Monday, January 14, 2013

Is Placenta Encapsulation Really Necessary When We Live In A Society With Plenty of Nourishment?

I have been hearing various arguments against placenta encapsulation recently, and I wanted to address one of them here today.

I heard an argument that placenta encapsulation or consuming the placenta following birth is not necessary in our culture because of our access to good nutritious foods.

I can see how this could be believed if one only considers the placenta from a nutritional standpoint. Yes, the placenta contains many nutrients, particularly iron and B vitamins. Yes, there are other available sources of those nutrients in our culture, so if that's all you were trying to get out of placenta encapsulation and preferred to find another source, this could be reasonable.

Consider, however, many women become anemic during their pregnancies, a lot of them undiagnosed. The placenta is a great source of iron that could help correct the anemia. We can get iron from other sources, but iron supplementation is notoriously difficult to process, giving unwanted symptoms. The placenta, in my opinion, is an unrivaled option for replacing needed iron.

Consider also that despite the fact that in our modern culture we have unlimited food sources, most of us are nutrient deficient. We have more access to food, yet we are unhealthier than ever. Many of us don't eat how we should, but even if we are, our fresh food is not as nutritious as it needs to be. In light of this fact, while we can have good nutrition if we work hard at it, it's not as easy in our culture as some would argue. The placenta provides easy sources of large amounts of certain nutrients, why let them go to waste if they could benefit you?

So far, my arguments have centered solely on nutrition as that is the sole basis for the counterargument. The reasons for placenta encapsulation are more numerous than nutrition alone. Placenta encapsulation aids in an adequate milk supply. There are some herbs that can also help with milk supply, but for many, the placenta is more effective.

The placenta also contains hormones. This is one of the biggest reasons for considering placenta encapsulation. The hormones contained in the preserved placenta capsules help replace the hormones lost during birth. No amount of food source can do this.

With the increased energy, milk supply sufficiency, easier and shorter postpartum transition and recovery, hormonal stability, and general feeling of well-being, it's hard for the counterargument to hold any ground. Yes, a woman can skip placenta encapsulation and will eventually recover. The transition may not be as smooth, but women are made to have babies and do bounce back. But there is not another source comparable to the placenta for aiding in postpartum recovery. Good nutrition alone does not do all the things consuming the placenta can.

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