My Experience Eating Placenta

This is the third post in my placenta series. In the first post I covered the benefits of eating your placenta. In the second post, my doula Deb takes us through the placenta encapsulation process from start to finish. In this post, I share my personal experience eating placenta, and it may just surprise you!

How I started with eating placenta

About a week postpartum, I began taking my placenta pills, two after each meal as instructed. I went about my regular business and didn’t expect anything to change significantly.

Well, that was fast

Within 24 hours, I noticed my milk production increase substantially. As someone who has a lot of milk, this was actually not great news. Paloma, who was already frustrated and overwhelmed by my fast let down and abundant milk, was now even more aggravated.

I was engorged and literally leaking everywhere

I was going through shirts, sheets, and bras like crazy. Now, of course, some could argue that this could have been a natural process of “my milk coming in,” but I had noticed a shift from colostrum to white milk a few days earlier, so I doubt this was the case. As I shared in the placenta benefits post, placentophagy or eating your own placenta, is known to increase milk supply. And that was certainly the case with me.

I also started to get the blues

Baby blues, mild depression, the beginnings of postpartum depression. Call it want you want, but I just had this “down” feeling. This was new to me, as I hadn’t experienced any blues after birthing my first child, Griffin.

I kept observing it

At first I figured it was my hormones dropping, and that they would balance out. But they didn’t, and the blues settled over me like a fog for a few days.

Then I got a surprising email

A reader named Kelly wrote to share her experience eating placenta. Soon after she began taking her placenta pills, she told me, she found herself weepy and angry for no reason. Her baby also seemed agitated and was having trouble nursing.

Huh, I thought…

Was there a link between eating placenta and my nursing issues and sadness? It was certainly worth testing. So I stopped taking the pills and, sure enough, in about 24 hours my mood brightened. And within 48 hours my milk chilled out.

I felt like my old self again

After a few days of this I decided to test the placenta pills one last time. I resumed my course of taking two pills after each meal and, sure enough, I started to feel down again. So I stopped taking them all together, and haven’t had one since.

Final thoughts on placentophagy

My experiment with eating placenta was by no means scientific, and there may have been other factors that drove my experience. But my feeling about it is that, for whatever reason, my body didn’t need or want what is found in the placenta. And I’m okay with that.

My advice to other moms who are considering eating placenta

My advice to any mom who is curious about eating her placenta is to go for it! Again, I’ve heard many positive stories about it. BUT, I suggest that you watch your symptoms. If you feel more energized, more optimistic, and your milk supply is in good shape, great! But if you start feeling any negative effects, experiment with the placenta pills and see if they could be behind it.

Bottom line: Each body and each placenta is different. Do what is right for you!

Did you consume your placenta after childbirth?

Did you try eating placenta after childbirth? How did it affect you? Share with us so we can learn from each other!

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.

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  1. Eating your placenta in the weeks after giving birth actually continues to replace the pregnancy hormones that your body is trying to get rid of. So if you want any actual benefit from it, you may just have to consume the whole thing right away.

  2. I had my placenta encapsulated. I couldn’t tell you if it’s had a positive effect, but it definitely hasn’t been negative! I took 2 capsules each day for 3 weeks and am now taking just 1 until they’re gone. I’ve had excellent milk supply, and I haven’t really noticed any type of hormonal emotions after the first week or so when my body was majorly adjusting to all the changes.

  3. I had a very similar experience as yours, Genevieve, with my second! It was odd to me, because I had a positive experience with placenta encapsulation after my first baby was born in alleviating my feelings of being overwhelmed and down. But with baby #2, my placenta actually increased my blues. I couldn’t believe I could have such a different experience the second time around, but while I don’t think the capsules were the only thing at work in my blues, they certainly didn’t help! Sometimes you just can’t know if it works for you until you try 🙂

  4. I didn’t with my first. Three yrs later, after I got pregnant for my second, my hubby and my doula realized I was experiencing some mild depression symptoms, and my doula recommended encapsulation. My hubby will now bring me some pills when I’m having a bad PMS day- here- take your pills! For me, it wiped out the depression. I had no noticeable changes anywhere else. I will do it again for this next one.

  5. With my first baby I thought I was super mom and didn’t expect any extra help after giving birth naturally. I thought I was amazing and wouldn’t need anything extra. I did make tons of milk, but I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and weepy. I felt bad about being sad and eventually that lifted, but the fatigue stayed for months. With my second I knew I wouldn’t have time for that and wanted to try anything to help. I encapsulated my placenta and within an hour of my first dose my blue feelings left and never returned even slightly. I also had no fatigue and breast feeding was a breeze. My second baby just blended right in and both my husband and I were shocked at the ease of everything. It was like nothing happened to my body. I healed so fast and recovered very well. I think the confidence of being a second time mom was huge for the details, but undoubtedly the placenta encapsulation was amazing for me. I could titrate down slowly from the pregnancy hormones and I felt nourished and well taken care of. I am now pregnant with our third and will definitely do it again.

  6. I had my placenta encapsulated for my 2nd and 3rd baby after struggling with PPD really bad with my first. I have a huge milk supply in the beginning so I could only take one pill a day during the postpartum period. After my milk leveled out I would take 1-2 when I would feel down or tired. I also take them to help when my cycle comes back and to help boost milk supply when I get sick or if I’m ovulating or on my cycle. They’ve really helped me but mostly after 3 months postpartum. It’s funny because if I’m really stressed or down my husband will actually go get me a pill or two for me. Usually I start to feel better within an hour.

  7. Same thing happen to me. I took my placenta pills just 1 per day and I notice my milk come out leaving my breast very engorged it was awful, but the worst part was that I had a panick attack or anxiety attack when I never had that in my life, that was the second that of taking the pill. After that my midwife told me not to take it anymore because seems like my body doesn’t need them. So placenta pills are not for everybody.

  8. I encapsulated my placenta with Baby #2 and still have pills and tincture remaining in the back of my fridge. I am now pregnant with #3 and wondering if I need to encapsulate my placenta again, or can I use my pills from my previous pregnancy.

  9. I’ve had a super low libido after both my babies and Has anyone noticed consuming their placenta helped them with this ?

