Yup, I did it. I’m a dirty dirty hippie that totally had my placenta picked up from the hospital before I even met my baby in recovery. My birth doula helped me find a postpartum doula to do the dehydration and encapsulation. I was super excited to have this done with Emma’s placenta since I didn’t even get to see Alexa’s. I promise I’m not a crazy person. This is a logical thing to do.
I know most people think of it as a waste product. Medical waste to be exact. Soooo ewwwwwww why would you take that home? I wanted to pay homage to the only temporary organ my body has ever created. I wanted to benefit from the thing that passed nutrients and blood from my body to my baby’s.
Sure I could have taken a picture. Had a print made. Buried it under a new tree. I could have…and my postpartum doula Jessica from the Essence Center did some of those things for me. I have pictures, I have prints, and I have a heart shaped dried umbilical cord to bury if I so desire. I also had a bottle of placenta pills made up to ingest. And I did just that. For about a month postpartum I took 3-6 pills a day. She also created some tincture for me to make my very own “rescue remedy”. Which reminds me, I need to strain mine and start using it!
So why would you want to do ANYTHING with your placenta? There are so many believed benefits from the nutrients (taken from Placenta Bakery).
- Gonadotrophin: the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone,
- Prolactin: promotes lactation,
- Oxytocin: for pain and bonding; produced during breastfeeding to facilitate bonding of mother and infant. In pharmaceutical form this is a very addictive drug because it promotes a feeling of connectedness with others,
- Thyroid stimulating hormone: boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events,
- Cortisone: combats stress and unlocks energy stores,
- Interferon: stimulates the immune system to protect against infections,
- Prostaglandins: anti-inflammatory,
- Hemoglobin: replenishes iron deficiency and anemia, a common postpartum condition,
- Urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing,
- Gammaglobulin: immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections.
A note from my postpartum doula
Placenta encapsulation is the process of preparing a mother’s placenta within 48 hours of birth by separating the umbilical cord from the placenta, rinsing and draining maternal and fetal blood, dehydrating and powdering the placenta to be placed into vegetarian, kosher, non-gelatin capsules for the mother to ingest as she sees fit. The purpose of the mother ingesting encapsulated placenta is to reintroduce the beneficial vitamins, minerals, hormones, proteins, and other nutrients to her body following labor and birth to help restore a more balanced body function, assist in the prevention of “baby blues” and the more serious postpartum depression, increase breast-milk production and quality, shorten healing time, increase maternal energy levels, and provide an over-all feeling of wellness. The placenta is composed of healing chemicals.
Another option for mothers is the creation of a Placenta Tincture with a small portion of their placenta, prior to preparation for encapsulation. Tinctures rest for six weeks prior to usage and can be used on their own in times of transition, stress and illness. A small portion of the Placenta Tincture can be used to create Placenta Essence and Homeopathic Placenta Remedy if the parents so decide.
So that’s it. I did it. My pills have been gone for a while now. I feel they helped me in the first few weeks after Emma was born. They quelled my weepiness and helped keep my wild postpartum emotions at a more even keel. I started taking them as soon as possible and believe they also helped with breastfeeding and milk production. I didn’t have any of the issues I had during my first nursing experience once they were in my system.
I’m aware that this may all be in my head. The placebo effect may be to blame (or thank in my case). I don’t think this is the case…but no matter what…it worked for me! I’m in NO WAY saying that everyone should do this. I realize there’s a big ick factor to get past. Trust me, I had to gag down the first few and I always took them with a flavorful beverage because they did taste like iron (guessing it’s the blood). If you’re at all interested in the process I’d be happy to answer best I can or pass your questions on to my postpartum doula Jessica from Essence.