Gold Coast mum-of-three is an 'entrepreneur' in placenta products for new mums
by Marshall Childs
Posted on Thursday Apr 20, 2017 at 10:00PM in Finance
Most people are hesitant when they hear what Samantha Birch does for a living. Some blast it as "cannibalism" or "gross", others are just intrigued.
The Gold Coast mum-of-three is one of Australia's leading "placenta encapsulation specialists", creating postpartum products for new mums using their own placenta.
The perceived health benefits of these homeopathic remedies include bouncing back from childbirth quicker and helping with "mood stabilisation and energy", according to Birch, who has been working in the industry for seven years and performed more than 500 "encapsulations".
While the practice is somewhat controversial, Birch tells Honey most people come around to the "natural" process once they know more about it and the perceived benefits.
"It helps with healing after birth — the uterus goes back to size a lot quicker in these women, and that’s from feedback from midwives," she says.
Birch has established herself as a pioneer in the industry in Australia, helping to form the national body regulating the practice, Placenta Services Australia.
Since she entered the industry, she says the demand for these products has grown year on year, with Australia now catching up with countries overseas, like America and England.
While she initially helped only a few women in the first year, she now helps between 100 and 150 annually, she says, adding business is all done "through word of mouth".
She offers three different categories of products for women, depending on what stage they are at after their birth. These range from $40 to $325.
For immediately after birth, she uses "very fresh placenta" to make pills for the new mum, which she says can help to stem bleeding.
Some placenta specialists choose to make this placenta into "smoothies" but Birch says she has steered away from this due to difficulties bringing blenders into some hospitals.
For the first six weeks, mums can get their placenta made into face creams and baby bottom balms, she adds.
"Women find it really nourishing, a lot have had skin issues after childbirth and have noticed these cleared up in some way," she says.
From six weeks onward, she then creates "tinctures" which, she explains, involves "taking the essence of the placenta" and seeping it in 40 percent alcohol to form a homeopathic remedy, which can be absorbed under the tongue or drunk with water.
Women coming to her for these treatments are often those wanting to "try something unlikely to hurt them but that could help them in some way," she said.
"If you’ve had a baby before and you might have had the baby blues or Postpartum depression, for some women it runs in their families. It can be quite frightening,” she adds.
However, she stresses the importance of using a professional to avoid risks involving "cross contamination and sanitation".
She advises anyone interested in this treatment to check with Placenta Services Australia to ensure their specialist is certified.
"Unexpected, even volatile conditions in your work environment can leave you exhausted as the week progresses and this is due to being overly confident... "