I've had several inquiries on the process of encapsulation. I figured it would be best if I made a separate post with instructions for those who plan to do it. It's really quite simple!

The benefits of placenta encapsulation include:

  • Decrease in baby blues and postpartum depression.
  • Increase and enrich breastmilk.
  • Increase in energy.
  • Decrease in lochia, postpartum bleeding.
  • Decrease iron deficiency.
  • Decrease insomnia or sleep disorders.
  • Decreases postpartum "night sweats".

        The placenta's hormonal make-up is completely unique to the mother. No prescription, vitamin or herbal supplement can do what one placenta pill can. How amazing is that?

The theory is you are replacing the hormones you lost during the birthing process. Each woman's placenta is unique to her hormonal make-up. Also the first born male placenta is the most enriched.

Supplies Needed:
Steamer for stove top
Fresh ginger and lemon
Cutting Board,
I recommend disposable cutting boards from Cut N Toss
Capsules, 150-200
I use a Nesco American Harvest
Food Processor or Coffee Grinder
Sanitizer and bleach

1. First take placenta, place in colander in sink. Rinse under cold water removing and blood clots.

2. Place on cutting board and severe cord at base. It may bleed a little bit. If you prefer to to the raw method you would thinly slice the placenta after you have cleaned it. Laying the slices on dehydrator trays(or in the oven), keeping the temp below 118F to preserve maximum nutrients and keep enzymes intact.


Placenta Love

2. If you are steaming it on the stove, wrap placenta membrane fetal side around placenta into a ball. Place lemon & ginger in water in steamer. Put placenta in steam basket and cover. Steam on medium for about 15mins on *each side*. Bleed whiling steaming. Slice up placenta into thin strips at this point. If you are using a low oven to dehydrate your placenta, set oven to lowest temp. It takes 12-24hrs to dehydrate depending on method used.

Bleeding the steamed placenta

Steamed sliced placenta. Try to keep all strips uniform in thickness and length so they dehydrate evenly. I would then cut these in half again. Slice as thinly as possible.

3. Preparing dehydrator, lining trays with parchment paper for easier clean up. Place in dehydrator for about 12-24hrs

My dehydrator, Nesco American Harvest.

4. Using a strong grinder, grind placenta strips. I hear magic bullet works well. You may need to break dehydrate strips in half prior to grinding. I broke a coffee mill this way and had to "donate" my food processor to the cause. During the grinding process add dried herbs if desired. Per mother's request I will add one of the 3 herb blends I offer; "Mood Boost", "Iron Boost" or "Milk Boost". The blends have 3-4 herbs in them. I add about 1/4 weight of herbs of the total placenta volume. A little goes a long way :O)
I would also encourage you if you to try the herbs prenatally individually to make sure you dont have any adverse reactions to them prior to adding them to your placenta powder. Otherwise you may end up wasting your placenta pills if you had herbs to them that cause an adverse reaction - that would be a bummer!

5. Fill capsules. One placenta will yield *about 125-175 capsules*. You can use The Capsule Machine or Cap M Quik, it can be done by hand. I use capsule size "00". There are smaller size capsules available. The picture to the top is just placenta powder and herbs blended together.

The picture below is placenta powder blended with herbs.

6. Store capsules in refrigerator, they will keep indefinitely. How many to take in the PP period depends on the mother and her needs. I recommend 3 capsules twice a day for two weeks. If mom has a history of PPD I recommend 2 capsules three times a day for a full two weeks. The following week she can cut back her capsules to once a day or two capsules twice a day.

If mom is feeling run down, fatigued, low supply or emotionally fragile increase dosage. You can always take more a few months down the road if you need a "pick me up".

Containers they are stored in with instructions and benefits listed

7. Sanitize everything once while at mom's house. Spray with bleach solution and soak in hot water. Soak again in bleach solution and boiling water when you return home overnight and then run through dishwasher. I spray everything with a bleach solution and a Simple Green disinfectant cleaner. Make sure you spray work surface area too. You can lay out old newspapers, card board or a large garbage bag under work surface to help minimize clean up.

Where to find an  "Placenta Encapsulator"
Google Maps Placenta Directory
Placenta Benefits Specialists
International Directory


Also email doulas and homebirth midwives in your area to ask if they offer this service or know someone who does.

To offer Placenta Encapsulation as a service its not regulated you take a training course, belong to an organization or be listed in a directory.



