I was holding out on y'all. There is one other thing that made my first two weeks better than expected. It can be a bit of a taboo topic: placenta encapsulation.
If you've never heard of it, read more about it here.
I'll give you the short answer though. After your baby is delivered, the nurses then "deliver" the placenta. (This thing that has held the baby for 9 months.) Instead of discarding the placenta, it is dehydrated down and made into pill capsules.
The idea is that when you have a baby, you lose a lot of nutrients that are in the placenta. This helps to reintroduce them into your body. It’s said to help with postpartum depression, give you energy, increase your milk supply and shorten your recovery.
Sign me up! I decided to do it but actually only told a few people beforehand. I didn’t want to seem too hippie or weird, and what if it didn’t work?
I can't tell you about other people's experience but I can tell you about mine.
So many people said they couldn't believe I had a baby x amount of days or weeks ago. I wished I had time to tell them about my weird little experiment. I call it experiment because I wasn't even sure it would work but I figured it was worth a try. I was worried about postpartum depression since I had had a small bout of depression in college. When I talked to my doctor about what treatment they had for it if I did have postpartum and she mentioned a drug, I figured something natural that came from my own body was, to me, less scary.
Benefits I saw:
Faster recovery — my doctor sent me home with Percocet but I was hoping to not take any narcotics when I got home. Call me paranoid, but I've heard of too many people getting addicted to that type of painkiller and wanted to avoid it if I wasn't in too much pain. I ended up only taking the prescription Motrin that they gave me once I got home. My doctor was shocked when I told her this. And y’all, I don’t have a high tolerance for pain and I’m no martyr when it comes to feeling sick. I’m a baby. So the proof is in the pudding. (And as I mentioned in the last post, I was walking a mile 10 days after having a c-section and was able to get back to a normal routine pretty soon.)
Extra energy — the first two weeks when your doses are the highest and you’re up the most, I was not tired at all. Naps did help this a little but I surprised myself and everyone I saw with how much energy I had. It made such a difference in my day and probably helped my mood too.
Joy — I attribute a lot of this to simply choosing to focus on the positive and lots of prayer, but I know there are chemical imbalances that can cause depression. Or even simply different moods. The first two weeks and even now at 4 weeks later have been full of more joy, less tears and sadness than I was expecting.
When I first heard about placenta encapsulation, I thought it was insane. And you may be thinking that right now too. But once I read up on it, it seemed like the risk was pretty low. Even if it doesn’t work, nothing I’ve read talked about any negative side effects, unless you count having so much energy you have trouble falling asleep.
I will definitely be doing this process again for any and all future kids.
Once again, this was just my experience. I’m not a doctor so definitely do your own research before deciding to do this. But I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Have you done it? What was your experience? Is this the first you’re hearing of such a process?
Left: Enjoying a walk with my baby. Right: Friends and family visiting