January 15, 2012

Don’t say the “P” word. Placenta!

Oh my gosh. Did you know that people actually save their placenta and do all kinds of things with it?? Some people save it and get it freeze dried into capsules and take the capsules to ease the effects for several months after the baby is born…and I highly recommend it!

Yep, the birth center where we wanted to have our baby gave us all the information and made it easy, and the hospital despite their funny looks sent us home with the placenta in a zip lock bag in a bucket on ice, which went directly into our freezer, and within 3 days, hubby took it to a woman who encapsulated it for us.

I will admit, I was weary, but at about day 5 after birth, I was feeling what I thought was a major panic attack, and the capsules were looking at me right in the face. And when hubby said, TAKE THEM, besides trusting his advice, I really didn’t have another choice. I wasn’t in good shape, so I took them. And, by the end of day, I was back to normal.

What had happened is that on top of hormonal changes after birth, I was having a reaction to Percocet, a pain killer. I had stopped taking the pain killer earlier, but I have no doubt that the capsules are what put me right back into tip-top shape so fast.

The next time I had similar issues was one night at 12 weeks when it was time for me to go back to work. I was experiencing what my husband coined as reverse-separation-anxiety (he has the best terms) —reverse, because I am the mom and not the baby, and separation-anxiety, because I was reacting to having to separate from the baby for the first time, which probably included hormonal stuff.

I had gone to bed feeling an intense sadness. And hubby was there for me like a champ and again said TAKE MORE CAPSULES  You can take them consistently until gone or save them for when you need a few. You can even take them for non-baby related reasons, like if you will be having an especially taxing week. Anyway, I took them again, and those baby hormones were about-face stabilized by the time I woke up, and I never had another issue.

Here is a link to the women who encapsulated for us in Denver and some text from her site. Consider doing it, even though it might seem crazy in our culture: http://thegoodearthchinesemedic.com/about-my-practice/.

The placenta can be a valuable part of the post-partum healing process for both mom & baby. For thousands of years, the Chinese have used placenta as herbal medicine. Because placenta is a medicine in our Materia Medica, it has been analyzed for it’s chemical components. What the analyses show is that placenta contains birth and pregnancy hormones (oxytocin, prolactin, gonadotrophin, thyroid stimulating hormone) and various proteins. It is these components that may aid in this transition of motherhood, such as augmenting lactation, shortening bleeding time and preventing mood fluctuations in the post-partum days.

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