta before dehydrating it and grinding it into a powder. The powder is then encapsulated and consumed by the mother postpartum. This method is believed to nourish the blood, replenish necessary hormones such as oxytocin, progesterone, and estradiol, promote milk production, and help decrease or even eliminate postpartum depression and anxiety.

One of the main benefits of the TCM is that the placenta is steamed, which is believed to remove any impurities and bacteria from the placenta. This is especially important for mothers who have had a difficult birth or a cesarean section, or who were GBS+, as they may have a higher risk of infection.

Raw Method of Placenta Encapsulation

The raw method of placenta encapsulation involves dehydrating the placenta without steaming it first. The placenta is sliced into thin strips and dehydrated at a low temperature before being ground into a powder and encapsulated. This method is believed to better preserve the placenta’s nutrients and hormones, which can help with postpartum recovery.

Differences between Traditional Chinese and Raw Methods

The main difference between the two methods is that the TCM involves steaming the placenta before encapsulation, while the raw method does not.

Another difference between the two methods is the perceived benefits. Proponents of the traditional Chinese method believe that it can help with blood nourishment, hormone replenishment, milk production, and decreasing postpartum depression and anxiety, while proponents of the raw method believe that it can also do all of those things, but even more so due to eliminating the steaming step.

Moreover, the safety concerns surrounding each method also differ, which brings us back to our main question for this blog post: Is placenta encapsulation safe?

The TCM involves steaming the placenta at a high temperature, which has shown to eliminate any harmful bacteria and impurities. On the other hand, the raw method does not involve steaming, which is believed to increase the risk of bacterial contamination if the placenta is not properly handled or dehydrated at a safe temperature. In fact, for the TCM method, dehydration must be preformed at a temperature of at least 160 degrees, while for the raw method, dehydration can be performed at a temperature of anywhere between 115 degrees and 160 degrees.

Which Method to Choose?

Ultimately, the decision of which method to choose for placenta encapsulation is a personal one. While there are benefits associated with both methods, there are also potential risks to consider. It is important to verify with your placenta encapsulation specialist which method they utilize in order to ensure that it is the method that you prefer. At Utah Valley Doulas, we prioritze our clients’ health and safety above all else, so we choose to only use the TCM method.

It is also important to ensure that the placenta encapsulation is done by a trained professional using proper safety protocols. At Utah Valley Doulas, our placenta encapsulation specialists are trained and certified in placenta encapsulation, as well as the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens for Placenta Encapsulation and Food Handlers for the state of Utah. We also utilize proper PPE throughout the entire encapsulation process.

In conclusion, the TCM and raw method of placenta encapsulation differ in their preparation process, perceived benefits, and safety concerns. Regardless of which method you choose, it is important to ensure that the placenta encapsulation is done by a trained professional who follows proper safety protocols.

While there are varying opinions on the safety and efficacy of placenta encapsulation, the decision ultimately rests with the individual. By being informed and making a well-researched decision, parents can ensure the best possible outcome for themselves and their baby.

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