Ballarat Placenta's ~Breastmilk Jewellery Blog
Welcome to my Blog, i hope that through my blogs you become more comfortable with the concept of consuming your placenta and harvest the amazing benefits of it yourself
One morning a hug healed me .....
All my life my body image have ruled my Life, as a teenager I was very in control of my weight and body image, if you know what i mean!
I sent days browsing magazines and being "inspired"by all of the skinny models, the nice clothes, and the fun free life they portrayed in the photos, yes I was naive and stupid.
There were many health problems and feelings of being unwell constantly that came as a consequence with the life style, and I feel that the real damage inst actually evident until many years later.
I went through my early adulthood telling myself I was confident in my own skin, at times I felt very sexual, womanly, and quite frankly, I was at times very comfortable getting naked in front of anyone for a prank, a drunken laugh or some modeling shoots which I also took part in during the ages of 18 to 25.
I had oodles of body confidence! ~some of the time.
Then, my Husband and I had our first daughter, she was everything that I dreampt in a pregnancy and the whole experience, and I felt like I bounced back pretty well, I mean of course I wasn't comfortable for the first few months while I was getting back to the "norm", I did get some comments that set me back mentally with my eating disorder, I am sure that they were unintentional, but, the damage is immediate and damaging at the time regardless.
I remember my new baby was only days old and my Step Father pointed at my stomach and said "Oh what are you having another one? (baby) "......yes.... he really did !
But the damage was minimal and I was pretty happy, I didn't even have a stretch mark to boast about, I felt very blessed, and a few strict dieting rules and exclusively breastfeeding helped melt the extra weight pretty fast.
(above photo 12 months after birth of first daughter )
Then came Baby number two....
Then came Baby number two.
Again, another empowering pregnancy, but this time it was so much bigger, more uncomfortable, my hips felt wider and I didn't have the energy that I had with the first pregnancy, but I loved it none the less.
I was sitting on the floor boasting to friend that I didn't have one stretchmarks again!, then she informed me with a giggle that in fact I did, they were just down so low I couldn't see them, I grabbed a mirror and was shocked, horrified and amazed at the same time that I had earned some tiger stripes, I was half proud and half horrified at the same time.
After the Birth of my second baby, I was so much harder to move the weight, I was under the impression that it would just melt away like last time, but this time it was almost like my body had finally been changed and set differently biologically and physically.
I was stuck at 70 kg !, I know that this isn't overly huge but for me who normally sat at 55kg, I felt like a whale and was becoming so depressed and unsexy, I avoided my Husband while I was naked, I purchased clothes of a bigger size to hid the tummy, I opted out of joining the family in the water at the beach for favor of hiding in the sun tent with a good book.
I really took a knock!
All of the quick weight loss tips that I had learnt over the years just stopped working!, the methods that never failed me before were now mocking me and being resilient in their results.
I was hungry ALL THE TIME!, the more that I fed my baby the more I felt I also needed to be fed, and my choices were not always fantastic ones, I fell into one of my early eating disorder habits, binging.
I knew where this would lead me, so I had to stop, I was too "recovered"to fall back into a eating disorder, and I knew how much I would have to give up if I did, for one, my energy ( I didn't have much as it was), two, breastfeeding ( I knew that no calories would say good bye to my milk), and three, I was a role model now.
(above photo weeks after the birth of my first daughter)
The change was so gradual I didn't notice .....
Eventually, the weight did lift, and during the time that I was just way too busy to even give a shit, it started to melt away, I felt lighter and old clothes were fitting me where they hadn't since before the last pregnancy, and then I stood on the dreaded scales ( an item that should be banned in a house of a recovering bulimic) and I was down to 60 kg!, It almost came out of the blue, and I was so happy, for a second, then I remembered I still wasn't where I USE to be, but I wasn't going to let myself mentally agonize and freak out over it as again, I knew where that would lead.
Then one day I woke up confident....
(above pic of the day a hug healed me )
'The other morning I had had a really shit week, sick kids, tired from still co sleeping and breastfeeding a three and a half year old, just a really exhausting ...state.
I waked out to the kitchen in my undies and made a coffee, my little one came and hugged my tummy, I looked down at her and smiled that the little ones always seem to grab areas that are so precious to them and so insecure to us, such as our flabby tummies and saggy boobs.
Then, I suddenly felt ....Healed!.
That one baby hug changed my prospective of my body in a split second, a result that I had paid therapist hundreds of dollars to do for me over the years and failed.
