Doula , Placenta Service Provider, Educator, Village Wyse Womyn

Beth Murch

Providing Waterloo Region With Experienced, Nurturing, Good-Humoured Doula Care

Placenta Services

I am an independent placenta service provider: I offer a variety of techniques for preserving your placenta either for the purposes of ingestion (placentophagy) or for art.

The placenta is an organ that is rich in estrogen and progesterone, which many believe provides energy, restores hormone levels after childbirth, reduces hemorrhaging, enhances breast milk production, strengthens the immune system, normalizes blood hemoglobin levels and prevents or reduces symptoms of postpartum depression. Most mammals - including herbivores - eat their placentas as a natural part of the birthing process but with some cultural exceptions, placentophagy has fallen out of practice with humans. Increasing awareness of the potential benefits of ingesting placenta has resulted in more and more birthing individuals opting to harness the nutritional benefits of placentophagy. The idea of ingesting a placenta can be an intense one, but when you look at the good things it offers you, you might find yourself being more open to it than you ever expected. So, what exactly are the things found your placenta that can help support you?

 - Prolactin: Can help your milk to come in faster & in greater abundance.
 - Gammaglobulin: Increases the immune system protecting you from postpartum infections such as mastitis. - Cortisone: A type of steroid released by your adrenal gland during times of stress. Very calming.
. - Oxytocin: The love hormone! It is a natural pain reducer and has opioid-like effects. It produces feelings of euphoria.
 - Urokinase-inhibiting factor & factor XIII: work in unison to prevent postpartum hemorrhages. Reduces length of bleeding.
- Hemoglobin: A protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood. Hemoglobin is crucial in helping to build your blood back up. It is especially important in treating and preventing anemia.
 - Prostoglandins: An anti-inflammatory fatty acid which also promotes uterine contractions (which helps the uterus to stop bleeding and to return to its pre-pregnancy size).

 I offer a multitude of options for individuals looking to honour their placenta, whether it is for nutritive, artistic, or spiritual reasons. If there is something that you have in mind but don't see listed, please contact me for more information.

Placenta For Nutritional Support

Placenta Encapsulation: By far, my most requested placenta service! I highly recommend placental encapsulation for timid individuals as it provides all the benefits of consumption without the more "in your face" aspects of placental consumption! Your placenta is prepared according to the method of your choice (one method involves steaming the placenta with herbs, while the raw preparation does not), very slowly dehydrated (in order to avoid "cooking out" the nutrients), ground into powder, and then placed into vegetarian capsules. The end result is a capsule that resembles any supplement that you might purchase from a health food store...absolutely nothing to suggest that these beauties came from a placenta. Placenta Encapsulation: $200.00 

 Placenta Smoothie: Your placenta, blended with the fruits and vegetables of your choice, including juice and/or coconut water as you desire. Placenta Smoothie: $50.00 + (depending on ingredients chosen)

Placenta Broth: Grandma's go-to cure was chicken soup... no offense to your Nana, but I can do her one better! Your placenta, slowly simmered with the seasonings of your choice, creating a nourishing broth that you can eat as is, use as a base for soups/stews, or add to your other recipes. Placenta broth can be frozen, so if you want to have some now and save some for later, you can! Placenta Broth: $75.00 + (depending on ingredients chosen)

Placenta Tea: Who doesn't enjoy a good cuppa? Your placenta is steamed with the herbs/herbal tea of your choosing, which infuses the liquid with the goodness from the placenta. Placenta Tea: $75.00 + (depending on ingredients chosen)

 Placenta Tincture: A portion of your placenta is infused into alcohol for 6-7 weeks and then strained, leaving you with a ruby-coloured infusion that can be taken by the drop under your tongue or added to a glass of water in order to provide some support during times of transition, stress, and sadness. Placenta Tincture: 100ml $55.00

Dear Beth,
I just wanted to say thank you for preparing my placenta pills a couple of weeks ago. The whole package was so professionally done and I was very happily surprised how easy they are to take. I feel good and am sure the pills help. Also, the umbilical cord memento is so nice.
I will keep you in mind in the future if I have more kids and will recommend your services to my friends.
Thanks again!
- K.M., 2013

Please note that placenta capsules and tinctures, when stored appropriately, remain preserved indefinitely, whereas other options require consumption in a timely manner.

 Placenta For The Body

Placenta Salve: Your placenta is handcrafted into a restorative salve that encourages healing from cuts, scrapes, perineal tears, hemorrhoids, sore nipple, eczema, diaper rash, cradle cap, dry skin, cracked heels, and more! I use beeswax and essential oils and herbs of your choosing (for example, chamomile, calendula, aloe vera, lavender, tamanu, etc.). Placenta Salve: $75 +, depending on the ingredients chosen

Placenta-Infused Oils: A skin-soothing, hair conditioning, nail-strengthening option seeking to pamper their body with the cell-rejuvenating properties of placenta along with the moisturizing benefits of natural oils. Your placenta is infused in your choice of organic oils: extra-virgin olive oil, hemp seed oil, macadamia nut oil, jojoba oil, or tamanu oil. Can't decide which oil you would like to try? Why not try more than one? 100ml: $40.00 

