FAQ: placenta edition

Recently, I texted a placenta encapsulation client who had started her capsules a few days prior to see how she was feeling and if she had any questions. Here’s what she said:

Rachel, I can tell such a BIG difference in hormonal waves this time versus last time. Thank you so very much. I’m recommending it to all of my pregnant friends, it’s seriously a game-changer! Thank you!! —Julia

It made my day to hear that she was finding it so helpful and reminded me of why I became trained in placenta encapsulation—to be able to offer another option for support during the postpartum weeks.

While you can read more on the services page, here are some other common questions about the process:

Which process of encapsulation do you offer?

We offer the traditional method, based on traditional Chinese medicine. The process includes gently steaming the placenta with ginger and lemon prior to dehydration in order to kill bacteria. Additionally, this method is designed to help ‘balance’ the placenta after childbirth. This gives clients peace of mind as it’s considered the safest method for consumption.

Why do you process in my home?

As a ProDoula trained placenta specialist, safety and professionalism are my priorities. The guidelines we follow far exceed industry standards. Some of the benefits of having it done in your home include:

  • You have no doubt that the encapsulated placenta is in fact yours as it is the only one in your home and you brought it directly home yourself. You also know it was kept and handled properly.
  • There is zero risk of your placenta being exposed to any unfamiliar bacteria or cross-contamination that may interfere with healthy postpartum recovery or pose other health risks.
  • You get a very quick turnaround as you can start taking them literally the moment they’re finished!
  • You witness the careful sanitizing process and other precautions first hand.
  • I can support you best in person. I’m trained and passionate about supporting you during this tender time, and in person is where I can check on you, answer questions, and offer help most directly.

But, like, will it be gross and stinky?

Not at all. Everything is fully cleaned and sanitized in your kitchen before and after processing each day, leaving not a clue as to the day’s activities. The brief steaming process is when an odor may be released, and this only lasts about 15 minutes and everything is very well-ventilated. I’ve never had a client comment on it, in fact. If you still feel squeamish, it’s easy to avoid the kitchen while I’m there.

How and when do I contact you? When do you start the process?

Please contact me by phone between the hours of 9am – 9pm within 12 hours of the birth of your baby, so we can discuss scheduling. Ideally, I like to begin within 2 days of the birth, so your capsules can be ready by day 3. Some clients will have a neighbor or relative let me in even if they aren’t home yet, but it’s up to you if you’re comfortable with that option.

What do you need from me?

All I need from you is the placenta itself and access to a stove, sink, and outlet (overnight) for the dehydrator. When I’m your placenta specialist, you can feel confident that my equipment and supplies are fully sanitized and ready for your encapsulation. I bring everything with me. Don’t even worry about cleaning up the kitchen before I arrive, I’ll take care of it while you and your family rest!

What do I do with the placenta until you get here?

The placenta must be placed in a cooler on ice or in the refrigerator within 2 – 4 hours of the birth. If we can’t begin encapsulating within 3 days, you can put the placenta in the freezer. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.

What if my family and friends are unsupportive?

Like everything around birth and parenting, this decision is a personal one and may not be for everyone. Choose what is best for you and hopefully they will come around to respect your choices even if they don’t fully understand them. The finished product looks like any other vitamin or supplement so even the nosiest of visitors won’t be suspicious. It’s really just up to you alone and no one else’s business.

How long does the process take?

The entire process takes about 24 hours, with the actual in-home work lasting about 2 hours a day for two consecutive days.

How do I take the capsules?

We share some suggested guidelines for consumption, but ultimately encourage you to follow your body’s cues and individual needs.

What other placenta-related items do you offer?

  • cord keepsake— All clients receive a complimentary cord keepsake. This is the umbilical cord dried into a special shape, which many clients enjoy keeping with other newborn mementos.
  • blood print— We can do a basic blood print of your placenta on high-quality archival watercolor paper. The pattern is reminiscent of a tree and a special reminder of the connection with your baby. Some may choose to leave it plain or enhance it with paint or colored pencil, framing it for the nursery.
  • tincture— A tincture is a highly concentrated alcohol-based liquid that can be a useful boost at stressful or anxious times such as weaning or returning to work, or for other emotional lows. It takes six weeks to mature, but can be used indefinitely after that. It should last a very long time, since only a few drops are used at a time.
  • salve—The salve is a handmade preparation of oils slowly infused with herbs and placenta powder, strained and set into small tin for personal use. It is made with organic ingredients and no preservatives, exceptionally rich and healing for the skin. It should be kept in the fridge and used within 1-3 months. 

 

Contact Us to learn more!

 

placenta encapsulation package
The finished product! Cord keepsake, handmade placenta capsules, and consumption guidelines.

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