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Is It Safe to Eat My Placenta?

 

Our answer: Not necessarily. 

A recent warning was put out by the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC), advising mothers to reconsider placenta consumption to avoid the potential risks it may carry. This statement was triggered by an incident where an infant became ill from a late-onset Group-B Streptococcal infection. The infants mother had been taking placenta capsules, and it was confirmed that the capsules contained the GBS bacteria. 

The concerns being brought forward about the risks of placenta consumption are not a foreign concept to In Bloom.

In fact, this case highlights the very reason only a ProDoula, LLC,  trained Postpartum Placenta Specialist, will handle your placenta. ProDoula’s placenta training is rigorous and thorough, and sets the highest industry standards for this practice, seeking first to prevent the spread of pathogens due to improper handling and processing. 

You can read Pro Doula's position statement on the recent CDC article, here. 

While it can’t be confirmed that the contaminated capsules are the cause of the infection,  the details of the CDC article imply that risks could have been minimized on all fronts, had processing standards been stricter. We know: 

 

The placenta was transported by the encapsulator from the hospital, and processed in her own space. 

According to CDC’s statement, “The mother confirmed that she had registered with Company A to pick up and encapsulate her placenta for ingestion.” Knowledge of how the placenta was transported, stored, cleanliness of the environment, or the potential for cross-contamination from other placenta processing in the environment it was exposed to, are all unknown.

Our encapsulator does not handle your placenta until we arrive at your home. We provide our clients with handling and storage instructions that follow food-safe practices, and transport guidelines that keep in line with World Health Organizations protocol for organ transport. While placenta pick-up and drop-off by an encapsulator may seem convenient, it carries too many unknown variables to deem it safe. We only process in our clients home, following the protocols set out by our Blood Borne Pathogens certification. 

 

“According to Company A’s website, the placenta is cleaned, sliced, and dehydrated at 115°F–160°F (46°C–71°C), then ground and placed into about 115–200 gelatin capsules, and stored at room temperature.”

We don’t know the exact temperature the placenta was dehydrated, which means it may have been dried to a temperature that allows the potential for bacteria to grow and multiply. Storage of any meat product should be in the fridge or freezer, not room temperature. 

Our encapsulation process adheres strictly to Food Safe protocols, which require that meat be steamed and dehydrated to an internal temperature of 160F, in order to eliminate harmful bacteria. We advise that pills be refrigerated for up to three months, and frozen if not consumed within that time frame. 

 

When considering placenta encapsulation, be sure:

  • You are given adequate information on how to transport and store your placenta safely
  • All processing and handling of the placenta happens in your space, under your care. 

  • The placenta is cooked and dehydrated to an internal temperature that adheres to the food-safe protocols

  • You are given proper instructions for storage of your pills

  • Your encapsulator is trained and accountable to a recognized certifying organization 

  • Your encapsulator holds liability insurance for this service

  • Your encapsulator carries a current Canadian Blood Born Pathogens (BBP) Certification 

 

This  recent incident has only solidified how strongly we feel about the future regulation of this industry, and our commitment to adhering to the safest protocols, in order to offer the safest option for placenta encapsulation. If you are a care provider wanting more information, or pregnant and have questions about our process, we are happy to discuss any questions or concerns you might have. 

How to avoid Mother's Day Disappointment (and not feel guilty about it)

This is your day: a day that celebrates the blood, sweat, tears, love, kisses, hugs, long nights, early mornings, and reheated cups of coffee that you have sacrificed for your the tiny human(s) you made!

I think every mom has some expectation of what Mother's Day should be like, and I don't know a single one of us that hasn't felt a little let down or disappointed at the end of the day, followed by feelings of guilt for not being more grateful for the family we have and the effort they made. 

Maybe you just wanted lunch at your favourite restaurant, or a relaxing pedicure in the middle of the day. You might have hoped for breakfast in bed, with handmade cards slid underneath a hot cup of coffee, with the only three words that matter in the world. Maybe you just wanted a nap! 

