Houston Placenta Encapsulation

Placenta Encapsulation

Our B.I.R.T.H series stands for Bringing In Resources To Help. We touch on common things you wonder about during pregnancy, labor, your time with a new baby, and your parenting adventure. 

 

Girl, Where Have You Been? 

 

I ran away from home and Houston this week to take a ProDoula Postpartum Placenta Specialist training close to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was an incredible adventure and training that involved getting lost the first night until 1 am, trying to find a new hotel after I discovered the first hotel I booked was a piece of work.  But, that’s a story for another time.

 

Is Placenta Encapsulation A Scam? Not In This Case.

 

Even I once wondered if placenta encapsulation was just a scam that doulas and other birth workers were using to separate new families from their hard earned cash. I’ve had dozens of inquiries from families in Houston who were seeking placenta encapsulation services but just wasn’t sure how I felt about offering the service.

 

I recently started learning more about the information that is available supporting the consumption of one’s own placenta after birth. A few months ago, I found an amazing professional placenta encapsulation professional to join the Houston Central Doulas’ team, officially making us a full-service doula agency. Still, at that time I did not think that I would ever be interested in providing the service of placenta encapsulation, personally.

Why Didn’t You Want To Encapsulate Placentas?

 

Here in Houston, TX, we see a lot of  DIY placenta encapsulation workshops and fly by night programs offering to train doulas who want to add placenta encapsulation to their service menu. There doesn’t seem to be any real accountability or research happening, and for me, when you’re dealing with possible bacteria and blood borne pathogens, that’s a bit scary. Terrifying, actually.

I’ve always had a lot of awe and respect for placentas. For years, the closest I ever got to a placenta was seeing it in a basin after a birth. I think they are normal and amazing. It’s some really top-notch cool science that a placenta will sustain a pregnancy and provide nutrients, oxygen, and serve as a recycling center between the mother and the baby. I’ve even considered placenta capsules might be worthwhile and amazing in their own way. But I personally thought there was some gross process that happens between a raw placenta and encapsulation. Not to mention, unsafe practices.

I’ve seen what I consider “horror stories” about placentas getting mixed up (*gags*), placentas left out in cars for hours, or “things” (such as herbs, or random hair from the encapsulator) being inside the capsules.

No matter the potential income, I did not want to promote an unsafe practice that could potentially hurt or gross out the families I work with. That’s not the reputation I want. Plus, you know how when you make that Thanksgiving turkey the first time and you make gravy using the gizzards, once that turkey is on the table you want nothing to do with it? Yeah, I thought placenta encapsulation would be like that.

As a business owner and as a doula, my personal opinions really don’t matter. I don’t get to decide any of your options. My take on placenta encapsulation in this blog is of a personal nature. A story of how I went from, “Um, what the world?” to “This makes sense now. I can help you do this.”

 

Um, Scientific Evidence Would Be Nice.

 

When I trained to do all the cool stuff I do, I had personal experiences that helped me learn what aspects of birth and the time postpartum feel like. I didn’t know about placenta encapsulation in 2009 when my son was born. So I had nothing to go off. Just a thought of, “Knowing what I know now, I think I’d like to have my placenta encapsulated.

One of the issues for me is that I like science. I like evidence. To date, there is no sound evidence that placenta encapsulation makes a difference. The second that a scientific expert requests money to pay for a study about placenta consumption, I am donating all the money I can find to the cause. I like the deets. I want to know what’s going on. What’s in placenta capsules? Is it hormones? Is it iron? Is there anything in placenta capsules like medications you took months ago? Waste products? Gross stuff? Is it safe? Does it make a difference?

 

My Opinion Is Only An Opinion.

 

My personal view is that there’s nothing in your own placenta that is going to hurt you. I feel that anything that is in your placenta has already been processed by your body. There’s nothing foreign about it, in my opinion. But I don’t want to take your money and give you capsules that do nada for you. Because you can have nada for free.

 

What About Placenta Encapsulation for Postpartum Depression?

 

People everywhere tout the benefits of placenta encapsulation for postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a serious issue for me because I had it hardcore. I don’t want people to believe in “magic” if “magic” isn’t going to cut it for them. I’ve heard anecdotal stories about how capsules are the greatest things ever, and I am thrilled for those families. But I’ve also heard a few stories about capsules that did nothing obvious, or even that they didn’t help.

During my training, I learned why placenta capsules don’t always help with postpartum depression. The trainer talked about depression as a mental factor, and of encapsulation being more of a body balancing.

I Decided to Finally Encapsulate Because Safety and Professionalism Are My Jam

I’m the type of person that I try not to make quick decisions. I like to think things through. Especially when it comes to decisions I make over my own body, my own organs, and my own family. I like to research. I like knowing who the “best” at something is. I google, “Best doctor Houston” and so on. It took me two years to get to a training that I knew was the “best” because to me “best” means safe, knowledgeable, honest, and professional. My summary opinion of my training was, I trust this. I trust the method I was taught. I trust the organization. I trust their equipment and supplies. I trust the process. I trust the amazing-ness of the placenta. I trust your opinion on whether placenta encapsulation is right for you or not.

I love that the training states that we can only encapsulate in a client’s home. It’s so much safer to have in home encapsulation because of blood borne pathogens, and the guarantee that you have your own placenta and that you know it’s fresh. Plus, you have the opportunity to watch the process, ask questions, and use the opportunity to have a postpartum expert present to chat and you can ask all the questions that relate to other postpartum aspects while the specialist is there. That’s me, I’m the expert.

I think an expert is important so that you know your placenta was encapsulated with the highest standards, you know that there’s nothing added or weird in your placenta (your placenta is perfect just the way it is), everything is sanitized, you know that I’m not going to encapsulate your placenta in yours or my spaghetti pot because I have a kit that was put together by the leading expert in the country and that I’m going to be completely upfront and honest with you. I have nothing to gain by touting magical hypothesis. There’s no scientific evidence to back placenta encapsulation. If placenta encapsulation feels right to you, then you know that you’re going to have a professional in your home to do it right and the opportunity to have continuity of care with other postpartum services (such as postpartum family support, breastfeeding help, belly binding) from one company.

I’d love to talk with you about placenta encapsulation. You can call the office at +1-214-607-2166 or e-mail moriah@houstoncentraldoulas.com. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about placenta encapsulation.

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