The Pink Grasshopper-Doula Services



As a mother of 9 (nine) from my own womb and 6 from my practice, I have only grown in my loe for helping create families! I would LOVE to help you! 

view:  full / summary

Placenta Encapsulation

Posted by kelleplace on May 12, 2015 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)


Placenta Encapsulation = "Happy Pills"  We’ve all heard the horror stories about baby blues and postpartum depression – some of us have experienced it firsthand. And as expectant parents we all want to avoid that. We want those first precious days to be about bonding with our baby and enjoying the new addition to the family. We want to feel joy.


Those first few weeks are difficult for many reasons. Your body is physically exhausted from the birth and recuperation time is hard to come by. You might be inundated with visitors. Your baby wants to eat constantly and breastfeeding may not be as easy as it seems. It’s hard to find the time to shower, let alone cook nutritious, healthy meals for yourself. Your hormones might take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Some moms get weepy and sad and may not even be able to name a real cause.


It’s no wonder that 80% of new mothers experience some form of postpartum mood disorder in the weeks following the birth of their baby. There are steps you can take to prevent baby blues. Rest and support are important, being prepared with freezer meals, and enlisting help with older siblings gives you time to focus on your new arrival. However, in addition to that, your body actually prepares a supplement to help you recover from childbirth: the placenta!


Your baby’s placenta, prepared in the form of a capsule, is believed to:


Be perfectly made for you

Contain your own natural hormones

Balance your system

Replenish depleted iron

Give you more energy

Lessen your bleeding postnatally

Increase your milk production

Hasten return of uterus to pre-pregnancy state

Help you have a happier postpartum period

And later, be helpful during menopause

Placentophagy, the act of mammals consuming the placenta after childbirth, has been practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. And placenta encapsulation is a practice that has recently increased in popularity in the United States.


So why does placenta encapsulation work? It’s theorized that the placenta contains many different vitamins and minerals that can help fight depression symptoms, such as vitamin B6 and research has proven that it is rich in iron and protein; all of which are useful to women when recovering from childbirth. Along with replacing hormones, the placenta is a great natural postpartum supplement. There are some wonderful research studies being done at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas to help determine the actual contents and effects of placentophagy; including a long awaited double blind placebo research study.


If you are interested in encapsulating your own placenta, start by contacting a local placenta encapsulation specialist. They will come to your home, clean and sanitize your kitchen, clean the placenta and prepare it for dehydration. The placenta then dries overnight. The next day the placenta encapsulation specialist returns to your home to grind and encapsulate the placenta, leaving you will capsules and instructions. Many placenta encapsulation specialists also make broth, tinctures, salves, placenta art prints, and cord keepsakes. It’s important to find someone reputable and certified who has the knowledge and experience to handle your one and only placenta.

What else can you make with your placenta?

Five Yummy and Healthy Placenta Smoothie Recipes

Frozen Fruit and Veggie Smoothie


You can easily substitute any fruit and or veggie of your choice. The smoothie simply tasted fruity, and I could fool myself that any tiny bits were really strawberry seeds. All measurements are approximate, Tom just dumped them in. Other optional add-ins to consider are a squirt of lemon or lime juice.


4 frozen strawberries

1/3 cup frozen blueberries

1 banana

4 baby carrots

1/3 cup spinach

3/4 – 1 cup cran-grape juice (any flavor juice will work)

1 tbsp flax seed meal (for Omega-3’s)

1 tbsp dry quinoa (whole or ground) (for protein)

Placenta (for each smoothie, we added a 1-2 cubic inch block of placenta, or about the size of your thumb or a good sized strawberry)

Dollop of honey (optional)

3 ice cubes


Nut Butter Smoothie


The spirulina will turn the smoothie black, but the frozen berries will also mask the appearance of the placenta. Add some cocoa powder if you are craving chocolate!