Add A Comment


Feb. 22, 2010 at 9:31 AM


 I've never heard of this, thank you for posting it.

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Feb. 22, 2010 at 9:48 AM

lol to the woman complaining about the blood- didn't she have a baby??? Nothing messier or bloodier than that!! And- very interesting post- I am not sure if I could have managed that- actually I know I couldn't- I didn't even manage to feed myself for several weeks after my first.. but I bet it would have helped me..I briefly mentioned the idea of saving the placenta and that was just too much for hubby to handle... lol so we let the hospital deal with it...

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Feb. 22, 2010 at 9:50 AM

It's very interesting stuff. I kind of reeled in horror when I saw my placenta, though. They showed it to me after I had my daughter and I could've died right there, lmao. It's one thing when you see pictures of it online, then when you see yours quote unquote "in the flesh", it's a totally different thing.

Do they taste funky, or does the capsule protect it from that? I think that would be my biggest fear. But the dried sterile capsules look totally like any other thing you'd pick up at a health food store. NOT scary and bloody and gross like some would claim. If I didn't have to do the process myself I'd absolutely do it. I'm not even a totally natural-living mom, and I can believe the benefits are too great to ignore.

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Feb. 22, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Cait, there is no taste to speak of.

I really recommend finding someone to do it for you because mom should be resting and enjoying her baby :O)


With my 2nd son I had just learned briefly of the benefits before his birth. I actually only thought it was good for PPD and breastmilk supply. When I was 6wks PP my appendix ruptured, gangrene and abscessed. I almost died. I was in the hospital for a week pumping. It was awful! I know if I had encapsulated my placenta and I had them to take they would've helped me recover from major surgery and helped with supply. I had to take some herbal supplements short-term after I got out of the hospital but my own placenta pills would've been FAR superior!

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Feb. 22, 2010 at 9:59 AM

There are a lot of good articles HERE to read on the benefits of it :O)

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Feb. 22, 2010 at 10:05 AM

MSNBC did an article on it. Time Magazine did an article on it.

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Feb. 22, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Placenta Medicine: My Story

by Tiffany Rosenbrock

[Editor's note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today Issue 88, Winter 2008.]
Photos provided by the author

alt_text I remember the day my midwife told me about placenta medicine, I cried. I loved that birth had so many blessings to offer our family, and this was completely new to me. I was so excited when Patricia told me she would gladly encapsulate my placenta for me and that taking it would ease the symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) after the birth. Patricia Couch is an amazing midwife. With five kids and a demanding position at the birth center, she still finds time to help mamas like me honor our amazing placentas, and this is our story.

At 4:17 am on October 14, 2007, my son Grey Fox was blissfully born in the water at Sacred Waters Community Birthing Center in Eugene, Oregon. I was blessed with a beautiful, gentle, peaceful waterbirth with my partner and my two-year-old son. The midwives were respectful of our wishes and let us birth unassisted, the way we needed to. They were trusting and supportive of us as a family in labor and they allowed us to have the birth of our dreams! Our birth was a sacred experience and everyone there was in tune with our baby’s song.

They waited for the “first mother,” tugging on the cord. Both midwives asked me to try to expel her. Finally I just reached inside myself and grabbed our placenta, and my son’s nurturer was born into my hands and lifted out of the water, just like my sweet baby! I was amazed at the beauty of the placenta. I couldn’t believe that it had just been thrown away after our first birth. Leaving the cord and placenta intact for as long as possible felt so right to me! We spent a little over an hour in the tub after the birth. I think about 45 minutes of it was spent waiting for the placenta; the rest of the time I just held both placenta and baby in my hands and floated them about in the water. I watched my new baby play with his cord and rub his face against it as he had in my womb. I touched all the veins and nubs of the cord and placenta. I put my hand inside the amniotic sac where my child had grown all these months. I smelled that wonderful smell of birth. No one was there to sanitize the experience; it was so sensual.

alt_textLater in the day Patricia brought in a great thick paper to make placenta prints. Because of my waterbirth, all the blood had been washed off of the placenta, so we painted it! The prints turned out beautiful. The tree of life on the placenta is truly remarkable and I loved that we were honoring our baby’s “first mother” this way.

