Our Childbirth Education Classes Have Moved To Cleveland Natural Birth

find Lamaze and birth boot camp classes at Cleveland Natural Birth

Are you interested in learning more about or enrolling in our amazing Birth Boot Camp childbirth education courses? Our popular childbirth classes have moved. Please check-out our ‘sister-site’ Cleveland Natural Birth to learn more about the prenatal wellness classes, childbirth education courses, and holistic parenting and newborn care workshops available to Cleveland and Akron families.

Alayna Spratley, Ohio Director with The Nurturing Root is still facilitating all Birth Boot Camp – Natural Childbirth Education courses, now via Cleveland Natural Birth. Alayna will also continue to provide in-home placenta encapsulation services through The Nurturing Root.

A New Podcast Is Delivering Strength To The Cleveland Birth Community

Delivering Strength a podcast about pregnancy and birth The Nurturing Root

Expectant and young families in Cleveland now have access to a fresh new resource for pregnancy and birth! Delivering Strength is a Cleveland-based podcast that addresses a variety of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum health topics. Delivering Strength is co-created by Dr. Candace Gesicki, a chiropractor practicing in Independence, Ohio, and Anna Marie Murphy, a marketing professional, new mother, and holistic health aficionado, living in University Heights, Ohio. Dr. Candace and Anna Marie are thrilled about the opportunity to give mothers and families resources and support, so they can have an informed and empowered pregnancy, birth, and parenting experience. Delivering Strength’s mission is to educate and empower women to become their own biggest health advocates! The podcast format includes interviews with a variety of local birth and wellness professionals and experts, and explores topics and resources important to the overall health of Northeast Ohio women and families.

The release of the Delivering Strength podcast comes at a very special time for both Dr. Candace and Anna Marie. In addition to being a chiropractor, certified in the Webster Technique, specializing in prenatal and postpartum health, Dr. Candace, is a regional director with BirthFit, a fitness-based wellness and education program for expectant and new mothers, and is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, offering acupuncture services. She is also expecting her first child in late 2017! Anna Marie’s desire to support the birth community with this podcast, was bore from her somewhat challenging journey to motherhood. Frustrated with the lack of support, concern, and resources from her obstetrician and family doctor, Anna Marie researched more integrative approaches to assist her with fertility challenges. Anna Marie intimately understands the difficulties families endure looking for support outside the scope of mainstream medicine. Thankfully, her intuition, research, and resolve paid off, big time. Anna Marie welcomed her first child earlier this year. Anna Marie and Dr. Candace’s dedication to achieving optimal wellness and supporting the birth community brought them together to create Delivering Strength.  We are so grateful to them both, for this amazing new resource!

The Delivering Strength podcast has released four episodes, as of August 2017. Listeners have the opportunity to learn more about Delivering Strength’s mission and its co-creator’s wellness journeys, hear a great pregnancy and birth story about an unmedicated hospital birth overseen by the Midwives at Lake West Hospital, and learn about postpartum thyroid concerns with Dr. Jerrica Sweetnich, an Akron-based Naturopathic Doctor. Additionally, hear all about building the most supportive and encouraging birth team. The episode we recorded with Delivering Strength, is dedicated to providing resources, facts, and information about how crucial it is to surround yourself with the best birth team. Listen to the episode featuring Alayna Spratley, Ohio Director of The Nurturing Root, here! The Delivering Strength podcast is a wonderful resource for expectant and new parents looking for a community of birth support in greater Cleveland. You can listen to all of the episodes from the Delivering Strength podcast, here.

The Nurturing Root is delivering strength to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio families with a thoughtful array of holistic pregnancy, birth, and postpartum support services. We help couples on their journey to parenthood with natural childbirth education and parenting classes, in-home placenta encapsulation services, and postpartum doula and infant care. The Nurturing Root is honored to support and educate the Cleveland birth community. Please contact us for more information!

How We Are Improving Birth For Cleveland Families

The Nurturing Root Rally to Support Improving Birth Chardon Ohio

Improving Birth is a non-profit coalition of organizations that advocates for evidence-based care, and the right for women to make informed decisions in childbirth! We are proud to share Improving Birth’s mission, which is to inform, support, engage, and empower families and community members, with strategic tools, to improve our cultural and institutional birth climate. Here are three ways, The Nurturing Root is Improving Birth for Cleveland families.