3/4 – 1 cup milk (dairy, rice, or other)

1 tablespoon nut butter (peanut is best, but almond is good, too)

1 banana

1/2 cup frozen blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries

1 tbsp flax seed meal (for Omega-3’s)

1 tbsp dry quinoa (whole or ground) (for protein)

1/3 cup spinach

1 heaping tsp raw honey

1 heaping tsp spirulina powder (optional)

1 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)



Frozen Tropical Fruit Smoothie


The strong flavors of tropical fruit will mask any taste of placenta. Add something dark/red-colored (spinach and/or a few berries) if you want to hide the placenta’s color. This might have been my favorite smoothie – it was delicious!


3/4 – 1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup pineapple

1/2 cup mango

1/4 cup frozen berries

1/3 cup spinach

Juice from one lime

1 tbsp flax seed meal (for Omega-3’s)

1 tbsp dry quinoa (whole or ground) (for protein)


3 ice cubes


Vanilla Yogurt Smoothie


For those of you with a sweet tooth after the hard work of childbirth, this smoothie will satisfy!


1 cup yogurt (I love Greek yogurt)

1 banana

3 frozen strawberries

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp flax seed meal (for Omega-3’s)

1 tbsp dry quinoa (whole or ground) (for protein)


Dollop of honey (optional)


Veggie Blend Smoothie


I have to admit, I didn’t even attempt this one. The thought of tomato-based juice made me queasy, and I didn’t want to waste placenta on something I probably wouldn’t be able to drink.5 But for those of you who love V-8 type drinks, this one is for you!


3-4 – 1 cup tomato juice (or a blend like V-8)

Approximately 2 cups of your favorite veggies (carrots, spinach, broccoli, etc.)

1 tbsp flax seed meal (for Omega-3’s)

1 tbsp dry quinoa (whole or ground) (for protein)

(Shared From Placenta Recipes)

Doulas are support people

Posted by kelleplace on August 5, 2013 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Unless your significant other is a midwife or OB/GYN, he or she isn’t going to know nearly as much about the birth process as your doula. Even if it’s your second or third time having a baby, there will likely come a time when your partner will probably feel overwhelmed. Your doula is there to guide both of you through the process. She can suggest specific ways your partner can help you, while respecting the intimacy of your experience together.

Your doctor will be in and out of the room as you labor, but a doula will stay with you from the beginning and won’t leave until the baby is born, the placenta is delivered, and, if you’re going to be breastfeeding, the first latch is established. (Doulas will also come to your home if you want to labor there for a while before heading to the hospital). To keep you comfortable during labor and delivery, your doula might massage key pressure points, apply warm compresses to your lower back or set you up in a hot shower to ease the pain of contractions. And when you (or your partner) become completely overwhelmed and exhausted, she will be your one-woman pep squad.

A Doula's Promise

Posted by kelleplace on August 4, 2013 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

There are two types of doulas, birth doulas and post-natal doulas, with many doulas performing both roles. The difference is that the role of the post-natal doula is to nurture the mother at home after childbirth. This may include further breastfeeding support, light home duties, massage, emotional and physical support for the mother and so on. Post-natal doulas are particularly in demand as support for new mothers has reduced in modern society. Needless to say, studies show that post-natal doulas make a huge impact on the well-being of mothers.



The Promise Of A Doula

 1. You cannot hurt my feelings in labor

2. I won’t lie to you in labor

3. I will do everything in my power so you do not suffer

4. I will help you to feel safe

5. I cannot speak for you; but I will make sure that you have a voice and I will make sure you are heard



What Are The Proven Benefits Of A Doula?


A recent review of many studies from around the world have concluded that a doula’s support is more effective than hospital staff, friends or family. You can read the review here.


