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Cord Blood Banking and
Placenta Encapsulation

Are cord blood banking and placenta encapsulation compatible with one another? Yes! Learn more about post-birth placenta options and their benefits.

Have you thought about what you’re going to do with your placenta after your newborn arrives? Years ago, most people didn’t even think twice about the placenta, and it was simply discarded. But in the last decade or so, saving the placenta after birth has become more and more popular. New moms can do multiple things with their placenta, including storing the placenta tissue or placenta encapsulation.
Placenta encapsulation has become more mainstream over the last few years. It has become one of the most popular ways to store and ingest your placenta without actually eating it (yes, new mothers eat and drink it for nourishment purposes to restore the mother’s health after labor).
So what is placenta encapsulation, and how does it work? Will it interfere with cord blood banking or placenta banking? There are many questions surrounding cord blood banking and placenta encapsulation. Today, we will discuss how each works and give you all the information you need to understand your post-birth placenta options.

What Is Placenta Encapsulation?

Placenta encapsulation is a process that involves the dehydration and grinding of the placenta. After the organ has been dehydrated and ground into a powder, the powder is placed in capsules for ingestion. The pills are consumed by the new mother and are said to provide various post-birth health benefits.
The encapsulation process is nothing new, but it became popular after several celebrities–like Kim Kardashian and Hilary Duff– shared their experiences with how ingesting their own placenta helped with post-partum depression and regulating their hormones. Shortly after that, it was featured in parenting magazines, and the hot topic of several mom blogs…and the rest is history

What Is Placenta Banking?

If you are currently pregnant and trying to decide what to do with your placenta, there are other options like placenta banking. Similar to other post-birth stem-cell banking options (cord blood and cord tissue), placenta banking also involves the collection of cells found in the placental tissue after birth.
As you may know, the placenta is an integral component of your baby’s life support system. It is responsible for transferring oxygen and nutrients between mother and baby, and the [placental] tissue is comprised of undifferentiated cells known as Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). It is so valuable because it is a rich source of MSCs and mesenchymal-like stem cells, which have the ability to differentiate into specialized cells with specific functions. Unlike placenta encapsulation that can only be consumed by the mother, placenta banking can benefit the mother, the baby, and even immediate family members.

What is Cord Blood Banking?

Parents may also be exploring cord blood banking options when considering post-birth placenta options. It’s essential to come up with a birthing plan before deciding between placenta banking and encapsulation (we will get into why in just a moment). Cord blood is the stem cell rich blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta immediately after your baby is born. These stem cells are known as Hematopoietic cells, or blood-forming cells, and are the building blocks of our blood and immune system’s foundation.
By choosing to store the cord blood with a private cord blood bank like AlphaCord, you are preserving your baby’s cord blood for your newborn (or family) for possible future use.
A baby is a 100% match to their own stem cells, which can be used to treat non-genetic diseases and cancers. They can also be used for siblings and family members. Treatments using a family member’s cells can be twice as successful as those of a non-relative donor.

What Option Is Best For Me?

So should you choose placenta encapsulation or placenta banking? You will have to weigh out the pros and cons to each; you should also come up with your birthing plan first (i.e., do you plan on banking your baby’s cord blood or cord tissue?) Unfortunately, when it comes to encapsulation or banking of the placenta, you can only choose one. If you are one hundred percent committed to encapsulation, there are still other options to preserve your baby’s stem cells. For example, placenta encapsulation and cord blood banking are compatible with one another, as are encapsulation and cord tissue banking.
If you are leaning toward placenta banking, just know that the collection method from most private banks, including AlphaCord, is the same and can be added to any birthing plan you already have in place.

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Closeup of a couple embracing the mother’s pregnant belly.