We are Improving Birth by giving families access to evidenced-based childbirth education!
It is an honor to serve Cleveland families with our extensive offering of childbirth education workshops. We teach a variety of Birth Boot Camp childbirth education courses. This curriculum is largely based on the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative, which was written by Improving Birth, as part of, The Consensus Initiative From The Coalition For Improving Maternity Services. Our childbirth classes are intended to educate and empower families with facts, resources, and support, so they can truly make informed decisions for their pregnancy and birth. We offer classes to help couples have an amazing hospital birth, training to prepare families for their empowering home birth experience, and comfort measures workshops, to give pregnant couples tools and techniques, so they can stay positive and enjoy their labor.

We are Improving Birth by advocating for expectant families!
We absolutely love serving pregnant and new Cleveland families by providing doula support. We are an advocate for you and your birthing wishes! We provide encouragement, support, practical assistance, and information during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Our purpose is to support your desires and expectations in childbirth.

We are Improving Birth by providing access to trusted community resources!
There are several organizations and services supporting pregnant and new families in Northeast Ohio. As active and engaged members in various Cleveland area pregnancy, birth, and parenting communities, we are happy to offer referrals and recommendations to providers that are also Improving Birth for Cleveland families.

Please join The Nurturing Root, on Labor Day, at the Improving Birth Rally in Chardon, Ohio. We are tremendously thankful for Shauna Rich and Danielle Breach, co-owners of Mother Rising Women’s Studio, for organizing the Improving Birth Rally. It is with great excitement, that we support and participate in this empowering event.

If you would like more information about how The Nurturing Root can help your family throughout the childbearing year, with childbirth education classes, doula care, and placenta encapsulation services, please contact us here!

New Mothers Are Choosing Placenta Encapsulation To Help Them Breastfeed

mother breastfeeding her baby The Nurturing Root

A growing number of mothers are choosing to consume their placenta, in order to have greater breastfeeding success.

August is National Breastfeeding Month, a time that highlights the importance of increasing a collaborative effort to support a breastfeeding-friendly landscape. A growing community of mothers are turning to alternative practices like placenta encapsulation, to help them establish and meet their breastfeeding goals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control Breastfeeding Report Card, 70% of mothers make the attempt to breastfeed their newborns, but at six months of age, only about 15% of babies are being exclusively breastfeed. This number is in stark contrast to the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that all babies be exclusively breastfed until six months of life.

There are several medical, physical, emotional, and social hurdles that can affect breastfeeding success rates. Changes to policies, practices, and the ability for new mothers to access breastfeeding support is slowly helping to increase these numbers. Some resourceful mothers are choosing a more controversial route to ensure they have the best breastfeeding experience.

The placenta, the temporary organ, that grows along with the baby and serves as its lifeline until birth, is most often treated as medical waste. But it may be a continued source of support to the Mother, after she gives birth. Through placenta encapsulation, the baby’s placenta is steamed, dehydrated, and pulverized. Then it is made into pills. A new mother can take her capsules as a postpartum wellness supplement. In addition to supporting lactation and increasing milk supply, many mothers report a boost in energy, feeling emotionally well and strong, lessened severity of mood swings, and decreased postpartum bleeding. Here are some of the great experience mothers are reporting:

“I am certain that taking my placenta pills allowed me to recover from my c-section at a much quicker rate, and with no baby blues at all! My milk came in immediately, my energy level was great even after long nights establishing a nursing a schedule. I felt stable and clear headed.” Kristen Sharp

“With my first child, I didn’t produce much milk – had to supplement from day 1 and was only able to produce the little I did for 4 months. I am currently 2 weeks postpartum with my 2nd [child] and feel fantastic using my placenta pills! My milk came in 3 days postpartum and my supply is really good.” – Amanda Lynn

“Not only did this help me immediately postpartum, I took my capsules again 3.5 months postpartum when I was stressed about leaving my daughter for the first time for a work trip. It not only brought a lightness back into my mood, but increased my pumping output so I could add enough to my stash to leave her. I would recommend The Nurturing Root’s services to everyone.” – Michelle Woolschlager

The Nurturing Root has been providing professional placenta encapsulation services, since 2011, helping over 650 mothers have their best postpartum recovery experience. Additionally, The Nurturing Root supports expectant couples with Birth Boot Camp childbirth education classes and family-centered postpartum doula care. If you are interested in learning more about how placenta encapsulation can enhance you postpartum recovery experience, contact The Nurturing Root here!

Three Reasons Families Love In-Home Placenta Encapsulation

placenta encapsulation in northeast ohio

The Nurturing Root has been providing professional placenta encapsulation services to families since 2011, helping over 650 mothers have their best postpartum recovery experience. Placenta encapsulation can improve a mother’s overall postpartum wellness experience, and may help: balance hormones, support lactation and enhance milk supply, replenish essential nutrients, mitigate postpartum bleeding, provide natural pain relief, ease ‘baby blues’, decrease occurence of postpartum mood disorders, and boost energy. To learn more about what hormones, minerals, and vitamins are in the placenta, and why they can help facilitate postpartum healing, take a look here.