Studies (and reviews of the studies) consistently demonstrate very impressive benefits for the mother, father and baby, including:


50% fewer caesarean sections

Reduction in the use of forceps vacuum by 40%

60% fewer requests for epidurals

40% reduction in the use of synthetic oxytocin for inductions or augmentations

30% reduction in use of pain medication

25% reduction in labour length

Increased rates of breastfeeding at 6 weeks post-partum (51% vs 29%)

Higher self-esteem (74% vs 59%), less anxiety (28% vs 40%) and less depression (10% vs 23%) at 6 weeks post-partum

These are not misprints! The benefits are significant. Most of the women in the studies were accompanied by male partners, however study results show that women who had the support of a male partner and a doula fared best, for example, the caesarean rate of women supported by both a male partner and a doula was significantly lower (15.4%) than the caesarean rate for women supported only by their partners (24.4%). The studies also clearly show the positive benefits of doula support occur regardless of a woman’s economic status or whether or not they were privately insured. Its simply about having the right support with you at birth.



What About The Woman’s Partner – Does a Doula Replace Them?


According to the studies (and from personal observations in births I have attended) rather than reducing a partner’s participation in the birth process, a doula’s support complements and reinforces their role. Partners feel more enthusiastic and that their contribution to the labour and birth was meaningful and helpful. I often find when partners have a visual on how to support a woman i.e. watching a doula support her, they feel more confident and relaxing having seen some ideas to try themselves. In the studies, not only did partners report higher levels of satisfaction after the birth, but mothers reported feeling more satisfied with their partners role at birth too. Over 30% of women reported that their relationships were better post-birth than they were prior to the birth.



What Will My Ob/Hospital/Midwife Say If I Have a Doula?


More obstetricians and midwives are becoming aware of the doula as they become more popular; most are very supportive or are not bothered by a doula – in fact obstetricians and doulas rarely cross paths. If they do, it’s often for a very short time, during the birth.


In a recent birth I attended, a student midwife told me that they were currently doing a unit on birth support in her studies, and she was very impressed about the benefits and outcomes achieved with women who have doulas.


There is the occasional story I hear about some obstetricians not wanting a woman to have a doula present, however ultimately it is your own choice and decision as to the level of care you receive. An obstetrician is not present for you throughout most of the labour, only if you need intervention or to catch the baby (if they make it!). So continuous support from a known carer is crucial while you labour – because what happens during the labour can affect the outcome. It also is very telling about the sort of care you may receive at the birth if your Obstetrician is not open to you looking for ways to help reduce your chances of interventions. If your doctor is not supportive of you making choices, decisions and avoiding intervention, you may end up feel unsupported and disempowered in labour.


 What Training Do Doulas Receive?

 I have given birth to 9 children, attended 5, and have delivered 6 so far....... BUT...

there are several ways a Doula can train, through courses conducted by very experienced Doulas – some of which are also midwives, doctors and educators. Again, this is not medical training – doulas are trained in professional birth support. As part of a doula’s training, she may be required to read certain materials, attend several births (as an unpaid trainee), write assignments/reports, attend birth education classes and other requirements. 

What Is A Doula?

Posted by kelleplace on August 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The word ‘doula’ (pronounced ‘doo-la’) is a Greek word meaning ‘woman servant or caregiver’. More recently, it refers to someone who offers emotional and physical support to a woman and her partner before, during and after childbirth. A doula (also known as a birth attendant) believes in ‘mothering the mother’, enabling a woman to have the most satisfying experience that she can, from pregnancy and into motherhood. This type of support allows the whole family to relax and enjoy the experience too.


DONA (Doulas of North America) explains how doulas fit into the birth team: “Women have complex needs during childbirth. In addition to the safety of modern obstetrical care, and the love and companionship provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualised care based on their circumstances and preferences. The role of the birth doula encompasses the non-clinical aspects of care during childbirth.”


Faced with these uncertainties, many women find enormous reassurance in having a doula by their side. Research has found that women who have continuous one-on-one support during labor tend to use pain medication less often, have slightly shorter labors, and are less likely to have a c-section or a forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery. In fact, if you're serious about trying to give birth without pain medication, a doula may be your best ally.

Women who have continuous support are also more likely to report being satisfied with their birth experience. One theory is that mothers who have continuous support produce lower levels of stress hormones during labor than women left alone or attended by inexperienced coaches.