Don’t Let Your Placenta Out of Your Sight
Don’t Let Your Placenta Out of Your Sight
Authored by: The Rock n’ roll Doula
Call it what ever you like but for the love of all things holy, don’t let anyone pick up your placenta from the hospital, put it in their car, take it somewhere you’ve never been and bring it back to you as a jar of capsules. First of all, why would someone want to? Do you want to bring someone else’s blood filled placenta into your kitchen?
Would your husband/partner be ok with it?!?
Your mother in law?!?
Yea, that’s what I thought. Placenta encapsulation for ingestion is the newest sensation in the birth world and women everywhere are enthusiastic about trying it when they hear about the benefits. The advantages that mothers are reporting include an increase in breast milk production, an increase in energy levels and a decrease in postpartum depression. While much of the feedback is anecdotal, there have been a few studies that indicate some evidence that supports these claimed benefits. Many birth workers have in the last handful of years, added encapsulating placentas to their repertoire of services. The two most common methods of encapsulating are the Raw Method, where the placenta is dehydrated, crushed into powder form and then encapsulated and the Traditional Method where the placenta is first steamed, and then dehydrated, crushed and encapsulated. Training to say you are an encapsulation specialist can include everything from watching a YouTube video to “at your own pace” online training, to an in person training, followed by a comprehensive certification process. Anyone can learn to do this and open a “business” suggesting they are professionals. Amongst birth workers there are two schools of thought about where this process should take place and how the placenta should arrive there.
1) It should be picked up by the person performing the encapsulation and brought to their home and delivered to the client in capsule form the next day.
2) The person who birthed the placenta should transport it to their own home, and an encapsulation specialist should perform the encapsulation there, in the birthing mother’s home. My question to mothers is if your placenta leaves your site, how can you be sure? I mean 100% sure.
Can you be sure it’s yours?
Can you be sure you got all of it?
Can you be sure it was prepared in sanitary conditions?
Can you be sure that the person who picked it up, is the person who encapsulated it?
Can you be sure of any part of this process once you release your placenta to someone else?
The answer to every single one of these questions unequivocally is, NO. I have had the opportunity to hear every reason or excuse imaginable for why some encapsulation specialists want to bring your placenta to their own home to encapsulate it and I thought I would share the top 5 with you.
1) Faster turnaround time. There are Encapsulation Specialists that say they can whisk into a hospital, pick up one or more placentas, get back to their house, prepare yours and get it back to you while you are still in the hospital. This is great. Fast is good. We would all agree that reaping the benefits of ingesting your placenta as quickly as possible is best, but you don’t know her home. You don’t know the conditions of her home. You don’t have the opportunity to learn or ask questions about the process. And, you don’t know if what you get back is what you gave out. People who do this swear that their homes are clean and that they would never mix up 2 people’s placentas. That’s good, right?
2) No visitors. There are Encapsulation Specialists that say that you don’t want “visitors” in your home during your first postpartum week. They say it is intrusive for you to have them in your home. That surprises me since so many of them are also doulas with breastfeeding knowledge and experience, a great understanding of a woman’s postpartum needs and a real understanding of the early signs and symptoms of postpartum depression. Seems to me they would be exactly who you’d like to have around in the early postpartum days.
3) Their safety. There are Encapsulation Specialists that say it is not safe for them to go to your home. That as a woman alone it is dangerous for them to go to the home of a new family to prepare a placenta for ingestion. Their fear is that you could be luring them there with the birth of your baby and a story about wanting to ingest your placenta in order to do terrible things to them. They are afraid of you and prefer to just bring your placenta to their own home to prepare it.
4) So we can work from home. There are Encapsulation Specialists that say we came into this work so that we could work from home, make money and still be with our families. “Jimmy, don¹t touch that placenta. Sparky, get down!”
5) A woman should have choices. There are Encapsulation Specialists that say that as a woman you should have a right to choose where your placenta is encapsulated. If you want it done at someone else’s house, you should have that choice, dammit! They say that those of us who say it should only be prepared in the client’s home are eliminating choices for women! They think you should be able to have your PLACENTA encapsulated in anyone’s home you like. Pick a neighborhood, knock on a door. Hey, it’s your right to choose, right?
You have a choice about where this process can be done. Your house or theirs. Just do yourself a favor and think long and hard about what it could mean for you if your placenta leaves your sight.
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