The Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation

Woman holding in her hands encapsulated placenta pills.

The Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation

Placenta encapsulation. If your expecting, I’m sure you’ve heard a few people talking about it. Some people love it and completely rave about it, while others think it’s flat out weird and gross. But some people don’t know what it is. What is placenta encapsulation and what are the pros and cons of it?

First, if you’re not sure what the placenta is, it is an organ that develops on the wall of the uterus during pregnancy and provides nutrients, blood, and oxygen to the baby while also removing waste from the mother. Think of it as a filter, but it’s also your baby’s life-line.

pregnant body

After pushing and giving birth to your baby, you may think you are finished, but you’re not. You then have to deliver the afterbirth, which is your placenta. Once the placenta is out, you can choose to discard it or keep it. But why would anyone want to keep it? Well, some people keep if for religious beliefs, some plant it in their yard with a tree, and other people eat it by either cooking it, putting it into a smoothie or, the most common form, encapsulating it. Many people believe that the placenta offers lots of different benefits that help recovery after birth. I know, it sounds odd, but the custom of consuming the placenta is centuries old. It is a controversial tradition but it has been gaining popularity in the United States over the past few decades.

So, what is placenta encapsulation?

Placenta encapsulation is a process in which, immediately following the birth of your baby, your placenta is taken, cleaned, dehydrated and ground into a course powder, which is then placed into small capsules that look exactly like any other vitamin or supplement we might take. It is then given to the mother for her to take over the course of the next few weeks or months after giving birth.

Why would a mother want to consume her placenta?

Great question! The reason why is, it is believed to have numerous health benefits. The placenta contains a massive amount of crucial hormones and iron that leave a woman’s body once the placenta is born. Humans are one of the few mammals that do not eat their placentas – a practice known as placentophagia and it is believed that consuming the placenta can help new mothers maintain their hormone and iron levels in the few weeks after the birth, which can speed healing and help curb fatigue and anxiety in new mothers. Pretty cool!

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This practice has been gaining a lot of traction especially since some celebrities have been encapsulating their placentas. Alicia Silverstone, who we all remember as Cher in the 90’s comedy “Clueless,” said that she ate her placenta after giving birth. Actress January Jones from “Mad Men” did the same. Kourtney Kardashian from “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” shared on her instagram her placenta pills (aka “happy pills”) and how they have been “life changing.”

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Even her sister, Kim Kardashian, shared on her website that she too got her placenta encapsulated after the birth of her second child, Saint West.

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Photo credit: kimkardashianwest.com

What are the benefits of placenta encapsulation?

First, I will say that there is little scientific research available regarding placental encapsulation, it’s consumption and the benefits. However, check out PlacentaBenefits.info or the Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network to see a number of potential advantages. Some of them are:

  • Increased release of the hormone oxytocin, which helps the uterus return to normal size, reduces the amount of postpartum bleeding and encourages bonding with the infant
  • Increase in CRH, a stress-reducing hormone
  • Decrease in postpartum depression levels and “baby blues”
  • Increases the mother’s energy levels
  • Restoration of iron levels in the blood
  • Increase in milk production

How can placentophagia help curb postpartum mood problems?

Research published in The Journal of Nutrition shows that postpartum iron-deficiency (anemia) can actually cause postpartum depression and anxiety. Research published in The Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology also shows that fatigue is one of the major causes of postpartum depression, but mothers report that consuming the placenta can boost energy levels. Though few scientific studies have been spent on placentophagia itself, the combined existing research suggests that ingesting the iron-rich placenta may be a good first line of defense against postpartum mood problems. Disclaimer: This is not to suggest that placentophagia is a cure or treatment for established mental health problems, nor should it replace any medically-prescribed treatment. It may only be one tool in helping to curb or limit postpartum depressive symptoms.

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How do I get my placenta encapsulated?

Yes, you could choose to dehydrate and encapsulate your own placentas yourself, however, most people are hiring a placenta encapsulation specialist. A placenta professional will normally have special training and equipment to process the placenta and should be following the OSHA safety guidelines for exposure to blood borne pathogens. Most often, the placenta professional in your area is probably a doula, midwife, or other birth worker professional who works closely with birthing mothers.

Generally your placenta professional will pick up your placenta from your birth place (whether it be at hospital, birth center or at your home), and process it in their workspace on special equipment reserved for placentas only. The placenta pills are then usually dropped off to the mother within 2-3 days or they can be picked up from the placenta professional and should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

What are the methods to encapsulation?

There are two main methods for encapsulation, and before hiring a professional, you should ask which methods they offer so you can choose the one you prefer. Each recipe has pros and cons.

