During my third pregnancy, I decided to try something different to help me through the postpartum period. When my first daughter was born, I cried for a few days, threatened to kill my husband (seriously!), and told him that he had to make his mother leave. By the way, my mother-in-law is one of the sweetest women I know. Basically, it was rough.
Then, with my second daughter’s arrival, I was short-tempered with my first daughter (then only 2 1/2) and again with my husband. Crying was pretty standard for about a week. I knew that with my next baby something needed to change, because I couldn’t stand to be such a “mean mommy” again.
I learned about placenta encapsulation and I was very intrigued. I loved the idea that my baby’s placenta wouldn’t just be thrown out; after all, I had created this organ just as I had created my baby! I also loved the idea that I would be taking hormones that had been produced by my own body.
After my daughter Lauren’s birth, my midwife simply placed the placenta in disposable gladware and we put it in the fridge until it could be encapsulated. I began taking the capsules a few days later and took the full dose for almost two weeks.
The difference between my first two postpartum periods and the third was simply amazing! Instead of about five days of crying and feeling totally overwhelmed, even paranoid, I experienced one afternoon of teariness and then I was able to recognize that my feelings were related to hormones. I felt more in control than I had with my first babies and so much happier.
My four-year old daughter began to call the capsules “Mommy’s happy pills.” I think that she may have remembered how short-tempered I had been after my second daughter’s birth and she was so relieved to see that this was so much better. My husband noticed that I was more available emotionally and not so angry.
Having experienced the ‘baby blues’ with the first births, it was so great to be able to simply enjoy my brand new baby and my other sweet girls without the negative feelings of anger, paranoia, and desperation. New moms don’t need to suffer with that now that this wonderful service is being offered!
I thought that I might be a little shy about telling people; maybe they would think I was weird for having my placenta encapsulated. However, now I just tell anyone who will listen! It’s such a simple and wonderful remedy for a nearly universal problem. The help it offered me allowed me to really enjoy my new baby Lauren and not regret those precious weeks.
Rochelle’s story (Florida)
I have always been anemic and had severe anemia while pregnant. At my first post partum check up (one week) my iron was extremely low.
However, at my second checkup at two weeks (6 days after I began taking my capsules) my iron was great! It was higher than ever. I was also feeling no fatigue and had tons of energy that I never expected to have. My milk came in about 5-6 days post partum and I had no problems breast feeding my daughter. I had major problems nursing my first child.
I think placenta encapsulation is a wonderful thing and have recommended it to several others. I will definitely do it again if I have another child. Thank you Jodi for all your help and guidance.
It has been wonderful to be myself after this birth and to be present emotionally to enjoy my baby! I absolutely think that the placenta capsules helped me.
I had terrible postpartum depression after my first child was born, and I had antenatal depression with this pregnancy. Since I experienced that I was certain I would
have postpartum depression.
I have had two days of the SLIGHTEST baby blues, and that was when I decreased my dosage, so I went back to the regular dose for another week and voila – no more baby blues! These capsules are a godsend and I would recommend it to any woman who is worried about postpartum depression.
I had postpartum depression with my first two pregnancies, but didn’t realize that’s what it was because I have a history of depression anyway. I had ok births, in the hospital, with more intervention than I had hoped, but I just figured that depression was normal for me. Then I had my third baby.
I thought I was going to be free from the depressive episode this time because I had an amazing home water birth, with a great midwife. No problems, fast recovery, perfect baby. The first two weeks I was ok, and then, BAM! I didn’t want to be around him, hold him, nurse him (and I am a huge breastfeeding advocate). I was begging my husband to go buy formula for my 2 week old infant. Luckily my hubby knew me better than that – he would attach him to my breast while I laid on the bed almost catatonic, or when I was sleeping. This was the most horrible time of my life. I finally got help a few weeks into it, and was put on an antidepressant…it helped. At least I was able to care for my little one.
