I am going to a do a few posts about what has been the most helpful for this tricky postpartum time. Everything from vitamins to underwear! Here we go with the first installment and, arguably, the most important one!
With my first pregnancy I hadn’t heard of Placenta Encapsulation. I planned to plant my placenta under a tree at my parents house but because of the infection that Nolie and I both had during labor the hospital took my placenta and wouldn’t give it back… I was bummed but didn’t think to much about it.
I didn’t have PPD but I did struggle with extreme fatigue and some serious mood swings. Everything felt SO huge in each moment, I felt out of control and like I couldn’t grasp what reality was- just whatever I was feeling in that very moment. I heard about Placenta Encapsulation when Nolie was about a year old and I was intrigued. It seemed a little gross to me at the time but I filed it away to think about when we were pregnant again.
I started hearing about it everywhere… Friends of mine were doing it, Anderson Cooper was talking about it and even January Jones was taking her placenta pills. I began to research. Here is an overview (and a great web resource) of the benefits. Here is a list of the known ingredients in Placenta that have healing properties.
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,
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.
With all the research in favor and my desire to boost my energy and stay more even keeled this time around, we went for it.
We chose to have my placenta encapsulated at our home, I am too interested in the whole process to send it away! Doula David encapsulated for us and talked us through each step and let Nolie help out too. It was a whole family experience and so interesting. Placentas are beautiful!
For me the benefits have been obvious- I am far less tired than I was after having Nolie. Despite having an active 2.5 year old to care for too and a 6 week old who nurses every 20min when she is awake and tandem nursing. I feel more stable in my day to day. I am far more able to look at a situation and feel calm and rational (it isn’t the end of the world when Nolie pours milk on the floor or dumps rice on the rug). Also my milk supply has been awesome and came in really quickly. I can feel a huge difference in my countenance and milk on the days that I take my placenta pills vs. the days that I forget.
Here is a little bit of the process in photos…
I will be doing this for any future births, for sure. This is my number one Postpartum tip. Look into this if you are pregnant, the costs vary from city to city it seems. In our town it is pretty affordable and seems worth every penny. I also encourage you to put the “gross out” factor aside and have it done in your own home. Knowing the process and seeing that organ in action is pretty incredible. I felt some measure of pride in seeing it and knowing that it sustained my sweet girl for her whole in womb life. My placenta yielded 182 pills and I take somewhere between 3-6 pills a day depending on how I am feeling ( I start with three each morning and take more if I am dragging).
If you have any questions feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or put it in the comments section. If there are lots I will do a FAQ post as a follow up- do your research, this is worth it!