placenta love: encapsulating Flo’s placenta.
Be forewarned, there are placenta pictures in this post! Nothing too gnarly though, so I think you can handle it!
As many of you know, I encapsulate placentas in Vancouver, BC! It’s my favourite job yet, besides being a doula, and is quickly becoming very popular with crunchy mamas, yuppy mamas, and mamas of every background and ethnicity. It’s really neat to be apart of something that is flourishing, in a niche market.
The day after Florence was born, I was eager to begin the process of encapsulating her placenta. After birth, my awesome midwife had shown me her placenta, explaining all the inner workings and showing me the tree of life. I was happy to sit through her demonstration, though I imagine I’m more intimately involved with placentas than she is!
When we got home, I finally had a chance to look at it myself. I donned a pair of gloves and set to work, explaining to my mum and husband where Florence was floating in the sac, the fetal and maternal sides of the placenta, and we gasped over the incredible length of her umbilical cord. Since she was breech for 3-4 weeks, it’s quite miraculous that she didn’t get tangled in her cord when she was manually turned in the womb. She didn’t even have the cord around her neck at birth, which can be common. I am in awe of her!
It was really quite the experience handling her placenta so soon after birth. It was such an emotional time, less than 48 hours after giving birth, but I found it to be really healing. I’m glad I offer the service to new mothers though, because it was really tough being on my feet all that time (my ankles got way too swollen). It’s a long process too, and I did just want it to be over so I could reap the benefits.
But it was magical. To me, there is nothing gross about the placenta. It it utterly wonderful, life giving, beautiful and precious.
This is a shot of the amniotic sac. Flo was tucked away inside of this stretchy bit of miracle, full of life giving fluid. The hole where my hand is, is the hole where she emerged from the sac. What started as a small tear when my water broke, opened up to send her forth into the world! Amazing!
Just checking on the placenta to make sure it’s steamed to perfection. With the addition of some herbs and spices, it doesn’t smell like much!
The next day I started the process of grinding and making pills of her dehydrated placenta. I wasn’t wearing gloves in this picture (which I normally do) and didn’t worry about wearing an apron because I wanted to be in touch with her placenta as much as possible. Call me crazy. I guess I fit the bill for being a “soap dogger” as my brother in law says, being a natural water birthing, placenta ingesting mama. Heck, I even tried co-sleeping, and loved it, but didn’t sleep all that much. Perhaps if we had a king sized bed.
And finally, the end result is a pot of gold! I feel so much better when I take the placenta, full of energy and vitality. I don’t even need to take the full dose to reap the benefits. I fall in love with Florence all over again when I study the little bits of Placenta Love tucked away inside the capsules.