    • I am currently taking my placenta as little raw frozen meaty “pills” (bleurgh bleurgh bleurgh- swallowing them is a psychological exercise. I almost choked once and I thought with horror afterwards that it would have confirmed many people’s worst fears about me, ha! I could picture them shaking their heads sadly saying “She choked on her own placenta. We knew it would come to something like this one day.”) Encapsulation was out of our price reach and a good friend who is a midwife said the benefits would be better if it wasn’t dehydrated anyway. She had prepared me a placenta smoothie after my last birth, which definitely helped PP healing, but I wish I had had pills also, as I really struggled with anxiety in the PP days with my last birth.

      Anyway, I am having a great experience this time around. I forgot to take a “pill” two days running last week and I just struggled to cope with my busy household (currently homeschooling three and have a toddler and the new baby is seven weeks old.) When I got back on the pills, after another 24 hours I was laughing off milk spills etc. again and feeling cheery. Couldn’t believe the stark difference.

      I also am about to bottle an umbilical cord tincture (my midwife said it has the same benefits and hormones as a placenta tincture but has a better colour 😉 ) and will be interested to see how that works down the track when I am out of my “pills” (around 12 weeks, as I don’t have them in the deep freeze.)

      • Sorry Amanda, I didn’t mean to reply to your comment specifically- however I can say that it has really really helped with the libido- last time I struggled right up through 18 months (when I weaned during my next pregnancy). I was afraid to resume marital relations after this pregnancy due to my previous experience, but was pleasantly surprised to not have the same trouble this time.

  10. Thank you for sharing this. After consuming placenta after my second I had like a panic attack come on! I didn’t link my anxiety to it until I forgot to take some, and then after having it within 10 minutes felt an anxiety attack come flooding in. I never took any more and continued to level off.

  11. I have a feeling that the varying amount of pills that people take may affect the differences in how people react. That and personal physiology. I only take two-three pills per day when I feel my anxiety kicking in. I have had anxiety for years now, and I was amazed at how well my placenta helps. I also took them, because I am very anemic. I think if I felt the pills were not helping me, I would play around with dosing. It may be that some people are taking too much. Much like taking too much tylenol or other medication would produce poor results and could possibly be dangerous.

  12. I’m happy to have found your experience on ingesting placenta. My experience is very similar to yours and I thought I was loosing it, as I’ve heard so many good things from other moms. Thank you for sharing your story.

  13. Can you please share tips on how to get the placenta to come out? Mine did not come out during the first birth, so I had to have anesthesia after the birth for an emergency removal in the OR (would have LOVED to get that anesthesia sooner had I known THAT would happen, lol). Anyway it was in a hospital and obviously very medically-based so there was no “try this to help it come out naturally” and I would like to be equipped with some techniques in case it happens again this time — I have a heart-shaped uterus so maybe I’m prone to this.

    • I just wanted to let you know that I didn’t deliver my placenta until almost an hour and a half after both of my children were born. Fortunately, my midwives were pretty patient, and allowed me to wait. I found that standing up and squatting was what helped mine come out in both cases, and I had no problems thereafter.

  14. I had a long and traumatic hospital birth. I returned home with signs of PTSD and postpartum depression, I couldn’t even look at my son. I had my placenta encapsulated but it wasn’t ready for 8 days. I was told to take two capsules once a day and increase to three if I didn’t notice anything. There were no changes after two days. My husband, midwives and therapist were ready to take swift action to help my postpartum depression which was reaching a critical state. I increased to three capsules and woke up the next morning feeling like a new person. My bleeding was reduced to light spotting, I didn’t cry all day and for the first time, I felt the urge to care for my son when he cried. I really believe it was the placenta that pulled me out of my depression. I tried reducing the dose back to two capsules a week later and instantly started bleeding more and cried all day.
    There is no doubt in my mind that my placenta benefited me greatly. It was a raw preparation with no herbs added, meaning it was just dehydrated, not steamed first. I’m expecting my second baby next month and I’m definitely planning to encapsulate again. We are planning a home birth and expecting to have a much more peaceful and empowering experience. I will be very curious to see if the placenta holds the same benefits after a positive birth outcome.

  15. Is it safe to take the capsules while pregnant? I didn’t get mine back right away after birth and felt really good so I didn’t end up taking them. I just found out I’m pregnant and I’m exclusively breastfeeding my 4 mo. Thanks!

    • That’s the gelatin “blooming”, which is good. You need to put on low heat and the gelatin will dissolve and liquify again.

  16. I had exactly the same negative experience from placenta consumption! I felt bad, because I really wanted to do it. I did not try it with my first child and second time around I wanted to encapsulate my placenta. I had all natural birth and everything was going great until I started to consume my placenta. Same thing 2 pills 3 times a day at first. Yes, I noticed increase in milk supply but I did not have any problems with my first daughter, I had a lot of milk. This time I noticed increased bleeding. When I stopped placenta my bleeding started to decrease and then I decided to give it one more chance (I did pay $ 500 for it because ordered tinctures too and had 270 pills cuz of huge placenta. Do not know why may be cuz I was over 42 weeks when giving birth and had 10 lb baby).

    Anyway, all kind of problems started to happen, I started to feel sad and angry, I started to gain weight (too much milk?), increased bleeding, acne, all different things I did not have first pregnancy. I had to stop it. After 2 days I was back to normal, my milk supply did not drop but I did have plugged ducks and had to use nursing system to breastfeed my baby until it was ok. Do not know if it was because of placenta.

    I would still suggest mommies go for it, but be prepared and watch your symptoms! Thank you for your video I am glad I was not the only one. I did not share my experience with anyone because felt strange – placenta was supposed to help me afterall, I love your website, it helped me to achieve natural birth too and prepare the hospital bag ))). I was working a lot and at week 41.5 my hospital bag was not ready at all, then 4 minutes of your video and I had everything including orders from Amazon

    • Thanks for sharing! And so glad you had a great birth at a hospital 🙂 Xoxo!

    • I also had a large baby (11 lbs 7 oz) and also had a huge placenta. I was told that meant my body was well prepared for growing and supporting a large baby (and that my large baby was very much not likely due to gestational diabetes). I know us big baby mommas aren’t as common, so wanted to share!

