Hudson Valley Parent

HVP December 2018

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Page 36 of 47 n Hudson Valley Parent 37 Additionally, according to PSP Courtney Durfee, the most common reason birthing parents seek out her services is because of negative previous postpartum experiences. Over the past decade, I have crossed paths with several women who chose to ingest their placentas, mostly via encapsulation. Every one of them described the practice as beneficial to their postpartum mental and physical health. Hearing these stories led me to start contemplating placentophagy for myself as my husband and I began trying to conceive another child. Shortly after our second daughter arrived, a nurse placed my placenta in a cooler on ice and handed it off to my husband. He, in turn, transferred my placenta to our waiting PSP standing in the hospital lobby. My reasons for consuming my placenta were not unlike other's. A difficult postpartum experience with my first child had elicited fears of a repeat experience with my second. I certainly wasn't alone in my worries. Kingston mother of five Julia Shober had a mindset very similar to mine. "I had heard about the benefits of ingesting placenta," says Shober. "After having a rough time following the birth of my second child, I decided to give it a try. I took the pills for the first few months after the birth of my third son and felt more energetic and less depleted." Like Shober, ingesting my encapsulated placenta led to a much-improved postpartum experience. Over several months post-childbirth, while I took my placenta pills I found my moods less extreme, my milk supply much improved and my energy level way up. My placenta yielded a total of 219 capsules (which is atypical; 80-120 pills per placenta is more the norm). My amazed PSP told me my placenta was the largest she'd ever seen! Additionally, she prepared me a placenta tincture, which I plan to use during menopause. She also gave me two placenta prints, both of which are currently framed and displayed in my living room. Where's the proof? Sercombe advises, "Medically, there are no proven benefits to placentophagy." She adds, "Effects are still being studied. Some of the The results are in! We asked our followers on social media to weigh in on the idea of placenta consumption! We polled our moms to find out how many had consumed their placenta after giving birth. 8 percent said yes. 92 percent said no. Would you give it a try with your next baby? positive benefits of placenta pills could be credited to having a placebo effect on postpartum health." However, she continues, "Risk-wise, there are no negative effects." Placebo effect or not, facts are facts: the time that I took encapsulated placenta pills was a significantly better experience postpartum than the time that I did not. What the real reason is for that, I do not know with certainty. What I do know is this: I am grateful for placentophagy, and I would absolutely do it again. Jill Valentino is a wife, mom of two, elementary educator and lifelong resident of the Hudson Valley. In the wee hours of the evening she moonlights as an essayist, wannabe novelist and classic rock mommy review blogger. To read more, visit her website at • A happy, safe and caring environment encouraging a child's physical, creative, and intellectual growth • Serving children of all abilities • Early and after care hours available Kathy Masloski, Director 845-883-5151 40 Park Lane, Highland, NY 12528 845-293-5600 228 Ward Street, Montgomery, NY 12549 AN INTEGRATED PRESCHOOL PROGRAM Learning Together, where children explore the world the way they learn best, through play!

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