It occurred to me that this little person that was looking up at me from my tummy, literally looked up to me!, she too would one day struggle with self image, no matter how much you love them, tell them how perfect they are, encourage them and uplift them, they too will struggle with being good enough in the eyes of the world, some times this can be displayed in just being a little introvert and other times it can result in, well, eating disorders.
Eating disorders are not really about eating, they are about self love, I like to call them "the worlds perception of you disorder"", because at the end of the day, your really not trying to please yourself are you?, your trying to fit in, be accepted, loved, desired and be what ever everyone else think that you should be.
So, what should you be?
Your body has served so many different purposes, It has been a channel to out pour love to your partner, to please him and yourself, it has carried the weight of doubt, the physical signs of stress, the amazing ability to grow a child, birth a child, and feed a child, it has been a pillow of comfort for your children, a food source, a soft place to fall, a strong frame to carry them, a physical barrier between your child and harm, a familiar place for your children to fall asleep on, and it has got you where you are today, with a beautiful family.
Don't be so hard on yourself Mumma, during my eating disorder, right in the depth of it, even when I had reached my "goal"weight", I was never happy, although I told myself I was.
I was just trying to fit in, be loved and accepted, it was never really about me, it was about pleasing everyone else.
Now the only people I have to worry about pleasing is my Husband, and my Children, and they don't judge me, so I can be happy knowing that all the changes this body has made, has been so our family can grown.
Remind a friend today how amazing their body is.
not only could you change their life but you will change the influence on their children also.
"She doesn't need that anymore!
If only i had a penny...
"Is that your "professional"opinion?", I feel like replying.
If there is one thing that I have come to realize in this parenting gig, is that EVERY man and his dog has an opinion on your choices to parent.
I have never been one to shy away from peoples opinions of me and especially when it comes to my parenting style, after all, I am the Mother. Not them.
But as i have found myself feeding my 3 year old in public i must admit that yes, i have felt the need to hide at times and do catch people watching me with a turned up nose, and it has been bothering me, because I haven't always given a shit like I do now.
Maybe its age?, maybe its me not having the confidence in my own body like i use too?, or maybe....just maybe, its society slowly eating away at me and causing me to doubt myself and what is acceptable and what is not?
The other day we were at a friends birthday party for their 13 year old son, and he had his mates there, all teenage kids, boy, sexually curious and full of cheek, you know the kind.
As i sat on the couch and whipped out a boob to feed my over tired 3 year old I felt the stares from the young boys burning into the side of my head, like a laser beam, I felt uncomfortable for a short while and even tried to convince miss 3 that we should continue this later or in a different room, then, I thought NO!, they are not staring because they are trying to catch a glimpse!, they are staring because it is foreign, how sad is that, they don't know what to make of the situation and so they do what teenagers do best, stare and try and process the situation in their own minds.
This moment was a light bulb moment to me, I was kick starting a new normal to them, by me feeding and exposing them to the fact that older babies need breastfeeding also, I realized that I was breaking the stigma for the next generation and that the next time that they see a toddler sucking the life out of a Mother that the shock wont be so great, they will start to accept it as normal and embrace it, what a wonderful thing to give to the next generation!
I plan on feeding my daughter until she decides that she doesnt need it anymore, I refuse to treat it as a dirty little secret that we only share at home in private, because she too is coming to an age that she will possibly remember the times that we fed together, and I dont want that to be filled with memories of her Mother feeling shame to comfort her.
Feed long, Feed proud, Feed for the next generation
So, you want to make Breastmilk Jewellery?
You have tried sooooo many times to get it right?, asked a number of professionals only to be turned away?, used, wasted a lot of your own precious liquid gold and you are now you are at a loss as what to do ?
Your not alone.
I get asked almost on a daily basis how to I "do it"?
While I admit that the secret to success is a trade secret and none of us professionals will openly tell you exactly how to so it, i do come across so many blog posts and discussions in facebook groups on the topic and everyone seems to have a "method" they are willing to share freely.
Unfortunately, these "methods" are not the correct way of doing things and then we see a run of new businesses popping up everywhere claiming to be the holy grail of keepsake artists, providing clients with a opportunity to purchase a dearly sentimental keepsake of their own.
Only for months later (sometimes weeks) their keepsakes turns brown or black and goes moldy. What a sad position for the customer.
The biggest misconception on methods for keepsakes is adding straight milk to resin, this is a sure failure.
The other is dehydration of milk, this also is a sure failure.
