Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation

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I understand ladies and gents that eating the placenta may be the last thing that you ever considered. I’m sure you’ve vaguely heard of it, and tried to quickly forget what you heard….am I right?

Truth be told, consuming the placenta has so many benefits to a women after she gives birth.

Post Birth Healing

During and after a normal vaginal delivery  a new mother will lose between 1/8 to 1/10 of her body’s blood supply. With caesarean births, blood loss can be significantly more.  Losing a large amount of iron so quickly can cause anemia, leaving a new mother feeling tired, faint and exhausted.

A mother will typically bleed for 3 – 6 weeks after birth.  This blood loss stems from where the placenta separated from the uterine wall.  By consuming ones placenta, it is possible that a mother will usually have a much lighter bleeding for between just 5 – 10 days after giving birth.

Other important nutrients found in rich supply in the placenta include: oxytocin, the hormone entwined with breastfeeding; vitamin B6, and CRH – the body’s stress-reducing hormone. Studies have shown that there is link between post natal depression and a severe lack of both B6 and CRH. So it stands to reason that consuming the placenta after birth replaces these lost nutrients and hormones, and protects against post natal depression.

Consuming your placenta can help to:

  • Balance your hormones
  • Increase milk supply
  • Combat Fatigue
  • Increase your energy
  • Prevent signs of aging
  • Recover more quickly from childbirth
  • Replenish what was lost during childbirth
  • Bring the body back into balance
  • Prevent and treat the “baby blues”
  • Shorten postnatal bleeding time
  • Increase postnatal iron levels

Consumption methods:

  • TCM ( Traditional Chinese Method) It is the oldest-known and most commonly used recipe for placenta preparation. This method involves steaming the placenta (sometimes with ginger, lemon, and pepper corns) for 30-45 minutes before dehydration.
  • Raw Method. This method is often used for clients who adhere to a Raw diet, which is based around the idea that heat destroys vital enzymes in food. Therefore, the placenta will skip the steaming process, and go strait to dehydration.
  • Placenta Tincture. Placenta Tincture is made from a piece of the mother’s own raw placenta after birth, steeping in high grade alcohol making a strong remedy over 6 weeks.  It is said that placenta tincture is used for emotional, mental and psychological instability and may also be very beneficial for treating PMS and menopause.
  • Placenta Salves or Balms. Your placenta powder can be mixed into many different types of creams and emulsions to make an excellent skin healer. Placenta creams have been used by the rich and famous for many years to combat signs of aging.
    • reduce the appearance of c-section scarring
    • reduce the appearance of stretch marks
    • heal sore or cracked nipples from breast feeding
    • reduce skin inflammation from eczema, psiorisis and dermatitis
    • reduce the appearance of aging skin eg. lines, veins, sun-spots, wrinkles
    • reduce inflammation for babies with diaper rash or eczema
To honor and treasure the umbilical cord, you will often time receive a cord keepsake. A cord keepsake is a wonderful gift to the new mother, an everlasting symbol of the physical connection a mother had with her child.
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In addition, another way one can honor and treasure the placenta is by making beautiful prints with it.  They are printed with the natural placenta blood on acid-free artists paper. They 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.” images-3

The bottom line is the placenta contains everything needed to replenish the mother after the ordeal of birth. It is easy to forget that birth can be extremely traumatic, both emotionally and physically. After the joy and excitement of bringing new life into the world, comes the exhaustion, the after pains, and sometimes even the baby blues. We are constantly told that it is ‘normal’ to feel worn out, weepy and sore. That everyone goes through it, that we will feel better in time. But what is the point in suffering, when nature provides the perfect way of restoring our birth battered bodies? If only women were made aware of the healing power of the placenta, our post natal experiences could be so much happier and easier.

I hope you have found this information inspiring and consider consuming your placenta!!! Never thought I would be saying that:)

Bon Appétit!

images-4For more information on my placenta encapsulation services click here

Pretty Pushers

If you’re going to bring your own labor gown, bring one that makes sense!  All Pretty Pushers gowns have openings in the right places to allow for fetal monitors, IVs, and epidural access…so that you don’t have to be uncomfortable and exposed to accommodate these sometimes necessary accessories.

