Friday, February 22, 2013

Why Ginger and Myrrh?

A question I am often asked is whether anything is added to the capsules. In the Traditional Chinese method of preparation, nothing is actually added to the placenta or the capsules, however, two spices are used during the steaming process in the water below.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, both these herbs are warming herbs and complement the properties of the placenta.

Ginger is used to help mask the aroma during the steaming process while Myrrh is used to pull the essence of the placenta back into it. This basically means the myrrh enhances the healing properties of the placenta.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Why to Reconsider a Placenta Smoothie?

There seems to be conflicting information on whether placenta smoothies are a good option. Until recently, I didn't know that there may be a reason why it would be best to avoid the smoothie altogether, but according to the Placenta website:

“Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests, blending, pulverizing, or masticating the raw placenta is harsh and imparts negative energy into the live tissue. It is neither recommended to chew nor blend raw, fresh, or frozen placenta for smoothies. Adding placenta powder to smoothies 48 hours postpartum is a viable option.”

I do still believe placenta smoothies do hold benefits for those interested in trying them. What are your thoughts? What have you experienced?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Can I Encapsulate My Placenta If I Had An Intrauterine Infection During Labor?

Unfortunately, if an infection develops shortly before or during labor, the current recommendation in the field is that it renders the placenta unfit for consumption.

I have some reservations about this blanket recommendation, however, and encourage individual clients to still contact me so we can discuss your particular situation.

When working as a labor and delivery nurse, I have observed varying degrees of infection. I have also noted overzealous doctors diagnosing an infection when they had no verification of a true infection. I would encourage women who are diagnosed with an infection to gain verification of this and ask questions, particularly if you are not noticing severe symptoms.

One issue not fully disclosed to women, but fully aware of by the medical staff is that an epidural commonly and routinely can cause a fever during labor. This is a tricky situation on many levels because the fever does not indicate an infection, but is simply a reaction to having an epidural. When a fever appears during labor, often times, unnecessary antibiotics are given, extra tests are done on the baby after birth, and the placenta is sent to the laboratory for testing. All these precautions are taken when there was not an infection present to begin with. This is why if having your placenta encapsulated is important to you, make sure you ask questions and make sure you truly have an infection.

I would also go so far as to say that in the case of a mild infection, I would choose for myself to still encapsulate. I know the steaming process kills the bacteria present and I would feel comfortable for myself to make that decision. Also, if you have a cold or other infection in your body, not in the uterus, the placenta should still be fine to encapsulate.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Baby Taken By Hospital Personnel After Parents Question Vaccine

Are our rights as parents to make decisions for our children being taken from us?

This is a story about a woman who had been hoping to have a homebirth, who ended up having a hospital birth due to her baby being born prematurely. What ensues at the hospital is any parent's worst nightmare, ending with a social worker taking the newborn baby into custody over a vaccine issue.

Read the entire story here:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Can I Share My Placenta Capsules With Others?

Yes. I have had family members of clients want to try a capsule. This is perfectly acceptable as the capsules will not harm anyone. Other family members may experience a nice increase in energy and a feeling of general well-being, however, only a new mother is going to experience the range of benefits designed specifically to help her recover.

So, that brings up a little topic I need to mention. Because the placenta capsules do give some benefit to family members as well, I have heard from clients that some husbands like the capsules so much they start taking their wives' capsules! Many women are too fond of their capsules to want to share very many of them, and a lot of husbands aren't interested, but I do have to say, while letting a family member try a capsule or two is fine, don't let your husband share in continually taking your capsules! The placenta capsules are an important part of your postpartum recovery and while I've heard some men going through a stressful time found the capsules helpful, there are other things they can do to ease a stressful transition. The placenta capsules are uniquely designed by your body for you and nothing else can replace the benefit they offer during your postpartum time.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Can I Encapsulate My Placenta If I Took Medications During Pregnancy?

Yes you can! The placenta does not act as a storage facility. It acts as a filter. The placenta tries to protect the baby's exposure to substances, but the substances that the placenta deems unsuitable for the baby don't just get stuck and stay in the placenta. The placenta sends them back into the mother's circulation to be eliminated by the body's natural channels.

The one thing the placenta may store is heavy metals. This means a woman who choose to smoke during her pregnancy will have rendered her placenta unsuitable for consumption.

But medications taken during pregnancy should not have an effect.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Can I Encapsulate My Placenta If I Have HIV or Hepatitis B?

The current recommendation in the industry is that a woman infected with HIV or Hepatitis B or C should not consume their placenta. Because of the health hazards involved, the hospital would probably not be legally allowed to release a placenta in these circumstances.

I do know, however, that HIV is ridiculously easy to kill and the steaming process would effectively kill the virus present in the placenta. I also know the cleaning methods and standards of sanitation involved in the encapsulation process are effective against blood borne pathogens. With these two thoughts, if I were HIV positive and had my baby at home as I choose to do anyway, I would probably keep my placenta and encapsulate it. I would be willing to assume any risks associated with that decision.

