April 19, 2015

Placenta Powder

Hello all! Thank you all so much for your well wishes. I'm sorry I haven't been around lately, newborn duty is happily consuming a majority of my time. I wanted to drop in to let everyone know we are doing well while we learn our new normal. Part of my new daily routine includes a smoothie of some sort with a sprinkling of dehydrated placenta!

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to consume my placenta. I read about all the amazing benefits, specifically, helping with healing and baby blues/ postpartum depression. After my cesarean with Coleden, I had a very hard time accepting that I had to have the c-section. Frankly, I felt like a failure (I know now I wasn't, but at the time there was no convincing me otherwise), I think it really impacted my healing, both physically (it took over 3 months for my body to find some kind of balance) and mentally. So if there was even a chance that I could help myself, why wouldn't I?

I had planned on encapsulating my placenta, but I'm cheap and didn't want to pay for capsules or the machine. After a little more research, I noticed that some people just cut up raw placenta and toss it into a smoothie. That was a little too extreme for me. Why couldn't I just combine the two ideas, that way, if I was having a rough day, I could just add a little more dehydrated placenta to my smoothie. So that was my goal.

I had planned on starting the process after we got home from the hospital. The next couple of days flew by, on Thursday (the 9th), Jensen had his 2 day appointment. When we left the hospital, Jensen's bilirubin levels were borderline, so at his 2 day check, they tested him again. About an hour later, we got the call that Jensen needed to stay in the hospital because his bilirubin levels were elevated. After a couple of days in the hospital, we were okay'd to head home. We've had a few doctor's appointments since then, the last being yesterday morning, and Jensen is finally at a level the doctor is comfortable with.

Because of the hospital stay, I wasn't able to start the dehydration process for my placenta as soon as I would've liked. I'm really glad that as soon as Josh got it home, he tossed it in the freezer. That part is super important. If you aren't going to get to it within the first 24 hours or so, throw that bad boy into the freezer. Mine took about 48 hours to thaw completely. The following is my actual placenta, and the process I used to prepare it, so if you are squeamish, turn away now. You have been warned :)

This is the step-by-step process I used. I am by no means an expert at this, After researching a few different ideas, I found the Turning Tides website the most informative. I used a modified version of the Tradition Chinese Method, I didn't use any of the herbs, I didn't have any fresh on hand, so I chose not to incorporate that aspect. 

This is how the hospital gave us the placenta. Josh put it in a foam cooler with some ice, once he got home, he put it in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag before putting it in the freezer. 
 I rinsed my placenta with warm water. I did this to remove any blood clots, I also removed the umbilical cord and membranes at this time.
 I lightly steamed the placenta for about 15 minutes on each side, making sure to poke it with a knife to drain any excess blood. 
 After the steam, I sliced the placenta into thin strips and placed them on wax paper-lined dehydrater
 I dehydrated the placenta for about 17 hours at 105 degrees. When the placenta broke in half easily, I knew it was done. It's really important for it to be completely dry before moving to the next step, you don't want the placenta to stick to to the blades.
 I tossed the placenta into our Vitamix and blended until it was the texture of sand. Some people use a mortar and pestle, I don't have a set, and I thought the blender would be faster.
 I poured it into an old glass mason jar. ^^That is my whole placenta. It doesn't seem like much, but I hope it will have a positive impact on my postpartum healing.

That's it. It ended up being a lot easier than I thought it would be. Luckily, I had Josh to help me with quite a few of the steps. Yay for non-squeamish husbands! Hopefully in the near future I'll remember to do a post with an update on how the consumption process is going. Until then, thank you for reading to the end, I know placenta talk isn't for everyone! 

1 comment:

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