I ate my placenta, sounds gross, right? Well not really, I didn’t fry it up for dinner or put it in my morning protein shake; I had it encapsulated! This ancient Chinese tradition involves a professional who steams, de-hydrates then grinds it down and places into capsules. A new mother takes two capsules twice a day for two weeks then slowly reduces the amount until finished or freeze some for later.
Why would I do that? Firstly, a little background nearly two years ago I had the trauma of my baby passing away at 19 1/2 weeks. When falling pregnant for the second time I had a hard road ahead of me and was anxious that I may lose another baby. I was going to give anything ago to support my mental health. Being the open-minded person I am I knew I had to nurture and practise self-love to enjoy my pregnancy and I was also keen to continue nurturing myself postpartum. I decided to take a closer look at the health and wellbeing benefits of consuming my own placenta. The placenta's hormonal make-up is completely unique to the mother it’s like a multi mineral & vitamin on steroids, replacing the hormones lost during birth! How cool is that! I learnt that along with helping to prevent postpartum depression, the ingestion of a mother’s own placenta after birth helps to Increase the release of oxytocin a powerful hormone that increases uterine contractility, bonding with the infant. An Increase in CRH, a stress-reducing hormone, restoration of iron levels in the blood and an Increase in milk production are other important benefits. After reading numerous positive testimonials I knew I had to give it a go!
Did it work for me? Only a short time after Lincoln was born my placenta was taken by a doula to begin the encapsulation process, 3 days later my placenta was ready for me to start consuming. I can honestly say that I felt awesome taking them! I was lucky enough not to get the baby blues, I had energy even though I wasn’t getting sleep, my milk supply was great and Lincoln seemed to thrive. Lincoln is my first living child so I had no previous experiences to compare but I can say that my recovery was positive!
Would I do it again? Yes, Absolutely!
Other tips for postpartum recovery:
- Chamomile and salt baths
- Defuse calming essential oils
- 5 min meditation, whenever you can (download a mindfulness app on your phone)
- Listen to music
- Get outside
- Rub magnesium oil on your body to soothe aching muscles
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help and say yes when someone offers help.