WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan mother turned doula is now helping new mothers discover the benefits of repurposing their placenta.
“When I tell people what I do, I say that I’m a doula and a professional placenta encapsulator,” said Megan Michelotti.
A doula by definition is a woman trained to assist another woman during childbirth. Doulas may also help families after they welcome their child into the world.
And a professional placenta encapsulator?
“Usually people don’t even ask what it is,” Michelotti answered with a laugh.
For those who do, Michelotti says she takes placentas after childbirth, dehydrates them, grinds them up and puts them in capsule for the mother to ingest.
It’s a service Andrea Tramper turned to after experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety after her first child.
“I heard about it with my first pregnancy but didn’t know anyone who had done it. I didn’t educate myself. It sounded quite frankly a little odd to me,” said Tramper.
Tramper headed into her second pregnancy with a care plan, including support from loved ones, a lot of communication with her husband and placenta encapsulation pills.
“For me, if it could potentially help me prevent or support me not getting as debilitating of depression, it was like ‘Whatever, it’s worth it,’ said Tramper.
It’s a small pill that packs other big benefits, according to some mothers. Women who ingested their placenta after childbirth have reported increased energy and lactation. They’ve also said it helps relieve pain and stabilizes their hormones.
“On the days I didn’t take it, I would notice come mid-afternoon that my energy was lower,” said Tramper.
Michelotti says placenta encapsulation is not a service she markets, relying on word of mouth and individual interest.
“We just believe in women. We believe when given information they make the best choices for their family,” said Michelotti.
That faith and a gap in the West Michigan market lead Michelotti to become professionally trained in placenta encapsulation.
“I am busy. I’ve done 18 (placenta encapsulations) since April,” said Michelotti.
For those who don’t want to wait, Michelotti can also come to the delivery room and make a smoothie with part of their placenta. The smoothie costs $50; encapsulation is $200.
“I don’t try to convince anyone. I think people have their preferences and thoughts on it and they’re going to do what they’re going to do,” said Michelotti.