The Placenta Blog

hibiscus_brilliant1We all know and love hibiscus flowers for their large, brightly colored flowers, but this beautiful plant offers us more than just a decorative fixture in our gardens.  Studies have shown hibiscus tea to be just as effective in alleviating high blood pressure as hypertension drugs, but without the side effects.

“Scientists in Mexico gave 75 hypertensive adults either captopril (Capoten; 25 milligrams twice a day) or hibiscus tea (brewed from 10 grams of crushed dried flowers — about 5 teaspoons per 1 to 2 cups water — once a day). After four weeks, the herb had worked as well as the drug, with both groups showing an 11 percent drop in blood pressure.” (source)

Hibiscus tea is successful in lower high blood pressure because of its diuretic properties.  It helps open arteries and allows hormones known to constrict blood vessels to be released more slowly.  The tea is also known to have bioflavinoids, which are believed to help prevent high LDL cholesterol, which also aids in preventing a build-up of plaque in the arteries.

The PBi Network of Specialists would like to extend a warm welcome to Jennifer Ivany of Fort McMurray, Canada. Jennifer is a mother of 3 and works as a birth doula in addition to providing new moms with placenta encapsulation services.

“I am passionate about pregnancy, birth and the post-partum care of mothers. I am very happy to be able to offer this service to mothers in my community. I believe that the body can heal naturally and that there are more natural ways to help heal and enrich the mother’s post-partum body.” -Jennifer


Pre-eclampsia, a condition affecting roughly 5-8% of pregnancies, is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.  Onset of the condition is typically sometime after 20-weeks and symptoms include visual disturbances, swelling and rapid weight gain, and headaches.  Pre-eclampsia is a leading cause of infant and maternal illness and mortality around the world and the only cure is delivery of the fetus.  In an effort to reduce the risk of stroke and other maternal complications, many babies are delivered prematurely.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force’s draft recommendation comes after increasing evidence showing that low dose aspirin may be beneficial to mothers who are considered high risk for pre-eclampsia.  In clinical trials, low dose aspirin reduced the incidence of pre-eclampsia by 24%, preterm birth by 14%, and fetal growth restriction by 20%.

“The task force recommended that women at high risk for pre-eclampsia take 81 milligrams of low-dose aspirin daily after 12 weeks of gestation. High-risk women include those who have had pre-eclampsia in a prior pregnancy, especially those who have had to deliver preterm; women carrying multiple fetuses; and women who had diabetes or high blood pressure at conception.

But the task force also advised that expectant women with multiple moderate-risk factors “may also benefit from low-dose aspirin.” These risks include obesity, a family history of pre-eclampsia, women older than 35, and African-American women.” (source)

There appears to be no short-term harm to the fetus or the pregnancy by taking low dose aspirin, but rare or long-term risks could not be ruled out.

“The largest trial followed infants 18 months after birth, and “found no differences in development outcomes,” said Jillian T. Henderson, the lead author of the review and an investigator at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.

The researchers also found that use of low-dose aspirin doesn’t increase the risk of excessive bleeding after delivery, placental abruption (when the placenta detaches from the uterus before it should) or bleeding inside the baby’s cranial vault.”

Discussing the pros and cons of taking low dose aspirin should be discussed with a care provider.

Nikky Clarke has always been drawn to pregnancy and birth and feels that serving women through placenta encapsulation was a natural fit.  Having had 2 postpartum experiences, one with and one without placenta capsules, Nikky speaks openly in her community about the powerful healing power a placenta can have.

“My work has brought me in contact with so many amazing women over the years. With each new client I feel blessed to be a part of this amazing, magical time in their lives.” -Nikky Clarke

To learn more about Nikky  and her services, you can visit her website.

Evelyn Muhlhan has been serving women as a nurse midwife for more than 27 years.  The grandmother of 7 is passionate about alternative healthcare for women, icluding birth practices, and is excited to be adding placenta encapsulation to her menu of services.

When Evelyn is not tending to the expecting and postpartum women in the Maryland/Washington DC communities, she is quilting, playing guitar and learning about natural healing modalities.

“I hope to work with new mothers and other PES in bringing about an awareness of how Placenta Encapsulation can maybe help women avoid breastfeeding difficulties as well as those “Postpartum Blues” and other issues that lead to Postpartum Depression” -Evelyn Muhlhan

To learn more about Evelyn and her services, you can email her at

The PBi Network of Specialists would like to welcome Courtney Byers of Narvon, PA! Courtney is passionate about helping new mothers utilize the healing powers of their own bodies.  In addition to placenta encapsulation services, Courtney also serves women as an accredited LLL leader in Lancaster County, PA.

“My own birth experiences and transition into motherhood have given me a passion for helping other mothers in natural care for themselves and their families. I believe that pregnancy, birth, and becoming a mother are sacred processes that deserve honor and respect – and it takes an intentional effort to maintain this in our society.” -Courtney

To learn more about Courtney and her services, visit her website.

Congratulations to Carrie Ohrt, Cedar Rapids, IA, on completing the requirements to be a PBi-certified placenta encapsulation specialist.  Because of her hard work and passion, the women in Cedar Rapids have an experienced CPES to call on after the births of their babies.

Carrie Ohrt enjoyed pregnancy and childbirth so much, she did it 8 times.  She has found motherhood to be such a blessing.  Her love of birth eventually led her to becoming a doula.  Ultimately, Carrie would like to become a midwife and she is active in her community’s effort to legalize midwives.  Carrie Ohrt also works as a reflexologist and is passionate about holistic healing.

Are you interested in becoming a PBi-trained Placenta Encapsulation Specialist? Learn more about the PBi training course.

The PBi Network of Specialists would like to congratulate Carly Glover of Bowie, MD for completing the requirements for certification.  Carly is now a PBi-Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist and supports moms by offering doula and placenta encapsulation services to the women in her area.

Becoming certification takes a lot of dedication and hard work.  To become certified, a specialist must complete the PBi training and prepare the required number of placentas using the PBi method of preparation.  Upon completion, the specialist must hold a current food handlers certificate to remain in good standing.

Congratulations Carly and thank you for all you do for birthing women!

After the birth of her first baby, Celeste Fahnert suffered from low milk supply and extreme fatigue.  In her second pregnancy, during a Hypnobirthing class, Celeste learned about placenta encapsulation.  Despite her initial aversion to the idea, Celeste had her baby’s placenta encapsulated by PBi founder, Jodi Selander, and has never regretted it.  When her postpartum experience was filled with a great mood, a generous milk supply, and lots of energy, Celeste knew she needed to become a part of PBi.

“PBi holds all of their members to very high standards and practices and that is something that is very important to me and my clients. I’m excited to provide such an amazing service to women in and around Austin!” -Celeste

Learn more about Celeste and her services at The Birthing Branch.

The PBi Network of Specialists would like to extend its deepest sympathies to Ina May Gaskin and the community on the great loss of her beloved husband and partner, Stephen Gaskin.  Mr. Gaskin led an exemplary life and was a leader to many.  May his memory live on in the community he built and beyond.

To read more about Stephen Gaskin and his legacy, visit The Tennessean.

Photo credit: The Tennessean

Author: Jodi Selander

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PBi Blogger: Carmen Calvo

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