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PLACENTAS & POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

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PLACENTAS & POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Katherine Romrell

PLACENTA SERVICES BY DOULA:
Maggie Watkins

*THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST
*I’M NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
*PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH BEFORE MAKING A DECISION.

 

Yes! You read that right!
Today we’re talking about placentas and how I consumed mine and how I think every women should too! Before your gagging reflexes start reacting, let me clarify what I mean. I had my placenta dehydrated and encapsulated! Yes, like herbal capsules! And by consumed, I mean I kicked them back with a glass of water. Zero taste! Shoutout to my girlfriend Jess Norris, whom very confidently told me consuming my placenta needed to be a part of my game plan this 2nd time around for it’s health benefits; mainly fighting against PPD, and she was right!

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

There are soooo many health benefits to consuming your placenta. Some (KEYWORD: SOME) of them include:

  • Increase in milk production

  • Increased energy levels

  • Decrease in stress levels

  • Decrease in postpartum baby blues/depression

  • Reduced PostPartum Bleeding

  • Restored Iron Micronutrients

  • Restored Multi Nutrients

The benefits I’ve experienced:

  • Increase in milk production
    Though my nursing story ends differently, (more on that later), I most definitely had more supply this time around.

  • Decrease in postpartum baby blues/depression.
    Yes! My husband, my family, and I noticed a huge difference. I’ll give you the scientific details in a sec.

  • Restored Iron Micronutrients
    I’m iron deficient, so this was an immediate yes.

  • Restored Multi Nutrients: Healthy Skin & Hair.
    HAIR: My hair and skin have never looked better. Most of you know I’ve struggled with an eating disorder throughout my life. I was coming out of a bad phase right before I got pregnant. I noticed my hair starting to thin out while I was pregnant. I went to a dermatologist in TEARS, and she said it was because sometimes your body takes a while to heal after you’ve malnourished yourself. During pregnancy, your baby will take all your nutrients before you, and it didn’t help that I had THE WORST morning sickness throughout my 1st trimester. (Head in bowl multiple times a day). I took 3 different types of prenatals and a few other vitamins during this pregnancy to make sure baby got everything he needed and to make up for loss, but ironically, my hair did not kick into turbo mode till after baby was born. Fast forward to postpartum stage, My hair has been growing super quick and has been thicker than ever. I’ve also been back on birth control since week 4 of postpartum, and I don’t know about you but birth control has never been friends with my hair.

    SKIN: My skin has been great too. I feel like the pregnancy glow you’re promised during pregnancy completely skipped me this time. Refer back to malnutrition & morning sickness 🤦🏻‍♀️. But (call me crazy) I feel like it wasn’t till after I gave birth and started consuming my placenta that I started to radiate a bit. And your skin is usually a good indicator of what your insides are digesting. If you’re eating like crap, your skin is going to reflect that and visa-versa. So…Coincidence? I think not.

 

WHY PLACENTA HELPS WITH POSTPARTUM

During pregnancy, your hormones increase a significant amount (duh).
After you give birth, you have a dramatic drop in hormones (estrogen and progesterone). THAT dip in hormones alone can trigger postpartum depression/anxiety. And if you’re prone to depression or anxiety before pregnancy and/or during pregnancy, your chances are higher. I deal with anxiety on a regular basis and i had baby blues during this pregnancy. So I was preparing myself.

Consuming your placenta helps in this department because it helps put back the dosage of hormones your body was used to during pregnancy. So when you first start consuming your placenta, you start at a high dose and then start weening yourself off to avoid said hormone drop!

 

MY POSTPARTUM EXPERIENCE
THIS TIME AROUND

This 2nd time around, though PPD did start creeping up on me, it was NOTHING like my first time. (You can read about it HERE). The first time around was very intense and scary.

However, there’s only sooooo much you can do, right? Some things are just out of our control. The biggest culprit here is/are hormones. Consuming my placenta was definitely a game changer and so helpful in the front end of things and in preventing that drastic hormone drop we just talked about. But there’s one more hormone change I can’t seem to escape and that’s Oxytocin. Yup. You read that right. Not everyone reacts positively to Oxytocin. WHO WOULD’VE THOUGHT!

