I know, I know. It's a little early to be talking about Christmas, but last year we had a lot of sad customers who didn't get their orders in on time for the Holiday rush due to ordering late. So this year I am making a better effort to allow everyone ample ordering time.
If you would like to have a keepsake made for the holidays or want to tell your partner, family members, or anyone about something you have been eyeballing then the deadline to get your orders in is October 30th. After that, I cannot promise that your order will be completed.
I have my September Special running right now with rings that come in a variety of sizes and metal finishes. Perfect for ordering for the holidays! There are also some new keychain ideas, urn necklaces, pendants, and more! So make sure you get your order in on time if you would like a gift for the holidays!
Sarah Artel - Owner and Artist at W.I.S.E
It's that time of the year! Last June, I started offering Keepsake Jewelry in my business. It has been a year filled with learning, growing, and meeting some amazing people who wanted some keepsakes to help tell a story about something they went through. From birth, breastfeeding, and even loss, I have created keepsakes for many people and I cannot wait to grow more this year.
To celebrate, I am offering everyone a chance to win a $50 gift certificate!
Here are the rules and how to enter. I'm keeping it pretty simple this time.
1 - Join our keepsake group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/wisekeepsake/
2 - Comment on the giveaway post telling me what you would use your gift certificate for.
3 - For an extra entry, add some friends and tag them (PLEASE ask them first. No one wants to be added to a group without permission) on the giveaway post and you will receive an extra entry for each friend you add. Each separate comment counts as an entry.
4 - On each entry (telling me what you would use your certificate for and adding friends) I will give you a number. At the end of the giveaway on JUNE 15th at NOON AKST, I will disable the comments and run all the entries through a random number generator. I will post who won within one hour of the giveaway ending.
In addition to this, between now and the 15th of June, I will have an open discount for 10% off your entire order for keepsakes. Use code CELEBRATE at checkout to redeem.
All orders will still contribute towards the Service Dog Fundraiser I am currently running, too.
Keepsake Price Changes
Recently I made some changes to my website that make the ordering process a lot easier on everyone. It has been a huge success and so far everyone is enjoying the new way a lot more.
We are also reaching our One Year Anniversary for keepsakes! Incredibly exciting! I wanted to thank you all so much for helping me reach this milestone, and I can't wait to see what comes next.
Here at W.I.S.E., we strive for affordable and premium keepsake jewelry. I always wanted to be able to offer this at a price range that is obtainable for everyone. This is something that I will always strive for. With that being said, with the recent updates that have been made, and the rising costs of supplies from my own suppliers, on June 5th you will notice a slight price increase in most of the items in the shop. Nothing incredibly alarming, but enough to cover the increase in things I pay for behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly and keeping everyone as happy as possible.
We are also going to be starting a new Monthly Special where a single item will be showcased and on sale for that month. That way you may be able to purchase your favorite item while it is on sale.
I do hope that this will not be an inconvenience to anyone and that everyone understands. So if you would like to order anything at the current prices, I would do so now.
I'm also thinking of offering payment plans for those who are interested.
Placenta Services Price Changes
Summer Sale and Price Changes with placenta services!
Save $20 when you register for placenta services from now until September 29th of this year.
Coming in October there will be a few changes with prices on encapsulation. We will be celebrating our 3 year anniversary for opening our business to provide placenta services. Over the years we have learned more about the placenta, fine-tuned our services, and have gained so much experience since we first started.
Our prices have been the same since the beginning, even though supply costs have risen, we have added more features to our services (mailing coolers to those who pre-register, goodie bags, flavored capsules upon request), but the time has come that our prices reflect the services being offered.
October first, our encapsulation prices will be raised to $200 instead of the current price of $175. If you would like to lock in our current rates, please register now.
Thank you all so much for choosing W.I.S.E. - Women Informed, Supported & Empowered as your placenta specialist! I appreciate it more than you know.
Service Dog Fundraiser
Do you know anyone who relies on a service dog? If you do, then you know how important they are to some families. If you don't, then I want to tell you that they can literally be life savers. Especially for children.