Placenta Bath Salts: Does Mama need a spa day? Of course she does! But most mamas can't just drop everything and nip out for a jour de beauty. How about a compromise? You pour yourself a glass of wine, and I'll provide you with some lovely bath salts. Your ground placenta is added to Epsom and/or Dead Sea Salts, combined with your choice of essential oils, flowers and/or herbs. Popular combinations include: lavender, rosemary, mint, lemongrass, tea tree, sandalwood, patchouli, and citrus. Placenta Bath Salts Epsom Salt Scrub: $75.00 Dead Sea Salt Scrub/Combination Epsom and Dead Sea Salt Scrub: $85.00

Placenta Soap: Rub-a-dub-dub, there's placenta in the tub! Your placenta is added to soap, along with the essential oils, flowers, herbs, or other additives of your choosing. Ideas include: coffee soap, lemon soap, calendula soap, oatmeal soap, honey soap...the possibilities are endless! Placenta Soap: $75.00 (average yield is 5-7 bars)

Placenta For The Spirit

Placentophagy is not for everyone. There are, however, other ways that you can memorialize your baby's birth and treasure your placenta.

Placenta Prints: The shape of each placenta is unique and the veins create a beautiful tree-like design (often referred to as the "Tree of Life").I can create a keepsake print of your placenta using blood, ink, acrylic paint and/or food dyes (such as food colouring, spices, and herbs) on archival quality art paper (suitable for framing) or a stretched canvas. All prints can be sprayed with a fixative, if desired. A placenta print is truly a wonderful keepsake for a baby book or even to frame and amaze your friends with! Please let me know if you are planning on consuming your placenta after prints are made so that we can plan allergy-safe, non-toxic colorants for your artwork. Placenta Prints: Paper: $30.00 Canvas: $45.00

Amniotic Sac/Caul Keepsake: Throughout history, many cultures have believed that babies born in the caul (with the amniotic sac) over their bodies will be blessed with the gift of prophecy. Fishing people often bought cauls to carry out to sea with them as protection against drowning. Whether or not your little one arrived en caul, I can dry their amniotic sac so that you can add it to their medicine bag, baby album, or a special art project that you are planning. Amniotic sacs look very intriguing when framed and can even be coloured with food dyes or paints. Caul Keepsake: Free with the purchase of any service Beth Murch Doula Services offers - or- $20.00

Umbilical Cord Keepsake: The majestic umbilical cord is the sacred thread that bound you to your baby throughout your pregnancy. A very special addition to your bookshelf, altar, memory box, medicine bag, or baby book. Umbilical Cord Keepsake: Free with the purchase of any service Beth Murch Doula Services offers -or- $20.00

Placenta Photographs: If you would like casual photographs of your placenta being prepared, please let me know in advance. I am not a professional photographer, but I am happy to capture the transformations your placenta undergoes while in my care. Placenta Photographs: Free

Interested in more than one placenta service? Let me know! I can create an affordable, custom package for you. 

Research on the Benefits of Human Placentophagy 

Selander, J., Allison Cantor, et al. (2013) "Human Maternal Placentophagy: A Survey of Self-Reported Motivations and Experiences Associated with Placenta Consumption". From Ecology of Food and Nutrition. 52:93?115. 

Beacock, Michelle. (2012) "Does Eating Placenta Offer Postpartum Benefits?". From The British Journal of Midwives. Vol. 20, No. 7. 464-469. 

Young, Sharon M., Daniel C. Benyshek, Pierre Lienard. (2012) "The Conspicuous Absence of Placenta Consumption in Human Postpartum Females". From Ecology of Food and Nutrition. 198-217.

Young, Sharon M., Daniel C. Benyshek. (2010) "In Search of Human Placentophagy: A Cross-Cultural Survey of Human Placenta Consumption, Disposal Practices, and Cultural Beliefs". From Ecology of Food and Nutrition. 467-484.

Young, Sharon M., Benyshek, Daniel C. (2008) "Eating the Placenta: How Do The Nutritional and Hormonal Profiles of Unprepared Human Placental Tissue with Processed Human Placenta Capsules?". From American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting.

Mark, Kristal B., Jean M. DiPirro, Alexis C. Thompson. (2012 "Placentophagia in Humans and Non-Human Mammals: Causes and Consequences". From Ecology of Food and Nutrition.177-197.

Selander, J. (2012) "Placenta Encapsulation and Postpartum Health" from Hormones Matter.

Iyengar, G.V., A. Rapp. (2001) "Human Placenta As A 'Duel' Biomarker For Monitoring Fetal and Maternal Environment with Special Reference to Potentially Toxic Trace Elements". From: Science of the Total Environment. Vol. 280. 221-238.

Schramel, P., S. Hasse, J. Ovcar-Pavlu. (1998) "Selenium, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury Concentrations in Human Breast Milk, in Placenta, Maternal Blood, and the Blood of the Newborn". From Biological Trace Element Research. Vol. 15, Issue 1. 111-124.

"Stem Cells from Human Placenta Can Cure Diseases". (2009) from Children's Hospital Oakland.  Video: 

Magiakou, M.A., G Mastorakos, D Rabin, B Dubbert, P W Gold, and G P Chrousos. (2013) from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician and the services that I offer are not clinical, pharmaceutical or intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Health Canada or the Food and Drug Administration have not evaluated information regarding placentophagy. Families who choose to utilize any such services take full responsibility for their health and wellbeing, including the researching and using of remedies.