Yup, this is my personal testimony about how encapsulating my placenta. I am pretty excited to be able to finally share the benefits of taking placenta capsules first hand! My story isn’t exactly typical though. I would love to tell you it was a night and day difference from my first baby’s postpartum but sadly that was not the case.
If you have read my other posts you know that I did not encapsulate for my first baby because I thought it was weird and crazy but after seeing the benefits from other moms I was determined to have it done for my next child. (Read the whole story here.)
So, this labor/delivery was quite a bit more difficult (and painful) than the last. He was in the posterior (sunny side up) and weighed a whopping 10 pounds, 4 ounces. The labor was long, about 12 hours, and the delivery was, I believe, the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I am so grateful for my midwives (yes, I was lucky enough to have two!) and my amazing husband. It is a fact I would not have made it without them.
My son, Archer, had a tough first minute but came through beautifully. I had lost quite a bit of blood. Not enough for a transfusion but enough that I was extremely weak and anemic. I drank a placenta smoothie shortly after the birth to help slow the bleeding. I remember thinking it was the best tasting food I had ever had in my life and it did indeed help to slow the bleeding.
Archer had developed TTN (transient tachypnea) which is basically rapid breathing. His was caused by being delivered in the posterior position which did not allow all the fluid to be expelled from his lungs. His case was not serious but it made me crazy! I was an anxious mess. I was scared to sleep because I was scared if I did he would stop breathing and I wouldn’t notice. I spent the majority of the first three days of his life crying and exhausted.
On day three my capsules where finished and I could finally start taking them. With my direction, my wonderful husband did the encapsulation. It took a little longer than normal to get the capsules done because he needed a day to recover from the birth too. Due to the size of my son my placenta was also large and I got over 200 capsules! Almost immediately after taking my first dosage of capsules I started to feel better. I had more energy and more color. My anxiety about the TTN and all around noticeably decreased. Everyone that had seen me the days prior commented on how much better I looked. I credited it completely to the capsules.
My 2 year old daughter also came home on the third day after staying with family for the birth. I gave her a capsule mixed with food too. She was going through a transition as well and I think the capsules really helped for those first few days.
Everything was looking bright and cheery until day six. I have an immune disorder and consequently get sick frequently. The birth really lowered my immune system and I got the flu, as did my 2 year old. It was terrible. I honestly remember thinking: having the flu while recovering from a difficult birth with a newborn and a sick, needy 2 year old must be what hell is like. It took us over two weeks to recover and during that time I couldn’t take my placenta capsules due to the contraindications. I didn’t get to take my capsules again until I was over three weeks postpartum. I refer to the weeks that I was sick and couldn’t take my capsules as “the dark time”. It seems funny now but I was totally serious then.
In the 2 months following the birth I was sick most of the time with one thing or another. The flu, tonsillitis, mastitis, and a cold. Yeah, it was fun. The time I needed the capsules the most I couldn’t take them. So, here I am 15 weeks postpartum and I still have about half of my capsules left. Many women have stopped taking them or ran out by two months but not me. I keep thinking I should freeze them for use later but I find myself taking just two more anyway. They make me feel sane in a life with small children which is anything but. I wish the day that I run out never comes!
So, from my own experience do I think encapsulating my placenta was worth it? YES!!! Even though I didn’t get to use them much in the first 8 weeks, they were (and are) a life saver. They got rid of those annoying hot flashes from hormone fluctuations, and they help me to be level headed. I feel happier and healthier from taking my placenta capsules and hope all new moms have the opportunity to feel the same.