1. It is responsible for signaling your body to begin producing milk.When your placenta detaches from your uterus after your baby is born, the hormones of pregnancy abruptly leave your body with it. When the body no longer has progesterone blocking the receptors in the breast, Prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production, is able to bind to the receptors and begin doing its job.
  1. It contains 1/3 of your baby’s total blood volume at the time of birth.Imagine a regular-sized water bottle filled just to the bottom of the label. This is about 300 mL of liquid, the amount of blood that is in your baby’s body at birth. The other 150 mL of blood is still in the placenta at the moment of birth. The timing of clamping your baby’s umbilical cord has an effect on the amount of blood your baby has in its body. Providers have differing opinions on what length of time is optimal for cord clamping.
  1. It leaves behind an open wound.When your placenta detaches from your uterus at birth, it leaves a wound roughly the size of a dinner plate! It is from this site that a woman loses roughly a tenth of her total blood volume during and after birth. Many cultures respect a period of “lying in” or “babymooning” after the birth of a baby to give this wound time to fully heal. Your body will signal you that you are doing too much too soon after your baby’s birth by passing more bright red blood from this wound. Make a plan while you are still pregnant to allow time for postpartum healing!
  1. It means “flat cake”.
    The Greek first named it plax, meaning “flat plate”, which it does sort of resemble once it comes out and no longer contains a baby. This evolved into plakoenta, which became placenta in Latin, and later placenta uterine meaning “uterine cake”.
  1. There are benefits to consuming it.Most mammals consume their placenta soon after birth. The placenta contains essential fats, proteins, vast amounts of iron and essential hormones that are thought to help heal wounds and aid the body in self-recovery after birth. As humans, the typical mode of placenta consumption involves dehydrating it, grinding it to powder, and placing the powder into pills, known as placenta encapsulation.Heartland Doulas has trained placenta encapsulators serving Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, Pekin, and the surrounding areas. We hold your safety as our #1 priority when working with your placenta. Many women report that consuming their own placenta pills helps with their moods, milk production, and energy levels post-birth.

So I guess what we’re saying is…

You can have your cake and eat it, too!


About Kate Herzel

Kate Herzel is the co-owner of Heartland Doulas alongside Stacy Ash, and together with their combined 20 years of experience and 7 doulas, they help people have really amazing birth and postpartum experiences. In her spare time, Kate enjoys cooking with her kids, brewing beer with her husband, and entertaining for her friends.

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