The Placenta Blog

This is an article written by a women’s advocate, Ari LeVaux, in Missoula, MT. She is working to raise awareness of placenta encapsulation, and mentioned PBi in this recent article she wrote for the Missoula Independent column, Flash in the Pan.

Thank you for the mention, Ari! And thank you for the positive writeup about placenta encapsulation.

Read Ari’s article, Tasting the Tree of Life.

Best advice my mom gave me

April 6th, 2010

I was asked to write a blurb for The Family Groove website segment, Mom on the Street. The topic was “What’s the best thing your mother ever told you?”, so I shared the best advice my mother gave me when I became a mother.

Jodi Selander“When I became a mother, the best advice my mother gave me was to remember to take care of myself. This has proven to be very true, but not as simple as it might seem. Making time for ourselves when it seems that everyone around us needs our energy and attention can be difficult. But besides being Mom, Mama, Mommy, we are also our own person with our own needs.

As a mother, if we don’t take care of ourselves, there is no way we can take care of the rest of our family. There’s a reason that the airplane safety protocols have you put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others!

Make time to rest, to eat healthy meals, to have the time to practice your own unique talents and the hobbies you enjoy. As our family’s main nurturer, we have to have the energy to give the care and attention our family requires. Children don’t want a martyr, they want a mother. So take care of yourself — your family will thank you for it!”

Check out what other Moms on the Street had to say at The Family Groove!

Lindsey Roberts, PBi Placenta Encapsulation Specialist in Austin, TX, was interviewed by NBC Austin news station KXAN recently. The segment aired Thursday, April 1. The story was also picked up in Grand Rapids, MI!

Lindsey has been working in Austin for nearly a year with PBi, and has worked with local hospitals there who were reluctant to release placentas to mothers. Lindsey is a wonderful advocate for Texas mothers, and a wonderful asset to PBi. Great job, Lindsey!

You can read the full article on Austin News,

Find a PBi-Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist in your area!

PBi has the official Training and Certification Course for those who wish to offer placenta encapsulation services to mothers in their community.

Holly StewartA big congratulations to Holly Stewart, PBi’s first professional Placenta Encapsulation Specialist in Knoxville, Tennessee! She has always been interested in birth and all aspects surrounding it and began researching natural approaches to pregnancy, birth & postpartum care long before she herself became a mother.

When she became pregnant with her daughter in 2009, her passion lead her to make natural choices in her pregnancy & birth experience. This same passion has led her to now help other people realize that same goal of a natural pregnancy and a beautiful birth. Holly encapsulated her own placenta, giving her firsthand experience with it’s many benefits. Holly started her training with Placenta Benefits in January 2010 and completed it by Mid-March 2010!

Holly is happy to serve the Knoxville, Maryville, Cookeville, Oak Ridge, Clinton, Sevierville, Kingston, Crossville & other surrounding East Tennessee Communities. If you don’t see your area listed, Email Holly - she will travel!

Placenta encapsulation is just the first step in Holly’s journey into the birthing community. She aspires not only to help mothers by offering placenta encapsulation service, her passions extend to midwifery and doula services as well. Look for more from Holly in the future! Follow Holly on Facebook.

Thank you, Holly for starting your journey into the childbirth field with Placenta Benefits! Placenta (PBi) has the best training program and network of resources available for those seeking a career in natural postpartum care. Clients can trust PBi Specialists to provide the highest quality placenta encapsulation services available, and know that we will take care of them quickly, safely and professionally.

Amber Teething Necklaces

March 29th, 2010

Teething can be a painful process for everyone involved; baby is irritable and in pain and Mom and Dad struggle with how to help. Teething starts between 4 and 7 months old, when the first baby teeth start to appear. By age 3, your child should have a full set of 20 baby teeth, which shouldn’t fall out until his permanent teeth are ready to start coming in, at around age 6. Those first teeth may be the cause of restlessness, drooling (which can lead to a facial rash), gum swelling, irritability, fussiness, biting, changes in eating and sleep patterns, and even sometimes a low grade fever or diaper rash. There must be a reason why we as humans grow teeth at a very young age – most adults wouldn’t be able to handle the pain!