  1. RAW Method: This method delivers the highest potency of the pills because it is not cooked before it’s dried, but these pills expire after approximately one year of freezer storage.
  2. Traditional Chinese Medicine Method: This recipe creates a pill that can be stored indefinitely with proper refrigeration, but is less potent than the raw form. Some women want to save their pills for times when they are having difficult menstrual cycles or for when they experience menopause. This is then the method they should choose.
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How often should I take my placenta pills?

With encapsulation, the placenta is steamed, dehydrated and ground into 35 to 70 capsules, depending on the size and thickness of the placenta. Most specialists prescribe one capsule in the morning and one in the afternoon for about three weeks or until you run out. This amount gives the body a chance to heal and restore itself.

It is said that taking too many placenta pills a day can make women hyper stimulated, nervous and unable to sleep – almost as though they have had several energy drinks. Moms need to understand that the pills are meant to restore them, keep them feeling calm and balanced and not reinvigorate them.

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The Bottom Line…

Yes, there is little research available to either support or oppose the tradition of placental encapsulation. However, it is recommended that the times a placenta should not be encapsulated or ingested is when there was an infection (chorioamnionitis) or if it has been touched by meconium, the baby’s first poop. There are a number of proposed benefits of the custom though, and limited risks if the placenta if stored correctly and ingested only by the mother.

Check out my tour of a commercial grade placenta encapsulation kitchen:

I hope this answers a lot of the questions that you had about placenta encapsulation. I would love to hear any stories of women who have done it, whether good or bad. Please share in our comments below!

