Saturday, December 21, 2013

Placenta Encapsulation

In addition to working as a birth doula and student midwife, I offer placenta services to all Los Angeles area, wherever they are planning to birth their baby. The placenta is a great source of nutrients and hormones that help the new mama recover more quickly after the birth.

I'm often asked whether it is okay to consume a placenta after a cesarean birth, or if there was meconium in the amniotic fluid, or if the mother had complications such as gestational diabetes. Most often, the answer is yes! The only case where I would advise against eating the placenta is if there was an intrauterine infection. If you are giving birth in the hospital, make sure to bring a small cooler with you, and remind the staff that you will be keeping the placenta. You will probably need to sign a waiver, like you do for just about everything interesting in life...

You also have to decide how you would like to consume the placenta. Capsules have a lot of advantages: there is no taste, you can take it just like a prenatal vitamin, and the shelf life is amazing if kept in the freezer. Many moms use their capsules for a while after birth, then save some for pms or even menopause. Placenta capsules can also be great for the child they came with - a small dose of placenta is said to help children who are fighting colds or other illnesses recover faster. One mom told me, "I started feeling really tired, so I started taking some of the leftover capsules from X's birth, and I was feeling better...then I found out that the tiredness was because I was pregnant again! I wish I had more placenta, I'd keep taking it".

Advocates of the raw method say that this method guarantees that you are getting the maximum nutritional content, but this does mean a reduced shelf life. Refrigerated raw placenta should be consumed within 2-3 days. Frozen raw placenta should be used within a few weeks. After this, like any frozen food, there is substantial loss in quality. The most common way to use raw placenta is to make smoothies.

There are many ways to prepare the placenta. I offer four packages: a frozen preparation for raw consumption (cleaned, cut into single serving cubes, and frozen), frozen/raw plus a tincture, basic encapsulation, and encapsulation plus a tincture. I use vegetable glycerin capsules for the capsules, and I do not include any herbal fillers. I am not an herbalist, and as each mother's needs postpartum are different, I feel that it is better to take herbs separately as desired. Most of the time, I steam the placenta briefly before dehydrating it, but I can also dehydrate raw upon request. I can also prepare a portion of the placenta raw/frozen, and encapsulate the rest. Tinctures are made by steeping a small portion of placenta in high quality alcohol for several weeks.

Each preparation includes pickup from your birth location at any hour, day or night, a keepsake made from the cord, a placenta "tree of life" print, and a card with recommendations for how to use your placenta. Normally it takes two days to prepare the placenta completely.

Raw Frozen Preparation: $150.00 Raw Frozen Preparation plus Tincture: $200.00 Basic Encapsulation: $300.00 Encapsulation plus Tincture: $350.00

Please contact me if you would like me to prepare your placenta, or if you have any other questions! Contact information link is in the sidebar.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Return of the Blog

How time flies! I can hardly believe I have been a student midwife for several months now. I have learned so much, and had so many great experiences with my midwives and fellow students.

On the home scene, the chickens are laying like mad, so we have lots of delicious fresh organic eggs. Nothing quite like them, and they come in such pretty colors - brown and cream, shades of blue and green, and even some white ones.

I am taking doula clients again after some time off, but only about one per month. Please contact me if you are interested in meeting me to talk about your birth - I'm open from June on out!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Sanctuary

I recently joined the staff of The Sanctuary Birth and Wellness Center as a student midwife, so my time has been busier and time to write more scarce. If you are considering an out-of-hospital birth, come check us out!