Teething is one of the first major challenges of parenthood and parents will try everything to ease their child’s discomfort - everything from cold wet wash cloths, goo filled teething rings, plastic giraffes, frozen apples in mesh nets, to over-the-counter pain relieving oral medications – some of which work and some of which don’t.

Amber is fossilized tree resin of ancient trees (resin is different from sap) which forms through a natural polymerization of the original organic compounds. Amber has been around for a very long time; the oldest amber dates back to the Upper Carboniferous period (320 million years ago!). Amber has been used as jewelry and adornments, appreciated for its color and natural beauty for thousands of years. Most amber found on the market today is between 30 and 90 million years old.

So what do these two things – Teething & Amber - have in common?

Amber Teething BraceletOne of the oldest methods of treating teething pain, believe it or not, is through the use of an Amber Teething Necklace. Baby girls (and boys!) wear these unassuming little necklaces to help relieve the pain associated with teething. While most remedies for teething involve the toddler chewing on something to provide counter pressure to the teeth that are breaking through, amber necklaces and bracelets are not to be chewed on. For the amber to work its magic, you place the necklace on your child underneath their clothes so that it rests against your baby’s skin. Amber is not only warm in color, but warm to the touch as well (gems are cold). The amber will begin to reach the child’s body temperature very quickly and the child will forget they even have it on. (Amber should always be used under the watchful eye of an adult!)

So why and how does Amber work? Amber is a natural analgesic and when worn on the skin, it releases tiny amounts of healing and pain relieving oils that helps babies stay calm and relaxed. Amber is a resin (different from a gem or stone) whose main component is succinic acid. 30 Million years ago, it would most likely have been used by plants and animals to heal themselves against viruses, cuts or wounds. Today, research has proven that succinic acid is highly beneficial to humans. The oils from the amber are easily absorbed into the skin and go directly to the blood stream. The amber accelerates our natural immune system’s ability to heal wounds and is known to help with the reduction of inflammation in the ears, throat, stomach and respiratory system. Recent scientific research has also proven that succinic acid stimulates the thyroid glands, strengthens the body, improves immunity, aids energy-related processes and corrects the balance of acids.

Amber Close UpAmber has health benefits for adults too. Over 70 years ago, biochemists in Europe discovered that succinic acid, an amino acid created naturally in every cell of the body, is capable of aerobic respiration, participating in the citric acid, or the Krebs cycle - how carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are metabolized into energy. Wearing amber may also protect us against the negative influences of electrical equipment like computers, televisions, mobile phone and microwave ovens. New age beliefs suggest that amber transmutes negative into positive energy, and promotes positive thinking and attitude. Amber revitalizes mind, body and soul and helps to relieve depression. It supports physical healing and detoxification, and is used for disorders of the adrenals, liver and spleen. Who here couldn’t use a little extra help with more energy, faster metabolism, positive thinking and soul revitalization? If all that can come in a necklace, it’s worth a try!

Some tips for using Amber as a teething remedy:

~ Never leave a child unattended while he/she is wearing an amber teething necklace or bracelet.

~ Never allow a child to chew on the necklace or put any part of it in his mouth. (Our baby necklaces are short enough so that getting them in their mouth would be pretty tricky.)

~ Discontinue use immediately if a child develops an allergic reaction to the amber teething necklace.

~ Never use chemicals to clean your amber teething necklace. Simply rinse with water.

Amber necklaces are very durable and if treated with great care can be handed down from generation to generation as a family heirloom.

Visit the Shop@PBi to see our collection of Amber necklaces and bracelets!

Lauren StrebelPBi is pleased to announce that Lauren Strebel, serving Baltimore, MD, is the latest Placenta Encapsulation Specialist to earn her Certification ranking, changing from a PES to a CPES.

Being certified with Placenta Benefits is quite an accomplishment. In order to become Certified, a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist must have completed the scientific research, acquired experience in placenta encapsulation services, and completed additional food preparation safety certification in accordance with their state’s health department protocols.

