Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Placenta Encapsulation

*Photo from NaturalArrivals.com*

So, let's talk about something "taboo" that's becoming more and more commonplace - placenta encapsulation. Basically, placenta encapsulation is just that - encapsulating your placenta to take like a vitamin. You can do it yourself, or you can hire someone to do it for you. My doula will be encapsulating my placenta and allowing me to help, and hopefully I can do it on my own with my next bubs after Ash.
Pretty much every other mammal eats it's placenta after birth. It's said to have healing properties and frankly, we're the odd ones out for being one of the few species who don't eat it. If you would have asked me two and a half years ago if I would ever consume my placenta, I probably would have looked at you like you had eight heads, said, "that's gross," and walked away. I've become much more open minded and more educated about pregnancy, labor, birth, the PP period and all it's surrounding areas since then, however, and I'm actually pretty... excited? is that the word? to have my placenta encapsulated.
I know women literally eat their placentas, or make them into smoothies. I applaud these women, but I don't have the stomach for it and I prefer my more "tame" method of consuming my placenta - in capsule form.
Eating your placenta has shown to lessen baby blues and to help relieve fatigue post-partum. Placenta capsules can increase your milk supply (added bonus!), help balance your hormones, give you more energy, boost your mood and are said to even speed your post-partum recovery. What reason do you have NOT to consume it? Even if you're a bit squeamish you can encapsulate it rather than cooking it up, turning it into a smoothie or eating it raw! From what I can tell, they don't look much different than the echinacea capsules I take every day, either, and because they're in those little capsules I'm willing to bet you can't even taste them.  I'm not sure how much truth there is to this one (I can tell you in October) but it's also said that consuming your placenta in any of these various ways also helps to manage the pain you encounter while healing. On top of that, it's supposed to be great immune support! Since Ash is due in October, I could use a little extra immune support. I'm always sick in the winter, boo. 
Some (breastfeeding) women claim that a newb they took placenta capsules with slept more peacefully and had a more calm, pleased demeanor than previous babies that they had not consumed their placentas with. That's another one I can get back to you on in October, but honestly, seeing all of these benefits and potential benefits, who wouldn't want to give it a try? 
Eighteen year old me. Eighteen year old me would not want to ever, ever give it a try. Why? Because that came out of my vagina, because it was created inside me, because I hadn't studied anything about it and it was so foreign to me, so strange. I hadn't know anyone who had ever even thought of eating their placenta. If I'd even known about it then I would have brushed it off and forgotten about it.
It's a shame, really. I think Noah and I both could have benefited greatly from it. But you can't change the past, and now that I know better, I'm going to do better. I'm very excited to see the differences in my post-partum recovery with Asher vs. with Noah. I know I struggled a bit combating the "baby blues" - never full out PPD, but the "baby blues" were a bit difficult for me. I really wonder if taking my placenta would have helped with that, and if it would have, I wish I could go back in time and DO that. 

You know what else would be super nifty? A placenta print:

*Image from BambinoBrands.com.au*

They make sort of a Tree of Life thing - and fittingly so, they provided your bubs with life for many, many weeks! I wonder if I can make my own? Well, off to talk to my doula and midwife about it. :)

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