So many families choose The Nurturing Root for placenta encapsulation because of our fantastic reputation. We have rigorous standards and practice strict safety and sanitation protocols. One policy that sets us apart, is that we always complete the entire encapsulation process in our clients’ home. Here are three reasons clients want their placenta encapsulated in their own kitchen:

Personalized Postpartum Support
Our families really value the connection we make while completing the encapsulation process in their homes. If interested, we encourage clients and family to observe the process, and welcome any discussion about the preparation method or questions regarding the placenta, birth experience, or the postpartum healing process. Additionally, our placenta encapsulation specialists are also trained postpartum doulas. We truly offer un-matched support to our families during their transition to parenthood. Our clients love that we hold a wealth of experience regarding the postpartum adjustment period. They can ask questions about normal newborn behavior, infant sleep, postnatal recovery, and breastfeeding. The Nurturing Root is happy to offer referrals and recommendations to other providers and community resources, including, chiropractors, massage therapists, support groups, pediatricians, and more. This family-centered support is a key reason our clients enjoy in-home placenta encapsulation.

Our Comprehensive Education and Safety Standards
The Nurturing Root is proud to have trained with both Placenta Benefits and the Association of Placenta Preparation Arts. We have extensive education and credentialing in placenta preparation. We also hold a current food safety certification. This ensures we have working knowledge in food hazards, proper hygiene practices, cleaning and sanitizing processes, and time and temperature controls. Most importantly, we have completed an OSHA compliant bloodborne pathogens training. This training ensures we fully understand the precautionary guidelines and decontamination practices for handling potentially infectious and biologically hazardous materials.

A family’s house holds a special energy and unique microbiome, and we strongly believe that a client’s placenta belongs in her residence. Transporting and processing the placenta outside a client’s home may introduce unfamiliar bacteria or contaminants to the placenta. Since it will be consumed as food, the placenta needs to be handled with discretion, as it is a perishable item. Proper storage at a safe temperature is paramount. It is also critical that all tools and surfaces be properly sanitized before and after the placenta encapsulation process. When we complete the encapsulation process in our client’s home, they can witness our rigorous safety and sanitation protocols for themselves.

The Nurturing Root Complies With Regulations
Currently, placenta encapsulation services are not explicitly regulated in Ohio. Though placenta encapsulation may operate in a bit of a legal ‘gray area’, there are very clear regulations and legislation pertaining to the production and distribution of potentially hazardous foods, and the transportation of human tissues. In Ohio, it is unlawful to prepare meat in an un-inspected, non-commercial kitchen and then sell that product. This is one of the main reasons we complete the entire placenta encapsulation process in our clients’ homes. It is also important to consider that the transportation of potentially infectious biological materials is highly regulated. If a business is transporting human tissue, like a placenta, both the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Transportation require that the company hold a packing and shipping certification and use specific, standardized packing materials and labels for regulated items. This is the main reason why we have our clients transport their own placenta home. It is very clearly out of scope for The Nurturing Root to pick-up a client’s placenta, process it in an unregulated, non-commercial kitchen, and return the placenta capsules to our client. The Nurturing Root is operating with respect to, and in accordance with all applicable laws, and our clients really appreciate this!

The Nurturing Root steadfastly believes that a placenta should only be transported by the family and processed in their home. We implore those interested in hiring a placenta professional, to be quite diligent when researching encapsulation services. It is crucial that families are able to witness the sanitation protocols implemented by their specialist, and know for certain, that the placenta being encapsulated belongs to them, was processed safely, and was not contaminated by another source. We strongly encourage families to read this post, which lists six tips to consider before hiring a placenta encapsulation specialist. The Nurturing Root has encapsulated over 650 placentas, to date, with a 100% safety record and we have received only overwhelmingly positive reviews from our families. We believe in absolute transparency in the encapsulation process. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have about our philosophy, standards, and protocols.

We want you to have a healthy pregnancy, empowering birth experience, and gentle postpartum recovery. If you want to learn more about placenta encapsulation services and reside in Cleveland or greater Northeast Ohio please contact The Nurturing Root here!

Is Placenta Encapsulation Safe for GBS+ Mothers?

placenta encapsulation and GBS

Is Placenta Encapsulation Safe?

Recently, The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) released an alarming single case report, in which a newborn was found to have a recurrent infection of group B Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS, group B strep), that was attributed to the mother’s consumption of placenta capsules. This has many people asking, ‘Is placenta encapsulation safe?’ We will navigate the findings of this case report, explore how this occurred, and discuss placenta encapsulation safety.

