Wild Born

If you ever thought giving birth is incredibly difficult, just imagine doing it outside in subfreezing temperatures? That’s exactly what the Nenet women of Siberia do, and understanding exactly how they do it is what award-winning explorer, ethnographer, and photographer Alegra Ally set out to do. Ally is the founder of the Wild Born Project and has spent over 20 years traveling the world and spending time with indigenous people, focusing her work specifically on pregnancy and birth.

Through her travels, Ally notes that her eyes have been opened as to how other cultures don’t treat pregnancy and childbirth as a medical condition, the way Western citizens do. The explorer adds that she is particularly inspired by the women she has met. The Wild Born Project celebrates women and cultural diversity, with special focus on the resilience, roles, and power of indigenous women and girls from around the world. Over the past five years, Ally has focused on the rituals and initiations surrounding transformations into womanhood, birth preparations, and postpartum traditions.

The nonprofit invites midwives, doulas, students, and women to take part in projects focused on documenting and revitalizing the traditional knowledge of indigenous women, building birthing stations, empowering local women and girls, and exchanging knowledge with traditional midwives.


“Down the hatch in one go with a big gulp of water…”

Encapsulation of the placenta is a process by which the placenta is dehydrated, powdered, popped into gel capsules and then returned to the mum. To eat. Down the hatch in one go with a big gulp of water. Now I don’t know about you, but for me a gel capsule sure sounded a lot more palatable than a fry up. But what reasons would there be to eat your placenta?

The placenta is a rich source of nutrients, hormones and all the goodies needed to create and sustain life. It is a package of goodness, tailor-made by your body for your baby. So, when you think about it, it makes sense that once it’s done its job, it can be returned to your body. Humans are one of the only mammals that do not eat their placenta after the birth of a baby, and while some people may disagree with me, animals are smart. They have instincts and inbuilt knowledge that we have diluted over the centuries in ourselves.

A helpful anecdote of a new mom’s encapsulation experience…




Pros & Cons

Placenta Encapsulation Pros -studies & anecdotes

  • Placenta encapsulation has been around for many years and before that, the placenta was consumed in other ways, it is not a new trend
  • Placenta encapsulation boosts your protein intake which can help give you energy
  • Placenta encapsulation provides 24% of your daily iron
  • Placenta encapsulation provides a steady stream of oxytocin
  • Placenta encapsulation can help you avoid postpartum depression
  • Placenta encapsulation can help shorten the time you feel baby blues
  • Placenta encapsulation provides much needed hormones that your body created
  • All nutrients and hormones ingested from placenta encapsulation are more easily absorbed by your body than synthetic store bought nutrients and hormones.
  • Placenta encapsulation is performed by a trained specialist
  • Placenta encapsulation can increase breast milk production
  • Placenta encapsulation can reduce your pain level and help avoid prescription or over the counter pain medication
  • Placenta encapsulation honors your body’s amazing ability to grow life within you
  • Placenta encapsulation can help ease your transition back into menstruation
  • Placenta encapsulation can help your body heal faster and prevent infection
  • Placenta encapsulation is nourishing comfort for your body during a time of incredible healing and changes

Placenta Encapsulation Cons

  • Unpleasant smell or taste 7%
  • A headache 4%
  • Too much milk supply, in which case you can lower your dosage
  • Unfavorable shift in moods, in which case you can change your dosage until moods are balanced

Possible Risks with Placenta Encapsulation

  • Contamination of bacteria at hospital from improper handling
  • Contamination of bacteria from improper storage
  • Contamination from the kitchen where processed if the specialist is not properly trained on sanitization protocols
  • Bacterial growth if improperly processed/not dehydrated correctly




Chronicle of Research & Articles

A well laid out chronicle of research and articles including:

Why should I take placenta capsules?

Your baby’s placenta, contained in capsule form, is believed to:

  • contain your own natural hormones
  • be perfectly made for you
  • balance your system
  • replenish depleted iron
  • give you more energy
  • lessen bleeding postnatally
  • been shown to increase milk production
  • help you have a happier postpartum period
  • hasten return of uterus to pre-pregnancy state
  • be helpful during menopause

What if you could avoid the baby blues…

The placenta contains your own natural hormones and is perfectly made for you, by you. Experts agree that the placenta retains hormones. Reintroducing them to your system is believed to ease postpartum and menopausal hormonal fluctuations.

