A few of you have asked, emailed and inquired about placenta encapsulation. Was I glad I did it?
There is no way we will ever know its true effect on my body, but everything I observed is in line with what it is supposed to do. Refer to this post if you want more information on all of that!
So here are my reflections:
We hired Nicole Link-Troen out of Richmond as our placenta guru. She was fabulous!! She charges $250 for her services in general and an extra $50 to drive up to Cville. Given all she did for us, I felt like it was well worth the cost.
After delivery, my doula brought our placenta home to the fridge. We did have a few hiccups taking it from the hospital, but overall, we got the green light from the doctor. [Apparently they always have to tell you it’s not allowed…and times may be changing. I think we are really lucky to have gotten it, and there was a moment when I thought we might not.]
So back to Nicole, she was very communicative throughout the whole process, and I called her as soon as I went into labor so she would know when to make the trip up. Since Mazen was born early on Friday morning, she came late Friday afternoon to get started. My parents were here by then and were able to let her into the house to start the process. I obviously wasn’t there to watch, but my mom took some photos for me and it was really cool to see from afar!! [I have photos of my real placenta but I decided not to share them.] Nicole left the placenta in her dehydrator overnight and then came back some crazy time in the middle of the night – like 3:30am – to finish up. She drove back and forth to Richmond, so I can’t thank her enough for the effort!
Everything with beautifully presented, including an imprint of the placenta shape (art!) and a bar of soap, plus lots of directions on taking the capsules.
On Saturday morning my parents brought me my first pills to take in the hospital, just 30ish hours after birth.
And by Saturday night, my milk had come in. One of my nurses remarked how fast that was for a first time mom. I’m sure Mazen’s strong suck also had something to do with it.
Nicole also left “placenta tea” in fridge for when I got home, which was essentially the broth she cooked it in (I think?) seasoned with spices and flavors to make it palatable. I was brave and gave it a taste – it was like the strongest black and herbal tea I’ve ever had mixed together. There was no trace of iron or blood or anything gross. In fact, both my MOM and MATT tasted it!!! (My dad wasn’t too interested ; ) )
Upon Nicole’s recommendation, I took the capsules 3x a day the first week and then tapered off to once a day for a few weeks. I had finished about 2/3 of them by one month and decided to save the rest in my freezer. She said to take them during the baby’s growth spurts, any time I need energy or menopause! I noticed that when I stopped taking them after a month, my face broke out. Coincidence? I doubt it..
I don’t have myself cloned as a control group to know what I would have felt like without placenta, but I will say this: my first month postpartum I felt completely energized and happy. Almost over-the-moon happy. I didn’t have a lick of baby blues, and given the little bit of sleep I was getting, I couldn’t believe how awake I felt. I’m very thankful of this because I know how difficult the postpartum period is for some women.
So between my energy, happiness, milk coming in and withdrawal breakouts, I’d say that the placenta did its job.
But really, we’ll never know!