Having a baby will bring you much joy, but it can also challenge you in ways you never expected. Soon after giving birth, many women feel weepy and moody. One minute you’re happy, the next minute you’re crying. These are the “Baby Blues." Up to 80% of mothers experience it in the first days and weeks after giving birth.
How to avoid the blues that can also lead to postpartum depression:
Placenta Encapsulation. Yes, I said placenta. But don’t freak out.
When I recently suggested this to a friend her first response was, “Gross!” of course to be followed by, “You want me to EAT my placenta??” which then was followed by, “I saw a picture of a placenta online and threw up in a trash can!” This discussion was promptly halted…
Let me be clear. I am not remotely suggesting you “eat” your placenta. I am however, highly suggesting you ingest it via pill form (that does not have a taste or smell), and WAIT! I will tell you why:
As I’m sure you know, it is the placenta that gives your little baby all of the nutrients it needs during its stay in your belly.
The placenta begins producing hormones at 6-8 weeks gestation to help sustain pregnancy. These hormonal levels continually increase during pregnancy, and by the third trimester there are 3 times the normal level of hormones in an expectant mother’s system. By 4-5 days postpartum, these hormone levels will drop to below normal. This is obviously a huge fluctuation in hormones, and this is where the Baby Blues can come along, and the healing properties of the placenta come into play. The placenta's hormonal make-up is completely unique to the mother.
Chemicals. (the good kind)
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
Powdered placenta has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. In the postpartum period, placenta capsules can be used to
- Balance hormones
- Increase energy
- Increase and enrich breast milk.
- Decrease the baby blues and postpartum depression.
- Decrease in lochia, postpartum bleeding.
- Decrease iron deficiency.
- Decrease insomnia or sleep disorders.
No prescription, vitamin or herbal supplement can do what one placenta pill can. In layman’s terms, it brings the body back into balance, replenishing what was lost during childbirth. Women who take placenta capsules report fewer emotional issues, have more energy and tend to enjoy a faster, more pleasant postpartum recovery.
Ok, how is it done?
Ideally, the placenta is encapsulated within 48 hours after the birth, while you bond with your new baby. Luckily, a rising number of midwives, doulas, and businesses are offering this awesome service.
Directly after the birth, the placenta should be placed in an enclosed container (the hospital will put it in a plastic container or a bag) in the refrigerator or in a lunch size cooler with ice if you are in the hospital, until it can be taken home and placed in the refrigerator. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 to 72 hours.
If at home, your midwife can contain it for whoever will be drying it.
Before being dried, the placenta is prepared using herbs that lend their healing properties to the placenta and benefit a postpartum mother. The placenta is then ground and encapsulated.
Suggested dosage is 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." They can be used solely by mama, or by the whole family.
The capsules are stored in the refrigerator, they will keep indefinitely. Personally I was a hoarder of mine, and they lasted a year and a half. I think I cried when I took my last one, they were so precious. Seriously, people, these are Happy Pills!
Placenta Benefits offers a great state directory of professionals who do Placenta Encapsulation, tips, a placenta blog(!), and even kits to do your own!
The first few days and weeks with your new baby are so precious. Give yourself the best chance to fully enjoy them!
So, what are your thoughts? Comment here or email me and let me know YOUR thoughts and/or experiences! You can ask a new question and I’ll do my best to answer. Check back every Monday to see what we’re onto next!