    • I got 240 pills and delivered an 11 lb 2 oz baby at 42 weeks 0 days at home. I had similar problems with postpartum bleeding… Stopped taking the pills and was fine. It is interesting to compare notes with other Mamas.

  17. My doula said to only take one a day, two if I was feeling down, and to be careful how late in the day I take them, as some people get a bit wired.

  18. Very interesting, thanks for the information! I took placenta capsules with my third and felt that it really improved my mood postpartum, but I hadn’t thought to look for negative side effects because I’d only heard positive experiences. This has made me rethink doing it with my next baby.

  19. Hi,Genevieve
    Can you please let me know if it’s ok to take the new Beef Liver Capsules from Vital Proteins while pregnant ? I know it’s ok for the Vital proteins during pregnancy
    It’s my second pregnancy and I feel so extremely tired this is my second trimester already , I feel these liver capsules would help .
    Thank you

  20. Thank you to all who have posted! I just turned one month yesterday after my c section. The positives I have noticed about taking placenta capsules have been: greater energy and much improved facial complexion! I started out by taking 3 capsules a day to two. Have not noticed an oversupply. I started taking homeopathy a fee days ago to increase my milk production as well. This last week I have noticed major anxiety and am not sure what is causing it. Could it be PPA, tha placenta or the homeopathy?! After reading the posts I am going to try going cold turkey with the capsules starting tomorrow and see what happens.

    • How did it go??

  21. My daughter was born in January. I didn’t have the money to encapsulate then, so I waited until now. So here, 6 months later… I’m high on placenta. Rofl. Seriously. I was high risk, very high blood pressure, and lost a lot of Iron pregnant. I suffered from anemia and my daughter was laying on an artery. She was born at 39 weeks with the help of a cervix thinning agent. I didn’t have to be induced, I went into labor, didn’t progress, had my water broken and she was born 52 minutes later. No pain meds. I am glad I didn’t have my placenta pills in January because my husbands father passed away less than an hour after our daughter was born and I probably would have seemed to cheery at the funeral. The placenta pills make me overly happy. I have to be stoned, right? No. Just high on everything my daughter sucked out of me when I was pregnant with her. I suspect I won’t need Iron pills much longer. I’m definitely not fatigued anymore. I’m laughing like I used to when I was a teenager. I thought I would never be a kid again. The placenta pills have helped me with the depression that is adulthood. I highly recommend them. Just take them in the mornings… because taken at night, you might not sleep well.

    • Lovely. Thank you for sharing.

    • If you are still taking them, make sure to wean yourself off when you get to the end of your supply. I had a good experience with placenta pills but was anxious to finish them because I didnt enjoy the aftertaste and found the idea a bit gross. I was taking 2 a day. When they were gone I crashed and had emotional surges. I advice everyone to wean yourself off.

      I am also curious how you kept your placenta for 6 months. Did you freeze it? I am 39 weeks with my second and I’m going to take my placenta home. I want it on stand by in case I’m not feeling good postpardum. But I’m truely not sure of the effects because I dont have anything to compare it to.

  22. I had my placenta encapsulated and I noticed that it did help my milk come in. However, I noticed I was super anxious while I was on the pills and noticed that my daughters breast tissue was getting inflamed. After being on the pills a week, my daughter developed breast buds the size of ping pong balls. I told my pediatrician about the placenta pills and she recommended that I stop taking them immediately. I stopped taking them and noticed her inflammation went way down. Now a week later her breasts are back to normal. Apparently there were way too many hormones in my placenta and it negatively effected my daughter. I also feel less anxious now that I’m off the pills. I don’t think my body responded well to eating my placenta. I probably won’t do the encapsulation with a second child.

    • Thank you for sharing! Every mama’s experience is difference so it’s good to hear both sides. I also had a negative emotional response so you’re not alone. Glad you were able to resolve it with your daughter too.

  23. I just had my baby 6 days ago, and I was doing great until I started my placenta pills. I took 6 on day 4pp and 4 a day since. I noticed my bleeding go up immediately, and stomach cramps. They are so bad right now that I can’t sleep.

    • I would talk to your doctor immediately.

    • I had the same experience. After my 4th birth I had a hard time healing with continual bleeding for about 12 weeks afterwards so with my 5th pregnancy I decided to do placenta encapsulation because I heard it could help with healing after the birth. I noticed an increase in my bleeding and then I forgot to take my pills for a few days and I stopped bleed. Once I started taking them again I started bleeding again and I tested this out a couple of different times because I couldn’t believe that it would actually make me bleed more and sure enough every time I stopped taking them, I stopped bleeding and if I randomly took 1 pill after a week of not taking them I’d bleed again. So I stopped taking them and threw the rest away.

  24. I’m actually going through the exact same thing right now and I’m going to stop taking the pills. I’m 5 days post partum And was feeling fine until I started taking mine. I immediately became weepy and my breasts are in so much pain from over supply. I’m so glad you posted this!!!!!

  25. My experience was the same. My 3rd baby was the first one that I consumed my placenta and my only one I ended up having PPD with. I wish I had stopped taking mine sooner, everyone just kept telling me “Good thing you have your pills.” I did feel temporarily better right after taking them but I didn’t feel back to myself over all until I completely stopped. But by then I was several months in. I adjusted dosage too. I’m not sure I’ll do it again.

  26. Thank you so much for posting this! I had the exact same reaction from taking the placenta and I thought I was crazy that I felt worse when I took them when so many people have amazing results. I guess it’s just not for everyone and like you said maybe our bodies didn’t need whatever is in the placenta.

  27. I really appreciate your honesty. I didn’t encapsulate with my first, but I am planning to with this baby. I never struggled much with Baby Blues or PPD, nor was my supply low. I am curious to know if I will have a similar reaction. I will try to remember to let you know. 🙂 It is amazing to have a head’s up, though. I may not have contributed such symptoms to the plascenta had you not mentioned it. 🙂 As always, I love your vlog! 🙂

  28. Maybe 2 with every meal eas too much for you?? I took mines, just 1 or 2, as I felt I needed. To me it was like a RedBull if you will. Happy pills my midwife called them. And sure did get me hapy and energetic, but like I said. I only took them when I felt I needed a little push to ge me going. Needless to say, they lasted a long time.