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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As both a mom of toddlers and a nationally certifi As both a mom of toddlers and a nationally certified yoga instructor, I’ve experienced firsthand how fun and beneficial yoga can be – not just for parents but for their children, too! Yoga can be so instructive in terms of understanding what our body needs to be healthy. For a child to see and experience the mindfulness that yoga enables in tandem with a parent truly sets a foundation for that child’s awareness of what it means to be healthy—both physically and mentally.⁠
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There are many different comfort techniques that you can use during labor and delivery that will help keep you more calm and comfortable. One option that many women aren't aware of or overlook is hypnosis. It can sound a little weird and "voodoo-like" so oftentimes women will write it off. But I've witnessed many women use this tool in labor and it's actually not as strange as it sounds and is really impressive. 🤔⁠
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What to Keep in Your Toddler's First Aid Kit ⛑️📦⁠
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Board by: @treasuresfromjennifer
📷: unknown⁠
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Anger. Rage. Frustration. Guilt. Shame. Remorse. A Anger. Rage. Frustration. Guilt. Shame. Remorse. Apologies. Self-digust. All make mothering complicated and layered with conflicting emotions.⁠
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Comic from "Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts" @familiustalk @brooklyn_rabbit⁠
Words & 📷: @postpartumstress⁠
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Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. ❤️ It is Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. ❤️ It is the day Americans honor Dr. King's legacy and his key role in helping our nation get closer to its goal of equality for all. There are several important lessons from MLK that we can all learn from and teach our children. If you want to spread his legacy and honor this day, share these 12 lessons with your kids and let's implement them into our own lives. 💜 {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
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Crawling is correct. 🤣⁠ (quote via @mytherapi Crawling is correct. 🤣⁠
(quote via @mytherapistsays)⁠
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📷: @momhashtags⁠
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TRUTH!⁠ 😂⁠ (quote via @nottheworstmom via T TRUTH!⁠ 😂⁠
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📷: @momsgotink⁠
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How would you finish this sentence? . . .⁠ You k How would you finish this sentence? . . .⁠
You know you have a newborn when _______.⁠
📷: @healthiest_baby⁠
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You’ve spent the past 9 months preparing for the You’ve spent the past 9 months preparing for the arrival of your beautiful baby. 🤰 Labor and delivery has come and gone. Now its time for your 6-week postpartum check up. 🏥  So much of life after delivery is focused on your new bundle of joy that you can sometimes forget to care for yourself. This is exactly why I believe the postpartum appointment is so important to you as a new momma – because it’s all about you! 💗⁠
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Sure, your provider loves to fawn over your sweet baby, but this appointment is about mom. How are YOU doing? Self-care is so important to your health and recovery after having a baby, so let this appointment focus on your well-being. 😊⁠
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Here are 10 helpful questions to ask when you see your provider at your 6-week postpartum check up. 📝 Your provider will likely cover most or all of these topics on her or his own, but use this as a guide to remind you to ask anything she or he doesn’t cover! {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
📷: @tailsandwings⁠
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YES 👏 IT 👏 DOES👏⁠ Go and find your troo YES 👏 IT 👏 DOES👏⁠
Go and find your troop, your tribe, squad, village. Whatever you want to call it. Find people to surround yourself with who will support YOU, love YOU, encourage YOU as a woman and as a parent. Parenthood is tough. Especially when you feel alone. So find your village and love them hard. And from one mother to another, load up on wipes. Because motherhood can get quite messy too!⁠ 😉⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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An amazing story from a determined mom to breastfe An amazing story from a determined mom to breastfeed her #triplets. 💗 With hard work, determination, help and support, anything is possible.
Words & 📷: @triplets_and_toddler
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“I breastfed my first child so I knew I wanted to #breastfeed again. People were skeptical about me #breastfeeding triplets, and this drove my determination! 💪 My boys were born at 29+3 and therefore it was so important for them to have #breastmilk! 🤱
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After having an emergency C-section, I knew there was no time to rest, so I started hand expressing within the first hour. I set an alarm to ensure that I expressed every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours overnight. ⏰
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Being separated from my boys was hard so having pictures/video links helped whilst I expressed. Seeing my teeny, vulnerable babies in their little incubators drove my determination to provide them with my milk! I also rotated muslin squares between us so that I could smell them and vice versa. This also helped me whilst I expressed during the night away from my boys. Their smell on the swaddles kept me focused! 💙
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Twice during our #NICU journey my boys were split between hospitals over an hour apart! This was the hardest time and meant I was separated from 2 of my boys for a couple of days. During this time I kept up with expressing and ensured that all three of them had enough milk to take with them until we were all reunited.
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Looking back I feel it is my sheer determination that has really enabled me to successfully breastfeed my triplet boys! Not once have they needed donor or formula milk. It required a massive commitment both physically and emotionally but I am so proud of my achievement! My boys are now 11 months and are still breastfeeding." ❤️
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*This story is not to bring any mothers down that choose to formula feed. (I, personally, had to give my son formula at 7 months old!) We share this mother's story to inspire mothers and celebrate our victories! ✨
If you are having breastfeeding struggles and want to succeed, contact a good local IBCLC and receive support. Find new mom friends who are also breastfeeding who can encourage you. And if you choose to formula feed, we honor you too. 💕 #mommychick
WTF 😑⁠ (via @thenatewolf via Twitter)⁠ .⁠ WTF 😑⁠
(via @thenatewolf via Twitter)⁠
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Repeat after me . . . 💗⁠ (quote via @friscoar Repeat after me . . . 💗⁠
(quote via @friscoareamoms)⁠
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🧠 4 Ways to Promote Your Child's Mental Health 🧠 4 Ways to Promote Your Child's Mental Health 🧠⁠
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Your child’s mental health is fairly complicated. It's also critical to their overall health and wellness. We often think of mental health as it pertains to adults, but just like growth and physical development, research shows that mental health is something that should be considered starting at birth. ❤️⁠
