August 27, 2012

Placenta Encapsulation Workshop

Saturday I attended a Placenta Encapsulation workshop, hosted by a local healthy/eco-baby boutique, Granola Babies, but encapsulation services and information were offered by Confident Beginnings.

So, Placenta Encapsulation actually means making your placenta into pills.You request to keep your placenta after giving birth (the hospital will store it for your until you are discharged) and deliver it to this service (or they can pick it up for a fee). The service will then remove the umbilical cord, steam it (with adding only spices - ginger and myrrh), and dehydrate the placenta, pulverize it and fill (vegetable) capsules with the results.

According to Angelique, who gave the workshop, humans are the only mammals that don't eat placentas after birth (although some obviously do). She also said that the placenta contains iron, B6, and protein that can help lift your mood and renew your energy after birth.

Depending on how quickly you can have your placenta released to you (could be as late as 72 hours after discharge if you give birth in a hospital, or as soon as immediately if you deliver at home) Confident Beginnings can have it made into capsules in most cases in 24 hours. Which means you can begin taking them 4-5 days after birth, preventing the onset of "baby blues" that usually settles in around 3 weeks. They also touted to help promote lactation (and are thought to add B6 to mother's milk, too). The capsules come with instructions on how often to take how many for the first few weeks, and then they can be taken as needed, or, according to Angelique, some women are storing any remaining capsules in the freezer in hopes of helping later with menopause.

Encapsulated placenta isn't meant to replace taking a prenatal vitamin after birth (as is often recommended by your doctor), but rather to complement. Angelique estimates that the average placenta makes between 120 and 150 capsules. The service costs $150 ($100 additional for pick up of placenta). Her business partner, who does the encapsulation, is certified to do so, and is also certified to handle food, and is trained in blood borne pathology and infection prevention.

If this is something you are planning, and you are giving birth in a hospital, you may have to be very persistent in your request to keep it, since the normal routine is to discard it, it would be easy for any person involved in the birth to be out of the loop or forget. Angelique suggests bringing a small cooler with you to the hospital, and a Tupperware container and delivering the placenta to them this way, with an ice pack.

She mentioned that this topic was recently on the Dr. Oz show, and his opinion was actually that there wasn't benefit to eating the placenta. Angelique suggests that other ways to try to keep up your energy and ward off baby blues include eating when your baby eats, sleep when they sleep, and limit the number of visitors you have.

I googled around a bit and couldn't find any real scientific studies or papers to support the benefits of eating one's placenta (if you come across one, please share!).

What do I think? Husband is still highly grossed out by the idea, so pretty against it. However, many of the women attending the seminar had experienced baby blues or full on postpartum depression after previous birth and were pretty desperate to avoid it with a current pregnancy. While I can say that I felt that having a newborn was certainly different than anyone could have described to me, and pretty involved and draining at times, I fortunately didn't experience postpartum depression, so I am not the same is at stake for me. And given all that is involved with a newborn (that will be coupled with the toddler we have), I just don't see us taking the time to deliver a placenta to have it processed. I still find the idea to be intriguing. An organ that was so valuable to my baby, that is still intact after birth, seems like a shame to waste...?

What do you think? Did you eat your placenta? Would you?

My first Bluum Box is here!

My first Bluum box arrived on Saturday. It's theme: "Puttin' on the Ritz"
the box. actually, this shipped inside another box that at first glance made me think Netflix.

Bluum is a subscription service that will send a box of 5-6 baby- or mommy-related samples each month. The idea is to discover products you might not otherwise have come across, and they even have options to give a subscription as a gift. A 3-month subscription is $33; 6-months, $60. Bluum is one of a growing number of subscription services where you can surprise yourself with something in the mail each month. At first, this seemed silly (maybe desperate?) to me, but then it started to grow on me! I love getting packages in the mail. Currently the boxes are aimed at babies (or moms of babies) and I have a 2-year old (and baby on the way), so I wonder if I will be able to utilize all the samples coming my way. But we will see. I signed up for a 3-month subscription through Plum District for only $8 (Maybe I'll do another post on Plum District.. I also just booked a 'steal' for a weekend trip to LegoLand in Carlsbad!).

Saturday, 8/25 - My first impressions: the box was smaller than I was expecting. Upon opening, I think there is only one sample I'll really be able to use (Mary Kay mascara - who couldn't use more mascara?). I may gift the eczema cream to a friend. The hair gel (intended for my kid?) might get a try. The soap samples may get thrown in the diaper bag for out and about emergencies (unless I decide the explosion risk is too great). I will use the Prime face product samples. Also the coupon for Wittlebee has piqued my interest again, but I am pretty picky about my kid's wardrobe (we tend to stick with basics from Children's Place), so unless I try for just a month... for the new baby... I'll share the code for $15 off your first order with you, though!!: BLUUM (see photo below).