Less than two years later I was pregnant again. I got off my antidepressant for the pregnancy, but I was terrified. I surely did not want to go through that horrible depression again, so I assumed I would get on it as soon as the baby was born. I wanted to bond with my baby, to hold him or her, and feel the love surging through my body for the new little being. Then I found out about placentophagy. There happened to be a huge thread about it on the Mothering.com forums. I jumped right in. I knew this was my ticket out of the despair I suffered last time.
I talked to my midwife about it, and she said she knew someone in town who dried and capsulized placentas for mamas. I was so excited. I had my baby, sent my amazing placenta with my midwife, and she brought back this little brown bag of pills. I noticed a change the first day I started taking them. At first I thought, well, maybe I just feel so good because I expect to, but I noticed a difference depending on taking it or not, and even the amount of pills or how I spaced them throughout the day. I knew this was real. I had so much energy, my postpartum bleeding was lighter and finished sooner than any of my other pregnancies, and I just felt wonderful. I was able to enjoy the tie with my new baby, and take care of my three little ones without a problem. I actually had to remind myself that I *just* had a baby and to relax on the couch or nap with the littles. LOL
I am now pregnant with my fifth baby, and am looking forward to having my placenta prepared again. I really can not think of a better way to honor it and the life that it gave to my newborn.
Thank you for having your site out there and doing what you do.
Anne’s story (New York, NY)
As far as the capsules, I was surprised at how quickly my mood shifted after I started taking them.
Of course you never know what’s doing what but it would have to have been quite a coincidence for me to naturally start feeling better the same afternoon that I started with the capsules.
I have told a number of people about them and would recommend them to anyone. It’s interesting, I think they even increased my libido, though that dropped once I stopped taking them.
I’ve put the remainder in the freezer for [my son] and for my own menopause.
So once again, thank you.
Sylvie’s Story (Canada)
I had a really long and intense labor. I was exausted and lost a lot of blood. My Doula cut off a tiny piece of my placenta which I put on the left side of my tongue for five minutes. I did that twice, because I thought I needed it. I found that there was no taste to it.
The next day my husband steamed and dried the placenta. I was able to make 130 capsules out of it. Since it was my first baby, it’s hard to see how much it helped me. But after two weeks of taking the pills I decided to stop (since it was the recommended time).
The day after I stopped, I was super tired and cranky! So I started taking the pills again and the next day I was fine. If I have another baby I will definitely do this again.
I delivered my second child in the wee hours of the morning a few days after Thanksgiving. My baby girl was born at home with my husband, older daughter, and midwife all around me. It was the most amazing experience to birth my little girl at home with no wires, monitors, IVs, invterventions, or surgery. My first child was born via cesarian section, an unnecessary one at that, after an induction 3 days before my due date. If I had only known then what I know now, things would have been different. This time our baby got to choose her own time to be born, 9 days pass my due date. I am eternally grateful that I trusted in my baby, my body, and my midwife and family and chose the path of homebirth.
Later in the day of our baby’s birth my husband contacted Jodi to start the encapsulation process. She was amazingly quick and my capsules were finished in only 2 days. I started taking the pills right away. I dealt with some postpartum depression after the birth of my first child and I was hoping so much that I could avoid it this time. I took the capsules as directed for the first couple of weeks, everyday twice a day.
I can’t say that I didn’t have any emotional trauma early on, but I can say that I feel that my emotional swings weren’t as intense, I was happier, and I was able to remain more calm. I laughed, had visitors over, and enjoyed my babymoon as much as I could. Adjusting from having 1 child to 2 has been really difficult for me and certainly for my older child, so there have been issues along the way and I am thankful that I had the placenta capsules to take when I felt more stressed or overwhelmed.
Sometimes it is hard for someone to self diagnose how they are “doing”. I asked my husband along the way if he felt that me taking the capsules had contributed to my moods being better. He readily agreed that there was a world of difference between how I was after this birth while taking the capsules than I was the first time.