I have a dear friend who is trying to help raise the money so that her son can get a service dog to help him in his daily life. Peter is a loving, energetic, and happy 4 year old. But he suffers from many allergies that he is constantly at risk of coming into contact with. Peter is also autistic, which means that he has no cognitive ability to understand that there are certain foods that he can't touch or eat without the possibility of anaphylaxis, which he has already experienced a few times in the past few years.
Any orders placed between May 15th and July 15th of this year, 25% of the proceeds will be donated to Peter's family so we can help him reach his goal. Don't want to order, but want to help contribute? Please visit their go fund me and you can donate there. Any little bit helps.
Go Fund Me
When considering placenta encapsulation, you have to make a few decisions. In addition to the preparation method, you also need to decide if you want to have the placenta prepared in your home, or in the home of your trained specialist. In this blog, we are going to cover the pro and cons of each choice and hopefully make the decision a little easier for you. Often you will hear that one is superior to the other, but here at W.I.S.E, we leave that decision up to you.
As you can see, there are benefits and draw backs to each choice, but it is important to remember that if your specialist is trained and diligent, then they are following universal protocols for sanitation and preparation. Knowing this, we know that it makes each space equally safe. Feel free to ask your specialist questions to make sure they are following all the proper steps to guarantee their safety and the safety of their clients. Don’t know what to ask? Read our blog here.
The bottom line is this: If you don’t think you can trust your specialist to process your placenta outside of your home, then maybe they aren’t the specialist for you. In this type of work, there needs to be some sort of trust; not blind trust, but trusting in yourself to be able to pick the right specialist for you, and the right place for your placenta to be processed. So what do you think? Which would work for your family? Let us know about any experiences you have had in the past or what you think you would like best.
Approximately one in four women experience a miscarriage. I don’t think anyone is every truly prepared for the emotional toll it can take on you, and some women are turning to keepsake artists to help with creating a remembrance piece for their lost child. Shawna was expecting her third child when she was told she lost her baby around 17 weeks pregnant. Two years later, and after the birth of her rainbow baby (and first girl!), she contacted me to help create some keepsakes with some of the extra cremation ashes from her baby.
I asked Shawna if she would like to share her thoughts and reasoning behind wanting to have her keepsakes created, and she agreed to answer a few questions for me.
What type of keepsake did you order?
I ordered several cremation keepsakes. A ring, a necklace and earrings with angel wings, two additional pendants, sphere shaped earrings, and a European bead.
What made you want to have this keepsake made?
I wanted these keepsakes made because I had a lot of ashes left over from a baby that I miscarried two years ago that didn’t fit in the urn, so I thought it would be nice to have keepsakes made to do something beautiful with the ashes that had been sitting in my closet for the last two years.
What does this keepsake mean to you?
These keepsakes mean so much to me because although I only got to hold to hold my baby for a short time, I now can keep a part of my baby close to me always.
Do you wear your keepsake, display it, or store it for safe keeping?
At this time, I wear the ring all the time, but the other jewelry I only wear when I am away from my baby, because she likes to pull on them. So, those stay put up, but once she is older I will be wearing those more.
It is hard to capture the beauty of these keepsakes in photos. While I know these keepsakes will not stop the heartache that comes with losing a child, I do hope that they will help ease the pain.
When it comes to placenta encapsulation, you wouldn’t believe some of things I have heard. Some good and true, but some just simply false and I’m not entirely sure how they got started. In this blog, I am going to go over some of the most common myths that I hear when it comes to this service and why they are untrue.
1. I can’t take my placenta home from the hospital.
I have had people talk about how placenta encapsulation isn’t an option for them because they are having a hospital birth and doctors don’t allow the placenta to be taken home. While it is rare, there are a select few hospitals that make you jump through hoops to take your placenta home. However, most of the time it’s as easy as just letting your care provider know you would like to keep it and then they package it up for you. Otherwise they generally discard it, or put chemicals on it that make it unfit for consumption. Sometimes they will not be able to release your placenta due to infection or other reasons that make it unsafe to encapsulate, and other times hospitals may have a policy that require the placenta to be taken to pathology for testing, but you can request that they only take a small piece so you can keep the rest for encapsulation. Talk with your care provider beforehand to make sure they are aware that you want to keep it, and see if they have any specific policy in place for your specialist.
