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Placenta encapsulation - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Placenta encapsulation

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STOWE, Vt. -

At first glance it's hard to tell if Tara Carpenter is a chef or a medical examiner.

She's actually a certified placenta encapsulation specialist.  Carpenter turns a woman's placenta into pills -- post birth.  "I have more of a nutritional background which brought me to this work," she said.

The placenta provides nutrients to an unborn baby and eliminates waste in the womb. Carpenter -- who started the business Happy Bellies -- believes that new moms can recover from births faster by eating their own placenta pills. "The woman's body is the most receptive in the first weeks of birth. The hormones take 2-3 weeks to start producing hormones again after birth," she said. Carpenter says ingesting your own placenta pills replenishes vitamins like B6 and B12 and hormones after giving birth -- and increases milk production.

Carpenter starts the encapsulation process right after women give birth -- and right in the new mom's kitchen. "There's a lot of science behind it all," she said.
 
After massaging the blood out, Carpenter steams the placenta with traditional Chinese herbs to take away the smell.  She then cuts it up, dehydrates it, grinds it and puts it into capsules.

Reporter Gina Bullard: Why don't more people do this if there are so many benefits?

Tara Carpenter:  "I think many women don't even know.

With the $250 encapsulation fee you receive as many pills as your placenta makes -- which Carpenter says averages around a few hundred. They can also be frozen and used years later -- during stressful times or menopause.  She also offers placenta art prints for $25. "I know the hardship of being a new mother and I see how much help this gives to women. I can't say no -- my life is shaped by this work," she said.

Carpenter was trained by the company Placenta Benefits. She has to follow OSHA food guidelines and is trained to handle blood-borne pathogens and medical waste.  Encapsulation may not be for the squeamish, but Carpenter says once the pills are made, you'd never know the process. "Many mothers don't know what they're taking, they just feel great," she said.

Carpenter is busy -- making placenta pills for around 12 new moms a month. She says her clients are diverse and not just new age hippies like some people might think. "I feel like I was made to do this work. I feel ungrounded if I don't have a placenta in my hands at least once a week," she said

Not your usual job, but one she believes in.  Hoping her Made in Vermont pills help new moms.

Carpenter also travels to New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts to encapsulate.

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