  29. I don’t have a moral or faith objection to eating placenta. However, I do have a common sense objection to it. With the exception of breastmilk, which we know is food and not waste, we shouldn’t eat most things that come out of our own bodies. They are waste. Your milk production is increased when you eat your own placenta because your body is being attacked by a toxin. It therefore makes increased antibodies for your baby (also known as immunoglobulins). Animals do eat their own placentas, and it’s a survival mechanism. They don’t want other animals to smell it and come after their young. They have the enzymes to digest it and the liver to detoxify it. They eat their own feces for the same reason, to get other animals off their trail. Should we also eat our own feces? It’s filled with nutrition as well. Obviously not.

    • This is exactly what my midwife with 30 years experience believes. She also mentions how temperature sensitive the placenta is, yet it is often taken through extreme temps for encapsulation or in making the salve. If anything she says perhaps it is most helpful right away for nutrients if mom is bleeding. I’m deciding against it with my first because this logic makes sense to me. She also is kind in suggesting that others look into both sides and make the best decision for them.

    • Thank you for sharing this perspective!

  30. I’m really curious about peoples moral and faith objections. I’m a Christian and was just wondering if I could hear from others who have a problem with this and why. Not wanting to argue, I just genuinely want to know the other side of this 🙂

  31. I wonder if placenta eating is really helpful for us when we’re deficient in something or in a nutrient scarce environment (as women in many culture and times are). Perhaps for someone like you, Genevieve, you are eating really well and watching your nutrients and hence it was all overkill for your body – a supercharging that wasn’t needed. I can understand why in the middle of a Siberian winter or something that eating your placenta would be a darn good idea but I guess each body is different and has different needs. We’re so lucky to not have to worry about the basic survival stuff while having new bubs to deal with.

  32. I am a certified listen Encapsulation specialist and I just want to say This a super common experience! You are not alone. I have found that this reaction is caused by a too high of a dose. This is an easy fix by re-caping your capsule in a smaller milligram. I use a standered size 2 with women who have a history of over supply I typically use a size 3. And generally my clients test their dosage by working up from one pill until they feel like it’s a fit. Whatever you choose, please keep them. You never know if you might need them. Best of luck and welcome Paloma!

    • Hi Paloma,

      I am pregnant, and I am interested in knowing more about the process of making this pills, could you please give your contact?


    • Hey Beth, question. I’m pregnant with my second and plan on having my baby in the hospital, using en epidural, etc. (I know, all the bad things ?) Does the medication have any effect on encapsulating the placenta? I had poor supply and some baby blues with my first baby so I’m interested in encapsulating this time. Just didn’t know if the meds would contraindicate it.

  33. I had the same experience though i never suspected this until i read your story. I had my placenta encapsulated for the first time after mythird child. For the first time i had a huge oversupply and the baby blues. Mauve there’s something to this.

  34. I ate a piece raw in a fruit smoothie two days pp, and encapsulated the rest. I did it myself. I could tell a difference right away in energy level with the smoothie. I started taking one to two pills a day 4 days pp and they made me feel great! My milk had already came in and it was abundant, so I built up a milk stash, I did have an overproduction, but that was the case with my first without the pills. One thing that I really noticed was that I felt the healing happening! My pp bleeding slowed to a stop almost immediately and I had a ton of energy to keep up with my toddler and newborn by myself(single mom here). I had no sadness or baby blues. Overall, I thought they helped tremendously! I stopped taking them when the bleeding stopped completely, and still have some leftover if I ever need them.

  35. Hello and thank you all for sharing. I am due in 3 months and from the guidance of my Ayurvedic trained cousin, she suggested that I encapsulate my placenta. She said it worked well for her sis in law who had a rough time the 1st baby. This is my fourth and its a boy. With my first daughter, I had no problems. My second (a son), I had it rough. I literally ‘woke up’, so to speak, shortly before his 1st b-day. It was like I was just going through the motions of being a mom. I wasn’t happy, or sad, or weepy. I was just existing. With the third (a girl), I had no problems what so ever; mainly tiredness from being a mom of three very active kids. This time, its a boy, and I can’t imagine being in a ‘fog’ again for almost a year! The thought of it actually horrifies me. This is why I am weighing my options of post baby nutrition and supplementation. Any suggestion outside of the placenta encapsulation that you can share or suggest?

  36. What if you just took one pill after a meal? Perhaps you were going too much of whatever was in the placenta? If it were me,I would kind of want to try thatand see if the results were the same.
    Also, how did it taste…?

    I wish I had done it with both my children, but especially my daughter. I have postpartum with her and it had been somewhat rough… Would have loved to see if the pills had helped me.

  37. I am really curious if everyone had herbs added to their pills?? But yes, it is interesting about the possible milk supply issue and the PPD. I had oversupply with my first (without placenta consumption), so I think I’m going to be very cautious about consuming my placenta this time! Encapsulation is so expensive, I’m just going to freeze it and use it if I need it.

  38. I had a midwife in training mention to me that she wants to save her pills for menopause. I haven’t researched that at all. How are Paloma’s vitamin D levels? Big cause of tummy troubles. No vitamin D comes from breast milk. points out the need for newborns to have supplemental vitamin D to sleep better! Thanks for your great tips. My daughter has been drinking homemade lemonade for a month now all thanks to your recipe that you posted. I was sitting here at night a month ago wishing I had bought more organic lemonade when I read your post about your homemade lemon water and I realized that I had 2 lemons, a jar and some stevia. Thanks for that aha moment!

  39. Interesting. I’m 2 weeks PP I had my done through a barter which is nice. I didn’t take them with my son but since I struggled with breastfeeding I was interested in having them done this time. I noticed a big increase in milk- also not sure if good since I’m producing fine. Anyways I’ve taken them off and on so far because a symptom I had was upset stomach slightly looser BMs. My encapsulator said the same thing could be that my body doesn’t need it. Also I was only taking 1 capsule you said you took two so maybe lowering your dose would have been better. Or my encapsulator said I could make a tincture out of the pills. I already have a tincture from a piece of the placenta but you can also make it from the powder from the pills and she said it will give you some of the benefits without overloading. Anyways either way thanks for sharing!