So, my point is that if you you have a blood borne illness but feel strongly about encapsulating your placenta, then do your research. Learn about your illness and decide if you feel it really should exclude you from encapsulating. Decide where your comfort level is and if it is something feasible for you.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Can I Encapsulate My Placenta If I Smoked During My Pregnancy

I would not recommend it. The placenta is known to store heavy metals, so in the event of smoking, the placenta is going to have a higher amount of these metals and reconsuming them in the form of placenta capsules is probably more harmful than beneficial. It's an unfortunate situation because I don't like to tell anyone their placenta isn't going to provide them a benefit if they're hoping to encapsulate, but I guess this is the price that must be paid.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Can I Encapsulate My Placenta If I Had Fever During Labor?

Yes you can! There is a recommendation that women with a diagnosed intrauterine infection during labor should not have their placentas encapsulated. A diagnosed intrauterine infection however is not necessarily synonymous with a fever.

A little known fact is that the epidural can cause a fever during labor. Also, if you do have a fever, has it been determined the infection is definitely in your uterus? What if you simply have a head cold virus?

A fever should not be a blanket recommendation not to encapsulate your placenta. If an intrauterine infection is suspected, be sure you get a definitive diagnosis if you really want to encapsulate.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Help! My Doctor Wants To Send My Placenta To The Laboratory

It is a common occurrence in hospitals to send a placenta down to the lab for testing if an abnormality is suspected. If this happens in your case, the placenta will not be able to be encapsulated.

I have observed, however, that sending the placenta to pathology occurs much more frequently than actually necessary. There are differences amongst doctors as to what they feel would constitute a necessity of sending the placenta, but there are some doctors who send nearly every placenta for the tiniest of abnormalities. There are also many doctors who will send the placenta when a birth is particularly difficult, which often has much more to do with the protocols and interventions of the hospital than something to do with the placenta.

Having spoken with laboratory technicians, most often when a placenta is sent to pathology, no significant information is obtained.

Also, it is important for women to be aware that hospitals can keep and sell placentas without notifying the women to whom the placenta belongs. There is a lot of money to be made in this area. Placentas are also routinely kept for research experiments. They do not have to obtain your consent to do this.

If your physician wants to send your placenta instead of let you take it home, my recommendation would be to ask questions. Why does your physician want to send it? What abnormalities is he/she looking for? What information is hoped to be obtained? If there a benefit to you or the baby? If you had a difficult birth, does your doctor believe this will help prevent the occurrence next time? Often times, I have found that a doctor is simply being overly cautious and doesn't have a sufficient answer to these questions.

These are good things to discuss with your physician beforehand as well. Express your adamant desire to take your placenta home and find a physician who will only send your placenta to the laboratory under certain circumstances agreed upon with you in advance in which case your physician has a significant reason why it would be necessary.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mother's Placenta Broth

Mother's Placenta Broth is a by product of the encapsulation process. When the placenta is steamed, there is some product of the placenta left behind. The broth consists mostly of water, the warming herbs used during the process: myrrh and ginger, and hormones and iron from the placenta. This creation is referred to as a "miracle soup" and the benefits seem to be quite exciting (see testimonials below).

For those who want to partake in the broth, ask your specialist to save the by products of the steaming process and have a jar ready for it in the event that your specialist doesn't usually save it. The broth can last for up to 3 days in the fridge and if not taken during that time can be frozen in ice cube trays to be used at a later time. Also, if the thought grosses you out some, you do not have to drink the mixture straight, it can be used in recipes, such as soups or chili. There is no limit to how much you can drink in one sitting. It can be taken all at once or in little amounts as you prefer.

Here are some testimonials from this website on clients who have enjoyed mother's broth from the placenta:

“One husband explained it was like drinking two shots of espresso without getting the jitters and never having the crash. He had been up for two nights with his laboring wife and was having to take care of their 2 year old daughter – he said he felt great!” 

“I had a recent client who was recommended for a blood transfusion because her iron levels were so low after hemorrhaging. She didn’t want the transfusion, so she drank the entire pint size jar of broth and was able to take two doses of capsules. She improved so much that they released her; no transfusion necessary.”

“My sister mixed the broth with minestrone soup (and she is super picky about food!). She forgot to ask for pain medication for 10 hours after her c-section! She said she never felt better and wished we could somehow make the broth last forever.”

“For most of my clients who drink it (probably around 90% or more do), their milk comes in within 12 hours!” 

“I froze mine because I just couldn’t bring myself to drink it after my daughter’s birth. We made Chili with ours when my daughter was about 40 days old. The chili was awesome, and my husband and I were both in a great mood afterwards. We ended up cleaning the house after supper from all the energy we had.”