Lauren has been working with PBi since August of 2008. She became interested in placenta encapsulation  after reading about it on a Doula discussion board. Lauren casually mentioned Placenta Encapsulation to her sister during her pregnancy, hoping that it might help her avoid some of the postpartum depression that she herself experienced. Before she knew it, Lauren was flying from Baltimore out to to Idaho to help prepare her sister’s placenta after the birth of her niece.

“I personally went through a really difficult period of postpartum depression. I did not encapsulate my own son’s placenta and I so wish I’d known about it back then! Knowing what I know now makes me sad to see other women go through the baby blues - unnecessarily.

I felt compelled to get involved with PBi; it’s so important to tell other mothers about placentophagy.  John H. Kennell, M.D. once said “If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” I feel the same way about Placenta Encapsulation. After studying and learning the benefits of placentophagy, I felt I could not ethically sit by and watch other friends and new mothers suffer through those first few months - the way I did. Most especially when there was something so easy that they could do to proactively avoid the baby blues.

With Jodi and PBi’s help, I am honored to get the opportunity to help new mothers in such a special way. My clients results are very positive and I am thrilled to be able to help them through what can be a difficult transition.” ~ Lauren Strebel

And PBi is honored to have Lauren working with us; bringing the best service possible to the women in Baltimore and it’s surrounding areas. Congratulations Lauren on your PBi certification!

If you are interested in becoming a PES or a CPES, Placenta (PBi) has the best training program and network of resources available for those seeking a career in natural postpartum care. We have the need for specialists across the US and in many international locations. Contact us for more information about becoming a Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist.

By Guest Blogger, Leigh Anne DuChene

The Mothers Act and Health Care Bill is a prescription for disaster for postpartum mothers!

This bill works to get anti-depressants, and who know what other kinds of drugs, into the hands of new moms before they leave the hospital.

The package labels on antidepressants states that the risk of psychosis while taking antidepressants is 1/100. Postpartum women typically have a risk of Postpartum Psychosis of 1/1000. Thus, taking antidepressants increases a postpartum mother’s risk of developing postpartum psychosis 1000%.

That is astounding!

In the report, “The Drugging of Post Partum Depression” put out by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, it is stated that, “Many people think that psychiatric disorders, such as depression or post-partum [after birth] depression, are the same as medical diseases or illnesses. However, this is very misleading, especially to a mother who has experienced the trauma of just giving birth. To have her think the emotional roller coaster she may be experiencing is the result of a “chemical imbalance in the brain,” requiring mind-altering medication, is false and harmful.”

In this report, Ron Leifer says, “There’s no biological imbalance. When people come to me and they say, ‘I have a biochemical imbalance.’ I say, ‘Show me your lab tests.’ There are no lab tests. So what’s the biochemical imbalance?”

As you can see there is no test to definitively identify and diagnose a biochemical
imbalance. Thus the claim of such a thing can be very harmful and misleading.

The report goes on to say, “This does not mean that serious emotional difficulties do not exist, that people’s hopes cannot be shattered or that their methods of coping with this cannot fail. But it does mean that psychiatrists, psychologists, and drug groups have used such difficulties to their advantage, promoting powerful drugs as a ’solution’ for vulnerable individuals.”

Not only powerful, but mind-altering drugs, known to have severe mental and emotional effects on individuals taking them, even causing harm to others and suicide.

This report sites Dr. Sydney Walker III’s work stating that, “psychiatric drugs often create new and serious symptoms patients didn’t have before ‘treatment’ and ‘upset the natural chemical environment neurons (brain cells…).”

Also mentioned is the fact that, “Any medical doctor who takes the time to conduct a thorough physical examination of someone exhibiting signs of what psychiatrists say are “mental disorders”, including post partum depression, can find undiagnosed, untreated physical conditions.”

This means that there are other physical signs and symptoms that are associated with such “mental disorders” and can be addressed by correcting the problem causing both the physical and mental symptoms.

This is where proper nutrition, supplementation, emotional coping techniques, and exercise come into play for any individual, but especially for postpartum mothers.

