I sat on the cold exam table as my doctor babbled on. I was 36 weeks pregnant with my second little miracle, and I was supposed to sigh at every little pink onesie, to croon at tiny baby socks. I was supposed to be ecstatic and full of joy… but I wasn’t. At all.
She made eye contact and tentatively asked, “Are you alright?”
Sobs began heaving from my chest. How could I explain that I knew somewhere in my heart and brain that I should be ok and I should be excited, but I wasn’t? At least I was aware enough to realize we were at warning level for a snot storm. My doctor listened as I released a barrage of fears and tears, some legitimate and some not so much.
When I was through she began writing on a prescription pad as she said, “Dana, you have depression. You are clinically high risk for severe postpartum depression as well.” I sat up and took the written prescription from her hand, numbly intending to follow her instructions. Until she added the last little bit.
“It will make you feel a little like you don’t care about things. Happy things won’t make you as happy and sad things won’t make you as sad. But it will help you not be so depressed.”
I argued with myself most of the way home: to fill, or not to fill? But then I remembered a friend of mine who dealt with natural remedies for postpartum and other sorts of depression. I called her on my way to the pharmacy, and she immediately suggested that I wait. I was so overwhelmed at that point that I was glad for direction from someone who sounded like she cared. I’m so glad I listened and took her advice, because a little while later I got some information that would be my life preserver in a storm-tossed sea of emotions:
One little link with life-altering results.
I will admit that at the first thought of ingesting my baby’s (and my) placenta, every tiny recess of my cookie-cutter modern society clinical brain completely balked. Sure, I’d seen DOGS lovingly lick their babies clean at birth and *ahem* eat the rest. Heck, cats did it too. And dolphins. Elephants. Wait a minute…
There was not one mammal I could think of that DIDN’T ingest the placenta of its newborn. Except for humans… you know, the ones that have all of the issues with not having enough milk to nurse their infants and things like severe postpartum depression an imbalanced hormones. Hmmm.
Did you know that the placenta of your newborn is an AMAZING, hormone-rich, nourishment-packed part of you and your baby’s life? As your lovely new little one forms within your womb, your body rushes vitamins, minerals and nutrients to this “baby pantry”. The placenta is the life connection via your baby’s umbilical cord that actually connects your body and hers. When you’re sick, tired or stressed out, it is the phenomenal buffer that says, “Peace, rest and happy growing!” to your little miracle.
I read, researched and questioned many things and found out that the Placenta Works team is incredibly knowledgeable in the ways of natural processes and healing. It’s an entirely uplifting and personal experience from start to finish. Benefits of the services include increased energy, increased milk supply, balanced hormones, feelings of elation, decreased weepiness, improved sleep, decreased pain, lessened postnatal bleeding, balanced hormones, feeling more “normal”, increased libido and a uterus that returns to normal size more quickly.
When I read all of these potential benefits, a spark of hope exploded. I didn’t fill my prescription for those lab-mixed chemicals that admittedly might cause me to watch my house burn down while thinking little more than, “Huh, well would you look at that.” Instead, I reserved my placenta encapsulation service. Shortly after I delivered my daughter, my placenta was dehydrated to preserve the natural, live, raw nutrition in it. It was then ground and put into capsules. It made me a little nervous. Would it work?
Within the first thirty minutes of taking the first pills I felt a sense of calm come over me. NO JOKE. And trust me, up until that point it wasn’t a joking matter. Being on blood thinners with other complications, my personal pain was extremely intense with a long, bleak road to recovery. My baby quickly lost weight and my milk wasn’t coming in sufficiently so the doctor told me that I had to supplement with formula.
I will never as long as I live forget the moment later that night when I was literally shocked to hear a sound that was music to my ears and heart: the sound of my baby girl GULPING milk from my breast for the first time.
Over the course of the next days and weeks there were several things that I noticed. Oh, I still had a baby that cried like any infant would. I still had another child with ADHD who had to be taken care of, and I still nursed my daughter regularly. But I also stayed sane. I had unexpected energy, mental clarity, an abundance of milk and a glorious lack of worry. On days when I started to get irritable or frustrated it never failed; I would remember that I had forgotten to take my capsules. Those wonderful, magical, beautiful little pills that were formulated just for me in my biggest time of need.
There is a wide-mouthed trash can that sits faithfully in my kitchen. It was with extreme relief and gratitude that I was cleaning off the counter in a few stolen moments during my baby’s naptime the other day and threw several unneeded papers into its waiting space. One of them was a small white square written in a hasty doctor’s hand that recommended a certain antidepressant medication. No thanks, Doc. I’ve got this!
Read HERE to see about getting your doctor to write a script for placenta encapsulation services instead, and to get it reimbursed!