So, I had a little conversation with my Aunt today, and it made me realize how much my mindset has changed on so many things related to childbirth.
Things I remember:
*Watching that show on Discovery Health called Freebirthing, about the ladies that choose to have home births, with no medical professional present, and thinking to myself that they were absolutely NUTS.
*Hearing that there were other things that people did with their placenta besides let the hospital sell them for whatever they sell them for, and planting them under a tree (by the way…. did you know that they are so nutrient rich, that you have to wait a year to plant them under a tree or they will kill the tree??).
Now, here I am….. 34 weeks tomorrow, and I have just ordered all of my home birthing supplies today, and went and bought herbs for making tinctures to use during and after the birth, and……… pill capsules for encapsulating my placenta. Yup. That’s right. Don’t worry….. you’re normal if you just shuddered or swallowed the vomit that crept into your mouth.
Why would I ever do that, you ask? Here’s your answer, courtesy of Cali4niachef on Cafemom:
Pregnancy is taxing on the body, even if the mother follows the best of health regimes. The theory behind placentophagy is that you are returning the nutrients lost during the birth process back to the body to aide in quick and smooth postpartum recovery.
The benefits of placenta encapsulation include:
Decrease in baby blues and postpartum depression.
Increase and enrich breastmilk.
Increase in energy.
Decrease in lochia, postpartum bleeding.
Decrease iron deficiency.
Decrease insomnia or sleep disorders.
The placenta’s hormonal make-up is completely unique to the mother. No prescription, vitamin or herbal supplement can do what one placenta pill can. How amazing is that?
After hearing all the benefits, and knowing how much I struggled with a lot of the issues listed above, I figured that I should give it a try. I was worried though, because to have someone do it for me (yes, there are placenta encapsulators……lol) it would be about $200 and I knew we couldn’t afford that. Luckily, I just happened to know someone who had done this about 20-30 times, and could tell me what to do. However….. I also knew that within a few days after birth, I wasn’t going to want to take on this task…. but it was really important to me. So Arick reminded me that he would be taking a week off, and offered to do it, providing I gave him proper instruction! I <3 him!
I know that those of you that are still reading this are still trying to figure out how I can stomach the thought of it even. Check this out. (Not for the squeamish!!!)
Now do you understand why swallowing some pills seems like a MUCH better option? LOL! But, to even further the point of how far my mentality has come on this, here is a little tidbit for you to “chew” on:
The best cure for post-partum hemorrhage is to put a thumbnail sized piece of the placenta in your cheek and suck on it. The oxytocin in that small piece of placenta is enough to send the message to your brain to tell your uterus that the baby is indeed out, and that it doesn’t need to provide blood to that area any more.
And should I happen to be hemorrhaging after birth? I fully intend on doing just that
So, for the curious, here is a copy and paste of the instructions on how to encapsulate a placenta (and while you read it, think about this: The placenta is the only meat you can eat that doesn’t require you to slaughter the creature it came from!):
Steamer for stove top
Fresh ginger and lemon
Cutting Board, I recommend disposable cutting boards from Cut N Toss
Dehydrator, I use a Nesco American Harvest
Food Processor or Coffee Grinder
Sanitizer and bleach
1. First take placenta, place in colander in sink. Rinse under cold water removing and blood clots. You can stab the placenta with a skewer to “bleed it”.
2. Place on cutting board and severe cord at base. It may bleed a little bit.
2. If you are steaming it on the stove, wrap placenta membrane fetal side around placenta into a ball. Place lemon & ginger in water in steamer. Put placenta in steam basket and cover. Steam on medium for about 15mins on *each side*. Bleed whiling steaming. Slice up placenta into thin strips at this point. If you are using a low oven to dehydrate your placenta, set oven to lowest temp. It takes 6-8hrs to dehydrate depending on method used.
Bleeding the steamed placenta
Steamed sliced placenta. Try to keep all strips uniform in thickness and length so they dehydrate evenly. I would then cut these in half again.
4. Using a strong grinder (I use a food processor), grind placenta strips. I hear magic bullet works well. You may need to break dehydrate strips in half prior to grinding. I broke a coffee mill this way and had to “donate” my food processor to the cause. During the grinding process add dried herbs if desired. Per mother’s request I will add St Johns Wort, Red Raspberry Leaf, Blessed Thistle, and/or Alfalfa. I call placenta powder that has been blended with herbs “Power Placenta Pills”, they pack a punch!
5. Fill capsules. One placenta will yield *about 150 capsules*. I use capsule filler by Cap-M-Quick to make the process easier, it can be done by hand. I use capsule size “00”. There are smaller size capsules available. The picture to the top is just placenta powder and herbs blended together.
The picture below is placenta powder blended with herbs.
6. Store capsules in refrigerator, they will keep indefinitely. How many to take in the PP period depends on the mother and her needs. I recommend 3 capsules twice a day for the first week, 2 capsules twice a day for the 2nd week. If mom is feeling run down, fatigued, low supply or emotionally fragile increase dosage. You can always take more a few months down the road if you need a “pick me up”.
7. Sanitize everything. Spray with bleach solution and soak in hot water. Soak again in bleach solution and boiling water when you return home overnight and then run through dishwasher. I spray everything with a bleach solution and a Simple Green disinfectant cleaner. Make sure you spray work surface area too. You can lay out old newspapers, card board or a large garbage bag under work surface to help minimize clean up.
Where to find an “Placenta Encapsulator”placentabakery.com
Google Maps Placenta Directory
Placenta Benefits Specialists