Preparing to have a baby requires quite the list of to-dos, but for many moms, figuring out how to make placenta pills makes the top of the list. According to the BBC, there is a theory that the nutrients passed from mother to fetus are still present in the placenta and eating it can give moms what they need to overcome breastfeeding issues, postpartum depression, and new baby fatigue.
But if the thought of chowing down on an organ that you just birthed out of your body doesn't sound great, there is another option for moms that want to reap the proposed benefits of ingesting their placenta — placenta pills.
If you're planning on encapsulating your placenta, you'll need a professional to step in. Unlike using your placenta in smoothies and recipes, What to Expect noted that a professional placenta preparer will be needed to dehydrate your placenta, grind it up, and encapsulate it into pill form.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, placenta encapsulation isn't new — it's a centuries-old practice. And despite the fact that there isn't a lot of research or evidence backing the claims that there are benefits to ingesting your placenta, there doesn't seem to be anything harmful about it either.
But after you reach out to a professional to encapsulate your placenta, you'll need to let your doctors, midwives, and doulas know of your intentions. If you're delivering in a hospital or birthing center, you'll also need to check on their policy. It's not very common for a hospital to save your placenta, so you'll need to do some work ahead of time to make sure you get yours in order to have it encapsulated. The American Pregnancy Association also warns that there are no laws governing the practice of encapsulating your placenta, so proceed with caution when looking for a professional to do it for you.
However, if you're the DIY type, you can try encapsulating your own placenta. There are tons of different "recipes" out there, but the blog Homestead Mama claimed that encapsulating your own placenta is actually pretty easy. It requires cleaning your placenta, boiling it, chopping it into pieces, drying it out in an oven or dehydrator, and then grinding it up to pour into capsules. This is the same method a professional will use, you just won't have to store your own placenta next to your ice cream and corn dogs in the freezer if you hire someone to do it for you.
Whether you choose to have it encapsulated professionally or take on the project yourself, just make sure to keep the pills separate from your family medicine cabinet. (Not so sure how your loved ones will react to knowing they ate your placenta instead of Tylenol for a headache.)