Can my placenta be encapsulated if I have had drugs during labour? Yes. The placenta moves approximately 1 litre of blood through it every minute by week 40, so any drugs that you may have had during labour such as pethidine, epidural and labour inducing drugs will be almost all eliminated by the time the placenta is birthed. Any residual drug remaining will be eliminated during the dehydration process of encapsulation.
If there is meconium on the placenta will it still be OK to encapsulate? Yes. The meconium will be easily removed from the placenta during the washing stage of preparation.
I'm really keen to take the capsules, but I know my family would freak out. How do I get around this? This is your birth journey, and it doesn't stop once you have birthed your baby. Your well being is critical in ensuring your baby has the best start to life. If you are not coping, have no energy, are sleep deprived and have mood swings, then this will be reflected in the mothering you provide your precious baby. Either help family members understand the benefits of popping a few pills a day, or just don't mention it to anyone! You can discreetly take a couple of capsules a few times a day and no-one will truly know what you are taking. If anyone asks, you could just say "iron capsules". You will find that most partners are very keen for their birthing women to take the capsules (at the very least to avoid the mood swings they are likely to encounter).
I'm planning on Cord Blood/Stem Cell collection at this birth. Can I still encapsulate the placenta after this process? Yes, this is absolutely possible. As long as the placenta is not compromised, and refrigerated immediately after the procedure, then there are no negative implications for encapsulation.
I have my placenta from my last birth in the freezer. Would it be beneficial to encapsulate it now that my baby is 4 months old? This is such a good question, and I am pleased to say YES ! Deciding to encapsulate can often come at a time when you are not prepared. You may have just heard about it at your 40 week appointment, or you read about it on a blog during your last few weeks off before baby arrives. Not having the time to research properly the benefits, or even find someone who is trained and willing to encapsulate your placenta are two very common roadblocks. If you keep your placenta in the freezer until you have completed your research and found your specialist, this is the first step. Without a placenta, you may as well forget about it until you have your next baby. Placenta encapsulation is possible from frozen placentas. If it has been only a few months since the placenta was birthed, we can still make capsules for the mumma to take (helping energy levels, increasing her milk supply, etc) andprobably the best thing to do is have a tincture made, which will benefit both mother and baby for many many years.
What is Lotus Birth? Lotus Birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut, so that the baby remains attached to the placenta until the cord naturally separates from the umbilicus. This may take from 3 to 10 days after birth. The prolonged contact allows us to honour the placenta which has kept the baby nourished in utero, and it is seen as a time of transition for the baby to gently and slowly let go of his/her attachment to the mothers body. Lotus Birth is not for everyone. The placenta needs to be cared for with the baby until it separates, so this may not suit people who like to invite lots of friends over and pass the baby around. It is however a lovely ritual for families who would enjoy spending the weeks following birth in a relaxed and quiet manner at home with few visitors. If you are planning a Lotus Birth, you should advise your chosen midwife and or hospital, as not all hospitals or care providers are familiar with Lotus Birth.
What is a "Mother Blessing"
Mother Blessing also known as a Blessingway, is a ceremony marking a woman's rite of passage into motherhood. Generally a Mother Blessing is held close to the time of birth, with a circle of women (sisters, mums, auntys, cousins, girlfriends, mentors, etc) in a quiet gentle ceremony celebrating sisterhood, honouring the mother and welcoming the new baby to earth. The ceremony can be short or long, and can include each woman bringing a bead which is threaded onto a piece of string and is worn by the birthing woman during labour, each woman reading a poem or some words of wisdom for a positive birth, all women binding their wrists with wool to symbolise the sisterhood and wearing the wool until the babys umbilical cord is cut, bringing candles and blessing the mother with the lit flame then re-lighting the candles when the woman goes into labour, brushing her hair and massaging her hands and feet, etc. It can be a very emotional ceremony for everyone involved, particularly the birthing woman. This is the time for her to release any tension she may be holding or any fears she still has about the birth, to enable her to feel empowered, strong and ready to birth her baby into the world. Unlike a Baby Shower, a Mother Blessing is a low key event focussing on nurturing the mother and sharing the love and support for her and the impending birth.
I am honoured to organise and facilitate Mother Blessing ceremonies to any birthing woman, regardless of whether or not she will have a doula present at the birth.