- Jen Paschen
The Perfect Postpartum Vitamin: Placenta Pill
Having a new baby and starting a new life as a mother, is a time of joy, recovery, hormone fluctuations, and emotional ups and downs that can vary greatly from person to person.
It is reported that 1 in 4 women in the United States experience some type of mental/emotional difficulty during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period.
There are many ways that you can support your body through this major life transition.
Understanding that you and your body have undergone a significant change- physically/mentally/emotionally, you will soon realize your "old" ways of going about your day/life will need some readjusting.
Creating new healthy self-care rituals and routines will provide much-needed nourishment for you and your new baby.
Good health begins with the mama- and is even more important if you choose to breastfeed. Labor and delivery take a great amount of energy and blood to bring your child into the world- and if you had a very long labor with vaginal delivery to a c-section, it is super important to rebuild your body's resources.
This is important to understand when talking about maintaining good energy levels, proper breast milk supply, mental/emotional stability, and physical stamina.
Mothering takes all you got and then some. Additionally, new moms oftentimes have to balance other children, a job, and all the demands of home life. Just thinking about it in that way can trigger some anxiety. This is extremely common, but unfortunately, not talked about; leaving moms feeling isolated and inadequate.
This is why the following basic recommendations are invaluable for you or anyone you may know who is a new mom.
1) The early weeks of the postpartum period are a time for rest, good nutrition, bonding, getting the hang of breastfeeding, and getting to know your little one. Slowing down is crucial for this phase, allow yourself to lean into deep rest.
2) Establish support- family/friends/postpartum doula, etc. You will need help. Do not hesitate to ask for help or plan ahead to hire a postpartum doula.
3) Stick with warm, cooked, nutrient dense foods: oatmeal, soups, stews, roasted/steamed veggies and rice, and lots of water
3) Continue with prenatal vitamins, possibly supplement with Floradix iron supplement if there was excessive postpartum blood loss
4) Allow "me" time. Plan for short amounts of time just for you without the baby- a warm bath, a drive in the car, go to a park and just sit outside, meet up with a friend and just enjoy the company. Nothing strenuous, just some time for you.
5) Placenta encapsulation! Take your placenta! The perfect postpartum vitamin. Here's why:
Placenta encapsulation involves steaming, dehydrating, and grinding a mama's placenta into capsules that can be consumed postpartum. Here's why we do this. Placenta capsules may...
Hormonal balance: The placenta contains hormones like progesterone and estrogen, which can help regulate a mother's hormones, like oxytocin and CRH (stress reducer) after birth. This can be especially helpful for women who experience postpartum depression or anxiety, or for those who have struggled with anxiety/depression in the past, or who have a history of postpartum depression with previous postpartum experience.
Increased milk supply: Some mothers report an increase in milk supply after taking placenta capsules. This can be a game-changer for breastfeeding mothers who are struggling to produce enough milk.
Faster recovery: The nutrients found in the placenta can help speed up the postpartum recovery process. This can mean less bleeding, less pain, and a quicker return to feeling like yourself again.
Replenish essential nutrients: such as iron and vitamin B6.
The American Pregnancy Association found that over 90% of women who consumed placenta capsules reported positive benefits, like increased energy and milk supply, faster recovery, and improved mood.
For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has viewed the placenta as a key medicine (known as zi he chi) that is invaluable for postpartum healing.
Childbirth is a big event that can cause new mothers to experience blood loss, fatigue, and a drop in their high pregnancy hormones; all of which are thought of as key factors in the development of the “baby blues” and postpartum depression (PPD).
From our understanding, the placenta is full of Qi — life force — which will replenish new mother’s bodies, naturally, when they need it most.
Human Placenta (zi he che) is an herbal medicine, and we have advanced training in Chinese Herbal medicine and know how this revered medicine plays a part in the organ systems and energetic systems of the body according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Many doulas or birth centers also offer placenta encapsulation. The difference in doing this with The Nest is that we use custom herbal formulas that are made according to your constitution and particular needs at the time of treatment, according to TCM.
"I just wanted to check in and tell you what an amazing thing the encapsulated placenta has been for us! My milk supply is way way way better than it was with Georgia, and although I’m as tired as you’d suspect with a newborn and a 2 year old, I haven’t had any big blues or postpartum fatigue. So, one million thanks to you – I’m a believer!" - JL
So how does it actually work?
You should notify your OB/GYN or midwife that you intend to take your placenta home with you (if you are delivering at a hospital).
Most hospitals will ask that you sign a release form before giving you your placenta to take home.
After your baby is born someone should notify our office that the placenta will be dropped off. If you are unable to deliver the placenta to our office within a few hours after delivery, then make sure it is kept on ice or refrigerated. Never freeze the placenta.
The actual preparation consists of thoroughly rinsing the placenta-removing clots and any impurities, then decocting/steaming it in boiling water. Then the placenta is dehydrated and ground up in a powder form and then encapsulated.
We make sure that placenta pills are ready for pick up and consumption within 48 hours after we receive it. It is best to start taking your placenta as soon as possible after delivery.
If you're currently pregnant and want to explore placenta encapsulation, give us a call or ask us about this at your next appointment. We've got you.
Jen Paschen, Founder of The Nest