Why Choose us?
Complete sanitization of workspace before and after each step
Prompt pick-up from your birthing location
Prompt completion of services and delivery to your home
We will prepare per your specifications or help you decide what might work best for you
We work with families around pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum- we are safe, empathetic women who understand this delicate healing experience
Using the Chinese method of placental preservation and suplementation, we steam your placenta in lemon & ginger, dehydrate and grind it, and tranfer it to capsule form. OR Japanese preparation is available by request (straight from raw to dried (no steaming). We take care of every detail- storing and transporting the placenta, delivering your capsules back to you as soon as they are ready for ingestion, and remaining available to you for questions and follow-up.
Discounted if you're working with 1 of our doulas
Think of it like eating a raw apple versus applesauce- there are some nutrients lost in all processes of preservation. For immediate benefits, some women will eat tiny pieces of the raw placenta immediately postpartum, freeze bits for later, or mix them into foods like smoothies. We can assist with this, whether you're birthing in a hospital or at home.
If you'd like just a little raw/frozen set aside for you and the rest encapsulated, please share your requests with your Preparer. We are happy to individualize to your interest.
Tree of Life Prints
Tree of life prints- One way to commemorate your pregnancy and this amazing connection which has fostered the arrival of your new little being is to have a Tree of Life print made. We will prepare a print for you using non-toxic inks and canvas. This makes a unique piece of art for your nursery or living room (and unless you tell them, no one will know but you and your birth partners!). Multiple colors available.
Your Amazing Placenta
This is the organ grown through your pregnancy to nourish your baby, richly infused with nutrients and hormones. The placenta has two sides: the maternal side is a porous membrane which during pregnancy connects to the wall of your uterus, allowing the flow of blood and nutrients between you and your baby and the baby’s side has a smooth pattern of blood vessels which resemble the branches of a tree. The umbilical cord and amniotic sac are connected to this side of the placenta.
There are traditions, rituals, practices, and trends associated with the placenta to honor this life-giving connection, most popularly: tree of life prints, plantings, and postpartum supplementation.
You may do any of these yourself yet there's something to be said for "hiring it out"; there is a learning curve to some of the preparation methods, equipment needed, and you and your partner will be adjusting to a different schedule (or lack thereof), caring for a newborn, and recovering physically.
The exact science or evidence-based outcomes of placental ingestion is unknown. There is very little research, particularly in the United States, on this subject and it is not regulated by the FDA. There are many websites, franchises, and programs that reference placentaphology and although they are interesting, they don't necessarily hold up.
Although our organization has vast, compelling, overwhelming, and current research to support the benefits of doula support, we have little proof for Placenta Preparation. Anecdotally, our clients feel strongly that their outcomes are improved due to ingesting and/or celebrating their placentas. They have a curiosity to try it with no adverse affects reported so we offer the service graciously and wholeheartedly!
Here’s what we know: The placenta is the only organ in your body that you did not come into the world with when you were born. It is created exclusively through and for pregnancy to grow your child. Think of all the things you fed yourself during your pregnancy with your child in mind (dark leafy greens, more protein, pregnancy vitamins). Now think of all that pregnant women are advised to abstain from (alcohol, drugs, smoking, sushi, unpasteurized milk and cold cuts, for example). The placenta is a reflection of this usually nutrient-rich time of increased consciousness. The placenta is the powerhouse, warehouse, and shipping dock for all of these nutrients and hormones responsible for creating your baby and bring it into the world. Mothers give a lot throughout the course of pregnancy and the birth process. They can regain some of this energy through ingesting their own placenta in the postpartum period. Given the anecdotal evidence from women who have chosen to ingest their placentas, and their preference for this service to be provided (rather than a DIY while they are recovering physically and orienting with a newborn), a need for local resources providing this service has increased. Placentophagy: A Pop-Culture Phenomenon or an Evidence Based Practice? www.scienceandsensibility.org/?p=6842
Potential Benefits of placental ingestion
-May enhance milk supply
-May ease symptoms of Baby Blues and/or postpartum mood disorders
*(Note: There is a time and place for psychiatric treatment; the placenta makes one positive contribution and can be used in conjunction with the other treatment and medications.)
-May expedite healing time and decrease bleeding period for the uterus, vagina and perineal tissue (anecdotal reports of sub-lingual placenta exposure stopping postpartum hemorrhage are common)
-May Increase energy
-No known risk in trying it. No harm, no foul
*Note: Both healthy habits and unhealthy habits are reflected in the placenta. Optimal nutrition can be seen as can habits like nicotine use, for example
Potential Drawbacks of placental ingestion
-May inhibit milk supply: although you cannot "overdose" on your own human organ, some mothers, lactation consultants, midwives, and physicians have reported that comsuming more than 12 capsules per day (not suggested) appears to have the reverse desired affect in regard to milk production. Mothers we serve have felt comfortable taking 6 or fewer capsules per day.
-May make you feel buzzed, jittery: a few mothers have shared that they naturally respond to postpartum hormone fluctuations with increased energy, hyperactivity, and happiness. They chose to adjust when and how many capsules to consume in a day, or when to take a break from their placenta capsules altogether.
-You will not want to ingest your placenta if you have an infection that could be passed to your baby; please inform your Placenta Preparer if your health care provider diagnoses you or your baby with an infection. See this very new release from the CDC: Late-Onset Infant Group B Streptococcus Infection
List of Hormones & Other Nutrients in Placenta
Oxytocin- known as the love hormone, helps relieve pain, enhances bonding, helps uterus contract to non-pregnant state
TSH(thyroid stimulating hormone)- boosts energy and helps in recovering from stressful events
Interferon- stimulates the immune system, protects against infection
Prostaglandins- stimulates involution of the uterus post birth and acts as an anti-inflammatory
Hemoglobin- replenishes iron, which restores energy & prevents anemia, a common postpartum condition
Urokinase- reduces bleeding and enhances wound healing
Gamma globulin- immune booster to help prevent postpartum infections
CRT(Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone)- reduces stress
Doctors, Midwives, & Nurses
We have worked with providers who regularly recommend placenta consumption and we have provided this service to health care providers themselves. Some providers are not comfortable with this practice, mainly because there is not adequate research to support its efficacy (admittedly!). Please engage in conversation with your trusted provider and feel free to contact us with questions!
How it Works
Keep your placenta. Whether you've pre-arranged Preparation Services with us or made this choice postpartum, you'll contact us after birth and we'll come to you to pick up your placenta.
Whether you are at home or the hospital, we will ask that you keep the placenta in a closed container on ice (provided at most hospitals including St. Mary's & Meriter).
If you're not sure you're up for trying placenta consumption, keep your placenta in your freezer and decide later....once it's gone, you can't get it back!
Who Does It?
About 3 out of 5 women working with our doulas choose to keep their placentas for some purpose (from taking it home and burying it to having it encapsulated). We also get requests from mamas who are not planning to work with a doula but would like Placenta Encapsulation Services.