Postpartum nutrition and supplementation are critical to allowing the body to rebalance and heal after the traumatic event of birth. Please understand, I am not saying that all birth is traumatic, just that it is hard on the body and elicits stress coping hormones, which are used in dealing with and recovering from traumatic events, on a very high level. Thus, it can be preserved on a biochemical level that birth is a traumatic event on the body, regardless if the actual event was truly a traumatic one for the mother.

Actually, when the birth is preserved as a traumatic experience the risk of emotional upset and turmoil is even greater; thus, the risk of postpartum depression is even higher.

I am a post unexpected emergency cesarean birth mother after experiencing a very emotionally traumatic labor and birth with my first child, just over 3 years ago. I did experience postpartum depression and the emotional turmoil is very real. It is, however, very much able to be worked with utilizing various emotional techniques like Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique (BEST), Neuro Emotional Technique (NET), and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). I never once took medications. I, instead, utilized these emotional healing techniques; along with nutritional therapy, chiropractic care, breathwork, and meditation to help cope with and overcome my emotional distress after the birth of my first child, and with great success. So much so, that I am now a post traumatic birth and cesarean healing specialist, offering emotional support and guidance, and bodywork treatments, as a licensed massage therapist and a breathwork facilitator, to postpartum mothers dealing with these issues.

Instead of forcing unscientific, mind-altering medication on postpartum moms, why not just give them their placenta!! It is, after all, theirs!

Collective research supports the theory that placentophagia helps to restore hormone levels to normal in the postpartum mother, therefore, potentially preventing the baby blues, and possibly even postpartum depression. Research is currently under way
with Placenta Benefits, Ltd. and UNLV to determine many different
things regarding placentophagia; including if, and potentially how, the consumption of the placenta can help balance hormones for a postpartum mother. The results of this current ongoing research are eagerly anticipated to help support and further the advocacy of placentophagy.

There are many ways to consume the placenta, the most common, appealing, and best for preservation way is in capsule form, a process called placenta encapsulation. PBi (Placenta Benefits Ltd.) trains placenta encapsulation specialists in understanding the research supporting and benefits of placentophagy; as well as, how to safely and properly encapsulate
the placenta using Traditional Chinese Methods for postpartum mothers to use as a dietary supplement.

By the time I was pregnant with my second child, 4 months old currently, I had learned about placenta encapsulation and had been trained through PBi as a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist. I consumed my placenta postpartum, and still do so current via my placenta capsules. I have not experienced one sign of baby blues or postpartum depression this time. My postpartum experience this time has been such a beautiful, loving, nurturing, and well connected experience with my son. I do wish I could have had this same experience with my first, but I have not let that effect my relationship with my oldest son either. I have found actually that I have been able to bond on a deeper and even more
nurturing level with my oldest son after the birth of my second son. I truly believe that the use of my placenta postpartum as a dietary supplement has played the key role in allowing this entire experience to occur. I am so grateful to be able to provide this service to other postpartum mothers so that
they may be able to experience a joyful babymoon too!

For more information on the research supporting and benefits of placentophagy visit Placenta Benefits.

Please, make your voice heard against The Mothers Act and Health Care Bill! This bill will effect more than just postpartum women, but many people; including children in public school via the Teen Screen.

To speak out against this bill, please go to “Urgent Fax Document
and Phone List – Stop The Mothers Act and Health Care Bill”

For more information as to why this bill should not be passed please visit the Unite for Life Blog and Unite for

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a non-profit public benefit organization that investigates and exposes psychiatric violations of human rights. This is the organization that
published the report I sited here and has put out a documentary on the devastating effects of psychotropic drugs entitled, “Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging.” To obtain a copy go to

For information on placenta encapsulation services in your area please visit

Nourish Life,
Leigh Anne DuChene
PBi Placenta Encapsulation Specialist Training & Certification Course

Wendy ShifferEveryone at PBi is pleased to introduce Wendy Shiffer, our newest Placenta Encapsulation Specialist in Lancaster, PA.

