The Placenta Blog


Prenatal vitamin D levels could be tied to an increased risk of cavities in infants and toddlers.

In a study of 134 expectant mothers, “about a third of the women were deficient in vitamin D, 22 percent of the infants had deficient or thinning enamel and 23 percent had cavities.  After controlling for other factors, they found that the lower the prenatal vitamin D level in the mother, the higher the number of cavities in the child. Defective enamel and prenatal vitamin D levels were both independent predictors of cavities.” The New York Times Blog

While there were some problems with the study, for example, the study was not randomized, it does give some insight on one way to possibly prevent tooth decay in infants and toddlers.


Heather Rawlett, a Registered Nurse on a mother and baby unit, became interested in Placenta Encapsulation during her second pregnancy when she was researching ways to avoid the baby blues.

“I became interested in Placenta Encapsulation in 2012 when I was pregnant with my second child. I was on a mission to avoid the “baby blues” I experienced with my first child and after much research I decided to try it. The postpartum period with my second child was one of the most enjoyable periods in my life. I was filled with energy, joy, clarity of mind and plenty of milk supply.” -Heather

Heather’s experience with placenta encapsulation inspired her to become a specialist and offer the service to women in her area.

Welcome Heather!


While Hillary Westbrook felt very prepared for her pregnancy and birth, she hadn’t realized how unprepared she was for her postpartum period until her baby was born.  By the time Hillary called her placenta encapsulation specialist, she was already 4 days postpartum and experiencing the hormonal crash that left her weepy, overwhelmed and emotional.

“I answered the door with a tear stained face, a newborn in my arms and a plea for relief. She probably doesn’t know how incredibly soothing it was to just have someone to talk to that day. My placenta capsules helped my transition to motherhood go from overwhelming to manageable. I felt more balanced, I noticed an increase in my energy and I had zero issues with my milk supply even with the hindrance of a nipple shield. I will encapsulate my placenta for all my future births, and I certainly won’t wait until 4 days postpartum to do it! - Hillary

Hillary is happy to be able to give other moms the gift of a balanced postpartum.  She is serving Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News and Hampton, Virginia

If you would like to talk to Hillary about her services, she would love to answer any questions for you and discuss how placenta encapsulation can ease your postpartum transition.  Visit Hillary’s website.


Yesterday, Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN of Evidence Based Birth published a thorough and comprehensive article about the research and evidence for administering the vitamin K shot to newborns after birth.

We are unable to make Vitamin K, a fat-soluable vitamin needed for clotting, ourselves and there are only 2 sources from which it comes; leafy green vegetables and the bacteria that lives within our intestines.  Newborns who have not received the vitamin k shot can begin to spontaneously bleed, often without warning, in the brain, skin and the abdomen.  Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB) is rare, about 4-11 infants per 100,00 births, but the implications can range from death to severe cognitive delays and brain damage.  With the vitamin K shot, the incidence of VKDB is zero.

To read more about the research regarding the Vitamin K shot at birth, its ingredients, risk factors for VKDB, the effects of breastfeeding, and the link to childhood cancers, please visit, Evidence Based Birth. It’s certainly a worthy read for any expectant parent so they can make an informed decision about what is best for their baby.


The PBi network of specialists would like to welcome Shantell Brown of Bowie, MD. Shantell already serves moms as a birth doula and is excited to be extending her services to postpartum moms as well.

Shantell is the mother to an amazing little boy and enjoys competing in triathlons, riding motorcycles, reading and teaching.

“As a birth doula I enjoy providing loving support so that mothers can experience the joy of labor and birth. While offering a number of services to pregnant women I can now help them enjoy their experience prenatally by creating belly cast to help mothers remember their pregnancy curves, as a doula through the labor and delivery process, and now as a placenta encapsulation specialist to help mothers cope and recover during their postpartum period.” -Shantell


Rena Figures, a homebirth midwife in Lawrence, KS has completed the PBi requirements and has earned her certification! Congratulations, Rena!