  40. So interesting! I had never heard that it could work against you. Thanks for sharing! I wanted to encapsulate my placenta and never got around to it, so it sat in my freezer for 3 years! I finally just buried it in our backyard under a tangerine tree just recently, haha! 😉

  41. I feel like people who do the encapsulation have way different experiences than those who just eat it straight away or those who freeze it and use it in smoothies. I did the latter and experienced the exact opposite of you Genevieve. I notice a lot of people that get their placentas encapsulated tend to have bad side effects (from depression, to actually getting physical ailments like the shakes, sickness, and chills). Most will chalk this up to the encapsulator using different herbs that are “supposed to help”.
    I’m really a naturalist at heart, so I’m wary of trusting outsiders to “help” with something nature, our bodies – i.e: evolution, has already perfected.

    Without my smoothies I was an emotional wreck, angry and sad all wrapped up in a screaming crazy woman. HAHA. My poor husband – it got to the point where he started making my smoothies to avoid the crazy lady.
    It didn’t really help my milk production that I noticed. I have a severely low supply to the point where I started taking all of those herbal supplements that didn’t work or gave the baby gas, and eventually prescription meds, that still only give me enough for 2 feedings/day and during the night. I wish placenta could cause me to have an oversupply, I would have used that to try and build a freezer stash instead of feeling like a failure for having to rely on formula. So I’m really jealous of your experience for that, lol.

    Like anything else, every is going to have different experiences. I just hate that the 2/10 people who try it don’t get the results they wanted then they go around bashing it for EVERYONE and they’re the ones who end up being heard, instead of the people whom it actually helps.

    • True, I agree. I also have to say that maybe until you start experiencing some depression or milk supply issues, you don’t necessarily need the placenta. I kept mine in the freezer, but never got around to using it. It wasn’t until I stopped nursing after two years and I started to have mild depression because my hormones were going crazy. My midwife asked me if I still had my placenta because that would have been a good time to try and use it.

  42. I feel like people who do the encapsulation have way different experiences than those who just eat it straight away or those who freeze it and use it in smoothies. I did the latter and experienced the exact opposite of you Genevieve. I notice a lot of people that get their placentas encapsulated tend to have bad side effects (from depression, to actually getting physical ailments like the shakes, sickness, and chills). Most will chalk this up to the encapsulator using different herbs that are “supposed to help”.
    I’m really a naturalist at heart, so I’m wary of trusting outsiders to “help” with something nature, our bodies – i.e: evolution, has already perfected.

    Without my smoothies I was an emotional wreck, angry and sad all wrapped up in a screaming crazy woman. HAHA. My poor husband – it got to the point where he started making my smoothies to avoid the crazy lady.
    It didn’t really help my milk production that I noticed. I have a severely low supply to the point where I started taking all of those herbal supplements that didn’t work or gave the baby gas, and eventually prescription meds, that still only give me enough for 2 feedings/day and during the night. I wish placenta could cause me to have an oversupply, I would have used that to try and build a freezer stash instead of feeling like a failure for having to rely on formula. So I’m really jealous of your experience for that, lol.

    Like anything else, every is going to have different experiences. I just hate that the 2/10 people who try it don’t get the results they wanted then they go around bashing it for EVERYONE and they’re the ones who end up being heard, instead of the people whom it actually helps.

  43. I love my placenta, but I chose to keep it & bury it and not have it encapsulated. Right now, its in our freezer waiting until spring. I had a lot of friends have very positive placenta-encapsulated experiences.

  44. With a family history of depression, I deceived to encapsulate my placenta when on daughter (only child at this point) was born. As it would turn out I suffer from IGT and was by no means making enough milk for her. I was very glad to have the capsules. I was very emotional over the realization that my body could not feed my daughter (I spent hours crying in those first week as I tried to increase my milk supply), but I never felt like I was crying for no reason. I truly feel as if consuming my placenta gave me some emotional stability during that time.

    Since then I have kept the extra in my freezer for when my cycle returned. It has helped me during that time when I find myself out of sorts and cranky.

    I am intrigued by another posters observation that the negative mood seemed to come with many individuals with high milk supplies while a positive mood seemed to come with those who had low milk supply. Connection? Would make for some very interesting medical research.

  45. My midwife suggested I keep my pills in the freezer and use them before and during menopause …she said as long as they are in the freezer they will be fine as I won’t be entering that stage for quite awhile :). She said they will help with the yucky things that come with menopause like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, etc.

  46. Hey Genevieve! Your experience is really interesting since it often seems like many people experience the opposite. Thanks so much for sharing your story! I’ll make sure I inform clients of this who ask from now on!

  47. My placenta pills didn’t agree with me at first. I felt great and didn’t feel like I needed them. I am just about three months post baby and started getting postpartum anxiety. I started taking the pills and seemed to have leveled out. With my first baby the helped right away.

  48. Just a note about Chinese medicine such as this: It tends to bring any illness (deep seated) out. I had a problem with needing detox for several issues. 6 week long yucky stuff ensued…until someone told me the above. When you detox for everything you have (the worst stuff) then you can probably start up again. Or take one every once in a while. Or save them for when your milk supply goes down.

  49. On August 22, 2013, my baby boy Jasper was stillborn at 40 weeks +6. He was our first son and it took us ten years to concieve him. Forget postpartum depression, I was just flat out depressed. My midwife was concerned about the potential depression and found someone to encapsulate my placenta for free. I took them as adviced. I don’t know how it would have been without them but I felt better than I think I should have. I did notice leaking breasts which was odd since I wasn’t nursing anyway. They also tasted horrible. I’m thankful that I was able to try it though.

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • I am so sorry to hear about your experience, but glad you feel the capsules helped.

    • Amber,
      My heart hurts reading your story! How strong you must be! The fact that you can even write about it is evidence of your strength. Comfort and love to you!

  50. I wonder if placental consumption would help with the initial milk production? I had to have a C-section and it took about 3-4 days before my milk came in. My poor baby was so extremely frustrated, and so was I. I wonder if consuming the placenta immediately after delivery (or within 24 hours) would help with milk supply? -Since you said that it made you overproduce. Interesting.