Drawn to the field of childbirth after the birth of her four children, Wendy became a DONA Certified Doula, a Childbirth Educator, a Lactation Educator and a Certified Happiest Baby on the Block (c) instructor. Wendy is currently completing her RN degree and will be working towards her Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) certification in the future. She is a chairperson for the Birth, Baby & Beyond Conference to be held in Lancaster, PA in October of 2010.

Wendy created a service for which she feels every Mother, Father and Child should be entitled, “Mom and Little Me“. This service offers education and support for the childbearing years.  She has extended her Doula services to offer childbirth and breastfeeding education, pre- and postnatal fitness classes, postpartum Mommy and Me classes, and now, Placenta Encapsulation.

“I am so excited to begin offering my clients the benefits Placenta Encapsulation.  I see many new mothers casually discharged from hospitals; the postpartum recovery period is still a time when women need to be responsible for advocating for their care.  By approaching the postpartum period proactively, women can take better care of their bodies during this sensitive and special time, naturally.” ~ Wendy Shiffer

Wow Wendy! We are so very happy to have you as part of PBi’s Network of Placenta Encapsulation Specialists. The services you provide are a great benefit to the new mothers in the Lancaster Area. You are helping so many families off to the right start! We are proud to call you a PES!

Placenta (PBi) has the best training program and network of resources available for those seeking a career in natural postpartum care. Clients can trust PBi Specialists to provide the highest quality placenta encapsulation services available, and know that we will take care of them quickly, safely and professionally.

One of my articles was published in Fun & Fit Life Magazine. If you’re in Southern Nevada, you can pick up the print version as well. Check it out, it makes for a fascinating read. ;)

It was entitled Placenta: Happy Pills for New Mothers, but they seem to have thought that was a bit too… optimistic. So they changed the title, but at least the message is getting out!

BPA and Placenta

March 17th, 2010

Here’s a shocker: BPA (the chemical component found in plastics) has health risks! Researchers in Canada did testing on placental cells to find out if this chemical, commonly found in most Americans (including pregnant women), and discovered that it does have a detrimental effect on the placenta.

The most worrisome part of this research study is that the worst damage was done in the lowest levels of BPA instead of the highest. The researchers were careful to limit the amounts of BPA to the average levels found in most people.

From a synopsis of the study in Environmental Health News:

These results indicate that BPA, at levels within the range a pregnant woman is likely to be exposed, can damage human placental cells in ways that could affect fetal development.
BPA impacted cell death through two different mechanisms. Higher doses of BPA increased the rate of apoptosis type cell death but lower doses weakened cell membranes, an effect that also damaged and ultimately killed the placental cells.

The altered timing and amounts of cell death can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preeclampsia, prebirth growth restriction, prematurity and pregnancy loss. While the results do not show BPA causes these conditions in people, the study provides a model for how BPA may change the signals and chemical controls that guide the development of important pregnancy cells.
Importantly, the exposure levels tested are similar to those measured in pregnant women’s blood, placental tissue and chord blood.

This work was done in cultured human placental cells, a techniqe that has both benefits and drawbacks. One advantage of using this type of cell culture model instead of a laboratory animal model is that it uses human cells. Rodent placenta structure is very different from humans so BPA may produce different effects in rodents than humans.

A potential drawback of cell culture, however, is that it requires the direct application of BPA, a process that bypasses metabolism and therefore the opportunity for BPA to be changed into a less active form. To control for this, the researchers were careful to use a range of doses that have been measured in human blood.

The results of this study provide yet more evidence that exposure to BPA is a potental threat to human reproductive health.

Yet some people say that BPA is safe, even though numerous studies highlight its danger? The FDA has even moderately reversed its stance, now saying that there is “some concern” for children’s health.

From EWG’s Kid-Safe Chemicals site:

Yet, we continue to hear from the chemical industry’s premier apologist for BPA, Steven Hentges, that the hormone-altering chemical is perfectly safe for humans of any age and at any level.

Mr. Hentges told The Washington Post’s Lyndsey Layton [recently] that, “The science continues to support the safety of BPA.”

You can limit your exposure to BPA by buying reusable stainless bottles for yourself and your kids, or at least BPA-free bottles.

Author: Jodi Selander

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