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Are Placenta Pills Effective?

Placenta pills, often referred to as placenta encapsulation, have gained popularity in recent years as a natural remedy for postpartum recovery. Made from the placenta of a newborn, these pills are believed to offer a range of health benefits to new mothers. However, their effectiveness is a topic of debate within the medical community and among consumers. We explore the efficacy, potential benefits, risks, and alternative methods for postpartum recovery.

What are Placenta Pills?

They are capsules containing dried and ground placenta tissue from the birth of a baby. The placenta, an organ that develops during pregnancy to provide nutrients and oxygen to the foetus, is believed by some to contain beneficial hormones, proteins, and nutrients that can support postpartum healing.

How Placenta Pills are Made?

The process of creating them involves steaming, dehydrating, and grinding the placenta into a fine powder before encapsulating it into pill form. Some encapsulation methods involve raw dehydration, while others involve steaming the placenta before dehydration.

Why Do People Consume Them?

Advocates claim that consuming them can help with postpartum recovery by replenishing lost nutrients, balancing hormones, increasing energy levels, and enhancing milk production. Additionally, some believe that they can alleviate postpartum depression and improve overall well-being.

Effectiveness of Placenta Pills

Research on the effectiveness of them is limited and inconclusive. While some studies suggest potential benefits, others find no significant difference between consuming placenta pills and a placebo.

Research Studies Supporting Their Effectiveness

Some small-scale studies have reported positive outcomes associated with consuming placenta pills, including reduced postpartum bleeding, improved mood, and increased energy levels. However, these studies often lack scientific rigour and have small sample sizes.

Contradictory Evidence and Scepticism

Many medical professionals remain sceptical about the benefits, citing the lack of robust scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Critics argue that any perceived benefits may be attributed to the placebo effect rather than the actual properties of the placenta.

Placebo Effect vs. Actual Benefits

It’s important to consider the placebo effect when evaluating the effectiveness of placenta pills. The act of consuming something believed to be beneficial can influence a person’s perception of its effects, regardless of whether it has any physiological impact. Without well-designed clinical trials, it’s challenging to determine whether they offer genuine health benefits.

Potential Health Benefits of Placenta pills

While scientific evidence supporting the efficacy is lacking, some individuals report experiencing positive outcomes from their consumption.

Improved Postpartum Recovery

Supporters claim that they can aid in faster postpartum recovery by replenishing essential nutrients lost during childbirth and promoting tissue repair.

Hormonal Balance

The placenta contains hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, and oxytocin, which play crucial roles in regulating mood and reproductive functions. Advocates suggest that consuming placenta pills may help balance hormone levels and alleviate postpartum hormonal fluctuations.

Increased Energy Levels

The fatigue experienced by new mothers during the postpartum period can be challenging to manage. Some individuals believe that placenta pills can boost energy levels and combat postpartum exhaustion.

Enhanced Lactation

Breastfeeding mothers often seek ways to increase milk production and ensure the health and nutrition of their newborns. While scientific evidence is lacking, some women claim that consuming placenta pills has helped them produce more breast milk.

Risks and Side Effects

Despite the potential benefits associated with placenta pills, there are also risks and side effects to consider.

Contamination Risks

The process of preparing placenta pills may pose contamination risks if proper hygiene practices are not followed. Improper handling and processing could lead to bacterial or viral contamination, potentially causing infections in the mother or baby.

Allergic Reactions

Some individuals may be allergic to components of the placenta or contaminants introduced during the encapsulation process. Allergic reactions can range from mild skin irritation to severe anaphylaxis and require immediate medical attention.

Lack of Regulation

The production and sale are not regulated in many regions, leading to variability in quality and safety standards. Consumers may unknowingly purchase products that are contaminated or improperly processed, putting their health at risk.

Ethical Concerns

Critics of placenta encapsulation raise ethical concerns about the commodification of human tissue and the cultural practices surrounding childbirth. Some argue that the consumption of placenta pills perpetuates pseudoscientific beliefs and distracts from evidence-based approaches to postpartum care.

Alternative Methods for Postpartum Recovery

While they may appeal to some individuals as a natural remedy for postpartum recovery, there are alternative methods that have stronger scientific support.

Nutritious Diet

Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein is essential for supporting postpartum healing and overall well-being. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains provide essential nutrients needed for tissue repair and hormone regulation.

Adequate Rest and Hydration

Getting enough rest and staying hydrated are crucial aspects of postpartum recovery. Adequate sleep and hydration support physical healing, energy levels, and mood stability during the challenging postpartum period.


Gentle exercise, such as walking, yoga, or swimming, can help improve circulation, relieve stress, and promote emotional well-being postpartum. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any exercise routine after childbirth.

Emotional Support

Navigating the emotional challenges of new motherhood can be overwhelming. Seeking support from loved ones, joining a postpartum support group, or speaking with a mental health professional can provide valuable emotional support during this time.

You may also find it helpful to contact the Association for Post Natal Illness or the National Childbirth Trust.

In conclusion, the effectiveness of placenta pills remains a topic of debate, with limited scientific evidence to support their use. While some individuals report experiencing benefits from consuming them, others remain sceptical due to the lack of rigorous research and potential risks. As with any health-related decision, it’s essential for individuals to weigh the potential benefits and risks and consider alternative methods for postpartum recovery that have stronger scientific support.


Are placenta pills safe to consume?

The safety of consuming them is uncertain due to the lack of regulation and potential contamination risks. Individuals considering placenta encapsulation should consult with a healthcare provider to discuss potential risks and benefits.

Can placenta pills enhance milk production?

While some women report increased milk production after consuming them, scientific evidence supporting this claim is lacking. Alternative methods, such as proper nutrition and hydration, may have a more significant impact on milk supply.

Are there any scientific studies proving the effectiveness of placenta pills?

Research on the effectiveness of them is limited and inconclusive. While some studies suggest potential benefits, more robust clinical trials are needed to determine their efficacy definitively.

How long should one consume placenta pills postpartum?

There are no established guidelines for the duration of placenta pill consumption postpartum. Individuals interested in trying placenta encapsulation should consult with a healthcare provider for personalized recommendations.

Are there any regulations regarding the production of placenta pills?

Their production and sale is not regulated in many regions, leading to variability in quality and safety standards. Consumers should exercise caution and thoroughly research providers before purchasing placenta encapsulation services.

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