Placenta encapsulation is something that’s been talked about more and more in recent months. I heard about it in the fall (2013) when I was pregnant with Annie. My first thoughts? I thought it sounded disgusting, as I am sure many people think. BUT, the more I learned about it, the more it sounded right for me and the more it made sense for women to take advantage of the effects of placenta encapsulation.
When thinking about my postpartum time there are always a few things that concern me: milk supply, mood and energy being on top of that list. When I read that placenta encapsulation could help with all of those things and more, I started thinking I needed to do it! When LA was born, there were some sad times…I won’t say I fully experienced postpartum depression but I had my days. I also struggled with getting enough milk when I went back to work and always pumped JUST enough. Those days I stressed about it…these days I realize it’s normal to not pump extra because my body was supplying just enough for him. When Addy was born I had some more sad days but with her the main thing I experienced was something I never talked about on the blog: major anxiety and fear of dying. I had days that I cried while telling my husband how much frozen milk was in the freezer for Addy and that I didn’t want her to have formula so if something happened to me he had less than a week to find a donor before she would be out of milk. I feared driving. I really thought I was going to die and leave my babies without their mama. It was a terrifying time and I was so glad when it passed several months into her life. With Annie I didn’t want to go through any of those feelings. I wanted to enjoy being a mama to a newborn and not have fears and anxiety and I wanted to have energy to keep up with my three little ones, three years and under! 🙂
When I finally decided I wanted to encapsulate my placenta I contacted a local doula who also offers encapsulation services. Cate from Trusted Women Doula Care was the person who worked with me on this. My first communication with Cate was via email and I asked her some questions. And more questions. And more questions. LOL I had (what seemed like) a million questions and Cate was incredibly patient with answering all of them! She and I emailed back and forth several times and I was so incredibly thankful for her expertise on this matter. Her help and explanations confirmed for me that I NEEDED to encapsulate my placenta.
What is placenta encapsulation? It is simply making your placenta into capsules for consumption after birth to help in various postpartum struggles. Cate helped in answering so many of my questions and she explains why you should consume your placenta in a fabulous way! There are a few different ways that your placenta can be encapsulated. Cate offers the raw or steamed capsules and explained the differences to me: The raw encapsulation method is grounded in raw food principles. The steamed method is grounded in Traditional Chinese Medicine. With the raw method, the placenta is cleaned, cut into small pieces, dehydrated and ground before being put in capsules. With the steamed method, the placenta is steamed over ginger, lemon and green chiles prior to dehydration. The raw capsules are more potent than the steamed ones–one raw capsule is roughly the equivalent of five steamed ones–but the steamed ones last indefinitely whereas the raw ones last a year. Cate also offers to make a tincture using a small, thumb sized piece of placenta. The tincture also lasts indefinitely.
Personally, I decided to go with the raw capsules and a tincture. Cate was amazing to work with! She came to the hospital to pick up my placenta after Annie was born, even though it was around 9pm on a Monday. She had the pills ready to deliver back to me Wednesday evening. Since Annie was still in the hospital Cate brought the capsules back to the hospital, which I was so thankful for. I was trying hard to get my milk in quickly to help with Annie’s bilirubin issues so I was anxious to start the placenta pills. When she delivered my bottle of placenta pills, I was pleasantly surprised to find a piece of Annie’s umbilical cord as a keepsake, too! <3
Since starting the placenta pills, I truly believe in this process. Any doubts I ever had have turned into belief that it’s an incredible help for women postpartum. I believe it’s what helped my milk come in plentiful, and I believe these pills are why I felt incredible in the days after delivery. I didn’t even feel like I just had a baby. I was up and walking around and not sore at all….and best of all – I had energy! I was cleaning, cooking, keeping up with my little ones…you name it! It was awesome!
I did find that when I went back to work six weeks postpartum I didn’t notice that much energy. I won’t say I was overly tired either. I just didn’t feel bursts of energy and that could very well be because I was only taking one pill when I did take them. I started trying to space them out so I could make them last longer. I will also say that when I started spacing them out and went several days without one, I noticed some depression or sadness starting. That proves to me that these pills work wonders for postpartum depression and emotions as well.
A few weeks ago I ended up having emergency surgery to remove gallstones and my gallbladder. With three little ones at home I couldn’t afford to be sitting around recovering. I was so thankful I had my placenta pills because, again, I believe they aided in my recovery more than I would have ever imagined. I was back into my regular routine before I knew it!
Placenta encapsulation was an amazing choice for me and my family. I highly recommend it and if you are in the metro Detroit area, I highly recommend Cate from Trusted Women Doula Care – she was so kind and accommodating, I couldn’t have imagined a better experience!