  51. I had my placenta encapsulated after my daughter was born (but had not done that after my son was born a couple years prior). It reay seemed to help me cope with the stress, but I was taking 3 per day, not 6. A friend of mine told me that she had to adjust the number of pills she was taking to find the right balance for her personally. I think it’s a very individual thing, since each woman’s body chemistry is different.

  52. Ya know I thought I was alone in my experience. My milk production was so high I developed mastitis. I also was very weepy, sad, overwhelmed, and ultimately felt crazy. I had to stop taking them because I had a fever with the mastitis and all the other symptoms stopped. Now the positive was they did help with my physical recovery and I was bleeding less. So when I had to stop the pills the bleeding increased and lasted longer than with my first baby. I also noticed my recovery slowed down after I stopped.
    So interesting how different each mama responds. Even with all that I do t regret it. And I’ll have the pills for menopause. 🙂

  53. your experience really isn’t unusual. I have quite a few friends who consumed their placentas and became very weepy and then the pills ran out or they stopped taking them and voila! bye bye PPD. Others had great experience with it. Nothing is a one-size fits all. 🙂

  54. I have heard one person feel witchy after her capsules. I told her that she needed to listen to her body and save her capsules for when she had a drop in supply or felt emotionally she needed them. Had another mom use them for a few weeks with good results but then developed a hormone rash. Turns out she was feeling fine off of them but loved the happy high they gave her. So she was just getting too much hormone. We all must listen and use them when the time is right. I would love to see another post when you try them again during a real time of need. Personally I took mine after my guy turned one to boos supply after period came in and my grandfather passed helped with the depression. We all have emotional stressors from time to time and need a pick me up. Wish I coul grow another placenta for when I might need it again. I also milk like a cow and I wet nurse and pump for other babies.

  55. I am SO glad you shared this! I too encapsulated my placenta and I was also very weepy and down. I just thought it was the “baby blues” from all the hormone shifts. I also had a HUGE over supply issue that took about 6 months to regulate. My lactation consultant actually told me I could feed 4 babies! That over supply in turn caused my little one to be fussy and very gassy. This is my first baby, so I don’t know any differently, but knowing that consuming the placenta does affect some women negatively will definitely make me pause next time.

  56. Thanks for sharing your experience. I struggled with oversupply with all my babies, but the birth after I encapsulated was the worst, however, this was the only postpartum that I wasn’t a weepy mess and wasn’t depressed. To me, the downside of way too much milk was much easier to cope with than the depression.

  57. Thank you for sharing! I had mine encapsulated the first time, two years ago, and couldn’t say whether it had effect or not because I have nothing to compare it to. I had a good milk supply and didn’t suffer from depression or anything, but I’ve never NOT taken the placenta! However, I WON’T be encapsulating it when I give birth again next month, simply because it’s crazy expensive! I paid $150 in Washington state, and it is $300 here…and we expect to end up paying out of pocket for our midwife as well. So oh well! I’m not worried about doing it/not doing it, though I probably would have again if it cost less. I still plan on maybe keeping it in the freezer so that I have no regrets if I do have a lot of postpartum issues.

  58. I’ve taken placenta pills after two births and for me, each experience was different. The first time, the pills were an enormous help to me. When I forgot to take them, I was tired and depressed and very emotional. When I did take them, I felt balanced and motivated. It also gave me a very healthy milk supply. This time around, it seems like I’m more emotional when I take the pills than when I don’t. I also haven’t really seen any difference in my energy level when I take them. All that being said, my births were very different and, more specifically, the way my placenta was handled was very different each time. The first time, I had a homebirth and my placenta was taken to the encapsulator immediately after the birth and only had to be refrigerated a short time. This time, I birthed in the hospital and they kept my placenta refrigerated for the few days that we stayed in the hospital. I really think that refrigerating it for that long had an effect on how the pills affected me.

  59. I cant wait to try this. I just had my baby girl a year and a half ago and did not do this, but learned about it after. I went through the longest and hardest post-partum “blues” I still think about how I managed to get out of it. It lasted a good 4 months hard, and leveled out around 1 yr. I really hope my placenta capsules will help this come my second? Maybe I was lacking something and you “had” it and didn’t need any more? My milk supply was exactly perfect for my child no extra no leaking and not too low. 🙂

  60. I’ve never been comfortable with the idea. From a physical standpoint–seems a bit gross! And from a moral/spiritual standpoint, I haven’t seen anything in Scripture that would lead me to feel that consuming one’s placenta would be a beneficial thing. I guess we should as individuals pray and seek the mind of the Lord… not everyone will do the same thing, and that’s fine!

    Anyway, I never ate mine and never had baby blues and always had great milk supply initially! Why fix something that ‘ain’t broke’? 🙂

  61. I had really horrible post partum blues with all three of my kids, feelings of hopelessness, panic attacks and insomnia. They were completely caused by physical changes, I also felt really happy and infatuated with my baby at the same time (weird right?).

    I had placenta smoothies with the last two and they helped relief some of my anxiety and get my moods back in check. At least, I think they helped. It was still scary all three times to feel so poorly, but it felt nice to at least do something to help.

  62. Thank you so much for posting this! I had the exact same experience you had but up until now I thought I was struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. All of my friends had such good experiences I really didn’t think it was the pills!

  63. i question the whole cooking/dehydrating part,,, does it change some element of the placenta? If we were truly natural we would eat the placenta raw and immediatly..not cooked and days later in pill form.
    I think we need to question our sanitizing the consumption when raw is the natural way….


    • That’s an interesting point. I wondered myself why it was cooked when so many advocates of things such as liver pills recommend raw dessicated liver and you’re not going for the hormones in that case which I would expect to be fragile.

      I’m due in 2 1/2 weeks and I’ll be just dehydrating and encapsulating mine raw to see what happens. I’m glad to hear about this negative reaction though as last time I had abundant milk and no baby blues at all so I’ll have a good idea what to try if that changes.

    • This is a very good point. If I am allowed to (I haven’t checked with the birthing centre yet) I want to be able to take my placenta home with me and consume it naturally. I have read that removing the membranes and freezing it in chunks then adding the chunks to smoothies is the best way, because it doesn’t taste as strong when frozen first, and as a vegetarian I think this may be better as I’m not sure how well I’ll stomach raw meat!