I have also seen methods such as adding milk to pantry items such as flour, corn flour, vinegar, salt, and god knows what else, this is also a sure failure.
To preserve milk you must actually preserve it, some think that once it is in the resin this will deter the growth of bacteria, this is not the case, the bacteria continues to grow despite the lack of exposure to oxygen.
Breastmilk is a living organism, it has hundreds of different strains of bacteria that multiply quickly, I have heard the argument that it is good bacteria not bad bacteria", and while yes this is some what true, breastmilk does supply our children with great gut healthy good bacteria, that bacteria does and will go bad if left to spoil, just like any fermented food.
When i first started out 3 years ago, I too tried these methods, straight milk being my first, dehydration being my second, vinegar was one, salt another, citric acid also, none of these methods exceeded the life span of 6 months, IF lucky!
Breastmilk needs to be preserved, that means killing off the ability for the substance to multiply and form of growth, It is not until this process is done that you can start your trial and error with methods.
Or you will stand no chance at succeeding.
Another frustrating thing I often come across is new artists selling their pieces only after weeks and some times months after "finding a method", as a future seller I suggest waiting a minimum of 6 months to see what color the piece turns before you even think about selling, even longer.
Remember, just because your milk held up for 5 months it doesn't mean that another mothers milk will exceed this as a keepsake, every mothers milk is different, some fattier or more watery than others.
I can not stress enough that if you want a keepsake that is going to last, PLEASE use a reputable seller.
Most of us ship world wide now with the thanks to import licenses making it a safe and fail proof way of shipping your special inclusions
If you for some reason want to make the item yourself there are plenty of people out there that offer DIY kits, but again PLEASE make sure that this is from a reputable seller that is also a professional artist.
I have seen some DIY kits purchased from etsy that are no more than wax added to breast milk and added to a glass vial pendant, this will go bad after a period of time and the amount of milk in the keepsake is no more than 5ml and the rest made up of wax, be smart, shop around, if it looks too good to be true then it is.
So if you are wanting a keepsake that will last, spend the money on a professional to do it right the first time, trust me, the amount of money that you will spend on trying different methods and DIY kits that may not hold up, you can invest into a nice piece of jewellery that you can trust will last ( always follow the care instructions supplied with your item so you do not void any warranty)
If you would like to invest in a piece of our jewellery you may contact us via the custom form below
I'm just a "work at home Mum."
As in, JUST barely has time to complete her work as a stay at home Mum.
Don't get me wrong, I love my job, being a Mother to two beautiful Children, but its hard!, and you know what makes it harder?, society.
Is it human nature for others to be so judgmental of other Mothers trying to "make it" in this world of high expectation?, or is it their own insecurities coming to the surface?, is it their own guilt expressed in judgement?, do they really just need a cuddle and a badge?, i mean, right now i am sitting on the floor of the lounge room in front of the heater with a two year old draped across my knee breastfeeding while my seven year old shoots straw and pencil darts at the back of my head (with free saliva attached) while i balance the laptop in a unusual way to be able to one finger type this blog, dream job come true right?.
I just love going to appointments for my Children and having the specialist ask what i do for crust?, the words they scribble on the file "stay at home Mother" are kind of in a way lessening the position i feel i hold, what i REALLY think that they should write in that void space on the medical forms is "Super Mum", now there is a fitting title!, after all, what is wrong with writing my Business name Ballarat Placentas?.
Now if you are a Mother that works away from the home and drops your children off to care, don't think that i'm forgetting about you *insert salute here*, and, if you are a Mother that doesn't work, please don't get your knickers in a twist thinking that i'm implying that you don't in fact work full time at being a Mother, my point i'm trying to make is WHY?, do some people assume that a Mother working from home is a hobby?, or a phase?.
I work very hard at my business the best that i can, and rest assured no one actually knows the real effort that i put into it to earn money to basically blow on the children the very next day on dentist appointments, chemist supplies, and clothing. Not even my Husband.
My husband also assumes that i have all the time in the world I am sure, its in his questioning when he comes home, "what have you done all day?", I couldn't possibly even begin to tell him everything that has happened in my day, so i skim over it and just give the important stuff, you know, the stuff they want to know, like "well darling i got all of your clothes washed and dried and perfectly folded and put away for you...even added a few drops of lavender to make sure that you remain calm in your very busy child free on the road business that you attend to all day, and as i was skipping down the perfectly vacuumed hallway i stopped to give your hanging photo of you a polish and a kiss"...that kinda thing ....
