By Gina Bullard
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’ve got a nutritional background which brought me to this work,” she said. The placenta contains iron, hormones, protein, B vitamins, and other nutrients to support new moms.
Carpenter — who started the business, Happy Bellies, believes that new moms can recover from births faster by eating their own placenta made into pills.
“The woman’s body is the most receptive to the hormones that are inside the placenta capsules during the 1st weeks after birth. This is because it takes about 3 weeks after a baby is born for the mom’s hypothalamus to kick back in and produce hormones again” she said.
Carpenter says ingesting placenta pills can replenish vitamins like B6 and B12 and hormones after birth and increase milk production.
Carpenter starts the encapsulation process within 72 hrs. of birth — right in the new mom’s kitchen. “There’s a lot of science behind it all,” she said. The placenta is prepared with a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) method until it’s a dry powder – then it’s placed into the mom’s choice of plain or grape flavored capsules. There is little to no smell during the process.
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 about it.
With the $250 encapsulation fee you receive as many pills as your placenta makes — which Carpenter says averages 85-180. 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 mom, I see how much help this gives to them, and helping in this way has shaped my life” she said.
Carpenter trained with Placenta Benefits (PBi) and follows OSHA guidelines. She’s trained to handle blood-borne pathogens and medical waste. This may not be for the squeamish, but Carpenter says that’s where she comes in. Once the pills are made, you’d never know the process. “Many moms don’t care to know either, they just feel great taking them” she said.
Carpenter loves being on-call and making placenta pills. 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 grounded when I work with a placenta and miss it if I don’t get one in my hands at least once a week” she said. Not your usual job, but one she believes in.
Carpenter also travels to New Hampshire to encapsulate.
Here’s to hoping her ‘Made in Vermont’ pills help new moms!