why you should consume your placenta

The top reasons why and how you should eat your placenta

Those of you who know me are asking how whether you should eat your placenta or not hasn’t been covered already.

Those of you who don’t know me:

why you should consume your placenta

 

Placentas are cool. Like, seriously freakin’ cool. This neato organ develops and grows with a baby in utero. It acts as a nutrient deliverer, toxin remover, immune building lifeline for the developing fetus. Plus, it’s edible.

It’s literally all that and a bag of placenta chips (if you choose to go down that route, of course).

Okay, I’ve now made two inferences to consuming this amazing body part. You’re probably wondering WTF?!

Fair enough, but let me explain.

Health benefits if you choose to eat your placenta:

15 ways your body changes after birth (that nobody else will tell you)

 

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increased breastmilk supply

-decreased potential of postpartum depression

-assists in healing from birth

-increase in energy

-iron supply

This is a highly debated subject amongst Western and Chinese cultures. Traditional Chinese medicine has been practicing placenta consumption for hundreds of years and believes it has many benefits. Most Western medicine practitioners, however, tend to be more skeptical and don’t promote it often. Most of the information surrounding the efficacy of if you should eat your placenta is anecdotal in Western society.

I suggest you do your research, but keep an open mind. There isn’t hard, scientific fact surrounding the benefits if you eat your placenta so you have to make your own conclusion on the matter. My opinion is that it worked for me, and I would suggest it for most women who have just given birth!

Personally, I’ve done it after three births. I experienced most of the noted benefits, although I did experience post-partum depression with my third and fourth babies (keep in mind that I’ve also struggled with anxiety and depression for many years-so post-partum depression was probably inevitable to some degree).

My experiences were amazing and I have no regrets except one: Finding out about the possibility of placenta truffles after I decided our fourth would be our last baby!

Ways to consume your placenta:

-smoothie

-chocolates

-encapsulation

-tincture

-added to a meal (maybe don’t disclose to anyone who’s eating at your house that you’ve done this before)

 

I opted for encapsulation each time. The placenta gets sliced, dehydrated, and ground up. Then, the powder gets put into capsules. You can definitely do this yourself, but I arranged with a doula while I was pregnant to have her do all the hard work. I figured I’d done enough hard work and didn’t need to add any more pressure on myself. Before my placenta was taken to my lovely doula I snagged a small piece of raw placenta to add to a smoothie while I waited for my capsules. I added enough delicious berries and yogurt to not taste a single bit of that placenta.

**Note: Nobody wants a sip of your placenta smoothie. Don’t offer.

When she brought back my 2 month supply of pills I was thrilled! I took them faithfully every day and was happy with the results.

 

Have you experienced placenta consumption? Tell me how you did it!

 

perineum tears

5 things you need to know about perineum tears

Perineum tears are a reality that many, many folks face during vaginal birth.

Your perineum is the space between your vagina and your anus. When you get a perineum tear it will occur when you’re pushing your baby out of your vagina. Sometimes the skin doesn’t adjust enough or your baby has a larger head, and you tear.

The thought of a perineum tear might make you cringe, and believe me, I’m right there with you.

There are four degrees of perineum tears:

First degree:

This is when the perineum tear only (I say “only” lightly, believe me) affects the perineal skin. This type of tear may or may not require stitches.

Second degree:

This is when the tear goes through the perineal skin and into the muscle (and possibly into the vagina). This tear usually requires stitches.

Third degree:

This tear goes from the vaginal opening to the muscle that surrounds the anus. It’s likely that you’ll require anaesthetic and surgery for this tear.

Fourth degree:

(Give me a second….this one’s a doozy…) This tear is fucked up, I don’t even understand how it is a thing, and I’m sorry to anyone who’s experienced one. This perineal tear runs from your vagina, through the anal sphincter, and into the mucous membrane that lines the rectum. This tear almost entirely will require surgical repair. Don’t worry, these tears are not common.

The healing time entirely depends on the degree of perineum tear you experience, your body, and your healing process.

Can you avoid perineum tears?

So, yes and no. There are ways that you can stretch your perineum while you’re pregnant like in this post about vagina yoga, however, there’s really no telling how big your baby’s head is going to be and how your body is going to respond to birth.

So, what does it feel like to have a perineum tear?

I tore with my first and second babies. They were second degree tears that required a few stitches. By my third and fourth baby, my vagina apparently learned her lesson and I didn’t have any tears.

I can’t say you’re going to “know” when you tore. When your baby is passing through the vaginal opening it hurts. It’s not called the ring of fire for nothing! The pain almost numbs the area so that if you do have a perineum tear you don’t really feel it happen, though.

I can’t speak to a third or fourth-degree tear, but I imagine it would make things more painful.

