Monday, May 30, 2011

Guest post- Placenta Article

Perinatal mood disorders affect 60-80% of new mothers. That is 6-8 out of ten new mothers! Moms with a history of depression, mood swings or postpartum depression are at a statistically increased risk for perinatal mood disorders, including postpartum depression, for current and subsequent pregnancies. “First-time moms are seven times more likely” to be treated or admitted to a hospital for perinatal mood disorders according to a study published in the December 6, 2006, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Those are some frightening statistics if you are a new mother or one of the many with a personal or family history that puts you at a greater risk. These mood disorders can go away with time, like the “Baby Blues” or can linger and require treatment like postpartum depression and the more serious and rare Postpartum Psychosis. Some mothers don’t want to take medications, especially if they plan on breastfeeding, but it can become necessary. Mothers should always check in with their midwife or doctor if they are feeling in any way unwell following their birth. They are there to help.

Is there a more natural option or even a natural preventative? More and more mothers in the United States, Canada and abroad are rediscovering a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine which is said to not only help them to heal quicker and feel more energetic following birth, but also increase milk supply and help to prevent or relieve the symptoms of the “Baby Blues” and postpartum depression. Mothers can sometimes learn about this option from friends, family, their acupuncturist, their naturopath, their doctor, their doula, their childbirth educator, another mom on the playground or even the internet. Even with those various means of gleaning this information, most mothers are completely unaware that this option exists. Even for mothers who “are not into herbs and things,” or for those who are skeptical and think it must be the placebo effect, many mothers choose this option once they are aware of it. Even if it is a placebo effect, what a wonderful effect it is! There are no negative side effects. It is breastfeeding-safe, 100% all-natural, and I have met many vegans and vegetarians happily take it without going against their morals and beliefs. Of the two dozen+ clients I have provided services in the past year, including those moms at an increased risk for postpartum depression, not a single one of them reported any type of perinatal mood disorder. 0 out of 24+ is substantially better looking than 6-8 out of 10, don’t you think?

What is in this capsule that can meet all of those descriptions and be said to have so many positive effects? It’s not magic, it’s a gift from God or Mother Nature (your choice). We were created, or evolved, so artfully that we can grow our children inside of us, nourish them, birth them and feed them all with our own bodies. What nourishes the child during pregnancy is made to nourish the mother following the birth. The placenta is made up of the perfect mixture of beneficial hormones, enzymes and nutrients just for you. Every mother’s placenta has a different concentration of the various components but each placenta is perfect for the mother that birthed it. This professional has a specific listing of some of the components and their purpose for your review. In his 1993 book Jade Remedies, Peter Homes states, "Giving...placenta to a new mother following birth has become standard protocol among a growing number of midwives in the United States. By nourishing the blood and fluids, endocrine glands and organs, Placenta will ...reduce or stop postpartum bleeding, speed up recovery, boost energy and relieve postpartum blues." A piece of placenta taken orally has also been shown to decrease or stop a postpartum hemorrhage. Placentas are a strong substance that should not be wasted or disposed of, especially for those mothers who are at higher risk of the mood disorders. One mom who had suffered postpartum depression following her first birth says she feels completely different after taking her capsules following her second birth, "I don't know what happened this time, but I feel really good! I haven't had any issues whatsoever!" Read more personal experiences here.

Informed mothers can choose to ingest the placenta directly following the birth or over a period of time. This can be done in capsule form, straight up, in frozen slivers, cooked into meals, blended into smoothies or a variety of other recipes and instructional videos available on-line and in print. Robin Lim even has a recipe for Placenta Pate in her book Placenta: The Forgotten Chakra. For many moms, those just are not options for them and they choose encapsulation instead. Experienced and professional placenta services providers in the US, Canada & abroad are available to prepare healthy placentas for healthy moms following their births. In capsule form, it is much easier to ingest without the “ick factor” that may mothers cite in not wanting to otherwise ingest. To find a local provider for you or a loved one, click here for a listing of the various provider directories. Some providers also offer art prints, tinctures and healing salves in addition to a cord keepsake with your encapsulation package. Talk to your provider about the services they offer, the process of getting your placenta following the birth or about processing your already frozen placenta. Encapsulation is a viable option for moms who have had a vaginal birth or cesarean.

Sources: Photos by Courtney Durfee, ©2010 & 2011,

(All ideas in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of the blog owner.)

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