Are you selfish? No. 
Are you worth it? Yes!
So, how can you have the mothers day you hope for? 

Tell them what you'd like.

It's actually THAT simple. 

What are the little things you long for to make you feel special, valued, and celebrated? Those things; say them.

It might feels a bit strange or contrived to clearly communicate what you want; it's not something we are well rehearsed at doing. But how many partners would breathe a sigh of relief if they knew exactly what it would take to make your Mothers Day special, to celebrate all you do and who you are to your family? I'd venture to guess it would be more than few. 

We aren't always the best at clearly communicating our needs, carving out time for ourselves, or asking for what we wish for. But this day? Its 'll about you, so why don't you tell the ones that love you the most, exactly what it would take to make you feel like their queen? It just might be the best Mother's Day yet. 

World's Okay-est Mom

I was chatting recently with a wonderful photographer friend of mine (who you must check outher maternity+newborn+family photog is out of this world). We were talking about the pressures of being a good mother, and she joked (although, I’m not sure it was actually a joke), that she wanted a t-shirt that displayed the words, “World’s Okay-est Mom”. We laughed, but I think we may have both breathed a sigh of relief; we are both those moms, and we are okay with it (most of the time). 

It’s okay to not be perfect. You’ve heard this before, and you’ve nodded your head in agreement, but somehow, not being perfect still feels like not-quite-enough. 

One of my close friends has been my back-yard neighbour since we’ve lived in our current home, almost 8 years. We were both a part of a local "peaceful parenting" online group for years before meeting. We knew each other by name, but we’d never met, until we were both pregnant with our youngest, and my middle son and her oldest were toddling around in our neighbour hood playing together. When we put together where we knew each other from, we couldn’t believe we’d spent all of these years as neighbours, living parallel lives, listening to each others baby’s cry and…

 

Oh no. She’s heard me.

 

All this time, my fellow ‘peaceful parent’, has been a secret witness to the inner happenings of my messy life. She’s heard me fight with my husband, yell at my kids, and she’s definitely seen my toddler running around bare-foot, without clothes, on more than one occasion. 

I was mortified, and I was closing doors and windows every chance I got after this horrible discovery. I needed to make sure she only saw the best of me, after years of probably hearing and seeing things I’d never want anyone to know. She wasn’t going to want to be my friend. She was probably going to out me on our local parenting group, and tell all the other perfect moms that I’m actually not the perfect, peaceful parent we were all striving to be. 

Except, she didn’t. She’s actually apologized to me on occasion about some or other parenting moment that she’s been ashamed of. She accepted me, and perhaps…she felt like she wasn’t alone. We aren’t the same. She has a gentler, softer way about her, and I admire her in so many ways. But she isn’t perfect either; she’s another OKAY mom, and we get to pretty candidly walk that journey in closer quarters than most, and I’ve stopped feeling like I need to measure up to the invisible expectation I’d set out before me. 

 

It’s okay to just be okay. It’s okay to feel like you fall somewhere in the middle. It’s okay to have days where you shoot for the stars, and days where you feel like you are somewhere situated at the bottom of a filthy water well. Sometimes it’s one step forward and 3 steps back, but it’s a journey that we are all on, and no one's looks quite the same as the other. 

 

We live in a world where we tend to only see and share our proudest, sexiest, most put-together moments; we’re all just trying to portray the best version ourselves. We want to remember and celebrate the moments that we feel like we shine, but let’s not forget that WE ALL have some pretty cloudy days and some really ugly moments that we mostly keep to ourselves. 

We need to take a good look in the mirror and stop tearing ourselves apart and instead tell ourselves what we love, because negativity breeds negativity. Affirming our best qualities doesn’t mean ignoring our worst, but when we really begin to believe the exceptional and beautiful things about ourselves, those are the things that will flourish and multiply in our life.

There will be some things our kids will remember that we wish they’d forget. We will fall short of our own expectations, and we will probably compare ourselves to the people we think are doing a better job than we are. But let’s go easy on ourselves, and let’s be honest, we are all just OKAY.