How to have a happy postpartum

Eighty percent of women experience some sort of postnatal mood disorder, the mildest of which is called the “baby blues”. Symptoms of the baby blues include weepiness, sadness and anxiety, and these negative emotions can last for the first several weeks of the new baby’s life. With proper preparation, the majority of women can avoid the baby blues. Avoid the baby blues and prepare for the best postpartum experience…

Placenta for healing

Many people of the world have known the secret power of the placenta as a medicinal supplement. The placenta is thought to be rich in nutrients that the mother needs to recover more readily from childbirth.

Placentophagy as an adaptive biological behaviour

Nearly every mammal will consume the placenta after it is born. There are four main scientific theories that attempt to describe the causes of placentophagia, but none of them adequately explain this phenomenon in all of the cases in which it manifests.

Cultural beliefs honour placenta

Considering the powerful role of the placenta in the early, perfect and serene life of a child, it is easy to understand how the placenta is considered sacred in other cultures…

Beat the winter blues

Tips for avoiding depression; written specifically for the winter months, but relevant for any time of the year.

The care and keeping of placentas

There is a growing trend of using the placenta to facilitate the woman’s postpartum recovery through ingestion of the placenta, known as placentophagy. The placenta is incredibly nutritious and contains many of the vitamins, minerals and hormones that a mother’s body needs to adequately recover from the pregnancy and birth. If a woman wants to use the placenta for her postpartum recovery, special consideration must be given to its care after the birth.







Peace, Promise & Recovery

The Placenta Organ:

  • The placenta feeds the baby until birth, filtering toxins while letting in vitamins, minerals, oxygen, and other nutrients from the mother’s bloodstream. It even helps reduce the risk of transmitting viruses, including HIV, from mother to child.


  • Researching the phenomenon for twenty years he concludes that the consuming of this organ must offer “a fundamental biological advantage” to all mammals.


  • “I think of peace, promise, and recovery, and hold the intention of integrating the energy of the mother and the baby.”

The Placenta Consumed:

  • Placenta capsules: dried, ground afterbirth packaged into a clear pill no bigger than a regular vitamin supplement. “They’re happy pills, they’re made by your body, for your body. Why wouldn’t you want to try?”


  • Placenta is known to contain high levels of iron, vitamin B-12, and certain hormones. Advocates also say placentophagia helps mothers produce milk, and reference a 1954 study that claimed 86 percent of mothers experiencing lactation problems showed improved milk supply after eating freeze-dried placenta.


  • “After I gave birth, I threw a chunk of placenta in the Vitamix with coconut water and a banana. It gave me the wildest rush. You know the feeling of drinking green juice on an empty stomach? It’s like that, but much more intense. It was definitely physical.”


  • “When I was pregnant, I just craved organs,” says a onetime vegan and raw-foodist who now eats grass-fed and organic meat. “I’d go to the diner and order beef hearts, marrow… so the placenta just made sense”.


  • The body follows the mind. If I drink a green drink and I think it’s good for me, then that’s great. The same thing holds for the placenta. Even if it is 100 percent psychological, it has its purpose. I’ve seen people report fewer breast-feeding problems and higher energy, and that’s evidence enough for me.”

The Placenta Culturally:

  • Placentas have carried a special spiritual significance in some cultures. In ancient Egypt, it had its own hieroglyph, and the Ibo tribe in Nigeria and Ghana treats the placenta like a child’s dead twin. In traditional Chinese medicine, small doses of human placenta are sometimes dried, mixed with herbs, and ingested to alleviate, among other things, impotence and lactation conditions. In modern medicine, doctors often bank umbilical-cord blood to treat genetic diseases with harvested stem cells.


  • The first recorded placentophagia movement in America began in the seventies, when people residing in communes would cook up a placenta stew and share it among themselves.



Note: Placenta visuals in article