What are the findings of this case?

The CDC report discussed findings about a newborn who experienced a recurrent group B strep infection. GBS is a common bacterium, found in a person’s intestines or lower genital tract. Group B strep is present in about 25% of pregnant women, and is usually harmless. If transmitted to a newborn during birth, it can cause a rare but serious, illness known as group B strep infection. Because of this, it is standard practice for obstetricians and midwives to test expectant mothers for GBS, to determine if colonization is present. In this CDC report, the maternal GBS culture taken at 37 weeks was negative, meaning the mother’s lab test showed no colonization. Very shortly after birth, the newborn exhibited signs of an infection and lab results revealed the infant tested positive for group B strep. The infant was treated with antibiotics and hospitalized for about eleven days. Five days after the newborn’s release from the hospital, the baby again presented with GBS symptoms and tested positive for the same strain of group B strep. The baby was treated and was again released from the hospital after antibiotic therapy. At this point, it was discovered that the baby’s placenta had been encapsulated. The mother had been taking the placenta as capsules from three days postpartum. The capsules were tested and found to contain the same GBS strain that had infected the newborn. The mother’s breast milk was tested and did not contain group B strep, thus breastfeeding was ruled out as a potential source of reinfection. The authors of this report infer that ingestion of the GBS positive placenta capsules may have elevated maternal group B strep intestinal and skin colonization, facilitating transfer to the infant. The authors conclude by stating ‘placenta encapsulation process does not, per se, eradicate infectious pathogens; thus, placenta capsule ingestion should be avoided.’

So, How Did This Happen?

According to the report, the mother hired a company to pick up the placenta from her hospital and encapsulate it. The encapsulated placenta was returned to the mother three days later, and she began taking her capsules until it was suspected that they may be a source of group B strep. The encapsulator, who remained unnamed in the report, prepared the placenta from a raw state, dehydrating it at temperatures ranging from 115°F–160°F. According the CDC, heating at 130°F for 121 minutes is required to reduce bacteria present in placental tissue.

There are three problems with this case, which contributed to the placenta capsules testing positive for GBS, possibly re-infecting the newborn, and demonstrating unsafe processing practices.

The placenta was dehydrated from a raw state: This placenta was not heated to an adequate temperature, and possibly not for a long enough period of time to kill pathogens, like group B strep. Proper encapsulation protocols, require a specialist to steam the placenta prior to dehydration, to reach an internal temperature of 160°F, or dehydrate the placenta from a raw state at 160°F for twelve to twenty-four hours. These methods drastically reduce the occurrences of potentially harmful bacteria remaining present in the placenta. If the placenta referenced in this case was processed properly, it would almost certainly not have tested positive for group B strep.

Infection was present in baby: It is not a contraindication to encapsulate a placenta if a mother is found to have GBS. But if there is in an infection occurring in the infant or mother following birth, the placenta should absolutely not be encapsulated or consumed. Responsible and properly trained encapsulators will always inform their clients about any and all contraindications to placenta consumption.

The placenta was not processed in the client’s home: Another concern, is that this placenta was picked-up from the mother’s birth place and processed in a location other than her residence. It is impossible to know what type of preparation space the specialist worked in, if proper food safety protocols were followed, and if precautionary guidelines and decontamination practices for handling potentially infectious and biologically hazardous materials were utilized.

So, Is Placenta Encapsulation Safe?

A placenta from a normal, healthy infant and mother, when processed correctly is almost always safe to consume. With proper preparation, placenta encapsulation and consumption present almost no danger to a mother or baby.

Final Thoughts

Though startling, this report is only a single case study, and represents the findings and extrapolated assumptions from the authors. This is not an official CDC recommendation pertaining to placenta consumption. However, the report should serve as a caution for businesses offering encapsulation remedies and for families searching for placenta services. The Nurturing Root steadfastly believes that a placenta should ONLY be processed in a client’s home, using the traditional method, which steams the placenta first, to eradicate possible pathogens. We implore consumers to be skeptical of any company offering to pick-up your placenta and process it somewhere other than your home, or dehydrate it from a raw state! It is crucial that you are able to witness the sanitation protocols implemented by your specialist, and know for certain, that the placenta being encapsulated is yours, it is processed correctly, and it is not contaminated by another source. We strongly encourage you to read this post, that lists six tips to consider before hiring a placenta encapsulation specialist. The Nurturing Root has encapsulated over 650 placentas, to date, with a 100% safety record and we have received only overwhelmingly positive reviews from our families. We believe in absolute transparency in the encapsulation process. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have about the CDC report or placenta encapsulation safety. Ohio families contact us here, and Maryland families, here.