OKLAHOMA CITY — Libby Hanon loves staying at home with her little stair steps. Ranging in age from seven to four months, she’s got her hands full with four kiddos. When she became pregnant with her fourth, little Asher, she decided to try something different, a home birth.
Then her doula suggested something even more radical.
"I’m like OK. First I’m having my baby at home. And now you’re telling me I should eat my placenta? Just what is going on here? This is too weird," Hanon said.
Having suffered through low milk supply and postpartum depression with her other babies, Hanon was willing to try anything.
"They took my placenta, put it in a Ziploc and put it in the fridge," Hanon said. "It’s a little gross. I’ll admit that."
Taryn Goodwin with Spirited Doula Birth Services made Hanon’s placenta into pills for her.
"I actually first heard about people ingesting their placenta at my child birth class when I was pregnant with my son. There was a lady in my class who was going to be making lasagna with her placenta and I thought, oh," Goodwin said.
Through her research, Goodwin started learning the benefits.
She says the placenta contains stress relieving hormones.
And when a new mom loses it after birth, her hormone levels plummet back to pre-pregnancy levels, which can be a major cause of the baby blues or postpartum depression.
"If we supplement with the placenta early on, mothers are reporting more milk, better healing, more energy, better immune response. They call them their happy pills,” Goodwin said.
The placenta is dehydrated shortly after birth.
Then Goodwin actually grinds it into a fine powder which is then made into pills.
"The process is a traditional Chinese medicine process so it’s techniques that have been used for centuries," Goodwin said.
Goodwin, a self-proclaimed placenta geek, encapsulates 10 to 20 of them a month and says the moms’ reactions are proof it works.
"A lot of my clients are not the hippy, granola, Birkenstock-wearing moms that are saying, ‘I’m excited to eat my placenta!’ They’re the moms who are willing to do anything to not experience that deep sadness and pain experienced in prior pregnancies."
"I just can’t even believe this. It’s freaky. You know I’m eating my placenta and I’m feeling great," Hanon said.
Hanon says she has the energy of a teenager, abundant milk supply and has suffered no postpartum depression.
"The energy, I am telling you. It is crazy," Hanon said.
Hanon is a believer; she hopes others can get past the weirdness.
"Coming into the fourth time around, just that it can be so different. It can be wonderful," she said.
For more information on placenta encapsulation, go to Spirited Doula Birth Services at www.SpiritedDoula.com.