Let me start by saying, well before I ever got pregnant, I could go from happy go-lucky to depressed in less than a few seconds. I’ve had my struggles with depression and it can be a scary, tough, dark thing. Knowing that my mother struggled with it, I was very scared of post-partum depression. I had chosen to have a child because of the joy I thought it could bring; I didn’t want that joy sullied by depression. I didn’t want to see myself with my child wishing I wasn’t or wishing I was somewhere else, or just not caring one way or another. From the very moment I found out I was pregnant, the fear of depression lurked just over my shoulder in the peripherals of my mind.
Just a month or so before having my daughter we took a “birth” class at a local organization that promoted natural births, midwives and doulas. It was for the most part a completely useless class full of medical fear mongering while failing to prepare me what-so-ever with the tools I actually needed to make it through a natural birth. Maybe a few less hours of watching a video of a woman acting as her own midwife while water birthing her baby in a see-through tub and a little more time spent teaching me how to meditate and focus and breath through pain would have kept me away from the epidural when the time came. But what the class did do for me was plant a disgusting seed that, the way they presented it, revolted me so completely it wouldn’t leave my brain and thus ended up becoming something that I swear by to this day.
You see, that class was the day I found out about eating the placenta to stave off post-partum depression.
Yes, I did say it was a disgusting idea no? The way they talked about it, when my husband and I left the class, we were so repulsed we could barely eat. Who would do that crazy thing? Yes, they had mentioned encapsulation but what we mainly heard was eating your placenta. UGH! We’re not animals! And what’s more, we are vegetarians. That just seems to go against every last thing I’m about. Except, I was terrified of post-partum depression and I hate medicine and wanted to breastfeed and am a big fan of homeopathic solutions and the fact was, if I did need anti-depressants, I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed and… wait, I wasn’t actually contemplating that crazy idea?
In truth, no. I was dead set against it, I mean dead repulsed by it. But then I saw the post on and thought, wait, maybe this isn’t such a bad idea after all. I started to read more about it still I was pretty grossed out, but it wasn’t long before I realized that this… THIS is what I needed to do to try and prevent the dreaded baby blues. I found the website which led me to finding a certified encapsulation specialist. Funny enough, who happened to be a doula through the organization that did nothing for my education of birth, (she wasn’t that classes instructor either) but hey, she did a fantastic job caring for me afterwards and in fact, I can say if I did get pregnant again (don’t bet on it one way or another) I’d seriously consider hiring her as my doula as well.
I don’t need to reiterate what HunnyDu said in her post. You can read that. But I do need to tell you about how it has helped me fight off the blues. The fact is, I’ve barely had them. I followed their dosing instructions to the T and I think during the entire time I was taking them regularly, I didn’t have a single day of sadness. After I finished regular doses, for the most part I haven’t had any depression either, but there are days, and THIS is why encapsulating my placenta was the smartest move I made in all of what comes from baby making. Whenever I notice that I’m blue, or have been angry for longer than I should be; whenever I start to feel I’m not my normal self, I go and take one or two of these pills and guaranteed, within an hour or so, it’s gone. I’m back to my self, enjoying my daughter and my husband and life and it has on occasion had the sense that the color was poured back into my world.
You can eat your placenta, plenty of people make it up like lasagna or something like that. I couldn’t have done it but not just for the ick factor, the real bonus to encapsulation is that the benefits are almost lifelong. As long as I have the pills I can take them when having a bout. My daughter can take them if she has a bout. When I hit menopause I have these to help me balance my body and mind. I have in my freezer a tool for a better life all because I chose to encapsulate my placenta.
I’ve thought long and hard about how to share this with readers, plenty of people will judge, and frankly that’s fine, I did. But I really think doing this has saved my life and started my relationship out with my daughter on the right foot. As such, I need to tell people I need future moms to understand that while it can’t guarantee you won’t get the baby blues, post-partum depression whatever you want to call it; it does provide you the single best weapon to fight against it. And when you look at the cost of it verses buying a fancy crib or bedding or outfits or baby gadget, that is so much more worth the $300 bucks or so I paid to have it done. And I hope you think so too.