Sarah Cossey shares how she became a Placenta Remedy Specialist
On a cold November morning almost five years ago, I sat on a staircase with a three-year-old girl on my lap. As her mum’s doula, I explained gently to her what was happening as her baby sister was birthed in the hallway with her mum hanging off the bottom bannister rail just feet away from us.
The birth had been long and arduous for the mum who was exhausted, and both of the midwives attending and myself were beginning to tire. The baby had finally arrived peacefully after I had suggested the mum to travel up and down her stairways – with no breaks during the surges to encourage her baby to come down through the birth canal. We all breathed a sigh of relief when the baby finally decided to work around that final part of the pelvis and make her entrance gracefully into the world.
30 minutes later the atmosphere changed drastically as the mum started to bleed very heavily – this was a rare and worrying occurrence – made more concerning as we were more than 20 miles to the nearest unit. An ambulance arrived quickly and the paramedics began to prepare the mum for transfer.
At that moment I looked across the room to notice her placenta sitting in a bowl – freshly delivered just minutes before – and a thought ran through my head.
I have always had a mind full of random facts – I have an innate ability to remember morsels of information that are seemingly useless – my dad calls me the “perpetual student” always wanting more detail, but on this occasion perhaps my sponge of a brain would prove it’s worth?
I vaguely recalled seeing an article stating that one way to treat haemorrhage was to consume raw placenta – and it seemed ridiculous to stand looking at something considered as “waste” product rather than utilising it in this extreme circumstance.
I stepped out of the room and rang a trusted colleague of mine who had been offering encapsulation for years – talked her through the scenario and asked if I was crazy to consider it?
She quickly congratulated me on my knowledge and talked me through what to do….
Just three minutes later I was in the kitchen, fruit from the bowl in a jug with water, a small portion of placenta added, blender in hand and whizzing up my first “placenta smoothie”!! All the time I was watched by the second paramedic who was sat in the corner literally heaving at the suggestion that the mum might drink it.
Once it resembled something vaguely drinkable I poured it into a glass, popped in a straw, walked into the front room, held it up to the client and queried “I don’t suppose there is any chance you would drink this? – I think it may help”.
To my amazement she didn’t hesitate – just reached out and drank it down in one.
Now I know your next question will be “did it work?”
And of course, the truth is that I don’t know. The mum did stop bleeding shortly after – but then the paramedics were also treating her so we will never know for sure which worked – the second paramedic was definitely impressed and apparently talked none stop about the incident for the next two days to all of her colleagues – perhaps each approach helped the other?
What I do know for certain is that my interest in placenta treatments was piqued at that moment. For the next four years, I read all I could about placenta therapies and asked midwives to give me a “guided tour” through each and every placenta that my doula clients birthed. I took photos to share with our clients postnatally and was amazed at how interested they were in talking about it. I moved on to suggest encapsulation to all of our antenatal clients and heard their fabulous feedback in regard to the benefits they felt it brought them. I knew with certainty that it was time for me to become more involved – I had found another service that I truly believed would help our clients in their recovery following birth.
And so earlier this year I completed my own IPEN training and am now a certified member of the Placenta Remedies Network. I have fabulous phone consultations with women that want to know more about my services and have had to very quickly extend the range of therapies I offer to meet demand.
And best of all, I can’t begin to tell you how much I adore my work. I feel humbled and honoured to be chosen by parents to prepare their placentas. Mums and babies together create a placenta – I simply have the good fortune to prepare it for them!