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Have you heard of it?
It's the act of taking the placenta after delivery, cleaning, dehydrating, and grinding it up, putting it into capsules to be consumed by the mother.
Seems totally gross, right? However there have been reported some amazing benefits that might take the gross out of it and be something you could be interested in doing.
Placenta capsules have been reported to help:
Think about how the second you got pregnant and for 9 whole months hormones and nutrients are coursing through your body to sustain the life of another human being. Then the baby is born and with it, the placenta, the nutrient center. A lot of times the body slows the production of those nutrients and hormones after delivery so ingesting the placenta can help remind the body what it still needs.
Researchers have measured some of the substances in term human placental tissue and have found the following:
To say the placenta is chuck full of nutrients would be an understatement. And all the nutrients are YOUR nutrients and hormones so it's perfect for your body.
After I had my first baby I bled for 12 weeks. I didn't know that wasn't normal. I heard that ingesting my placenta could help reduce postpartum bleeding. I decided to do it with my second baby. I only bled for 2 weeks. Plus I noticed an added benefit of it evening out my mood. I had my baby at the end of December, which I often get seasonal depression PLUS my husband was traveling a lot with his job so I was left alone with two small children in the middle of winter and I did really well. I honestly attribute that to the placenta.
The placenta does have blood clotting properties. For a long time, especially in the old days, if a woman hemorrhaged after childbirth the midwife would snip of a chunk of the placenta and have her put it in her cheek, it would help stop the bleeding.
Do some research and decide it it's right for you. You might decide it's not for you. If you can't decide before you have your baby you can take your placenta home and put it in the freezer. For up to 6 months you can keep your placenta in your freezer as "insurance." In case some postpartum depression develops months after the birth of your baby.
Talk you your care provider, make sure they know you want to keep your placenta. Write it in your birth plan. And tell the nurses when you are in labor that you are keeping it. Take a couple gallon size heavy duty zip-lock bags to put it in.
If you have decided you really want to have it done, research and contact an encapsulator in your area. Typically you call them once you have had your baby and they will come to the place of your delivery and pick up the placenta, process it, and return it within 48 hours. But definitely confirm with your encapsulator the details and expectations.
Our Recommendations for encapsulators:
UTAH: Bloom Birth Utah
IDAHO: Boise Birth Services
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Education is KEY to setting yourself up for your best possible birth. Knowing your options and how to advocate for yourself makes a huge difference.
With the main reason people develop hemorrhoids is from pressure in the bottom, it seems unlikely many women will experience pregnancy and birth unscathed.