 

Home Birth or Hospital Birth. What is right for you?

images-4As a doula in Southern California, I am more often than not supporting women through a natural birth, taking place in a hospital. It truly is an interesting environment. Bright lights, noises from various machines, nurses walking in and out, and being poked and prodded whenever “necessary.” Before becoming a doula, I spent very little time in a hospital. To me, it always signified a place where one goes when there is an emergency.

But is birth really an emergency? Of course like anything, there are times when normal situations become emergencies, and thank God we have these kind of skilled professionals awaiting us in these moments.  However, I think that we have forgotten what a natural process labor and birth really is. Humans have been giving birth at home for 999,998 generations, and it’s only in the last 2 generations that hospital birth has become common. Yet in the U.S. today, fewer than 1 percent of births happen in the home. This abrupt and almost complete transition from natural home birth toward hospital industrialized childbirth has had profound repercussions on mothers, babies and our culture at large. This is evidence that the medical establishment has done a fantastic job convincing people that hospital birth is “normal”, in spite of the fact that home birth has been the default choice for 99.998% of human history.

With that being said, I am so genuinely proud of women for finally beginning to understand that they have choices and that they can still have a natural birth even within hospital walls. Currently, some may call having a doula or choosing to have a natural birth a “trend.” If thats the case, bring it on! If a trend ultimately brings women a greater satisfaction level and a lesser chance of unnecessary interventions and surgical births, then join the band wagon ladies!

The truth is that nothing is guaranteed. Birth is still, thankfully, one of the greatest unknowns. We live in a world where almost anything can be answered by google or Suri. We can read books, take classes, and prepare all we want, but still, we won’t really be in “control” of our labor. This statement should not scare us. This statement should make us recognize the importance of trust. Trust that birth is a natural normal event. Trust that your body is designed to create a baby, nurture a baby, and birth a baby. Trust that thousands and millions of women have done this very thing naturally; in rivers, in homes, in forests, and in hospitals successfully before you.

Do I think that one should walk blindly into birth? Absolutely not. I think that education is knowledge, and knowledge is power. I think that every women should take classes, read books, hire a doula, practice prenatal yoga, explore her options. There are things that you should know.

Things such as:  Positions that can speed up or slow down labor, that can change the position of the baby if he/she is causing a lull in the labor process.  Breathing techniques and visualizations that can help you manage the sensations. Understanding the stages of labor, and what to expect and what you can do to help your body during the process.

Should you choose to have a birth within a hospital, you need to know even more. A hospital is a medical place. Its not a bad place. It is just filled with people who have been trained to trust medicine over ourselves.  There are procedures, and medical interventions, and policies, and timelines, and nurse rotations. If you walk blindly into a birth within a hospital, you will find yourself working with a “one-size-fits-all” kind of birth. They do not always take the time to consider you. You and your partner. You and your unique body and the immaculate wondrous miracle of birth your body is performing.

Do I believe that all births should be at home? No. Do I believe that it is possible to have a “gentle birth” and a natural birth at the hospital? Yes.  But, I also believe that we have to work a lot harder to achieve this. That is why it is SO important for you to do your homework. To find out what kind of birth you believe in. To research the facts on the drugs used in a hospital. What the risks are for you and your baby. To research the procedures done to the babies immediately after birth. To research and interview multiple midwives and OBGYN’s until you find one that fits you. Not a one-size-fits-all you.

Just know that anything that disturbs a laboring woman’s sense of safety and privacy will disrupt the birth process. Today in a hospital, which has created an entire industry around the observation and monitoring of pregnant and birthing women, perform various tests and techniques throughout labor which can be uncomfortable and even painful, all of which are performed by people who are essentially strangers to the woman herself. It’s no wonder that the number one reason for c-section today is “failure to progress.” Women are not comfortable, and cannot relax into the process. So suggestions of augmentation is made, and when that fails, c-section is next.

In the 2006 survey, around 50% of women were artificially induced; almost 75% had an epidural; and 33% gave birth by c-section with hospital births.

Other studies have shown that women who plan home birth have around a 70-80% chance of giving birth without intervention. And because of low use of drugs, home-born babies are more alert and in better condition than those born in the hospital.

This is the birth of your child. It is the biggest responsibility you have. We need start thinking about making the right choices for our children before they even arrive. Deep down we all know what kind of parents we long to be. Yet, most most of us feel that we become parents when the baby arrives. It takes place long before that. Eating healthy foods during pregnancy, thinking positive thoughts, preparing for the baby emotionally and physically are all part of the process. Understanding how important the birth of  your child is for them individually, soulfully. There are so many studies and research that prove the benefits of a natural gentle birth.

