WHAT ARE THE BABY BLUES?
More than two-thirds of mothers having babies experience the “Baby Blues”, defined by anxiety, mood swings, irritability, restlessness or crying for no apparent reason.
The “Baby Blues” typically start on the fourth or fifth day after delivery and can last for several weeks thereafter. Usually, the body adapts by the second week after delivery when your hormones slowly come back into balance, but it can be a very challenging time nonetheless.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?
For nine months, high levels of progesterone course through your body thanks to that fantastic organ called the placenta, responsible for keeping your baby in, and keeping your mood high. But when the placenta is delivered it stops secreting progesterone.
By the forth or fifth day, your body’s progesterone reserves are depleted (to levels even lower than before you were pregnant), leaving you weepy and confused just as you are trying to get breastfeeding established. As if breastfeeding isn’t challenging enough, add to that drastic mood fluctuations, and you can understand why the majority of lactation consultants are called in on days four and five after birth.
Combined with sleep deprivation, hormonal deficiencies, anemia and other predisposing factors, the “Baby Blues” can easily turn into postpartum depression, a longer period of prolonged sadness, fatigue, irritability and mood swings lasting a couple of months to a year or more.
Postpartum depression is no joke. It is estimated that one in eight women will develop postpartum depression after birth, and many of these cases go undiagnosed. Left untreated, there can be devastating effects to both mom and baby.
What’s worse, the anti-depressant medication used to treat postpartum depression enters a mother’s milk, which is then transmitted to her baby. Because of this, many women chose to go untreated, or stop breast-feeding altogether. Not an easy choice when you’re already dealing with depression.
WHO SHOULD TAKE PLACENTA CAPSULES?
Every woman can benefit from a little extra energy after nine months of pregnancy and giving birth. But placenta encapsulation is particularly helpful for women who have had difficulty getting pregnant, have experienced postpartum hemorrhage or have experienced the baby blues or postpartum depression with previous births.
WILL THE HOSPITAL RELEASE THE PLACENTA TO ME?
Most hospitals will allow the placenta to be released right away and often have a form authorizing its release. In certain cases the placenta is released when you are discharged and in those cases it is kept refrigerated until you leave. In either case, please contact me immediately after delivery if during the day, or first thing in the morning if delivering in the middle of the night.
WHAT IF MY PLACENTA IS SENT TO PATHOLOGY?
In certain cases your doctor may chose to send the placenta to pathology. If this happens be sure to tell them not to add any FORMALIN, a form of formaldehyde, which would render the placenta unusable. In some cases they may be able to take just a small piece of the placenta to be examined and release the rest to you immediately. The placenta can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. After that it would need to be frozen to ensure freshness, then thawed before preparation.
Where is the encapsulation process done?
I have been doing placenta encapsulation for eleven years, before any standards of practice were established for the field. As a primary care practitioner in California, I am trained in sterile technique, clean needle technique, and safe food handling, and have operated according to those standards long before any guidelines were introduced to the practice of placenta encapsulation. I do offer the choice of preparing your placenta in your home or mine. Most of my clients have requested that the process be done out of my home, so they can rest with their baby and family. But that choice is up to you. I do not charge more for one location over another, and the sterilization process is the same in either location.