Benefits & Risks

Benefits of placenta encapsulation:

  • Provides natural pain relief in the immediate post-natal period via the hormone Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF), which enhances the effect of opioid pain relief. This means that new mothers require less pain medication and consequently have improved maternal responsiveness (Kristal et al. 2011). 

  • May decrease the severity of and possibly prevent ‘baby blues’ through supplementation of iron and vitamin B (Corwin et al, 2005; Marmion, 2000; Beacock, 2012). 

  • Assists in stabilising and replenishing many of the hormones, minerals and nutrients found in the placenta (Young et al, 2016; Young et al, 2016; Young et al, 2017). 

  • May boost the iron lost during childbirth, thereby preventing or reducing postpartum anaemia (Gryder, 2016). Low iron levels often result in feelings of fatigue, lack of concentration and depressive symptoms and can lead to postpartum depression (PPD) (Corwin et al, 2007). 

  • Increases the amount of the hormone Human Placental Lactogen (HPL), which helps stimulate production of nourishing breast milk and assists in establishing early and healthy breast milk supply (Soykova-Pachnerova et al, 1954). 

Risks of placenta encapsulation:

There are a number of circumstances where placenta encapsulation may have an undesirable or adverse effect. 

Placenta encapsulation may not be suitable for women who: 

  • Have a history of exposure to heavy metals, due to potential placental toxicity (Sawika-Kapusta et al, 2010). 

  • Smoke tobacco/cigarettes, due to potential stored levels of cadmium and zinc in the placenta (Ronco et al, 2005). 

  • Have received any of the Covid-19 Vaccines. Due to absence of any mid- or long-term studies, the effects of the vaccines on the placenta or placentaphagy is not known. Optimal Birth Recovery considers the Covid-19 Vaccine to be contraindicated for placenta encapsulation.

**Women experiencing mastitis or any adverse reactions (such as headache (Selander et al, 2013)) should withhold use immediately and contact their placenta encapsulation provider.**

Optimal Birth Recovery will not offer a placenta encapsulation if:

  • The birthing mother, whilst pregnant, has used recreational or illicit drugs at any time during the third trimester of pregnancy (28 weeks gestation to birth).

  • The placenta is cancerous.

  • The birthing mother has received chemotherapy drugs at any stage in the pregnancy.

  • The birthing mother has had an intrauterine infection, either during the pregnancy or postpartum. (This does not refer to Group B Streptococcal (GBS) positive results, obtained via a vaginal passage swab.)

  • The placenta is deemed unhealthy.

  • The placenta has come into contact with sterilising or preserving chemicals, such as formaldehyde.

  • The placenta is wholly taken to a pathology facility for investigation and testing.

  • The mother elects to Lotus Birth.

For these reasons, Optimal Birth Recovery requests that, after the placenta births, your birth care provider confirms that your placenta is in good health and you, or your primary support person, ensure that the placenta is immediately placed and secured in your personalised Optimal Birth Recovery collection bag and refrigerated.

Placenta tree of life
Your placenta is a beautifully intelligent organ, genetically identical to you.

It nurtures your baby during your pregnancy, supplying them with oxygen and nutrients whilst enabling functions their body is not yet mature enough to perform independently.

Your placenta produces hormones necessary to sustain a blossoming pregnancy and promote healthy foetal development, whilst acting as a protective filter to keep out potential pathogens and keep your baby safe and healthy.

Once birthed, your placenta still holds amazing benefits to aid your postpartum recovery and beyond.