Something I can say for certain is that taking the capsules increased my milk production. I had copious amounts of milk, more than my two nurslings could handle. I nursed, and continue to nurse both my older daughter and my new baby. I had been a little apprehensive about my older child getting some of the placenta and hormones therein from my breastmilk. In talking to Jodi about this concern, she pointed out that my daughter had been nursing my entire pregnancy and was exposed to those hormones throughout. Taking the capsules would be similar to what she had been getting but a lower dosage of hormones than when I was pregnant. I am happy to report that she showed no side effects in the slightest from me taking the capsules while she nursed. My little babe of course had no issues either. Both are happy breastfed gals.
After the initial two weeks, I started to taper down the amount of capsules I took. I dropped down to one dose per day for a while and then it became more sporadic. I felt like I was doing alright and for some reason I had a desire to not go through them so fast and have them when I needed them later. This is likely because I had a later onset of depression after my first child and I felt I needed to save many of them for this later point if it came. I also was sick on and off with a stomach flu and cold so I couldn’t take them during the illness. As time when on, I continued to take some of the capsules here and there sporadically. Each time I took them I noticed an increase in my milk production. Usually the day after I took them I would feel happier and my mood lightened.
One of the things about sharing my story is that I want other women to learn from my mistake. I should have been more careful about taking my capsules and continued taking them on a schedule for some time after my child’s birth. As I sit here typing this, I have been dealing with on and off depression and baby blues. I feel that if I had been better about taking the placenta capsules in a more planned out way and for a longer time that perhaps this could have been avoided or lessened.
Recently I have taken a few of the capsules. My daughter is 5 months old now and the farther away from my babe’s birth we get, the more I notice a side effect. I tend to be very sensitive to hormone fluctuations and when I take the capsules now I get very dizzy. The rush of hormones sends me for a bit of a loop. I still feel much happier the day after I take them and my milk production goes up, but I have to deal with the dizziness as well. It’s a trade off.
So for now, I am dealing with some depression and I continue to take the capsules some to help. In addition to that I am taking some herbal remedies to help balance my hormones and uplift my mood. I am firm in my belief that encapsulating my placenta to help me through this time was the absolute right thing to do. The benefit of it is without question in my mind and my husband’s. I will most certainly be turning to Jodi to encapsulate the placenta again if we are blessed with more children. I will know better then how to take the capsules and I will look forward to an even better postpartum experience.
The capsules are working great. My only complaint is that I wish there was more of them because I totally believe in the benefits of them.
I was taking medication for mild depression before I got pregnant. I had to stop while pregnant and was expecting to have to start after birth.
The capsules have made a huge difference. Not only do I have lots of milk, but the post partum depression is very much under control.
In the first few days of taking the capsules I noticed a difference only right after I took the capsules, but after 4-5 days I noticed that I was feeling better and more “normal” all the time.
[My husband] asked early on in taking the capsules if they were helping (it was his way of saying he was frustrated with my mood swings), and I told him they were working because I hadn’t killed anyone yet! After the first week, even he noticed that I was not as moody and more rational. Thanks for offering such a valuable service.
I had my fourth daughter 5 months ago. With my other three kids, I always experienced some post partum depression. I’d heard about placenta encapsulation and definitely wanted to give it a try.
I feel the capsules helped me a lot! I never felt extremely worn out or unable to do what needed to be done after my son was born.
I think the placenta capsules have really aided my speedy recovery. At three weeks my bleeding is totally gone and my uterus has shrunk quite a bit.
I am not sure about the emotional impact as I have nothing to compare it to since this is my first baby, but I can say that I feel ok overall. [The capsules] have seemed to take the edge off, and I am planning to continue taking them rather than tapering off.
I wanted to do whatever I could to prevent any depression/baby blues after my baby was born, so I decided to get my placenta encapsulated.
Three to four days after my baby was delivered, I was extremely irritable and frustrated. I started taking the capsules on day five and began feeling more energy and much happier only a few hours later.
I am looking for mothers to share their postpartum experiences – please contact me if you would like to see your story here.
The Placenta: It’s Mother Nature, for Mothers. Pass it on!