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When I tell people that I am a placenta specialist, I am met with a variety of reactions! In the following post I’ve outlined some of the common questions and objections I encounter, and my response to each. Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts!

**If you are interested in my placenta services, please don’t hesitate to give me a call (519) 546 5385 or send me an email at imagineonelovecare@gmail.com **

Common Questions

  1. Why do people choose to consume their placentas?

There are many different motivating factors that lead women to make the decision to consume their placentas. For many women it is the first-hand accounts from friends; they hear of their perception of how ingesting their placentas positively affected their postpartum recovery and overall health. Some women consume their placentas to help stop bleeding, heal wounds, and reduce pain. Some women practice placentophagy with the hope to decrease their likelihood of post-partum mood disorders, and others hope to increase their milk supply. Some women may choose to ingest their placenta because it is a common behavior among all other land mammals.

  1. What does the placenta consist of?

The placenta is rich in a variety of nutrients, hormones, minerals, opioids, amino acids, and stem cells. Some of the hormones that the placenta is known to contain are estrogen, progesterone, androgen, growth hormone (Phaupradit et al, 691), and steroids (Beacock, 464), and placenta is thought to contain corticotrophin-releasing hormone (Beacock, 465). Amino acids found in placental tissue include peptides, indoleamines, and catecholeminds (Beacock 464). The levels of minerals that are particularly high within human placenta include sodium, potassium, and phosphorus (Phaupradit et al, 692). “The placenta is also thought to retain several other hormones, opioids, and nutrients previously stored and transported within it, including proteins, iron, vitamin B6,[and]  oxytocin (Beacock, 465).

  1. How can these vitamins and minerals benefit me?

Based on anecdotal evidence as well as scientific studies, it is possible that the vitamins and minerals contained in placental tissue may increase milk supply, reduce pain, increase speed in which wounds heal, and decrease rates of postpartum mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Studies have revealed a correlation between low iron levels and fatigue (Vernon et al). Low levels of corticotrophin-releasing hormone are correlated with postpartum, depression (Discover). Multiple studies have “reported that estrogen supplementation significantly reduced postpartum depressive symptoms” (Hendrick et al). According to studies observing the effects of placentophagia and lab rats, placentophagia increases levels of opioid-analgesia, thus elevating pain threshold (Kristal).

According to Beacock, “boosting mother’s iron stores through placentophagy results in more energy, and concequently less postnatal depression because low income and fatigue are PND risk factors…. A similar assertion is that ingesting vitamin B6 found in the placenta prevents PND and encourages postnatal wound healing – B6 supplementation is indeed an established treatment for PND and has a proven role in regulating mental process and mood. It is also implicated in cellular replication and antibody protection” (466).

  1. What are some of the ways placenta can be prepared?

There are a variety of ways that placenta can be prepared for consumption. Some women choose to simply eat a small (bite-sized) piece of their placenta, raw, immediately after delivery. Others blend this bite-sized piece in a smoothie, often also choosing to include raspberries to mask the red colour. Placenta can also be cooked whole in the oven as one would cook other organ meats, like liver or kidneys, possibly served with onions, gravy, and mashed potatoes.

Many women choose to have their placenta professionally prepared, instead of consuming in these more simple ways. Some of the methods of professional placenta preparation are dehydration and encapsulation, making it into a tincture, salve, or soap.

  1. What is your personal experience with placentophagy?

I consumed the placentas after the birth of both of my two children. My firstborn’s placenta was encapsulated and made into a tincture, and my second born’s was just encapsulated (as I still have an ample supply of tincture remaining from my firstborn so did not feel I need more). I personally notice an acute feeling of calmness and mild euphoria after ingesting a placenta capsule. During the postpartum periods I recovered quickly and had high energy levels. I have a very high milk supply and have not had any troubles breastfeeding. I have many “risk factors” for postpartum depression but have not felt any symptoms of postnatal mood disorders.  I now use the tincture when I am feeling emotionally overwhelmed and notice an immediate relief. I plan to use the tincture to help reduce menopausal symptoms in my future.