I don't tell him that the kids painted the toilet entirely green with face paint, force fed the dog SAO biscuits, dragged mud right thru the house, threw up on my favorite blanket, refused to sleep, threw a tantrum at the supermarket, drew on the inside white interior of the new car, all while demanding "ups" and breastfeeds when ever i sat down to do do some invoicing or reply to emails and STILL managed to cook an amazing KFC meal!;)
He has a very successful Locksmith business which he works very hard at, and which i also work very hard at for him, doing his paperwork and making sure the bills are paid.
Now i'm not claiming that i have it hard, i'm claiming that i have it BUSY, and as if being a Mother wasn't a full time job already, i decided to throw a business in the mix, what the hell was i thinking?.
Next time you come across another Mummy business, get interested, find out what it is that she does, try and support her, tell your fiends, tell her that she is doing an amazing job and respect that she IS running a REAL business, with real demands, and real children at her knees.
This world of Mummy businesses has boomed, everyone is trying their hand at making a little extra money, social media makes it easy to try and if you fail, then you just shut down the online store and walk away, it really is that simple.
But, Mummy businesses also bring competition, there is always another Mother out there that is out to get you, one that wants to bring you down, put you out of business to make her own succeed, this is the world that we live in, sadly, we have lost our village, Mothers all over the world, despite sharing sleepless nights, sick children, housework, personal family demands, and relationship strains, find it OK to tear other Mothers down.
It's not O.K.
There is room for all of us, we must come together and support one another, a little bit of praise goes along way, a little hug and encouragement and a kind word is invaluable.
I love my business, its something that i fell into and am very passionate about, and of course i have had my fair share of bullies try and bring me down, and i'm sure they felt very superior in trying to do so, and sure it hurt and caused a great deal of stress to me, and my family, but I'm still here.
So lift one another up, don't tear other mothers down, instead, while your breastfeeding at 3 am give them a like on Facebook, shop in their stores, introduce yourself and tell them they are doing a wonderful job. Because that's what grown ups do!
You Mumma are AMAZING!
How many times as mother have you woken up and struggled to remember the last time that you had a shower?.
That was me this morning, as i awoke to a tweek of the nipple, a fondle of my bottom lip, and a gentle whisper in my ear to the tune of "boooooobie" i cracked the tightly closed slits of my over tired eye lids open to see miss "almost 2" staring at me, a quick check of my phone and see its 5am....
"fuck this!, its meant to be easier not HARDER!, i am meant to have more energy and be more organised now that my little boob monster is older than what i was when she was weeks old"
have you found this?, that the toddler breastfeeding stage is harder and takes more dedication than feeding a new born?
Or is it just my child that needs me 24/7, and wont even de latch for me to pee.
How can she be sticking nappy wipes to the walls one minute and then have a sudden "omg!!...its been MINUTES since i had the boob!!!...where is the boob lady?...." moment and then be climbing up my leg begging for the boob the next?....its exhausting!
I have at times wondered if it was all actually worth it, wondered if feeding this demanding little being every three hours like clock work as if she was a new born was worth the greasy unwashed hair, piles of unfolded washing, abuse of the standard YouTube entertainment time one spends watching...well...shit, while being plonked on the couch with your tit hanging out.
And even though i know better and am more educated on breastfeeding than i sometimes give myself credit for, i suddenly start to want to doubt it all.
I mean seriously, she couldn't possible NEED a feed could she?, she eats like a horse and I baby wear her to the point that whacking on a carrier seems like part of getting dressed now.
So as im sitting on the couch with this little person sucking the life out of me (i sometimes wonder if there is even anything in there), sometime i go blog wandering, and occasionally i find a blog that is a better read than some of the novels i have read.
So, my friends post a link on facebook, right at the time that i was surfing the wall and contemplating the complaining post i was about to post in regards to being hard done by due to a demanding, boob sucking toddler.
I read it.
My heart sinks.
what i read is a blog of a mother weaning her toddler, it was a simple blog and a short read which is what i like, but by the end of it, it had me a blabbering mess.
This mummy explains how she takes her toddler to the beach to "wash away her nums and wash away her toddlers baby' in what will mark the start of the end of their journey together as breastfeeding soul mates.
Then, i look down at the little soul that stares up to me, calm, feeding, and happy with gratitude in her eyes, and i vow to her, "this is your journey, you do away with it when its right for you"
I suddenly realised that the earth wasn't going to end just because of 3 hours solid on the couch together, the washing would still be there, the paper work and invoicing wasn't going to go anywhere, i really had nothing more to worry about other than making it to the school drop off and pick up, and keeping this little last toddler soul of mine happy and loved.