  64. I encapsulated my placenta, and found that the two pills three times a day was also way too much for my body to handle. I would get sweaty, cranky, and just not feel all that great. I went to one pill three times a day and found that to be the perfect amount for me.

  65. Wow! I didn’t put 2 & 2 together! I had a similar experience as you Genevieve, but thought and was encouraged, to take more pills! Thanks for sharing so honestly with such awareness…wish I would have had that and saved ourselves so much suffering. 🙁 Next time! 🙂

  66. I had my placenta encapsulated as an insurance policy against postpartum depression, mostly. I didn’t have it with #1 or #2 but I figured it couldn’t hurt to have the pills in case I needed them. I took them, and didn’t really notice any differences, positive or negative. I wasn’t depressed, but I also didn’t notice anything fabulous about taking them. I still have some leftover! I wonder if they’d help my supply for my nursing toddler? Maybe I should try it!

  67. Thank you for this post! I can only PRAY that they would cause such a dramatic increase in my milk supply (I’m in the process of investigating Insufficient Gland Tissue) before the birth of my second child in appx 5.5 weeks. I’m surprised you were encouraged to take so many at once, since I thought you were supposed to build it up slowly. Nonetheless, thank you for sharing your experience!

    • Hi Brenda,

      I have heard that goat’s rue is good for building tissue.

      good luck to you

  68. When I heard about the benefits of placenta encapsulation I decided to try it with my third child who was born on January 4th of this year. A couple days after taking them I started feeling the same way you did, really down and I was unable to figure out why. I would start crying for no real reason and just felt incredibly sad. My husband works away from home two weeks at a time and every time we started talking about him going back I had an uncontrollable flow of tears, which was not normal for me. I stopped taking the pills and my head got straight. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  69. I had my placenta encapsulated following my son’s birth this past June. I have a history of PPD from 2 of my previous pregnancies, but had been off my meds and in “remission” since 2 months before I got pregnant so we were just keeping a watchful eye. About a week postpartum I started taking my placenta pills, and within 24 hours I was crying so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. I was angry, and just could feel my anxiety hitting a peak. My milk did not increase drastically like some had experienced, and the baby did not seem to be affected by it. I was initially told to increase the number of pills I took because, “this was obviously PPD setting in, and more pills would help.” I upped my dose at breakfast and lunch, and by dinner time I felt like I was jumping out of my skin, and wanted to run away from my family. I recognized it as not normal, discussed it with my husband, and he pretty much talked me down. I stopped taking the pills immediately. I had my doula come over for an extra postpartum visit to help out with the baby so I could nap. The next day I was still super cranky and would cry easily. At 48 hours, I felt like myself again and was happy and once again enjoying being a mom and snuggling my new baby. Now at the 7mos mark, I have not taken any additional placenta pills and I do not have PPD.

  70. Wow, I didn’t put two and two together until just now, but I was extremely weepy after having my second baby, and the only one I encapsulated the placenta for. My baby was tongue tied and clipped two days after birth (later properly and fully revised by Dr. Kotolow). I did not experience a huge surge of milk with this baby vs my first, where I did not encapsulate. But by jove, if the PPD wasn’t something to be reckoned with this time around! And of course, thinking my pills were supposed to help, I kept taking them! When I finally gave up with them a week or two into it, my mood lifted, too.
    Granted, it could have been the extreme sleep depravation and a baby that nursed constantly due to her tongue tie, but it’s still something significant to consider!
    Glad to hear you’re doing better!

  71. Can you store the pills in the freezer and try taking them to help with menopause? I had read that some women do that…

  72. How interesting! I’ve never heard of anyone having that response, thought now I wonder if in fact I DID with my daughter! I had mine encapsulated and I took the pills as often as I felt I needed them and/or remembered to, but I didn’t feel like they helped all that much. (Her birth was also a traumatic experience that left me recovering from a cesarean as well, though, so it is hard to say how much was normal baby blues and how much was disappointment/PPD.) I eventually stopped taking them to save the rest for menopause, since theoretically they help for that as well. Fast forward 4 years to my son’s birth this fall, and I encapsulated again. This time, though, I had also heard about tinctures, and since I have had such success with other homeopathic tinctures, I decided to make a placenta tincture from my old pills in advance of the birth (so it’d be ready immediately, as it has to ‘brew’ for six weeks). THIS. WORKED. I did also take the new pills on occasion once I received them, but I didn’t find them as effective as a dropper full of my tincture multiple times a day. I have an anxious personality in the first place, and with a preschooler AND a baby at home, a second disappointing birth, and the standard post-partum emotions, I was taking that stuff like nobody’s business. I always had a dropper in the morning as soon as I got out of bed, and one when I went to bed at night, sometimes 2 or 3 times throughout the day when I was feeling emotional, frustrated, or stressed out. My son will be 4 months old this week and I only just added the last 2 oz of the original 1 cup tincture to my bottle… and 1/2 or 1 oz of it I had donated to another mama who lost her placenta to pathology testing. I have another batch made from my new pills, though at this point I am not taking it as often so the results are more subtle. But with my daughter, taking the pills, I had trouble with my milk supply and my moods, which I attributed respectively to her having been given bottles in the hospital and never latching quite right and blaming myself for not taking the pills often enough because they were pretty gross when I burped them up. The tincture doesn’t taste delightful, but at least the flavor doesn’t linger. *L*

    For anyone interested, what I did was to open 5 or 6 capsules in a pint mason jar and add 1 cup of high-proof alcohol. I used an organic rye that had herbal flavors added to it to hide the offal flavor (which can be truly awful *L*). Let it steep for 6 weeks, giving it a shake every day or so. You can then strain it (might be best, flavor-wise) or just use a kid’s medication syringe to draw out a few ounces at a time to fill a dropper bottle, careful to avoid the sediment. If you top the jar up with alcohol periodically, be aware that the potency will decrease. I chose to just filter after 10-12 weeks, and since I have a whole jar full of placenta pills, I can make tons more of this as needed. My first jar, as I said, has lasted me over four months.