2. It is only safe to have my placenta encapsulated in my own home.
False. This is a new one that I’ve been hearing. Placenta encapsulation is safe if the workspace is clean, disinfected and proper protocols are followed. This is why it is important to make sure that your placenta specialist is the right fit for you and has been trained in preparing in either your home, or their workspace. Ask the right questions to ensure that they are doing all the proper things and making this a safe process not only for you, but for the rest of their clients as well. You can check my blog about questions to ask your placenta specialist here. From not wanting to explain it to visitors, having a stranger in their home for hours, or even just not wanting the smell that comes with it, sometimes people don’t want the hassle of having it prepared in their home, and that is 100% okay. You should have the choice about where you want your placenta processed. So, interview some specialists and make sure you find the right one for you.
3. Placenta encapsulation is a fad only for “crunchy” parents.
I would say it’s more for anyone who wants to take extra care of themselves after having a baby. While it is considered a more “natural” type of thing, you will find people of all types participating in this practice. From celebrities like Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, to everyday people like you and me, moms who want to reap the benefits of placenta encapsulation require no labels to have this done for them. This is also hardly a new fad. Placenta encapsulation has been around for thousands of years in the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
4. I can’t take pills, so I can’t do placenta encapsulation.
Luckily there are so many ways to have your placenta processed! Some of the options include: smoothies, tinctures, and even just having the powder in a jar so you can add to your own smoothies. There are countless ways to use the powder. Some even make chocolate truffles that are so delicious that you would never guess that placenta was an ingredient! Ask your placenta specialist about everything they offer and you may just be pleasantly surprised.
5. I’m doing cord blood banking so I can’t keep my placenta.
Cord blood banking is an awesome thing to participate in, and the good news is that it doesn’t hinder your ability to take your placenta home. With cord blood banking, the cord is “milked” of the remaining blood, and this can be done in the room so there isn’t a chance of your placenta being mishandled. After that, you can just have it packaged up and then it is ready for your specialist!
6. Placenta encapsulation is cannibalism!
This was actually my husband’s response when I first told him I wanted to encapsulate my placenta after the birth of our second child. However, encapsulation doesn’t meet the definition of cannibalism.
1. the eating of human flesh by another human being.
2. the eating of the flesh of an animal by another animal of its own kind.
3. the ceremonial eating of human flesh or parts of the human body for magical or religious purposes, as to acquire the power or skill of a person recently killed.
So, since no one is being killed and you aren’t eating the flesh of another person, this isn’t comparable.
7. Placenta pills are a magic, cure all for the postpartum period!
Oh, how I wish this was true! While some people may attribute their amazing recovery to the pills, the fact remains that these pills won’t work the same for every woman. For some, their recovery will be faster, their milk supply supple, and their hormones will be more stable, leading to less mood swings. For others, they will barely notice a difference, or their pills will make them anxious and jittery. I’ve been doing this for two years and I will say that only one of my clients has ever said they didn’t notice a difference, but I would hate for anyone to go into this process thinking that it will “cure” them of postpartum depression and fatigue. The odds are in your favor of at least one benefit, but results vary from woman to woman.
Have you heard any crazy things about placenta encapsulation? While these aren’t all of them, they are the most common. Let us know in the comments down below!
If you decide, like many others before you, to hire a trained specialist for your placenta encapsulation, it can be a little daunting to know how to hire the right one. Where do I find one? How do I know I can trust them? After all, you only get one shot at getting this done right, so you want to make sure that it is, in fact, done right. So if you are wondering about how to hire a specialist and want tips for making sure they are a good fit for you, just keep reading our “questions to ask your placenta specialist.”
These are just some of the questions that you may want to ask when looking to hire the right specialist for you. So make a list and be prepared when interviewing. Ask around and see if anyone has one they recommend. There is a great site called FindPlacentaEncapsulation.com where you can look up specialists in your area. Check and see if they have any reviews on a Facebook page or website. Don't be afraid to look around. You only get one placenta after your birth, make sure you trust your specialist.