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When children are very young, their brains are extremely sensitive to environmental stress. Toxic stress, defined as high levels of prolonged stress, can have life-long effects on children. Limiting stress for young children is critical for their early mental health. One of the most fundamental ways we can help eliminate toxic stress is by building a strong relationship foundation from the very beginning of their lives. Your relationship with your baby is an integral part of their sense of self-esteem, independence, and confidence; three key factors in mental health.⁠
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Building that relationship with your child can be broken down into four key concepts . . . {Click 🔗 in bio to find out what they are!}⁠
📷: @vlentine⁠
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#parenting #parenthood #parentlife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Just in case you call her a boy, here's a MASSIVE Just in case you call her a boy, here's a MASSIVE bow that shows she's a girl . . . yet still somehow get's called a boy. 🤷⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
💤 Good Bedtime Routines for Babies of Every Age 💤 Good Bedtime Routines for Babies of Every Age 💤⁠
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If you’ve ever typed into Google, “Why won’t my baby sleep?” you’re not alone. In fact, you’re among thousands of other parents/caregivers who are likely as tired as you are. Chances are, if you have gone down the Google rabbit hole at 2:00 a.m. (or just asked your pediatrician for sleep advice), then you’ve most likely been introduced to the concept of a bedtime routine.⁠
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A bedtime routine can be an incredibly helpful tool in establishing healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene. Infants and young children thrive on routine; in fact, they are comforted by predictability (spoiler alert: most adults are this way, too!). Plus, a young mind is exposed to so much new information every day that it’s reassuring for a child to know that they can depend on certain events to have a predictable structure.⁠
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Bedtime routines are also a cue to their brains and bodies that sleep is coming. With a predictable bedtime routine, your little one will start to recognize the order of the routine and begin to anticipate what comes next. With enough repetition, this process happens automatically in a very Pavlovian way. A calm and successive routine will also make the onset of sleep come more easily. Can you imagine if you walked out of your workout and immediately someone told you that you had to lay down and fall asleep? This would be nearly impossible, and the same is true for our little ones. By allowing them some time to unwind, you are making the falling asleep process that much easier. Here are some tips on what to do for your little one's bedtime. ❤️⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
📷: @hannahxruth⁠
Article by: @ohbabyconsulting⁠
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#babysleep #goodnight #bedtime #bedtimeroutine #nightnight #sweetdreams #sleepconsultant #babysleeptips #sleepcoach #parenting #sleeptips #motherhood #babylove #sleeptraining #parentingtips #sleeping #toddlersleep #sleephelp #parentinghelp #sleepcoaching #parenthood #sleepdeprived #sleeptraininghelp #babysleepconsultant #babychick #mommychick #momlife
THIS. The struggle is real.⁠ ⁠🥴 📷: @brit THIS. The struggle is real.⁠ ⁠🥴
📷: @britt.kav⁠
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#parenting #parenthood #parentlife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #momhumor
It's the beeeeeessssttttt . . . 😬😑 (quote vi It's the beeeeeessssttttt . . . 😬😑
(quote via @smalltowntallgirl)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
🤗 7 Tips for Raising Secure and Happy Kids 🤗 🤗 7 Tips for Raising Secure and Happy Kids 🤗⁠
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Parenting is hard. And ever so important. But sometimes it feels like we need to have a special degree in “Managing Toddler Mood Swings” to navigate some of the unexpected scenarios that come with raising secure and happy children.⁠
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Like how do we handle a child that likes to scream instead of talk?⁠
“Please, child, just lower your voice while we’re in Target.”⁠
Or what are we supposed to do when a child prefers to strip down every time we get them dressed or only eat foods that are the color blue?! (In case you’re wondering, there aren’t many blue foods.)⁠
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It can feel tricky and tiring to try and do it all right and then sometimes still feel like you’re at a loss. But the truth is, there’s never any way to make everything perfect. But there are things we can do that set our children up to feel secure and happy. And here are seven of my favorite tips. {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
📷: @lauren.stewart_dc⁠
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#parenting #parenthood #parentlife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Any oldie but goodie by @spiritysol⁠. ❤️⁠ Any oldie but goodie by @spiritysol⁠. ❤️⁠
Cesarean mamas--this one's for you. I hope you know that you are worthy. That you are such a warrior. That you are brave and powerful and strong as f✨ck. I hope you know that birthing your baby on an operating table makes you no less of a mother. No less of a goddess. Your birth story is holy and that beautiful scar on your belly is sacred as sh✨t. You are worthy of praise and celebration, honor and  admiration.⁠
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I hope that you know it was worth it. Knowing this does NOT mean you can't mourn your dream. It does NOT mean "you and your baby are safe--that's all that matters!" It does NOT mean you can't wish things had gone differently. But I hope that underneath it all, you can find beauty in what was. What is. Your baby. Your birth. Your strength. Your healing. Your story.⁠
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Your journey wasn't easy. Perhaps it unfolded much differently than you had hoped--perhaps it shook you to your core and left you feeling the immense weight of a "what if" and why".⁠
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Perhaps you're still wading through the heavy emotions of disappointment, anger, and grief. Perhaps you always will. But whatever feelings you hold in your heart and in your womb, I hope that you can look at your scar and say "Hell yes, it was worth it. And hell ya, I am worthy."⁠
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*This post was written for mamas who might be struggling with an unexpected or undesired cesarean birth. I recognize that there are mamas that choose to have planned/elective cesarean births who might not resonate with the message in this post. I honor them as well--as I honor all mothers, all women, and all beings.⁠
Words & 📷: @spiritysol⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #birth #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #cesareanbirth #bellybirth #postpartum #newmom #childbirth #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Because I gave him the wrong colored cup . . . whi Because I gave him the wrong colored cup . . . which is the color he originally asked for.⁠
🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️⁠
(quote via @HenpeckedHal via Twitter)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Hope they're ready for us!⁠ 👯‍♀️⁠
📷: @myquestionablelife⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
" . . . Tears contain stress hormones. Why would w " . . . Tears contain stress hormones. Why would we have tears if they didn't serve a purpose? Little hurts can feel big when you are little. There is no such things as no reason to cry. Comforting a crying child is not the same as shutting them down, no matter how sweetly we shut them down . . . up actually." - Pam Leo⁠
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#gentleparenting #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #parenting #parentlife #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #healing #mentalhealth
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