About 12 hours after the birth, when we were preparing to leave the birth center, Patricia helped me sever that sacred connection between me and my son—not with a knife, but with fire. We slowly burned through the cord with two candles; it was so magical to watch the cord pop and sizzle with life. I like thinking about how my baby was born into water, separated from me with fire and embraced by this loving earth!

We would have left the placenta intact and done a complete lotus birth, leaving the placenta attached to baby until it’s dry and he kicks it off on his own, but I wanted Patricia to make me medicine. She did just that! A few days after the birth at one of many home visits, Patricia brought me a jar full of my encapsulated placenta! Just in time, too, because I was having extraordinary mood swings and after-pains. Within a few days of ingesting my placenta, I started to feel much better. I’ve struggled with depression in the past and this was so much better than any antidepressant medication I’ve ever taken.

What an amazing organ! And what a shame that it’s tossed in the garbage every day in hospitals! I think that every woman should have her placenta encapsulated. It should just be a part of the birthing process. Our bodies are making their own medicine—amazing medicine!

I know my body and my baby made this medicine just for me. I was immediately soothed by the capsules, and my baby blues ended within the first few days. My energy started coming back, my milk came in full force, the after-pains faded, the bleeding got much lighter, my irritability went away and I was able to enjoy my new baby. My son seemed even calmer and happier after I started taking my encapsulated placenta. No wonder other mammals eat their placentas immediately after birth.

alt_textTaking my placenta caused no negative side effects and the positive effects were amazing. I feel so blessed to have learned about this medicine and grateful that I didn’t suffer from PPD this time around. I was able to breastfeed my new baby. I even had enough milk to start pumping regularly for my toddler. I know the hormones from the capsules helped fill my breasts with healthy yummy milk for my babies.

I feel sorry for women who suffer from PPD and I regret that so few know about this option. What if the only reason mamas have PPD is because our bodies need all the hormones in our placentas after the exhaustion and great transition of birth? What if every woman had her placenta encapsulated instead being prescribed a bottle of pills? I think depression would decline, breastfeeding rates would increase and greedy pharmaceutical and formula companies would be out the massive profit they make off our ignorance.

I took only about a third of my capsules after my son’s birth and still have the rest in my freezer. I take them every now and then when I feel emotionally drained or need a boost to my milk supply. I’m saving at least half for menstrual pains and eventually for menopause.

Some day I plan to tell my son about the medicine he made for me by being born and how his birth was wonderful and empowering. I don’t believe I’ll ever need another antidepressant because he healed me. For now I watch him grow, knowing that every day is a blessing and loving every minute of it. With PPD, I would have missed out on so much of those precious first moments.

Don’t let another mother suffer! Tell someone you love about the gifts and blessings of the Placenta today!

For more information on placentophagy, please visit http://placentabenefits.info/ or read Placenta: The Gift of Life, by Cornelia Enning, available at Midwifery Today’s Web site, www.midwiferytoday.com/books/placenta.asp. For more on the birth center or midwife in this story please visit www.SacredWatersBirthingCenter.com or www.pattycakebirthingservices.com.

View more placenta and cord photos that accompany this article.

Tiffany Rosenbrock is a 23-year-old Sacred Waters mama from Eugene, Oregon, who loves life. She spends her days with her soul mate EG, raising their two sons Grey and Sevyn. She is a writer, artist and mother who aspires to someday be a midwife’s assistant and doula, or a gentle birth educator

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Feb. 22, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Adding a yellow triangle is hardly censorship in the true sense of the word. It serves as a warning, I mean come on...this is CafeMom, not MensaMom.  I could win big betting on the fact that there are not only gonna be people who scratch their heads at "encapsulation" , wondering what it means, but "placenta" as well.  As far as they know, placenta is just an ingredient in that hair conditioner!

Is there data on why and how the placenta of a first-born male is the most enriched? I'm curious about that part.

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Feb. 22, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Very interesting!  If I had another baby I would consider this, especially since I had issues with PPD after the births of two out of my three kids.  Though I suspect, barring any failures of birth control, that we are done.

I remember asking to see my placenta when my kids are born and the nurses seeming puzzled as to why I would want to... I thought it was fascinating!

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Feb. 22, 2010 at 10:29 AM

I learned that from Cornelia Enning when I took her workshop in Denmark. So it might be in her book, Placenta: The Gift of Life.

There so little research on the benefits of placentas really, let alone the first born males being the most enriched. No pharmaceutical company would pay for it because the research would prove it to be so and it would cost them money.

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