The following is a guest post for the series, “Speak-Up Mama!” The purpose of this series is to help Mamas have more compassion for one another regarding controversial decisions. In light of that, feel free to comment but please play nicely or your comment will be removed. Thank you to Kelly for her willingness to share her story!
I encapsulated my placenta. Huh, what? What does that mean? A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have had any idea what placenta encapsulation meant. Somewhere early in my pregnancy I heard about it and googled the term. Wait a minute, you eat your own placenta? I’m a vegetarian so this seemed even more unappealing. I was grossed out but intrigued. Why would someone do this? It turns out the benefits are very promising;
it minimizes postpartum bleeding, enhances milk supply and decreases risk of post partum depression. While there is no scientific proof, I decided that it would be worth the cost and the ick factor.
We were planning a home birth so obtaining my placenta would be easy. I have heard some hospitals are more cooperative than others. I know a mama who had no problem reclaiming her placenta from Kaiser.
During my last trimester I got a referral from another pregnant mama is a class at my birthing center. I felt more comfortable paying someone to process the placenta because of the potential mess and I wanted my family to be helping me and the baby not cooking the after birth. The placenta lady would process the placenta by steaming, dehydrating, grinding and putting the contents into capsules. Her rates were reasonable and her website seemed legit so I gave her my address and my due date. She would arrange to pick up the placenta from my home and drop it off a couple of days later.
My husband is a supplement junkie and was very intrigued by the idea of my body becoming a pill. We talked extensively about it and decided that I only had one placenta and I
should try to get the most out of it. After the birth a small chunk would be blended into a smoothie and the rest would be encapsulated. I thought that I may receive more benefits in a raw state and it would take a few days to receive the pills. I felt ingesting it immediately
after the birth, raw and encapsulating for a longer period seemed like it covered all my bases.
After pushing out my beautiful baby girl the midwife assisted me with expelling the placenta and showed it to my husband and I. It was not pretty, but interesting, it had been our baby’s home for 10 months. I did think, ok I’m going to eat that. My husband was planning to
prepare the smoothie after the birth but I didn’t want him to leave my side. So my doula (she is a gift from God, thank you Kerrie Nesbit) actually blended it up with strawberries, banana orange juice, yogurt and oatmeal. She poured it into a wine glass (ohh fancy placenta) and brought it to my bedside as our baby was being examined by the midwife at the foot of our bed.It was certainly not the best smoothie I’ve had. It had a chewy texture and slight mineraly taste. I tried telling myself it was the oatmeal and gulped it down. Plus, I was so focused on my baby I was not very interested in anything other than her.
I texted Angela from Placenta Joy alerting her to the birth and she picked up the remaining placenta. Over the next couple days I continued to drink the placenta smoothie 1-2x daily.
Within a couple of days a cute little bag appeared one door step; inside was a little white canister and upon opening it there were capsules filled with reddish-brown dry-looking matter. There were instructions enclosed as well and a surprise; my baby’s umbilical cord
dried into a circle. Everything looked so cute! I was excited and hopeful of what these little pills could do. The instruction recommended taking many capsules for a few weeks and slowly tapering off, ending around a month or so postpartum. I faithfully took them as
instructed I did however feel like mineraly taste grossed me out toward the end.
I can’t say with 100% certainty that the pills made a difference but I can tell you I felt amazing after having my baby. I was surprised how much energy I had to take care of her with so little sleep. I felt like I was on a high for over 2 weeks. I expected an emotional low
commonly called the “baby blues” most women experience around 3 days postpartum. I never felt anything but positivity and love. Like pure bliss. I did, however, bleed longer than normal but I also was more physically active than my midwives recommended because I felt so good.
We are planning having more children and I would without hesitation ingest my placenta again. I have heard about making a placenta tincture which sounds intriguing. I would also be interested in processing it ourselves depending on what method we decide on. I’ll do
more research next time, maybe talk with mamas who have had other experiences and possibly try something new.
Ingesting your placenta is not for everybody but it worked for this mama.
If you liked this post, you may also like:
– “Why We’re ‘Kinda Vaccinating’ Our Baby.”