Hey Mama! Congratulations on your pregnancy and your interest in improving your postpartum health through your placenta!
The following is a description of the placenta services that I, Olivia Pitts, including placenta protocol and other information that will be helpful for you as you honor your placenta in this journey of motherhood. Read through this carefully as many of your questions will be answered. As always, I am available by email, phone and in person at your prenatal meetings. I look forward to working with you!
Benefits of the Placenta
Your placenta is perfectly made for you, by you! Your placenta is the amazing organ that protected, supported and nourished your baby in the womb. It has done such an incredible job of helping grow your child and yet in modern hospitals it is often regarded as nothing more than "medical waste" after it is born. In many other cultures, the placenta is given much respect and honored in a variety of ways. Some cultures have long traditions of utilizing the placenta medicinally to restore the health and vitality of the mother and to calm and balance the child. Just as it protected, nourished, supported and sustained its baby, the placenta, when carefully prepared for consumption, can continue its job throughout the postpartum period.
Your placenta contains so many nourishing and life promoting properties, including:
Cortisone – Combats stress and unlocks energy stores
Gammaglobulin – Immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections
Gonadotrophin – The precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone
Hemoglobin – Replenishes iron deficiency and anemia, a common postpartum condition
Interferon – Stimulates the immune system to protect against infections
Oxytocin – For pain and bonding; produced during breastfeeding to facilitate bonding of mother and infant
Prolactin – Promotes lactation
Prostaglandins – Anti-inflammatory
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone – Boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events
Urokinase Inhibiting Factor and Factor XIII – Stops bleeding and enhances wound healing
All of those properties come together to bring on these amazing postpartum benefits:
Lessening the risk of postpartum hemorrhage and lessening the lochia phase.
Providing the hormones human placental lactogen and prolactin to assist with your milk coming in sooner and maintaining a healthy supply throughout your nursing relationship.
Replenishing iron lost from birth and preventing post-birth anemia.
Low iron levels can lead to depressive symptoms in a new mother.
Balancing out your hormone levels until the body is able to regulate on its own.
Providing natural pain relief from the labor and birthing process.
The placenta helps your uterus return to pre-pregnancy size.
Lending you a consistent flow of oxytocin (the bonding and LOVE hormone).
Replenishing your B-Vitamins and offering your body protein for energy.
Protection from infection due to retained placenta or bacteria in the uterus.
Placentas are best when they are fresh, within a couple days of the birth provided they have been refrigerated, but you can also thaw out and encapsulate a frozen placenta. There are two encapsulation methods to choose from: the traditional method (TM) and the raw start method. With both, the end result of the process is a jar full of capsules.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine Method (TCM)
This method is the oldest recipe we have for placenta encapsulation; it has been done the longest in Chinese culture. The signature of this method is the steaming step. It incorporates steam and warming herbs into the placenta preparation process, and the final result is warming, toning, and nourishing for the postpartum. The steaming process is believed to release beneficial properties in the placenta and make nutrients more easily absorbed by the digestive tract. Steaming should destroy any viruses or pathogens that may have been picked up on the placenta’s journey outside the body, making it safer for the mother to consume.
The placenta is first rinsed, cleaned and then steamed with ginger and lemon. Next, the placenta is dehydrated, powdered and put into the capsules. Depending on the size of your placenta you will receive between 100-200 pills.
Raw Preparation Method
In this method, I will skip the steaming process altogether and gently clean and slice the placenta into thin strips. These pieces are then dehydrated at a low heat until dry, ground into a powder and encapsulated. Placenta that is dehydrated raw is a very different medicine then the TCM preparation. Mothers have reported feeling more of a "punch" in their desired benefits using the raw placenta vs. having the placenta encapsulated using the Traditional Chinese Method. Many moms who have a desire to increase breast milk and energy immediately postpartum, or who have experienced postpartum hemorrhaging or have a history of it will often select the raw method.
Consuming a part of your placenta in tincture form is another way to stretch out its longevity. A small portion of placenta is added to >100 proof alcohol and set to ferment for six weeks. This basic tincture can be used directly by the mother during times of transition, illness or stress after she has used all of her placenta capsules. Some of the benefits include hormone stabilization in your postpartum cycles, less bleeding during those cycles, energy and for menopause years down the road. The tincture can be used in any time of trauma, transition and emotional distress. The tincture can also be diluted in a bit of water and given to the child when he or she is getting sick or in a time of transition. It seems to bring the child back to a state of physical and emotional balance.
In addition to the medicinal uses, another way that you can bring back the tradition of honor and gratitude toward birth and the role of the placenta is to make artistically beautiful prints with it. I will make your print before I wash and prepare the placenta. They are printed with the natural placenta blood on acid-free artists paper. Some families frame them and display their prints as art and others choose to save them as personal keepsakes. The prints are unique imprints that display the size, shape and general appearance of the placenta and also remind us why the placenta is often referred to as "The Tree of Life."
Placentas has long been known to have healing and restorative qualities for the skin. Actually, several expensive anti-aging lotions and creams contain "sheep placenta extract" as their secret ingredient. I can create a natural and healing salve using some of your own placenta, custom made for your own use. Other ingredients include 100% organic beeswax, coconut oil, olive oil, and herbs. Placenta salve can be used for:
Cesarean and Surgical Scars
General Healing Skin Care Salve
If you have trouble swallowing capsules then cubes may be a better option for you. The placenta is still cleaned and then cut into pieces and then placed in the freezer. The cubes are then frozen and once a day you will have a fruit smoothie with one cube added. You will not taste the placenta. The cubes are in the raw state, meaning they have not been steamed or dehydrated.
Ready to know more?
If so, click the button below to get in touch with Olivia. She will lead you from there!