In a previous blog, I talked about some of the reasons why some people decide to have their placenta encapsulated. After deciding if it is something you want to pursue or not, the next thing you may need to decide is whether you should hire someone or try doing it yourself. Even as a trained specialist who gets paid by doing this for other people, I recognize that there are pros and cons to each side. You just have to determine what it is best for you. So let's just jump into it!
As you can see, it all really just depends on what you want, and the availability of a trained specialist in your area. If doing it yourself is something you are interested in, then go for it! Do some research on proper protocols and make sure you have adequate help with the baby so you don't feel rushed. Between cleaning, prepping, processing, and cleaning again, you are looking at anywhere from 3-4 hours (not including the time it takes to dehydrate). Or maybe you will get lucky and your partner will be willing to do all the work for you.
Now you may be looking at the Cons of hiring a specialist and you see "the possibility or hiring an untrustworthy specialist" and your eyes are probably doubling in size. Unfortunately, it does happen and it's a risk that you need to be aware of. So, in a future blog I will be discussing how to hire a specialist and questions to ask.
I've had a few different postpartum experiences regarding my decisions about placenta encapsulation. With my first child, I decided not to encapsulate my placenta. It was still new to me and to be honest, I thought it was pretty gross. I ended up having a harder postpartum experience than expected and I ended up regretting not having it done. Do I know for sure that it would have helped? No. But I would have been willing to try anything to make it better the next time. So, with my second child I decided to give it a shot and I paid my doula, who was a trained specialist, to encapsulate for me. My experience with it was so great that I decided to get certified so I could also offer this service to women in my area. After the birth of my third child, I decided to go ahead with encapsulation again, but do it myself this time since I am certified and trained. I figured I would be able to save some money and make sure it was done right. And to be honest - I fully regret going the DIY route. Not because I messed up or wasn't qualified, but because it was the last thing I wanted to be doing. I should have been resting and bonding with my baby, but instead I was stressing about trying to keep him content and taking frequent breastfeeding breaks while also trying to keep a clean and organized workspace. I ended up putting it off until the very last minute and I almost just put the placenta in the freezer to do at a later date.
Although I am done having kids (knock on wood), I would hire a specialist if I ever had more. The peace of mind that it is in good hands and that I can relax, recover, and bond with my new baby is worth it to me. However, I would never tell someone that she shouldn't have the right to do it herself, if that's what she wanted to do. So what do you think? Have you had your placenta encapsulated and chose the DIY route? Or did you hire a trained professional that you trusted? I love to hear about your experiences, so leave them in the comments!
During my initial consultations with pregnant women, I always ask how their partner is feeling about the idea of including a doula on their birth team. Sometimes, partners are more than happy to welcome the support a doula can provide. But more often than not, I get a “welllll… they’re a little nervous about it…” or some form of “they just want to know how to help me, but seem worried about being replaced...”
Listen, guys. I get it. You might be feeling a little hurt if your wife or partner wants to hire a doula for your baby’s birth. What can a doula offer her that you can’t? Will she take your place or get in the way? What exactly does a doula do, anyway?
Let me reassure you that doulas can greatly benefit not only the woman you love, but YOU, as well.
A Doula is a person who is trained to assist a woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born. Doulas support laboring women and their partners emotionally, physically, and with any information they might need to make informed decisions as labor progresses. Doulas do not provide medical care. A Doula is generally independently contracted by and works directly for the laboring person and her partner, with the role and goal of supporting, encouraging, and remaining with the laboring person throughout her birth.
Shanna and a partner, working together to help a laboring mom find comfort and relief.
1. Doulas understand the jargon and speak the language of birth. Dilation? Effacement? Station? Hep lock? Anterior, posterior, cervical lip? Um… What? Your doula knows, and she’s like a medical interpreter, clarifying the terminology from your providers and sharing it with you in a way that is easy to make sense of. She will make sure you understand what is happening, every step of the way. You don't have to remember all those details from childbirth class, your doula will refresh your memory and clarify anything confusing.
