Your Amazing Placenta

Ingesting your own placenta has been a practice in many cultures for thousands of years. Almost every mammal ingests their own placenta after the birth, sometimes even ignoring the young until the placenta has been completely ingested. In many cultures the placenta is considered the tree of life, and indeed, without it life would not be possible.

Traditionally, placenta has been used to:
· Balance your hormones
· Increase milk supply
· Combat Fatigue
· Increase your energy
· Prevent signs of aging
· Recover more quickly from childbirth
· Replenish what was lost during childbirth
· Bring the body back into balance
· Prevent and treat the “baby blues”
· Shorten postnatal bleeding time
· Increase postnatal iron levels

Studies show that placenta is extremely nutrient rich, high in iron, protein, vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6 and of course, your own natural hormones, making it perfectly made for you, by you. Experts agree that the placenta retains hormones, and thus reintroducing them to your system may ease hormonal fluctuations.
Some even believe it can help:
· Build baby’s immune system
· With any type of trauma and life’s many transitions
· Weaning from breast feeding
· Heal bone breaks
· Regulate hormones during menopause

Hormones and the Placenta
The placenta is an endocrine organ, meaning it is a hormone producing organ.  The placenta begins producing hormones at 6-8 weeks gestation to help sustain pregnancy.  These hormonal levels continually increase during pregnancy, and by the third trimester there are 3 times the normal level of hormones in an expectant mother’s system.  By 4-5 days postpartum, these hormone levels will drop to below normal.  This is a huge fluctuation going from 3 times the normal level to below normal hormonal level, and this is where the healing properties of the placenta come into play.
Here are just a few of the scientifically known hormones and their functions that are produced by the placenta and are still viable and intact after delivery. 
Prolactin- promotes lactation
Oxytocin- for pain and bonding; also known as the “love” hormone
Interferon- stimulates the immune system to protect against infection
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone- boosts energy and helps recover from stressful events
Cortisone- combats stress and unlocks stores of energy
Hemoglobin- replenishes iron deficiency and anemia
Gammaglobulin- immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections
Urokinase Inhibiting Factor & Factor XIII- stops bleeding and enhances wound healing

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