 

Objections Rebuttal

  1. Objection: “There hasn’t been much research about placentophagy”

There have been many studies documenting the effect of placentophagy, dating from 1954 to the 21st century. There are also a wide array of other scientific studies which results can feasibly be assumed to apply to placentophagy, documenting the benefits of taking supplements such as iron, estrogen, and B6, which are known to be found within placental tissue. In addition to the two books devoted entirely to researching the placenta that were assigned in the Traditions unit, the Association of Placenta Preparation Arts include 17 accredited articles, most of which were published in medical journals, to ensure that the placenta encapsulation specialists who certify with this organization are well versed on the research that can be applied to placentophagy. However, it is certainly true that there is space for new research to be conducted on the subject of placentophagy, and I believe that this research will be conducted in the near future because placenta encapsulation is so quickly gaining in popularity in recent years.

  1. Objection: “There seem not to be any human cultures on record that routinely practice, or practiced, placentophagia” (Kristal, 2)

It is commonly stated that “there seem not to be any human cultures on record that routinely practice, or practiced, placentophagia” (Kristal, 2) however this statement is easily shown to be inaccurate when a variety of historian’s discussion of placenta traditions are considered. According to E, Croft Long in their article The Placenta in Lore and Legend, “there are many curious customs concerned with the eating of the placenta” (238). Croft Long goes on to describe traditions involving placentophagy in Hungary, Java, Moravia (Czechoslovakia), Morocco, China, Italy, and Rumania. Gelis also discusses traditional placentophagia, noting that “placental opotherapy was practiced in Antiquity, and Hippocratic texts speak of the human afterbirth as an element in the pharmacopoeic.; the doctors of Salerno went on prescribing it, as did the practitioners of the seventeenth century” (Gelis, 168-169). Beacock discusses how “TCM has for over 1400 years used Zi-he-che (human placenta) hypogaglactia following childbirth and for a variety of other conditions including fertility, impotence, dizziness, tinnitus, emaciation, asthma, and epilepsy” (Beacock, 467).

  1. Objection: Animals only practice placentophagy because they want to clean their nest site and hide evidence of the birth from predators

Both scientists Kristal and Soykova-Pachnerova go into detail dismantling the theory that mammalian placentophagia can be explained away by the desire for cleanliness of the birth site and a motivation to hide the birth from predators. Kristal outlines four significant problems with this theory. Firstly, mammals who are not threatened by predators practice placentpphagia. Secondly, “mothers of non-nesting species (e.g. ruminants) eat the afterbirth, and in fact, remain at the birthsite long after the neonate is able to walk away, in order to finish consuming the placenta”(4). Thirdly, mammals who deliver high in the trees do not choose to allow their placentas to fall to the ground (thus cleaning the nesting site and removing the evidence of the birth), but choose to spend hours holding onto the placenta in order to finish consuming it. Lastly, “the olfactory cues emanating from the fluids that have saturated the ground might be expected to be an effective predator attractants, and these fluids are apparently not cleaned up during placentophagia” (4).

  1. Objection: Animals only practice placentophagy because they are hungry or experiencing a temporary shift to voracious carnivorousness

Kristal has also dismantled the theory that placentophagy at delivery is reflective of a general shift to carnivorousness by conducting controlled studies with monkeys and rats in which other meats are offered to the mothers postnatally instead the placentas, and the other meats were repeatedly refused (2). “Delivery in the rat is not preceded by a period of hypophagia, which suggests that atleast in the rat, hunger is not the explanation of parturitional placentopahgia” (Kristal, 2).

