Interview with Cliodhna Griffin, HBCE, CMT, APPAC
I wanted to encapsulate my placenta with my first child but unfortunately, after delivery complications (read about my birth story here), my placenta needed to be biopsied which made it unusable. This time around my delivery went much smoother and my placenta was usable. I reached out to C a few months before my due date as Vital Family Chiropractic recommended her. Maybe it was her soothing accent or her wealth of information but I knew I wanted to work with her! I hope you enjoy my interview about all things placenta encapsulation.
C, can you tell me a little about yourself and what got you into the placenta encapsulation space?
I come from a gorgeous village in Ireland and have been living in the USA for almost 14 years now. I am a wife to an incredibly supportive man and mother to 3 smart, wise and thoughtful little women. After the birth of our first daughter over 10 years ago, I went on the hunt for a better birthing and postpartum experience for myself and it was on this hunt I stumbled upon a thing called placenta encapsulation. I was intrigued and after the birth of our second daughter, I had my placenta processed and found that the two postpartum healings were the complete polar opposite. Once I had the easier, more healing postpartum, which was massively thanks to my placenta capsules, I decided to get trained and certified and long story short here I am running the only freestanding placenta encapsulation kitchen in southeast Texas serving hundreds and hundreds of families every year.
Can you break down what placenta encapsulation is? Also, is this your favorite way to consume it?
Placenta encapsulation as defined by The American Pregnancy Organization, “is the practice of ingesting the placenta after it has been steamed, dehydrated, ground, and placed into pills. Traditionally, this is taken by the mother and is believed to impart numerous health benefits. It is frequently taken shortly after giving birth, during a woman’s menstrual period, or during menopause with the belief that it helps counter some of the symptoms of menopause”
Having consumed my own placenta’s twice, my preferred method was the Raw method and in capsule form. This is basically where the specialist cleans, inspects and slices the placenta for dehydration. There is no steaming involved as there would be per the Traditional method. I preferred this method as I knew it would give me a stronger faster release of hormones, which suited my system. I also like knowing I would receive the maximum amount of capsules possible.
You suggested I do the traditional vs. raw method of encapsulation as I told you that I’m super sensitive to supplements and don’t drink caffeine. Can you explain the difference between the two?
Based on what we discussed and the very important information you gave me, I did suggest the traditional method. When I work with clients who tell me they are sensitive to supplements or have rough monthly periods etc. I suggest the traditional method may be best suited to them.
The placenta is steamed before processing, with ginger, jalapeno and lemon in the steaming water (they never go into the actual placenta or finished products). It is believed when these elements are introduced, it creates a grounding, warming and detoxifying effect over the person consuming the capsules. This in turn gives a slower, gentler release of hormones into the persons system, thus not overwhelming it.
The raw method of encapsulation skips the steaming part, the placenta is cleaned, inspected and sliced incredibly thin for dehydration and the dehydrated placenta is ground into a fine powder for encapsulation. The raw method will yield the maximum quantity of capsules as steaming causes shrinkage. It will also give a stronger, more potent release of hormones.
As a trained and experienced specialist, I feel it is my job to present the information to the client and ultimately leave them with the final decision of which preparation method they would rather go with. I know many of my clients would rather I choose for them, but honestly, they know their bodies and hormonal systems far greater than I ever would, I always trust they know best!
I myself have noticed a significant difference postpartum from my first to my second and I attribute some of it from consuming the placenta capsules. I have had some ask me if it really works but what do you say to those that don’t believe it works?
I am so glad you had an easier postpartum healing this time around and that your placenta capsules had a wee role in that. When I meet someone who does not believe in placenta encapsulation, I respect that. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions. Sometimes a person has to experience the different postpartum healing or see it in a family member to understand the power of the placenta. I get that it’s not a mainstream part of the postpartum journey right now, and some people are still on the fence but for me personally, I can stand in my truth and know what a difference the capsules made in 2 of my postpartums. If I am feeling respected and the other person genuinely wants to learn, I will talk about it, if I feel I am going to be ridiculed and mocked, I move on with an open heart, always.
What is the biggest compliment you’ve gotten from a client?
I get the most amazing reviews/testimonials/texts and phone calls. Many times I hear of how easier the postpartum healing was, the mother had more energy, felt balanced sooner or had amazing breast milk production, I honestly just gleam with delight when I hear these things, because that’s the goal, right? To make life easier and better for another woman/mother/family. To contribute in a small way. I’ve had one client burst into tears over a cord keepsake I made for her. Out of respect for the family’s privacy, I’ll just say, they welcomed a very loved wee baby and there was an incredible story behind the pregnancy and birth. The cord keepsake meant so much to this woman she completely broke down in her home upon unwrapping it. I left the home as I normally would, got to the stop sign at the end of the street and collapsed into tears myself. Never had I understood how much a simple cord keepsake could mean until that afternoon. It is the highest honor being invited into a postpartum journey like this, something that I will never take for granted and something I will always treasure.
What advice do you have to a new mom to help her in the postpartum journey?
My advice to all new families is to set yourself up for success. Sit down with your partner, away from distractions and have an honest, open conversation about how you both expect the postpartum journey to go. Create realistic expectations and goals. Kick out family that will be spectators and not helpers. Arrange for groceries to be delivered. Arrange for pelvic floor therapy, postpartum massage therapy, chiropractic care, lactation education/help soon after the birth. Arrange for a postpartum wardrobe for yourself, comfy pants, nursing tops, bathrobes, fluffy socks, good nursing bras…an electric blanket (good quality with timers etc.) for the bed to keep you snug and warm as you climb in and out. Stock up on good nourishing foods, warm soups and broths packed with healing ingredients. Investigate placenta encapsulation, making sure your specialist works under the best of sanitation protocols and carries certifications. And lastly, be kind to yourself, go slow and just be kind. You are healing, you deserve to just go slow for a month or two. Heal now, so you don’t have to later. And be proud of yourself…you are a rockstar.
Just for fun, if you could pick 3 dinner guests, dead or alive, who would they be?
This was the hardest question of this whole interview, just so you know…
Tommy Tiernan, is an Irish comedian and personality. He would be great fun and wildly interesting, he is a gifted storyteller.
John Lewis, the American Civil Rights Activist. I would listen to him for days if I could. I am in awe of all he did and endured for Black Americans. He is a true hero to me.
Julia Child, Her and I have food and France in common. I am a professionally trained chef and French culinary history was my happiness many moons ago. I would happily listen to stories of her own French adventures and devour the food she would cook for Tommy, John and I 😉
Interested in working with Cliodhna?
I serve the greater Houston area, from Montgomery, Katy, Pearland, Galveston, Baytown, Humble and everywhere in between!
My website is www.HoustonPlacentaServices.com where you can find more information on my certifications, pictures of my freestanding placenta kitchen as well as book your professional placenta services.