Becoming certified takes time and commitment. In order to be certified through PBi, a candidate must read and write response papers to research related to placentophagy. A candidate must also pass a written exam, prepare three placentas using the PBi method, and complete a food safety course to adhere to local and state health regulations.


Amelia Catone is no stranger to holistic health and wellness.  She first heard of placentophagy while pregnant and working in an acupuncture clinic.  Many of the practitioners she worked with suggested placentophagy after the birth of her baby, but only mentioned eating it raw or in food.  Since eating it was not appealing to Amelia, she began researching her options and discovered PBi!

Shortly after, Amelia encapsulated for a friend and was so in awe of her friend’s profound experience postpartum that Amelia knew she had to pursue it for herself.

“Before my daughter was born, I encapsulated a friend’s placenta immediately after the birth of her second child; the difference she experienced postpartum was so profound that there was no question about pursuing it for myself and recommending it to others, if I thought they’d be open to it.

I am in awe of every aspect of procreation, and find it to be a mystical and brilliant process, an ordinary miracle that happens every moment of every day. To me it is an honor to prepare the placenta for new moms to reintegrate into their bodies in support of their healing.”  -Amelia Catone


It is fairly common in our society for women to delay pregnancy, especially when compared to our parents’ generation. For a variety of reasons including career goals and delayed marriage, many women are waiting until their 30’s to start families. Waiting may consider these moms “high-risk” by most obstetricians for being of advanced maternal age, over 35 years old. Advanced maternal age is a well known risk factor for having a child with a chromosomal abnormality, such as Downs Syndrome. However, there has been little information on maternal age in relation to congenital abnormalities, or physical defects.

According to a new study, advanced maternal age might not be as risky as some may believe. In fact, it may actually decrease the risk of congenital malformations.

“…this retrospective study used obstetric and ultrasound information collected from over 76,000 women at the time they presented for their routine second trimester ultrasound at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.). Researchers compared the incidence of having one or more major congenital malformations diagnosed at the time of ultrasound in women who were younger than 35 versus those women 35 years and older.

Also examined was the incidence of major malformations of women categorized by organ system including heart, brain and kidney. Overall, we found that advanced maternal age was associated with a 40 percent decreased risk of having a child with one or more major congenital malformations, after controlling for other risk factors. Specifically, the incidence of brain, kidney, and abdominal wall defects were decreased in this group of women, while the incidence of heart defects was unchanged.” (Source)


Monica Audette knew that whatever professional path she chose, she wanted to help people.  After witnessing her sister’s birth, Monica began the journey of becoming a birth worker.  Monica soon became a DONA-certified doula and loved supporting women and their partners through their birth journeys, but eventually she was ready to grow professionally.  Monica heard about placenta encapsulation and knew it was the perfect service to offer her clients.

“I feel so excited to offer my services to mothers during their post partum period, helping them avoid post partum blues. I believe the placenta is such an important piece of the postpartum period that is to often forgotten. I believe in the placenta’s benefits and I look forward to effectively helping more women.” -Monica Audette

If you are in Winnipeg or  Southeastern Manitoba and are looking for placenta encapsulation services, contact Monica.


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For years, women were told that if they ate too many nuts during pregnancy their children could end up with a nut allergy.  New data dispels that notion and actually states that moms who eat nuts several times per week during pregnancy actually have babies who are less likely to develop a nut allergy.

“Researchers used data from a large prospective study of health and lifestyle among female nurses. They studied 8,205 mothers who were not allergic to nuts and their children born from 1990 to 1994, and found 140 cases of peanut or tree nut allergy among the offspring.

After adjusting for age, race, season of birth, smoking, consumption of fruits and vegetables and other factors, they found that mothers who consumed nuts at least five times a month were almost 70 percent less likely to have a baby with a nut allergy than those who ate nuts less than once a month.” Source

Author: Jodi Selander


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