2. She will spot you so that you can take a break. Labor can take time. Nurses and doctors come and go. Doulas don’t leave. She will be there so that you can go to the bathroom, take a short nap, have a real meal. She’ll be sure to send you for breaks so that you’ll be energetic and focused when your partner needs you most.
3. Doulas know the right questions to ask. They will remind you about your plan and encourage you to take time to consider your options. Your doula will provide information to help you make appropriate decisions and facilitate communication between your partner, her medical care providers, and you. She will reassure you to remember your voice. Doulas are skilled at offering different alternatives for any given situation. Labor is unpredictable, but she will always be ready with suggestions to try, pros and cons of any proposed change in plan, etc. Since doulas work for you, they are an unbiased source of knowledge and resource whose only goal is the well-being and healthy outcome of the birth. They are your advocate, friend, and a steady stream of emotional and informational support.
4. Doulas know how to comfort laboring women, and a doula will make you look GOOD. During her labor, you will likely see your partner in a way you’ve never seen her before. Doulas excel at giving partners the tools and tips they need to help comfort and soothe the person that they love during their birth. Your doula will model the calm, quiet, peaceful demeanor your laboring partner needs to see. When she forgets the breathing exercises you learned in childbirth class, your doula will remind you how to breathe with her. When her back or hips ache, your doula knows how to guide your hands to give her relief. When she says she can’t do it any more, your doula will be right there with you, reassuring you both and encouraging her that she IS doing it. Your tender touch and reassuring words will be the ones your partner always remembers. Your doula will be an ever-present encourager, supplying you both with suggestions and support.
“Studies show that when doulas are present at birth, women have shorter labors, fewer medical interventions, fewer cesareans and healthier babies. Recent evidence also suggests that when a doula provides labor support, women are more satisfied with their experience and the mother-infant interaction is enhanced as long as two months after the birth. With doula support, fathers tend to stay more involved with their partner rather than pull away in times of stress. The father's presence and loving support in childbirth is comforting and reassuring. The love he shares with the mother and his child, his needs to nurture and protect his family are priceless gifts that only he can provide. With her partner and a doula at birth a mother can have the best of both worlds: her partner’s loving care and attention and the doula's expertise and guidance in childbirth.” --www.dona.org
Partners are often able to participate in labor and birth more fully with a doula present. Much of the fear and worry about the safety of his or her unborn child and partner are removed when a doula is present because she can provide informational support about the labor as it progresses, and her calming influence allows the partner to give the love and support needed, in a way that is most effective and comforting. The presence of a doula complements a partner's role and strengthens it, allowing him or her to more fully experience the joy and wonder of welcoming their baby into the world.
Doulas and partners are a winning combination. Supported birthing person, empowered partner. Birth. Do it with a doula.
When people hear about placenta encapsulation, they tend to wonder what would make someone want to do something like that. From celebrities to average people like you and me, people all over the world are utilizing their placenta during their postpartum recovery, and it has many people wondering: “Is this for me?”
Let’s start with what it is. Placenta encapsulation is the process by which the placenta is examined, cleaned, dehydrated and then placed into capsules for the mother to take, as little or as often as she desires. Some people think this new and a “fad” because of its current popularity, but this practice has been around for centuries as a way to replenish much-needed nutrients, mainly iron and protein. After the birth of baby, humans, at least in the western world, are one of the few land mammals that do not consume their placentas.
There are two main methods of preparing a placenta, each with its own benefits. To decide which method would benefit you the most, talk to your specialist, or try them both! This can easily be done if you specify beforehand that you would prefer to have this option.
The first method, the “Raw Method”, involves cleaning the placenta, removing the membranes and cord and then draining the excess blood. After draining blood, the placenta is cut into thin strips and dehydrated. Because this method leaves a little more blood behind, more than the TCM inspired method, the dehydration process takes a bit longer to complete. However, using the Raw Method creates a very nutrient and hormone dense capsule and a high yield. This method is generally not recommended for women with a history of anxiety, jitters, insomnia, or bipolar tendencies because it can result in an overwhelming feeling.
