By: Jen Henderson of Opet Childbirth Services
At the birth of my baby 6 years ago, after I had delivered my daughter and held her in my arms, my midwife guided me on how to birth my placenta. I knew that this was the organ that kept me connected to my baby in utero. It nourished her. It was our lifeline and connection for 9 months. But I didn’t give it much thought. I remember the midwife mentioned in one of our appointments that some parents ate their placenta after birth, and I knew that animals did it, but the thought of that was not appealing.
Once it was out, the midwife said to me, “Here, take a look at your placenta! It’s so amazing!”
I leaned over and peered at the stainless steel bowl that held my placenta.
“Um, OK. Thanks.” And that was it.
Typically, the placenta will be discarded by the hospital or birthing center along with the other medical waste. It’s only now that we are starting to see a bit of mainstream focus on the value of this amazing organ. Thanks to celebrities like January Jones and Kourtney Kardashian who have been consuming their placentas (whether in capsules, smoothies, or other forms), this is something that we are asked about at Opet Childbirth Services more often now.
The placenta, if ingested by the mother in encapsulated form, can provide benefits to the mother such as lessening the chances of postpartum depression, increasing breast milk supply, increasing energy, and reducing stress.
As someone who specializes in postpartum care, I like these benefits for my clients. And as a mom who suffered from postpartum anxiety, breastmilk supply issues, and stress, I wish it had been an option for me.
At Opet Childbirth Services we have been trained in person and are held to the highest standards. We process the placenta according to the traditional method, which is based on traditional Chinese medicine. The process includes steaming the placenta prior to dehydration in order to kill germs or bacteria.
We also only encapsulate in the client’s home – as a client, your safety and peace of mind and our professionalism are our priorities. There are many benefits to this:
- You can be confident that your placenta is yours since you brought it there yourself.
- There is no risk of your placenta being exposed to any unfamiliar bacteria that may intefere with healthy postpartum recovery.
- As a Postpartum Placenta Specialist and postpartum doula, I can support you when I am with you. I am trained to educate and support you during this period and answer questions on newborn care, adjusting siblings and/or pets to a new baby, postpartum recovery, and so on.
The placenta is an amazing human organ that has been a bond between you and your baby. Don’t trust it to just anyone! Please get in touch with us if you have any questions. We’d love to hear from you.