What happens after you have a perineum tear?

Perineum tears happen to a lot of folks who have a vaginal birth. These are 5 things you need to know about perineum tears!

Again, depending on the degree of tear your recovery will look different.

For first and second degree tears you might need stitches. If this is the case you’ll receive a local anesthetic and then be sutured.

For a third and fourth-degree tear, depending on the severity, you may require a surgery to repair the tear. In this case, your healthcare professional will have a conversation with you regarding how to go about healing your perineum tear.

How can you recover from a perineum tear?

(There are some affiliate links in these suggestions. I am not being paid to endorse these products-I do it because I believe in them-however, I may receive compensation at no cost to you if you purchase through the links)

-Use a peri-bottle instead of wiping. Pat yourself dry instead of wiping. Air dry if you can. Apply some perineum balm after you’re dried off.

-Eat lots of fibrous foods so that you don’t get constipated and feel the need to bear down

Use a perineum spray from Earth Mama Angel.

-Change your pad every 4 hours or so. Make sure that the adrea is clean.

-Leave your stitches alone. If you’re up to it, take a peek with a mirror because it’s kinda crazy cool that you have badass stitches that nobody (?) will get to see, but for the most part avoid touching them.

-Give a sitz bath a go.

(Add this herbal mix to make it even more effective!)

strong-vagina-1

Does childbirth give you a loose vagina?

You may or may not have heard of the “husband stitch” as a preventative measure for a loose vagina after childbirth.

If you have I can hear your “ugh…yes”. If you haven’t, allow me to explain:

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    After you have gone through hours of painful labor and pushed a massive child out of your vagina you may get to experience being stitched up in case you tore or had an episiotomy. A “husband stitch” takes this one step further and one extra stitch is given during the repair of the vaginal tissues after a tear or episiotomy to make sure that there’s no loose vagina as a result of bringing a child into the world.

    Now, this seems like it might be one of those wives tales like in this post, but according to many accounts of women who have experienced it, it is not. While it is not common practice it has been known to happen (mostly with consent from the woman-but not always).

    Your delicate vaginal opening has experienced frequent (?) penetration from something around 3” in diameter (or more. Listen, I’m not here to judge whatsoever. I thought I was fucked, BTW), and if you have a traumatic birth can all contribute to how stretched your vagina gets.

    For example, a person having their first uncomplicated vaginal birth at age 20 may experience a vaginal snap back easier than someone having their third baby with second-degree tears at age 30.

    That said, regardless of your situation, your elastic vagina will spring back to it’s pre-Good Goddess there’s a baby coming out of me-shape, it just may take a bit more time for some folks than others.

    What do I do about a vaginal laxity?

    Hey, just a heads up that I’m an affiliate for the links below. That means that if you purchase one of these courses I may receive a commission. It’ll be “tight” for the both of us! Fuck, I’m hilarious.

    The ol’ husband stitch isn’t the ideal way to fix a loose vagina in any way. in fact, it might be worthwhile to have that chat with your partner, midwife, or doctor to make it entirely clear that you and your vagina would appreciate sutures only up to where your natural vaginal opening begins.

    A bit of a shift in your pelvic floor is normal after you’ve had a baby but there are some preventative measures you can take while you’re pregnant to make sure that you don’t experience anything above and beyond a little bit of extra vaginal elasticity (think prolapse, extended urinary incontinence, painful intercourse).

    Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a corrective measure as well as a preventative measure. That means that you can take a proactive approach to your pelvic floor health now as you sit there in your pregnant glory so that you don’t have to do a more intensive therapy if you do end up needing extra support after you have vaginal childbirth.

    Your pelvic floor is a muscle that needs working out to keep strong. You spend time toning those quads….your pal Your Vagina needs the same TLC!

    Aside from knowing that you’ve got a buff muff (you can keep this info to yourself or share your accomplishment. Either way, you’ve got my mad respect) having a strong pelvic floor will help you with your labor as well as help you avoid issues that may arise in your pelvic floor as a result of childbirth.

    Have a conversation with your healthcare provider about what they recommend, but I highly suggest checking out The Vagina Coach. Not only is she straight up about pelvic floor health, but she offers some amazing courses that will help you get those pelvic floor muscles in tip-top shape for your labor.

    If you’ve already given birth and have been under the impression that you have a “loose vagina” you can find some courses through her that will help you regain elasticity to allow you to get back to things like running without peeing or increased sexual pleasure.

    From my personal experience (in case you didn’t click on the highlighted “I thought I was fucked” text-I talked about my four kids that I had vaginally) strengthening your pelvic floor is an absolute must-do during your pregnancy and as maintenance after your baby is born.