Alex James is a postpartum doula and nutritionist based in
downtown Toronto. She believes it's possible for all families to have an awesome postpartum experience, where they
are honoured, celebrated, rested, and well fed.
If you’ve read anything else on this site, I’m sure you’ve gotten the gist by now - I'm all about honouring the person that has given birth. One of the ways we can honour the birthing person is to honour the placenta.
The placenta is a super special organ: it grows inside the womb specifically to deliver life-giving nutrients to the baby, providing an irreplaceable bridge between parent and child. In addition to its physical importance (providing nutrients and removing wastes), many cultures have spiritual beliefs about the placenta’s role. One of the best books on the topic of the placenta can be found here.
In many birth settings today (mainly hospitals), unless the birthing person makes a request otherwise, the placenta is treated as medical waste and disposed of soon after birth. In Canada, we have the right to say what happens to our body parts - placentas included. Many families choose to honour the placenta in some way, often by burying it under a tree on their property, and/or consuming it. Encapsulation is to consume your placenta in capsule form (versus with a knife and fork!).
Placenta remedies have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over a thousand years to nourish the blood, boost qi (life force energy), and help with lactation. The placenta contains minerals (the iron content is especially notable), hormones, and amino acids/protein. Many birthing parents report benefits such as improved energy and mood, increase in milk supply, less pain and bleeding, and an better sense of well-being.
You may have lots of questions about placenta encapsulation - understandable! I have a handy FAQ you can read.
Are you in Toronto and interested in having your placenta encapsulated? Read on.
Following the birth, I will pick up your placenta and transport it to be processed in my sanitized work space. You simply need to refrigerate it or place it on ice within 2 hours of delivery. Detailed, foolproof instructions are provided about how to do this, so you can enjoy those first hours with your baby without stressing about your placenta!
Upon completion I will deliver your capsules, an umbilical keepsake and/or print if you requested them, and tincture if you ordered one. Read on to learn more about products and pricing.
Placenta encapsulation - currently 50% off while I become APPA certified! $125 (reg $250)
Your placenta is steamed, dried, ground into powder, and placed into capsules for easy consumption. Includes an umbilical keepsake and placenta print if you wish.
Placenta tincture - $40
A small piece of your placenta is placed into a dropper bottle with alcohol, to be used as a tincture beginning at least 6 weeks later. Many people choose to save this tincture and use it as needed, even years later. It keeps for a long, long time.
Umbilical keepsake - complimentary
The umbilical cord is dried into a shape such as a heart, spiral, or initial, and given to you to keep. If you don’t wish to have an umbilical keepsake, the umbilical cord will simply be included in your capsules.
Placenta art print - complimentary
Before being prepared for encapsulation, your placenta is pressed onto high quality artist’s paper, for a truly natural piece of commemorative artwork. This is optional. Some parents like to have this to put in a baby book or even in a frame for the wall. It measures 11x14 inches.
If placenta encapsulation sounds like something you might be into, let’s chat!
I am here to support you in having a positive postpartum experience - whatever that looks like for you. Placenta consumption isn’t for everyone, but if you choose to give it a try, I’m here for you.
Central/downtown Toronto. Jane St to the west, Main St to the east, and south of Eglinton Ave. If you live outside these boundaries, please inquire. A small travel fee may or may not be required.