Inspired by some feedback from a recent client, I wanted to write up my thoughts on placenta capsules as "magic" or as something that will always prevent postpartum depression and anxiety.
This client asked us to fill her capsules only half full because she is sensitive to medications, herbs, etc. Here is what she had to say a couple months after her baby was born:
"As a follow-up, if you remember you filled my capsules 1/2 way and I wanted to fill you in on my experience. I took one capsule a day post birth for about 3 or so weeks and we (hubby and I) could certainly tell the days when I took them vs the days when I forgot to take them. I am no longer taking them now, however I can tell you HUGE improvement with PP vs my first time around with first child. It was pure hell with PP. This time, hands down, way better. I still have PP and PP anxiety, however NOTHING compared to my previous experience. That said, THANK YOU, this changed my entire experience of being a mom and being able to remember what actually happened vs it being a blur and sadness."
What I love about this testimonial is that it addresses the reality that postpartum depression and anxiety are complex issues. Placenta encapsulation is not a cure-all. There are so many factors that go into a parent's postpartum recovery. The birth experience, the parent's physical health after birth, the baby's health, the breastfeeding experience, sleep or lack thereof, and support from family and friends are all tied to how well the mom/parent recovers after birth.
This is not to say that I don't believe placenta encapsulation helps. I absolutely do! Maybe it's the hormones, maybe it's the rebuilding of iron levels that allows mom to feel more energized, but five years of experience and hundreds of client testimonials assure me that using placenta capsules can absolutely offer great support in the postpartum time. I have worked with countless moms who experienced postpartum mood disorders in the past and then for subsequent babies tried encapsulation and didn't have the same issues. It's impossible to tease out exactly why mom had a better experience, but those moms continue to come back to encapsulation for the next baby too, which tells us they felt that it really helped.
I would love for all moms to have a happy postpartum period. I think encapsulation can absolutely help, but we also need to work much harder to support new parents in the early weeks and months of having a baby. We need to adjust expectations for new parents so they can take it easy in the first month or two after baby comes. We need to work to make every birth experience a positive one. And we need to support moms in their breastfeeding journey because we know that experience is strongly tied to mental health.