I encourage you all to ask yourself the hard questions. What do I want to gain from the birthing process? What am I willing to loose? What am I afraid of? Who can I turn to for support? What do I believe?

A women is born the day she gives birth to her child. It is a natural, God given right to participate in the process of your labor. To go through the emotions, the sensations, the peaks and valleys of faith and doubt. Once you have succeeded in this, you are prepared for anything. Your Mama Bear instincts comes out and you are ready to fiercely protect your child. There is so much magic involved with a natural birth. We are reminded that we are a part of this amazing universe!

Please take the time to do your research. You can start here.

Research and statistics from: www.chriskresser.com

Watch the trailer for the movie “The Business of Being Born”

Watch a video of a beautiful home birth

Visit my resources page for more.

Prenatal Yoga….Why, When and Where.

Why Yoga?

Yoga can be an ideal way to stay in shape during your pregnancy. Yoga helps to keep you limber, tones your muscles, and improves your balance and circulation.

Not only will it keep your physical body feeling good, it helps you learn to breathe deeply and relax, which will come in handy as you face the physical demands of labor, birth, and motherhood.

When you’re in pain or afraid, your body produces adrenalin and may produce less oxytocin, a hormone that makes labor progress. A regular yoga practice will help you fight the urge to tighten up when you feel pain, and instead teach you how to relax.

The benefits of yoga aren’t limited to your physical or mental well-being. Taking a prenatal yoga class is a great way to meet other pregnant women. It’s a special environment that allows you to bond, share, and create a sisterhood!

Here are a few poses that are recommended daily at any point during your pregnancy:

*Note you may want a blanket for under your sensitive knees

1) Cat and Cow undulations – From all fours, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips; inhale, lift your heart, gaze and sit bones up to the sky; exhale, round  your spine as you curl around your babies home. Repeat this 10-30 times.

Helps to relive the back from aches and pains, to keep or rotate your baby into an optimal position, and to lengthen the side body as the baby grows and you feel like you are running out of space:)

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2) Baddha Konasana ( Butterfly Pose) – Seated on a blanket, bring the soles of your feet together creating a diamond shape with your legs. Feel free to either sit up right or fold forward to your own comfort level.

Note: in your second and third trimester you may want to provide support for under your knees with blankets or yoga blocks to avoid over stretching the ligaments due to relaxin (a hormone produced by the ovaries during pregnancy that causes pelvic and cervical expansion and relaxation)

Helps to widen the pelvic outlet and prevent or treat sciatica.

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3) Prenatal Squats: With a blanket folded supporting the arches of your feet, feet as wide as the belly needs room for; Inhale, arms reach out and up towards the sky; Exhale palms together down the front of your body as you squat down as low as feels comfortable. To rise up, put your palms on top of your thighs, and round and roll your spine back up to standing. The rounding of your spine is SO important, as it keeps the exercise out of the stomach muscles. 10-15 Squats recommended daily.

Widens the pelvic outlet, builds stamina, gently stretches the pelvic floor muscles and can shorten the birth canal which can lead to a shorter birth…yes please:)

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4) Meditate and Affirm: Find a quiet comfortable place in your home or outside. Sit upon a pillow or chair with as little distraction as possible. Try to keep a tall strait spine. Focus upon your regular breathing. In the beginning, simply notice your inhales and exhales. Once you begin to feel yourself settling, you can choose to add an affirmation. For example, on the inhale, silently affirm ” I am calm” ; and on the exhale, silently affirm “I am relaxed.”

The choices are endless:

“My baby is healthy”  “My baby is happy”

“I trust my body”   “I trust my baby’s plan”

“I am open”  “I am prepared”

You can change the affirmation day to day, per trimester, or to simply calm your nerves whenever needed. Just keep it positive and in the present tense.

Preparing for a new child can cause understandable stress and worry. Taking time to feed your mind with healthy affirmations can make a HUGE difference. Try it!

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When and Where?

I am both a doula and a prenatal yoga teacher with a passion for empowerment! Please join me for prenatal yoga classes that will teach you postures and techniques for a healthy happy birth.

 

 

The Green Yogi ~ Manhattan Beach

  • Sundays 11:00am

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