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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Placenta Diaries

I first heard about ingesting the placenta from a friend who was trying to get pregnant.  She had been trying to conceive and was informed about the benefits of placenta encapsulation.  She contacted a good friend and obtained this friend's placenta for encapsulation.  She ingested this friend's placenta pills and true enough - eventually naturally conceived her first born.
I had been toying with the idea of encapsulating my placenta and already contacted several specialists before I gave birth.  However, when I brought up the idea with my doctor, she told me that she was unsure of the hospital policy about it.  Further inquiries made by myself and my doula had no results.  We could not find out whether the hospital where I was going to give birth at allowed the release of placentas. I then decided not to book an encapsulation specialist until I could get my hands on my placenta.

So why do I want to ingest my placenta? If you visit this page, you will learn all about the benefits of this practice - from beating baby blues, restoring mother's strength, increasing milk supply, etc. etc.  You can also read this post from Mama Pokie and learn about the two ways to prepare your placenta.  Meanwhile, Emma Kwasnica posted photos of how she encapsulated her daughter's placenta at home.
What happened to Erik's placenta?  After several inquiries, I was finally able to find a friendly nurse while I was already in labor at the hospital.  She was able to find out that the hospital allowed the release of placentas for religious reasons.  I signed a waiver - which stated that the placenta was for religious reasons, not to be ingested and that the placenta may have been treated with some chemical additives (disturbing!).  Plus I was informed that we could only get the placenta on the day of my discharge (2 days after delivery) from the pathology lab.  At that time, I hadn't decided whether I wanted to encapsulate the placenta or bury it but really wanted to take it with me.
After giving birth to Erik, I signed a waiver and my placenta was placed in a plastic container.  I didn't see it until discharge day and Stan picked it up from the Labor, Delivery and Recovery Unit where it was kept refrigerated.  Luckily, the hospital made follow-up calls checking up their clients and I was able to confirm that the hospital now had a new policy on the release of the placentas.  Yes, they do still require patients to sign a waiver but the placenta is stored in the refrigerator in the LDR Unit and not transferred to the pathology lab.  Plus the LDR Unit does not add anything to the placenta.  As soon as it is delivered, it is placed in a plastic container and refrigerated until discharge day.
On d-day, Stan and I were prepared with ziplocs and newspapers.  I scooped up the placenta from the plastic container while a squeamish Stan held the ziploc open. We then packed it all up in a newspaper and put it in the freezer when we got home.
I was given pitocin to jumpstart my labor but had a natural delivery (no epidural) so I decided to have my placenta encapsulated.  I found an encapsulation specialist who charged a reasonable fee and went for it.   I also confirmed that despite being given pitocin, I can still have my placenta encapsulated since I had an otherwise healthy pregnancy.
Erik's placenta - encapsulated
Since giving birth, I had already ingested several of the pills during days that I was feeling quite low or experiencing the baby blues.  I kept the rest to share to my sister and possibly to ingest when I am in menopause.
In Manila, there is no placenta encapsulation specialist.  But you can opt to do it at home using the recipe that Emma Kwasnica used which is posted in Dr. Momma.  You can also choose to contact Sr. Regina Liu who can help you encapsulate it.  But you will have to dry and grind the placenta yourself.  She does give instructions on how to do it.
If you are feeling squeamish and don't want to ingest it, you can still opt to keep your placenta and plant it in your garden with a tree.  It will be a great memento to your child of how he or she was nourished by your placenta while in your womb.

Update: 26 June 2014
Thanks for sharing Ginquelrus Pastries!  There is now someone who does placenta encapsulation in the Philippines - Celirma Horn of Inunan.  Contact her at celirma(at)gmail(dot)com.

29 June 2014
Aside from placenta encapsulation, Irina Otmakhova also offer several other placenta services such as placenta printmaking and cord keepsakes, placenta smoothie and placenta tincture.  Visit her website and contact her www.consciousbirthmanila.com to get details.

11 comments:

Einna Gelilio said...

Whew! that's huge info! Thanks for sharing, we are planning to conceive hopefully this year. I'll try to get as much info in the hospital about this. But have'nt decided yet if i'll do the same. We'll see....

Btw,i'm inviting you to join: Hi! im inviting you to join: http://www.mommytots.com/2012/01/what-to-expect-book-review-and-giveaway.html#more Thanks!

Bessie Colet Campillo said...

Wow, I had no idea this was possible!

applesanddumplings said...

Hmm.. first time I heard about this. Interesting!

Anne @ GreenEggs&Moms said...

Wow, I think I'd rather plant it in the garden.. :) But that's just me.

charmedmom said...

this is the first time I heard about encapsulation, my daughter's was buried together with a book and some pens I guess by my Dad in the backyard...

Mom-Friday said...

This is just so amazing! But I don't think I can ingest my own :)
Did you say "...in menopause"? That's many years from now...no expiration? :)

Jenny said...

yes, as long as you keep it in your freezer. 

Mom-Friday said...

Oh, yeah that makes sense. :)

Darkhalf said...

Uhmmm... *squeamish*... maybe I will "forget" about mine back at the hospital and let them dispose of it.  :D

Topaz Horizon said...

I heard some hospitals sell the placenta to businessmen or to some people whose race I will not name. Swerte daw kasi if you bury a placenta sa ilalim ng shop, cornerstone ng office building kasi the business will grow.

Jenny said...

yes, different practices.. so what have you decided ;)

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