Next we have the Traditional Chinese Medicine Inspired Method (TCM). This process is exactly the same as the Raw Method except for one added step, gently steaming the placenta before processing. This preparation is thought to bring out the placenta’s healing and tonifying properties to the uterus. TCM Inspired capsules offer a more balanced, mellow flow of hormones back to the mother. This is a better option for those who already suffer from anxiety since the RAW method may contain concentrated hormones from the body and cause more emotional upset. Generally, this method yields a smaller amount of capsules, but not by much. Why “inspired” and not simply TCM? The true TCM process involves adding herbs like lemon, ginger and hot pepper to the steaming process. It is thought to bring more warmth to the placenta and provide additional benefits. However, I am not a trained herbalist and I do not know which particular herbs the mother’s body will require, or possibly have an adverse reaction to, so I choose to skip this step. I would hate for a new mom to have a negative reaction due to an herb, and then her capsules be rendered useless. However, I do offer the option for you to seek the opinion of a trained herbalist to advise you on the right herbs if you truly want it.
For those who don’t want to decide between the two methods I offer, you can choose the 50/50 route and have half your placenta prepared with the Raw Method, and the other half with the TCM inspired method. This gives you the option to experience both options and truly customize your dosage, maximizing all the benefits that both methods offer.
Now that we have talked about what it is, and the methods used, let’s talk about why, because the potential benefits are really where it’s at. So what would convince anyone want to do this? The amazing possible benefits. The placenta contains a large amount of crucial hormones and iron that normally leave our body with its delivery, and by encapsulating the placenta, you return these back into the body and help stabilize your system. Although results vary from woman to woman, some of the reported benefits are:
Although the vast majority of moms have nothing but positive things to say about their experience with placenta capsules, there are the rare negative side effects that some moms experience, such as:
The best part about all this? You can get all these benefits without having to ever touch or look at your own placenta! I am a trained specialist that can prepare your “happy” pills for you without inconveniencing you one bit. It can be done in your home, or in my designated prep area at my home, whichever you desire. The whole process takes about 2-3 days and will cost you around $150 in our local area of Anchorage, Alaska. I also serve Wasilla Eagle River, and Palmer for a small travel fee. Or, if you want to save some money and bring it to me and pick up the capsules once it is prepared, I offer a $20 discount for those who are willing. In another blog, I will be discussing hiring a placenta specialist vs. doing it yourself and trying to save some money.
Generally speaking, it is very safe to have your placenta encapsulated, but there are some small risks that need to be mentioned. They are similar to the risks involving food-borne illnesses, like:
So is placenta encapsulation for you? If the proper protocols are followed and there are no contraindications, then you are a perfect candidate for placenta encapsulation! Placenta encapsulation is an investment that could potentially be the difference between looking back on the postpartum months with fond memories, or remembering an overwhelming anxiety and unstable emotions. Very few women reported feeling no effect from their placenta pills, the vast majority of women report that placenta pills helped them in their postpartum recovery. So it’s worth a shot! What do you think?
Now through September 30th, all placenta encapsulation packages are 20% off! If you have been thinking about this to help with your postpartum recovery, now is the time.
Many ask if there are any studies proving the benefits of human consumption of their placenta following the birth of their child, and here at W.I.S.E., we believe in 100% transparency. We will tell you that no, there are currently no studies proving the benefits. Then where do all the acclaimed benefits come from? These are simply just the results that have been reported to us by our clients. The vast majority of our clients rave about all the benefits they experience when they take what they call "happy pills." From being able to pump more milk, sleep better at night, heal faster, and just feeling more emotionally stable, women are happy that they are making this investment in their postpartum recovery. Sometimes, we even get reports of partners being able to tell a difference between when the mom takes her capsules and when she forgets. Very rarely do we get someone who reports anything negative about utilizing their placenta in the postpartum period.
So what do you think? Check out our page on placenta encapsulation to learn more about the benefits and/or register for services. Take a look at our placenta FAQ page to read more about how it works.
Sarah is a work at home mom with three beautiful boys, two dogs, and a loving husband. She is a certified childbirth educator, placenta specialist, and creates custom, high quality keepsakes made from breastmilk, placenta powder, cremation ashes, and so much more.