I wanted to find anything I could to avoid that demon again. In the course of raising our first child, and coming out of the depression, I became a birth doula. I learned so much about pregnancy, birth and the postpartum time that I was able to prepare myself against the possibility of having the depression return. When we decided to have another child, six years later, the fear of the depression returning was difficult to bear. However this time I was going in prepared with new tools; and a different perspective on pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care.
When I became pregnant with my second child, I found the Midwives of New Jersey of Hackettstown NJ. I chose them because I wanted a home birth and they were able to help me accomplish that wish.
In my prenatal visits to the midwives, I told them about my previous postpartum depression. One of the midwives suggested placenta encapsulation. My first reaction was “ICK!”, followed quickly by curiosity and wonder. I immediately beganresearching the benefits, found a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist (PES) close enough to my home, and decided that this would be the best thing for me.
Our second son was born in December 2011 and the fear of depression was strong and heavy in my head from the moment my water broke. I contacted my PES the morning after he was born and she had my placenta pills delivered to me within 72 hours after the birth. I began taking them immediately and quickly felt a difference in my state of mind.
Our new baby began to develop eczema serious enough to crack and bleed. We learned it was due to food allergies. He also wouldn’t sleep! He didn’t sleep through the night until past two years of age. He still does this occasionally at the age of 3! Mommy and Daddy were not getting much sleep. If this baby had been my first, we would not have had any more children.
The placenta pills were my life saver and sanity keeper during those first few months. Even though I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I was able to function and take care of myself and my family. I truly believe if I hadn’t taken those placenta pills, I may have been committed in the first few months postpartum. The difficulties that we went through trying to figure out his issues, (colic, silent reflux, multiple and severe food allergies, severe eczema) how to cope with them, and how to help him overcome them, should have sent me into depression. My family would be in a much different place right now, had I not taken advantage of the amazing organ that my body made for my baby.
The reason I wanted to have my placenta encapsulated was based solely on the fear of going through postpartum depression again. The rewards I got were that and so much more! The amazing benefits that I experienced from placentophagy included improved mood, I felt no familiar signs of depression creeping back in.
I also saw a huge difference in my milk supply. With my first son, he never seemed to be satisfied and I was never able to pump more than 2 ounces. This time around, whew! What a difference! I was able to pump an average of 5 ounces, and my son would actually pull off my breast because of what may have been over supply.
I had increased energy, shortened lochia, accelerated uterine recovery, weight loss, and a quicker return to well-being. I did have one dose give me jitters and one dose gave me heartburn. I only had those two days of discomfort, out of the two months that I took the pills.
In the middle of my sons first year, the woman who encapsulated my placenta offered a course to teach other women how to do the amazing work of Placenta Encapsulation. I jumped in and took the course. Now I am pleased to be able to offer this gift to other moms. I also have begun to offer classes to teach the process of encapsulation through Wise Birth Choices.
I hope that the practice of placentophagy increases, and that new mothers begin to realize that we have within us the power to heal ourselves. All the nutrients and vitamins and minerals and hormones that went in to building and growing a beautiful baby should be given back to us! The one responsible for making it.
Women – we can give that gift back to ourselves!