IMG_1211Childbirth is a pivotal moment in a woman’s life, and according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s a time when you can make radical changes to your health. Sadly, the post-natal period is often a time when women don’t get the support they need, and new mums often feel that their health is rapidly declining, when it could be improving! It doesn’t have to be this way; placenta encapsulation can help to improve your health (as well as your baby’s) in both the short and long-term.

Society tends to forget that pregnant women and new mums need to be nurtured and protected, so when I work with women, I am very sensitive to their needs, and make a great effort to support them in their choices. As a doula, I have come across new mums who have struggled to produce enough milk, as well as those who have battled with the ‘baby blues’ and post-natal depression, so it makes me very happy that placenta encapsulation exists, and that I’m able to offer a service to women that can help to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place.

“During a normal vaginal delivery a new mother will lose at least one eighth to one tenth of her body’s blood supply, with cesarean section births blood loss can be significantly more. Losing a large amount iron so quickly can cause anemia, leaving a new mum feeling tired, faint and exhausted. The blood needs high supplies of iron to carry oxygen to the cells – low supplies of oxygen leave your cells starving and less able to heal after trauma. The placenta benefits the new mother by supplying incredibly rich iron, amino acids and essential fats which we believe is the be the perfect replenishment following birth.

The most important nutrients found in rich supply in the placenta include:

  • Iron – essential for oxygen absorption in the cells
  • vitamins B6 – aids in the making of antibodies
  • Vitamin E – for healing damaged skin cells
  • Oxytocin hormone – essential for facilitating birth and breastfeeding
  • Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) – responsible for reducing stress levels
  • Cytokins – Fibroblasts that trigger cell metabolism healing and replacing damaged cells and tissue

The placenta benefits a healing mother after birth in many forms. Placenta smoothies (they only taste of fresh, organic fruits- I promise!), capsules, tinctures, essences, and homeopathic remedies can all be made using the placenta; each having their own benefit to the body and encouraging a quicker more natural recovery after birth.” (IPEN)

Click here to read an article on placenta encapsulation in Green Parent.

FAQs

What do I need?

A clean tupperware container to put it in (around 2.5 litres is a good size) and a cool bag with ice blocks. If you give birth at home the tupperware container can be stored in your fridge, however, you should still have a cool bag and ice blocks as part of your hospital bag in case you transfer in.

If you’re having a smoothie, then you’ll need a blender for me to use to prepare the smoothie in your kitchen.

I will provide you with an information sheet for your midwife/consultant, as well as a label for your container.

What happens once I give birth?

You would text/call me to let me know, and depending on the timing, I would come and pick it up from your home or hospital. Although your placenta is fine to be kept refrigerated for up to five days, my aim is to collect it within 48 hours of hearing from you and it is unusual for me not to be able to provide this level of service.

Smoothies are made in your home as hospitals don’t allow the use of untested electrical equipment such as blenders. If you are still in hospital I can arrange to meet your partner or other family member at your home.

When the capsules are finished, I will text you to let you know, and mail them back to you via recorded next day delivery. If you live in Margate then you can expect a super speedy hand delivery.

Items such as the tincture and homeopathic remedy take longer to produce and are mailed separately at a later date.

What's the deal with the smoothie?
Trust me when I say that this used to be something which I would never have done myself; I had visions of a whole placenta being whizzed up, and as much as I respect and love the power of the placenta… no thanks! However, only a small portion of it is used, in addition to a whole mango, banana and punnet of raspberries (or whatever combination of fruit you’d prefer). So you don’t actually taste ANY placenta. This is something I personally guarantee. If you do taste anything other than delicious fruit, I will happily take your word for it and offer you a refund for the smoothie.

Is it expensive?
The basic cost for the capsules is £200. For that I journey to and from your home (which for some locations can take up to 3 hours), before and after each encapsulation I clean and sterilise all kitchen surfaces (luckily I’m a bit of a neat freak so this isn’t too laborious!), make the capsules, and mail them back to you or deliver them by hand. It’s actually a lot of work for £200, but I like to keep the cost down because I’m passionate about the benefits, and want as many women as possible to access this wonderful service. If that’s too much for you, IPEN can supply you with a DIY kit for £95.

Capsules: £200

Fruit smoothie: £25 (strongly recommended for wound healing and recovering from long labours or blood loss)

Homeopathic remedy: £50