The placenta is unique organ, created during early preganancy to nourish and sustain your baby in utero. Commonly the placenta is considered a waste by-product of pregnancy and birth. However there is a growing interest in making use of this valuable resource of goodness. This is not a new phenomenom, more a revival in western culture of a practice (called placentophagy) that has been documented to have been practised in certain areas of the world along with other rituals and ceremony, certainly in the last 100 years, but possibly much earlier. Most notably in Chinese medecine the placenta is considered to have healing and grounding properties: potent 'life force' qualities. If women do not wish to make use of their placenta by making remedies or eating it, many feel they would like to honour it in some way. Burying it, possibly under a new tree or plant is a way for the goodness of this incredible life supporting organ to be passed forwards and promote growth in the earth.
A piece of placenta is steeped in alcahol for 6 weeks. The tincture is the potent liquid after the placenta has been drained, and is supplied to the mother in a glass bottle with pippette. The tincture is taken by putting a few drops into water to drink. The tincture has a long shelf life, and can be used indefinitely, supporting women during other changes in their life including menopause. A tincture can be used to make a homeopathic remedy for mother and child.
Encapsulation has become popular as it transforms your placenta into a remedy which is very easy to take. The capsules look like any other herbal supplement. The placenta is washed with water and prepared for encapsualtion. It is sliced, dehydrated and then ground into a powder which is then packed into vegetarian capsules. The capsules can be taken daily by the mother during the early postpartem weeks, increasing the dosage at times of greater need. After a couple of months you may reduce your dosage and just use them to support you at times like menstruation or other challenging phases in the first year after birth.
"When I first heard about mothers consuming their placenta, I thought it sounded pretty disgusting! However the more I thought and read about it, the more it felt like it would be a good thing to do to support my recovery and wellbeing following birth. I was put in contact with Tortie who collected my placenta on the day of my birth. Having Tortie come and sit for a while after my birth was very calming and I can imagine how amazing she'd be as a doula.
The next day she delivered a smoothie with some of my placenta in it as well as the raw placenta capsules. The smoothie was delicious and very refreshing. The things that I noticed as a result of consuming my placenta (this is my second baby) have been a reduction in bleeding, my milk came in quicker and I have felt much more emotionally balanced. I would highly recommend doing this and working with Tortie to support postpartum recovery."
Increase your energy levels and general feelings of wellness: Iron in the placenta helps to replenish levels in the mother.
Aid in reducing postpartem bleeding quickly: Often reducing lochia from the expected 4-6 weeks to as little as 5-10 days.
Promote & Increase your milk supply: Prolactin in the placenta can mean your milk 'comes in' sooner, and taking placenta remedies can increase your milk supply when needed.
Reduce stress levels: Corticotropin and Oxytocin present in the placenta are a hormones associated with reducing stress levels.
Support maternal healing: Stem cells and growth factors in the placenta help to heal and repair the body after natural or Cesaerean birth.
Help to stabilise hormones after birth: Smoothing out some of the 'rollercoaster' emotions in the days after birth, and even helping to reduce postnatal depression
Improve the appreance of skin/nails/hair: Vitamin E present in the placenta aids the repair and healing of damaged skin cells.
Whilst history tells us that women consuming their placentas is not unusual, as with almost all placental mammals, there is currently not sufficient research into this practise to provide evidence to either support or contradict placentaophagy. The greatest collection of evidence available is anecdotal, and it seems that women report common effects, finding that their placenta remedies have helped with a number of postpartem challenges.
Your placenta may:
A small piece of raw placenta is blended with fruit juice, summer berries and a drop of honey. The smoothies are surprisingly palatable! Women often remark on just tasting the sweet fruit in the smoothies, and occassionally a slight iron/earthy flavour. Smoothies are made as soon after birth as possible to offer you the soonest benefit from your placenta in it's raw form. This can be an excellent way to support yourself after a particularly long or physically challenging labour, or if you have had signifiicnat blood loss. Either 1 or 2 smoothies can be delivered to you at home or in hospital, on the day or day after birth.
Raw smoothie: £40 (add on to encapsulation)
Mother's Tincture: £45
Cord Keepsake (unframed): free
Cord Keepsake (framed) £25
Baby and Mother Placenta Prints (unframed) : £30
Pills & Pool:
Encapsulation + Birthpool hire £260
Discounts on placenta remedies and birthpool hire are available for women supported by Tortie as their doula. Please enquire for details.
WHAT MOTHERS SAY
"I wanted to consume my placenta following the birth of my second child having heard so many positive stories about its effects, particularly on mood. I was a bit apprehensive about the smoothies. Tortie answered all my questions quickly and allowed me to decide what was right for me without any pressure, offering us the option of paying in instalments which made it possible for us.
She collected the placenta from us really soon after the birth and delivered two smoothies to me that evening. They were delicious and very easy to drink. She encapsulated the placenta and I'm taking those daily. My baby is 10 days old and I have so far noticed hugely reduced postnatal bleeding, an abundant milk supply and good energy levels despite some serious sleep deprivation caused by both my new baby and my toddler. I highly recommend Tortie and her placenta remedies."
If you have any questions about placenta remedies, or woudl liekt o book services please contact Tortie on 07796121530 or by email.
Further information about placenta remedies, including FAQs and a more in depth background to the process can be found on the Placenta Remedies Network website.
WHY USE MY PLACENTA?
As a part of the encapsualtion process, the umbilical cord is dried in a heart or spiral shape. If the cord is long enough, it can be shaped into the word 'love'. This can be a memento for mother/baby. I offer an additional option to have this framed, with the birth date and/or your baby's name.
In many cultures the placenta is valued for its nourishing and life sustaining qualities. It is also often considered a spiritual partner to the baby in utero. As the baby shares DNA with the placenta, it's not surprising to find that placentas are honoured and cherished in more ways than their physical role, for they also mirror the baby's make up: their root of life. Placenta prints provide a true imprint of both the mother and baby's sides of the placenta, showing it's tree like form of vessels/branches. Prints are created on a heavy art quality paper. They are unframed and anotated with your name(s), birth date and "Mother's side" and "Baby's side."