Oxytocin, The “Love” hormone you release when you give birth but is delayed when you have a c-section. It’s also referred to as a Two-Faced Hormone. Read the following articles that explain the evidence:

I learned about this dilemma the first time around, with Leo.
I went to my OB for PPD help, and he said “Stop nursing”. I dead scuffed at him and asked him if he was serious. He was serious. It had been close to 3 months and Leo STILL hadn’t latched on, so I was currently pumping (And PS: The very little milk I produced, did not sit right with Leo’s tummy ever). So my OB said that’s even more reason to close the floodgates. He explained the other side to Oxytocin. This gutted me because I didn’t want to give up on nursing. Besides ALL THE BENEFITS that nursing has, I also felt like this was a right of passage as a women that I didn’t want to miss out on, and I was desperately seeking to bond with my newborn through the post-partum struggle.

So…. THIS time, I was already planning on skipping nursing.
Kinda.
I did nothing to help my milk come in. I thought to myself “If my milk comes in, then I’m gonna give it a try. And if it doesn’t, then thats okay”. Newsflash, your milk comes in either way. But a part of me was hoping that maybe I wouldn’t react bad to oxytocin again because I so badly wanted to experience nursing. But no.

A week had gone by since I gave birth to Luke and I was doing just fine.….. until my milk came in. Cue oxytocin.

It was a night & day difference. And immediately after my milk came in, I was a different person. I was sad, mad, moody, snappy, anxious, couldn’t stop crying, and I could feel the depression starting to set in. I was so stubborn about nursing that I even set myself up further. “If Luke latches on, then we’re nursing” but by almost week 2, Luke was very comfortable with a bottle, so he didn’t. And thank goodness, because oxytocin is not my friend.

 

THANK GOD FOR MAMA’S

Bless my mom. No matter how much I thanked her for coming to help with Luke, I don’t think she will EVER know HOW grateful I am for her and everything she’s done. My mom got up with Leo every morning, made sure we were fed every meal without us having to lift a finger, took Leo toy & cloth shopping, took Leo out to play, bought goodies for all of us, grocery shopped for us, comforted me and supported me through my back and forth of “Maybe I’ll nurse. No, I won’t. But maybe I will!” And she even rebooked her flight at the beginning of all of this (And ate the cost) due to my C-section rescheduling shenanigans! And can you believe after EVERYTHING she did for me and us, that one morning I had the audacity to be a little snappy with her because she couldn’t figure out how to use my coffee machine. My heart breaks every time I think of that stupid moment. I’m not even sure if she noticed but this memory will haunt me forever. She’s a saint and she deserves a private island.

And as if we hadn’t already gotten mega spoiled by my mom, my in laws came to stay with us when my mom went home. My in laws are just the kinda people that are magical with kids and fun to hang out with too. They were kind enough to take both of the boys out during the day at the same time so that Chris and I could catch up on some sleep. It was heavenly! And they SPOILED our boys good. Took them cloth & toy shopping too! Haha! We were so thankful they were able to come be with us during that postpartum stage. It was incredibly helpful.

 

THINGS TO KNOW

  • Your placenta is composed of powerful properties such as; Prolactin, Cortisone, Interferon, Prostaglandins, Hemoglobin, Urokinase, Gammaglobulin, micronutrients, and Thyroid stimulating hormone.

  • My doula used the Traditional Chinese Method to dehydrate and encapsulate my placenta.

  • I would highly suggest figuring out what dose works best for you.
    For example: My dosage recommendation was to start of with 2 Pills/ 3x’s Daily the first week and then go down from there but when I went down the following week, I started getting bitchy, so I went one more week with the high dose before moving down. (The problem could’ve also been that- that was around the same time my milk came in). However, I’ve continued to alter my dose a bit here & there and I’ve been feeling great.

  • Do your research when hiring the person who will preserve your placenta. There are many articles that are against consuming your placenta, but it all comes down to the method and the sterilizing environment used during the process. And they should of-course be certified in their field. This isn’t just some side hustle anyone can pick up and do.

  • If you have any illness or diseases that could be passed down, consuming your placenta is advised against.

  • Do your research about all of this. The best decisions are made when you are well informed.

 

IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING….

…with postpartum, know that I think you’re a warrior. Truly.
PPD/PPA is no joke and it should never be taken lightly, or be made a shamed of. If you feel like you are struggling with it now, pretty please let this post be the push and courage that you need to find help. Whether if it’s having your placenta preserved, hopping on anti-depressants, or talking about it to someone who can help. There is no wrong way and you will be heard and helped! You are amazing!