  1. Isn’t it unhealthy to eat an organ like the placenta that acts as a filter for toxins?

To me this common objection seems relatively ironic in a society in which the beef liver is found on the shelves of many grocery stores and menus of many restaurants, as the liver is known to be a filter for toxins (and I would also argue that the average cow’s feed and medicinal treatments contain far more toxins than the average pregnant woman would be consuming). According to Keller, of the Association of Placenta Preparation Arts, though “the placenta is often referred to as a filter; this isn’t an ideal term for the placenta considering its function in the body… A more suitable way of looking at it would be as a gate keeper between the mother and the fetus. The placenta’s job is to keep the maternal and fetal blood separate, at the same time allowing nutrients to pass to the fetus, gas exchange to occur, and allowing waste from the fetus to pass through the mother, . The placenta does prevent some toxins from passing through to the fetus but they are not stored in the placenta. Toxins in the body and waste from the fetus are processed by the mother’s liver and kidneys for elimination” (Keller).


 

Bibliography

Beacock, Michelle. “Does eating placenta offer postpartum health benefits?” British Journal of

Midwifery. 20:7 (July 2012) p. 464-469.

Croft Long, E. “The Placenta in Lore and Legend.” Bulletin of the Medical Library Association.

51:2. (April 1963). P. 233-241.

Discover (December 1995). CRH Study. Baby blues – postpartum  depression attributed to low

levels of corticotropin releasing hormone after placenta is gone. (Online)

Gelis, Jaques. History of Childbirth: Fertility, Pregnancy, and Birth in Early Modern Europe.

Longdon: Polity, August 1996.

Hendrick, Victoria; Lori L. Altshuler and Rita Suri. “Hormonal changes in the postpartum and

implications for postpartum depression” Psychosomatics. 39:2 (March- April 1998). P,

93-101.

Keller, Nicole. “Uncovering the Truth About Bacteria and Heavy Metals in the Placenta”

Association of Placenta Preparation Arts (August, 2015).

Kristal, Mark B. “Placentophagia: A Biobehavioural Enigma” Neuroscience & Biobehavioural

Reviews 4 (February 1980) p. 141-150.

Phaupradit, Winit; Boonsri Chanrachakul; Phichai Thuvasethaleul; Supatra Leeelaphiwat; Suriya

Sassanarakkit and Supat Chanwarachaikul. “Nutrients and Hormones in Heat Dried-

Human Placenta” J Med Assoc Tha, 83:6. (June 2000). P. 690-694).

Soykova-Pachnerova, Ela; Vlastimil Brutar and Eva Zvolska. “Placenta as a Lactogen”.

Gynaecologia. 136:6 (1954). P. 617-627.

 

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Hi, I’m Rebekah, and I’m a birth doula.

As a birth doula, I provide informational, emotional, and physical support to childbearing families throughout pregnancy, labour, and the postnatal period.

The word doula comes from the greek word meaning “to serve”, and doulas were originally also midwifes.  Today, the word doula is used to describe women who provide support for individuals and families during pregnancy, labour, and birth (in addition to a midwife or OB). As a doula it is my responsibility to help each person I support in the unique and specific way that they need, which means I dedicate much time to getting to know each person’s individual birth wish, expected coping techniques, and likes and dislikes.

My services include, but are not limited to:

  • assisting with coping and relaxation techniques such as breathing, optimal positions, massage, and aromatherapy
  • providing information prenatally on the benefits and risks of interventions during labour (induction, pain medication, etc.)
  • guiding clients in the process of creating a birth wish summarizing hopes and goals for the birthing experience
  • discussing any worries, fears, or concerns about pregnancy, labour, birth, or caring for a new baby
  • providing emotional and physical assistance during labour and birth
  • offering information and support with breast, chest, and bottle feeding

Logistically, this service includes:

  • 2, 3, or 4 prenatal visits
  • attending the birth (I am on-call 24/7 beginning 2 weeks before expected due-date, I will come whenever needed, and stay for 2-5 hours after the birth)
  • 2, 3, or 4 post natal visits
  • access to a small collection of books about pregnancy, birth, and parenting
  • unlimited phone and email support during pregnancy and after birth

During the prenatal visits some areas of discussion we may focus on are:

  • mapping out the birth wish (hospital or home, amount of intervention, other people there, coping techniques)
  • discussing and practicing various coping techniques including positions, massage, water, heat/cool packs, breathing techniques, tools (exercise ball, tub, etcetera)
  • information about what to expect during labour and what your choices are
  • information about forms of induction and pain relief if you deliver in a hospital, including the benefits and risks associated with each
  • practice relaxation techniques
  • some basics of prenatal yoga, prenatal massage and prenatal nutrition
  • emotional and spiritual healing that may rise to the surface during pregnancy and birth
  • providing resources and information about anything else you would like

During the labour and birth, I will be doing whatever is needed, which might include

  • helping you to recognize the signs that labour is coming
  • providing physical support through massage, pressure points, applying hot or cold compresses etc.
  • helping with coping techniques such as moving into different positions, and reminding of breathing techniques
  • assisting with practical tasks like preparing or bringing food and drinks and making phone calls
  • providing support anyone else attending the birth

During the postnatal visits some areas of focus are:

  • how to care for yourself while healing from labour and birth
  • baby’s care, including massage, yoga, and support with feeding (whether breastfeeding, formula, or both)
  • help with practical tasks, including but not limited to meal preparation, light housework, caring for baby

For a very limited time my services are available at half price while I compete my the doula certification process through HALO.

Pricing varies on number of prenatal and postnatal visits required. Sliding scale rates are available to make doula care accessible to all mothers. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation.

519 546 5385

imagineonelovecare@gmail.com

**This is copied from the Healing Arts Learning Organization doula training manual

1. SERVICES PROVIDED

A birth doula provides non-medical, physical and emotional support as well as informational assistance before, during, and after childbirth.

PRENATAL

  • Prenatal consultations with pregnant clients and partners in order to obtain a preliminary history and to determine their preferences for the birth, to discuss prenatal education, as well as pin coping techniques
  • Provides resources to assist the expectant parents with birth planning
  • Provides telephone and/or email support as required
  • Emotional support and comfort

LABOUR AND BIRTH

  • Suggests non-pharmalogical comfort measures
  • Assists with application of hot/cold packs as needed
  • Provides a soothing massage for relaxation and pain relief
  • Suggests positions that may help progress labour, provide comfort and pain relief
  • Provides suggestions and applies methods to promote relaxation, including guidance in breathing techniques
  • Provides positive verbal encouragement, reassurance, praise, affirmation, and validation. A labour doula must have excellent listening skills.
  • Set up and maintain an environment conducive to a positive birth experience
  • Provide support and suggestions to the partner
  • Facilitate communication between the family and the medical staff

POSTPARTUM

  • Assistance with the baby’s early breastfeeding
  • Emotional follow-up/support
  • Referral to appropriate community resources, as needed

2. LIMITS TO PRACTICE

A birth doula does not perform clinical or medical tasks (including, but not limited to, such things as taking blood pressure or temperature, checking fetal heart tones, performing vaginal exams, or postpartum, clinical care). Where possible, all informational support rendered will be supported with evidence-based research and qualified resources. The birth doula will provide information on benefits, risks, and alternatives rather than their personal advice on all matters. The doula does not diagnose or prescribe treatments (as per definitions below) and are to refer to a qualified professional wherever possible. The doula must also advise her client to inform her primary caregiver prior to using alternative therapies.

Where the doula has additional training in areas outside of the doula’s scope of practice, she should refer tp that profession and their scope of practice, and determine if it is appropriate to combine the roles. In any event, she is the clearly inform her clients of such training, the limits of her ability to offer knowledge and/or practice in the area, and that any additional services she offers is separate from her training as a doula. She is also encouraged to clearly define this situation to any healthcare provider she comes in contact with in order to avoid confusion regarding the labour doula’s role and scope of practice.

Definitions:

Advice; An opinion recommended or offered, as worthy to be followed; counsel.

Counsel: To advice or recommend, as an act or course. Advice given especially as a result of consultation. A policy or plan or action of behaviour

Evidence: To indicate clearly, exemplify or prove. Something that furnishes proof.

Opinion: A notion or conviction founded on probable evidence; belief stronger than impression, less strong than positive knowledge. A view, judge,net, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter.

Prescribe: To specify with authority. To direct, as in a remedy to be used by a patient; as, the doctor prescribed a medication. To write or to give medical directions: to indicate remedies.

