I had never heard of Heather B. Armstrong. But apparently I have been living under a rock because when I looked at her description on Mom 2.0 Summit 2015 it lists her as " widely acknowledged to be the most popular “mommyblogger” in the world"
Well I raise my glass to Heather B. Armstrong! Her words, shared with me by Rebecca Woolf on her Instagram, just rang and rang in my head all day.
Ms. Woolf quotes Ms. Armstrong as saying, "Defensiveness steals your energy and demands that you explain yourself to people who will deliberately and maliciously misinterpret you. It's a waste of time, like screaming into a vacuum."
As parents, daughters, humans, business owners...whatever you are out there... these words are a wonderful dose of honesty. We are all going to encounter people that are looking to ruffle feathers and poke parts that are tender. And for many of us, they are going to do a pretty good job of making us feel pretty horrible.
Feel horrible about what?
That's the crazy part, there is a troll for everything out there. For instance...
You are going to have an epidural? Crazy!
You are going to have an unmedicated birth? Crazy!
You are going to have a planned Cesarean? That's horrible!
You are going to agree to an induction? That's horrible!
You are going to go past your due date? You're crazy!
But instead of feeling defensive, what if we respond securely and respectfully?
Recent Placenta Service Announcement
Recently I posted about a new service offering: Placenta Encapsulation as a Postpartum Placenta Specialist. I wanted to be extremely clear about the standard and reasons why my offerings are structured in a particular way.
(It all comes down to eliminating risk and operating safely while working with a woman's organ.)
There was some backlash - not from clients, but from other women in this field. You are welcome to look through the comments.
Just like some of the decisions I have made in my parenting life were not looked upon fondly, some of my business decision have/will endure the same negative energy.
Regardless of what other doulas think I should do, I want my clients to know I will not sacrifice my safety, or theirs, for my personal convenience or as a reaction of shame.
I support your decisions for your birth and your postpartum period. I hope my stance on placenta service shows my dedication to a woman's safety as she moves through the early transition of life with a newborn.
I took strength from Heather B. Armstrong's words. If you need help to find strength in your labor or postpartum time, perhaps I can help you.
Authored by A Swift Doula
Working in Chicago helping women through labor, birth, and their postpartum transition has allowed me a great view of one other industry close to doulas: Placenta Encapsulation. Until now, I have not offered this service myself, and have instead tried to find placenta specialists in Chicago that were both safe, and reliable in their methods of processing and business.
Just like doulas do not need a license or training to practice as a profession, placenta specialists are not required to have a license or training either.
There HAVE been sporadic trainings available, and many placenta specialists have been taught by someone they view as reliable.
However, it has not been until this week that an organization has taken a stand on how, where, and in what manner a placenta should be handled, transported, and processed for human consumption.
This week, Placenta Prep* has had its inaugural training, and the placenta industry now has a new standard of excellence. I am proud and honored to say that I was invited to attend this training and am moving forward to help raise the standard and safety of placenta consumption.
Not all women will choose to use this aid for their postpartum recovery, however, those that do should be offered a method and option to do so in such a way that reduces possible risks.
As a graduate of Placenta Prep* I agree to the following standards of practice for my business:
I will never transport a placenta for another person
This has nothing to do with convenience, and everything to do with doubt, uncertainty, and trust.
I want there to be absolutely zero doubt in a client's mind that the placenta I process is the placenta that came out of her body. To ensure that everyone involved agrees that the placenta is indeed the property of my client, I will never transport her placenta, even if it is directly from the hospital to her home.
I am not licensed to transport a human organ, and to protect my business and your trust, I will supply you with the necessary materials and information to safely transport your placenta to your home after the birth.
I will service a placenta in the home of the person who will consume it
We live in a world full of bacteria. Good bacteria and bad bacteria are everywhere. When a woman gives birth, she and (especially) her baby are in a delicate healing period where her immune system may be compromised or fragile.
To reduce any negative side effects of bad bacteria consumption, I will only process a woman's placenta in an environment her body is used to.
By processing a placenta in the client's space, I am able to ensure that the placenta is hers, that the space is free of debris from other processed placentas, and is free from any potentially harmful bacteria that may reside in my home. As safe as my bacteria is to me, it may be harmful to the delicate system of a newly delivered mother and her infant.
The only way to ensure that there is as few harmful bacteria present, the client's home is the safest location for this service to take place.
I will stay current on my Blood Borne Pathogens certification
This industry does not require a license, and does not require Blood Borne Pathogens Certification.
However, to reduce the risk to clients and to myself, I will follow guidelines outlined in this training to ensure every placenta, regardless of origin, will be treated with the respect and care that it deserves. To do this, I will always have a current Blood Borne Pathogens certificate while processing placentas.
Benefits of a Postpartum Placenta Specialist
As a Postpartum Placenta Specialist, a great concern is that I am able to be present and available to my clients while they are transitioning from pregnancy to postpartum.
By offering my services in this way, and by abiding by these guidelines, I also make myself available to my clients to offer support IN PERSON! I am trained and certified as a Postpartum Doula, and if you engage in my placenta services, you are able to reap the full benefit of my knowledge, care, and attention during my time in your home.
You can benefit from having your placenta processed in the safest possible way, with as many risks reduced along the way, AND benefit from time with a professional postpartum doula.
I look forward to elevating the profession of placenta specialists in the Chicago area!
Authored by: A Swift Doula
*Edited to update name
I'm Ariel Swift, I own Doulas of Chicago, and am happy for you to contact me at 773-816-2192!