  73. Did you try just cutting back on the pills? Maybe the dose you took was too much for you. Some women don’t need two after each meal. I took two twice a day in the beginning, then tapered off to one twice a day. Sorry you had a bad experience.

  74. I’m so glad you shared this! This was exactly my experience! I still recommend placenta encapsulation to any expectant mother who is worried about milk supply.

  75. You know you’re a crunchy mama when you get excited to check the mama natural blog to watch the vlog about placenta eating…..yeah. Cool series! I’m definitely going to look into this for baby #3.

    • Hahaha you don’t have to be a mom to get excited about that… I’m 15…

  76. That was a HUGE dose to start on! The gal who did my encapsulation told me max 3 pills a day when I feel I need it, otherwise start with one a day to possibly two. One day I did try the three pills and I was super weepy so took a break for a couple days and started with one a day again. It didn’t increase my energy or milk supply but I do think I’ve sensed the increased oxytocin and think it has helped maintain that first initial bond I had with baby at birth.

  77. Thank you for your honest update. I was gung-hoe my first pregnancy but had doubts about it conflicting with my faith. And then I had complications that sealed the deal when my placenta was sent off to pathology. But after having a very rough round of postpartum and reading a little more on the spiritual argument I definitely think I am going to go for it this time. Worst thing to happen is what you experienced or it not working. But to not do it and go through everything that happened last time just doesn’t appeal to me.

  78. I was so intrigued by this video. With my first I encapsulated and consumed my placenta. I had major post partum blues and painful let down couples with oversupply. I also cried to my husband that my milk and sweat smelled like meat. But I thought, hey this is life with baby! (Not the meat smell, I knew that was the placenta pills, but thought it was worth it.) I thought all mamas were generally unhappy and those who said they weren’t were faking it. And the breastfeeding meant leaking and spraying everywhere, every time. ‘Why had no one warned me’, I thought!

    Now, we are on newborn #2 and I am not taking my placenta. My milk supply is perfect, baby is nursing great and I am much much happier!

    I agree each body is different! Baby #2 has been an easier transition for many reasons, but knowing and feeling how I do now, I do think some of my symptoms were caused, or exacerbated, by consuming my placenta.

    Frankly, I am encouraged to hear that I am not the only naturally minded mama who didn’t think placenta consumption was the best thing since sliced bread!

  79. It’s interesting to hear that the placenta pills can have such different effects on different women. I did not consume my placenta with my first baby and struggled with milk supply, the normal new mommy lack of energy, and my healing took a lot longer than I expected. I bled for three months after she was born. I didn’t have issues with PPD but I was definitely more emotional than usual. I plan on trying placenta encapsulation with our next child to see the difference and hope it helps me out!

  80. Interesting…. I wonder if it’s like a homeopathic response? It seems like most women who speak highly of placenta pills are those with low milk supply and / or battling ppd and low energy. I struggled with all those with my first, and I will definitely do placenta pills with my second in case I experience the same issues. And you’re right – the good news is, you can try them but you don’t have to take them if they don’t work for you!

    • Megan, I was wondering the same thing. I have a ridiculously low milk supply and although the placenta pills increased it, I was still excited to pump an ounce of milk at any given time (actually I only ever even pumped that much once). It does sort of sound as if there’s a tie-in for mamas with oversupply who don’t seem to thrive with the support of their placenta. Very interesting.

  81. It is good to hear someone else had the same experience as me. I had my first baby in October and during the first 7 days postpartum had terrible baby blues while taking my placenta pills. I was weepy and discouraged every day starting in the afternoon through the evening. It was quite debilitating. Now I am not sure if the baby blues would have been worse or better had I stopped sooner as I didn’t test it like you, but once I stopped taking them my spirits were much improved.

  82. Hi there,
    I had a positive experience but would like to say, I would have suggested significantly less consumption of the pills.
    I only took two in the morning and it really assisted me with my energy level the most.
    I also had a c-section birth and felt really exhausted from so many meds, recovery etc. I also waited for two weeks post to start to let me body heal ( I was told by the mid-wife that did the encapsulation for me that you don’t want to take the pills while sick).
    So, that’s just my opinion for what it’s worth. I would have taken a much lower dose.
    Always interesting to hear various experiences though – we are all so different and that is a beautiful thing!

    • Glad you had a good experience! I did try reducing dosage and still had the same side effects.

  83. That is a lot of pills to be taking ! If you were my client I would have suggested 2 pills a day and increase as needed.

    • I did play with dosage and the effect was the same 🙁

      • I just watched the video now ( before I only read ) and I like what you say at the end about listening to your body . That is my instructions when I deliver to mama . You probably don’t need them. I also tell moms if you feel like you don’t need them , them stick them in the freezer for possible future use . This is good information for me to have as a professional encapsulator. I have done 120+ encapsulations over the past 2 years and have not gotten feedback like this . But I have had a few moms who just kind of stopped taking them. I think some women just don’t need it.

  84. Interesting. I didn’t eat mine with my son, but I was hugely over producing in the first few weeks. I also never had the blues. Maybe it was good I didn’t! Glad you are doing better.

  85. I didn’t take them and I never suffered from postpartum depression, plus I had a great milk supply. I most likely won’t take them if I have another child. I really see no need to.

  86. I had wonderful results with encapsulation. I did end up with an overproduction but I believe that was due to pumping (baby was tongue tied). As soon as I was finished with my pills I developed ppd. I would’ve paid good money for another mama’s placenta.

    • I’m glad they worked so well for you! Hoping the PPD has passed.

    • I had the problem with ppd when I ran out of my pills as well. My doula told me about sheep’s placenta capsules that you can buy on Amazon. They totally worked for me! They are sold as a remedy for skin problems, but helped me with both the depression and with my milk supply issues.

  87. Thank you for posting this! I have never done the placenta encapsulation, but plan on it when this child I am carrying is born. I tend to over produce and have a fast let down as well. I will def. watch for any signs that the placenta might be affecting my milk or mood. I think it will be nice to know that if my supply starts to dwindle, I can count on having the pills to encourage more milk production!

    • My pleasure!!! That’s the thing that’s great about the pills… you can take and stop taking at any time.

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