Research: Scholarly or scientific investigation, inquiry. Careful or diligent search.

**For more information, or if you are looking for a doula in Centre Wellington or Guelph, please contact Rebecca at imagineonelovecare@gmail.com or 226 780 0406.

Hi there! 

Imagine One Love Home Daycare is looking for a new friend. 

I’m taking a few classes from Sept 5th to Nov 28th and I’m looking for someone awesome to hangout with some amazing little munchkins while I’m out.

I need someone who is available Mondays 6:30-8:30 PM, Wednesdays 4PM-6PM, and Fridays 4PM-6PM. I could potentially provide more hours if that’s what the right person is looking for. 

Pay would start at $14/hour but more for more children. Most of the time you’ll be looking after one or two children, occasionally three, rarely four. The little ones are 8 months, 12 months, 22 months, and 4 years. 

If interested please start by checking out this page to learn a little more about myself and my childcare. If we seem like a good match, email me with a little information about who you are: your childcare experience, interests, hobbies, etc. 

Looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂

(We’re located near Riverside Park in Guelph, ON,)

Hi there! Thanks for checking out my website.

I’m Rebekah Nicole, a mumma, writer, doula, childcare provider, and sociology student living in Elora, ON.

I’d like this blog to be a place where folks can discuss and share ideas, information and resources with folks in their community. Please feel welcome to comment or discuss anything you read! 🙂

I post about a variety of topics close to my heart – which have recently expanded to include baby-wearing, cloth diapers, and homemade organic “baby-food,” since the birth of my daughter Aira in 2013. I like to stay active by walking, jogging, horse riding, long boarding, and doing yoga. I love growing food. Four very important members of my family are canine and feline. I like to keep things simple.  I try my best to avoid passing judgement, and be aware of how my words and actions affect those around me. I like hugs and laughter. I really enjoy reading unpublished writers, and sometimes host writing contests. I’m learning to become less dependent on capital by making clothes, growing food, and doing work that helps me to feel fulfilled.

If we’ve got something in common, you’re in the right place, and I recommend you hit that “follow” button that’s beckoning you! If you are looking for a doula, or would like to find out more about what a doula is, check out this page.  Or Find out details of my home childcare,  check out my product line, which includes baby bum balm, massage oils (for baby or mum), natural gardener’s hand scrub or moisturizer, mittens (for babies and toddlers), cat toys (organic catnip & reused fabrics), coasters (hand knitted with love).

Also, it’d make me really happy if you read the synopsis or a free preview of my recently published YA fantasy romance, the Crashes of Waves.

Risen from the ashes, born of the waves.

“The mermaid was different, and not just because of her ‘mythical’ connections. Her opinions were strong, and she didn’t seem to think in the same way the people around her did. Sometimes she felt as though she was just on a completely different wavelength to everyone else, living in some kind of parallel universe.”

When Leila starts at her new school she falls madly and irrevocably in love with the charismatic and mysterious Vulcan Kevlar. However, Vulcan is keeping a huge secret from Leila, which he knows he has no choice but to let her in on when he realizes that her life is in serious jeopardy, along with the well-being of the entire human race.

Rebekah Nicole is a young fantasy author living in Guelph, Ontario. Rebekah’s passions other than writing include her daughter Kasaira, longboarding, reading, horses, and spending time with her friends (including her dog Fawkes and three cats Judy Jadine and Achilles).

Rebekah was born in 1992 in Portsmouth, England, and lived in Rockville, Maryland before moving to Canada. Rebekah has written since she was a child, when she began a series of short stories featuring a group of children who dedicate their lives around helping animals in need. She began her first novel, the Crashes of Waves, when she was fourteen.

This month’s theme: surviving the times: emotional wellness.

I’d like to credit my friend Kimberly of Fiddlesticks in Cambridge for the theme emotional wellness; which we agree is free from the negative undertone associated with the phrase “mental health”.

I consider emotional wellness to be a very important topic because, as Iyanla Vanzant has said,

“When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else”