Recently, I was interviewed by a newspaper regarding my experience with placenta consumption. Some would say this means I’m “flying my freak flag.” Well, wave in the wind, little flag, wave proudly. I will admit, I was pretty apprehensive about how they would present this. Would the reporter be bias? Would my family be humiliated? Would this deter clients, or make them feel more like I’m an open book? And the biggest question- How would my words be twisted?
The morning that the article was published, I woke up to a message on my Facebook page, from a man I don’t know. It read, “Saw your quote in the Blade-good for you and your family!” Well, that was an interesting way to find out it was published that day! I went to read the article and found the only part that I was disappointed with was that while she had my thoughts on it correct, she had stated that my first birth was “easy” and it was anything but.
I talked to a former client, also interviewed for the article, and we agreed that it’s always too bad when we give so many thoughts and so few are published. So, I just want to share a few more of mine with you. This is my placenta consumption story, all of it.
After Izzabella’s birth, I sank into Postpartum Depression. My OB didn’t notice, but my family knew that things weren’t right and I was in need of some extra help. It was a difficult birth, a difficult recovery, and it was too late for my placenta. I asked for a prescription, and it did help a lot, thankfully. However, when the time came for me to wean off of that medication, it had affected my blood pressure and made me quite ill. Damages were done. Pregnant with my next child, I knew both how horrible the PPD can be as well as prescription usage. What is one to do? When you’re holistic like I am, you look at the obvious answer, and we immediately started looking into finding a professional placenta encapsulation specialist!
My second birth was a very traumatic experience, which required all kinds of healing. I am SO thankful that I had planned ahead. Looking back, I didn’t know as much as I do now and I’m very fortunate to have found someone who was ServSafe certified, as well as followed the OSHA bloodborne pathogens certification & strict EPA safety guidelines. At the time I didn’t realize how much that meant to me, but now I realize how important it is! Despite multiple complications from my botched Cesarean, I had no PPD. My only regret is not paying for the not-talked-about-enough-and-way-undervalued-TINCTURE!
Fast forward a few years, and I started looking into becoming a certified specialist myself. I learned SO MUCH, and I was just hitting the tip of the iceberg! I had studied it enough to know a lot of the safety precautions (certain percentages of bleach on all the surfaces that came in contact with any blood, line everything with several layers of plastic, use disposable cutting boards, everything is “once placenta, always placenta.” Your dehydrator is no longer good for apples, once you’ve placed a placenta on it. (Yes, even if it’s your own placenta.) Around that time, a Birth Photography client was looking for a way to use her placenta and I offered to help and see if this was something I would be interested in taking a step further.
Cutting into a placenta was ooey, bloody, tough, veiny, a bit smelly, and absolutely fascinating! I loved seeing the previous home of the newborn I had just witnessed entering this world. God’s miracles never cease to amaze me and this was no exception. “The Tree of Life” is stunning, if you can look past the “ewww” and find the “ohh!”
I was in love with this amazing organ. But something happened. I had my eyes open to just how little I knew, even though I’d been reading about it for months. I made one mistake- I had worn gloves, of course, but I didn’t have a face mask. You’d think after being around placentas at births, you’d be ok, but this particular time, I broke out in hives that lasted two weeks. What I had breathed in, didn’t get along with my body and it responded! Sometimes, in birth worker groups, you’ll hear chitter chatter about how the hormones in the air affect the workers. I’ll spare their stories, but the point is: this is amazing and powerful stuff.
So why am I telling you all this? Because I hear a lot of women who want to get their placenta encapsulated and I hear a TON of them saying “I’m just going to have my friend do it. We want to save some money.” I thought I knew a lot, and I knew very little. I’m still learning, because I love it, but I won’t be offering these services anytime soon! For now, I’m just your birth photographer.
When you hire a professional placenta encapsulation specialist, you are paying for more than just someone to cut up an organ and prepare it for you. You are hiring them for their knowledge, their experience, and for your safety. It’s their job to ask you about your health, your pregnancy, your birth. It’s their job to examine the placenta for abnormalities before preparing it. It’s their job to make sure that your placenta is only doing good, for everyone.
Are you located in Northwest Ohio and looking for an Encapsulation Specialist? Feel free to check out one of the following, and don’t forget to tell them I sent you! 😉
Branch Of Life, llc
Ashley Short Photography is a portrait studio located in Northwest Ohio and is happy to serve clients in and around SW Michigan, Toledo, Perrysburg, Sylvania, Delta, Swanton, Wauseon, Archbold, Bryan, Defiance, and Fort Wayne Indiana and others. Call today to talk about what we can do for you.