So here is to all of the breastfeeding mummas that have shit days, you are an entire universe to a little person and your comfort can heal hearts, dry tears, sooth sickness, make memories and raise happy children. Even if you do have B.O and greasy hair in the meantime.
You rock Mumma, keep up the great work.
And to answer my own questions of silliness, YES, she does NEED a feed, she needs to feed for her own comfort, for her confidence, her energy levels, health, and most of all, to know that i am there for her needs whenever she needs them at what ever time of the day, not matter what i'm dong, she is the most important thing to me.
She can explore and learn this fun and confusing world knowing that she can return "home" at any needed moment.
One day the "nums" will wash away and so will her "baby", and my heart along with them.
Most Mothers now a days are a little more in tune with not only them selves, but also their pregnancies.
This new awakening that seems to be sweeping through our culture may seem "new age" and a revolution to some, but in fact, it is centuries old, and yes, of course im talking about placentophagy.
Placentophagy simply means "to eat ones placenta".
I can see some of you now grossing out and threatening to hit that little x button that closes the tabs but WAIT!!, give me a chance, i wish to talk a little about its ancient tradition and shed some light on why, how, and my own reasons behind suggesting it to others.
There are many cultural beliefs surrounding the placenta and how it is seen, some cultures class it as the babies"brother" or "sister", "milk bother" is another name commonly used, and also "babies pillow"
Some see it as part of the child soul and even believe that when the child dies, the placenta meets the child half way to the after life and stays with it for eternity.
Probably the most common option for honoring the placenta now a days is burial, but this itself dates back centuries and is one of the oldest forms of honoring the placenta.
In some areas the placenta was buried under the house or adjoining buildings so as the household could benefit from its fertile powers, some mothers even dug up the placenta later on and threw it away in the hopes of making herself Barron from having anymore children.
The placenta was always buried within close proximity of the family home, there were a few reasons for this, one was they thought that if the placenta was buried too far away from the house then the child's soul would wonder away from home in search for it, and the other was of course the previous mention of fertility, it was seen to bring fertility and health to the family.
Most commonly the placenta was buried on the left hand side of the front door for a girl and on the right hand side of the front door for a boy.
The burial traditions were not just limited to being buried on the property of the family, the people of Trobriand Island bury the placenta in the garden to ensure that the child will be a good gardener one day, in Sumatra, they give it to the river in sealed clay handmade pot, as they believe that this will stop the child from suffering cold hands and feet.
What ever the tradition, the placenta was highly respected, at one time, and sadly, over the years all of this has been lost.
With the increase of hospital births and the placenta being classed as "biological waste" and being disposed of as such, this has brought on a sense of shame, and opinion that the placenta must be nothing more than waste and should be disposed of as such.
But, there are so so so many wonderful benefits of the placenta and treating it as a extension of your baby or using it as a healing medicine, weather you bury it or eat it, it is still giving back to the family either tradition and love, or health and vitality, it truly is the most amazing organ.
Consuming placenta is a very old ancient traditions Chinese medicine, placenta is used in many medications today and if you have ever used wella balm shampoo an conditioner, well, sorry to say, you have rubbed placenta into your scalp!.
only 10 years or so ago was a private hospital exposed for selling thousands of tons of human placenta to french pharmaceutical companies, with out the mothers consent!.
Probably the most amazing things about placenta is its healing powers of being able to help a mother recover from birth, it has been proven to help with the mothers milk supply, balance out hormones, restore the mothers iron levels, shrink the uterus back to size quickly, improve energy and dramatically decrease the risk of postnatal depression.
So really, why wouldn't you keep your placenta for encapsulation?, i honestly couldn't think of one reason not to try it, (unless of course you don't medically qualify).
There are options for mothers that fear the taste of the pills or the smell, like flavored capsules that taste amazing, like bubble gum and berry, but in all honesty, there is no taste, and the smell, well, its not a bad smell, i liken it to a iron tablet.
Some services even offer jewelry made from your placenta, like Ballarat Placentas does, and NO its not the image of a placenta draped around ones neck as a necklace or chunk of meat slammed into a ring, its tastefully done and is a beautiful way of honoring the placenta, your babies keeper.
If you are wanting to book into have your placenta encapsulated, please call Cindy from Ballarat Placentas, she will be more than happy to guide you and prepare for you this amazing postpartum gift that you grew yourself!