After the arrival of this, I am thankful my 3-month subscription was on super-sale...

Monday, 8/27 OK - reassessment. I have already used the Amalou PRIME face samples (a scrub and a 'tonic'), and so far they ARE pretty amazing.

I did use the Mary Kay mascara today, just so I could tell you about it. I really like the wand! Even though this is a sample size, I am assuming the full size has the same spiny wand that lets you get the goop right where you want it. And though I have long lashes already, this really gave them extension (more than my usual brand). I also replaced my nearly empty eye makeup remover in my travel bag with the sample they sent.

I also intended to use the HIPpeas hair balm on myself this morning, but I am not much a pomade user, and frankly, I forgot.

I did throw a Caldrea soap sample in the diaper bag for our day trip yesterday, but we didn't have the occasion to use it.

Still no concrete plan for the eczema creme? Maybe good for preventing stretch marks as this belly grows?

August 21, 2012

Transitioning to a Big Kid Bed!

first night in the new bed! reading with Daddy!

As you may now, we have a new addition to our family on the way. So to start making preparations we decided to start testing out the 'big kid bed' concept with our 2-yr-old.

After nap time this past Saturday, we took M into the guest room and asked if he would like to move that big bed into his room to sleep on. He excitedly said yes and climbed up on it and pretended to start sleeping.

Moving the rocking chair into the
guest room to make space.
M carried out another chair, too, to help.

We told him that he would need special big boy sheets for it, and that we could go shopping to pick some out. He agreed, but we had to do some reminding that he couldn't sleep in it as it was, so could he please get up and head downstairs so we could buy sheets. He got distracted by the bin of baby toys I have already squirreled away in that room, and had to stop and say hello to some old favorites (empty water bottle with wine corks was instantly re-appreciated. This was an idea we borrowed from our childcare center! something like this, but without all the stickers - just a simple empty, label-less water bottle bottles with any filling from beans, to beads, to shells, to colored water - whatever you can think of. We have several different ones. Just make sure the lid is on tight or glued shut.). He even found a bunny lovie/blanket that one of my colleagues had knit for him and told me very seriously that it was his (as in, I will NOT be sharing this one) and took it into his room. Even though he hadn't see it in months.

help moving the bed in - high five!

We headed to the little boy bedding aisle of Target and pulled out every option of full-sized sheet sets they had and placed them side by side. We asked which he liked best. Mys husband was pulling for the sports-themed, I was hoping for the rocket ships. But M chose bulldozers/dump trucks. We even got the little matching decorative pillow (a dump truck) and he hugged it while we did the rest if our shopping.

When we got home, he excitedly helped me put the new sheets in the wash. And then helped Daddy move the rocking chair out and the new bed in. Right now, we don't have a bed rail (it and a mattress protector are on their way from Amazon), so the box springs are just on the floor until then. The crib is still in the room, too, for backup.

When the sheets were dry, M helped me put them on and move his stuffed animals over from the crib.

washing the new sheets!

He was giddy pretending to sleep on the bed, and we had to quash the instinct to make repeated running leaps onto it. The bed is for sleeping. Eventually we decided that we needed a break from the bed excitement altogether, because he was thinking it was a little too fun (throwing his stuffed animals, etc.) he cried when we went downstairs to eat dinner ("I want to keep sleeping!").

After dinner we did the normal routine of teeth, shower, and read him his books (Elmo Big Enough for a Bed, included) on his new bed instead of the chair.

After, he laid down on his tummy as usual, but head towards the foot of the bed. We covered him as usual with his blankie, and he didn't move or make a peep. All night long! Success!!

pretending to sleep

Night two he did fall out of the bed (still no rail) but I just picked him up and put him back, and he didn't even notice. Night three he had a random middle of the night cry, but settled down, and somehow ended up with his head at the head of the bed (opposite the way he'd started) by morning. So far so good (fingers crossed). We haven't had any playing or coming out of his room (yet). We did finally break out our baby gate (we hadn't used it since our move!) for the top of the stairs just in case, though. 

He is still very excited about his bed. I'll post back in a couple of weeks and let you know if the going is still good!!!

Eventually we will have to move the changing table out, too and replace it with a real dresser, but, one step at a time!