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What is Placenta Encapsulation?
It is when the placenta is washed, dehydrated, pulverized, and put into capsules for consumption. It can be processed either by being steamed(Traditional Method) before the dehydration process or it can be dehydrated raw(Raw Method).
What are the different methods of encapsulation?
The placenta can be processed two ways--Traditional Method or Raw Method.
Traditional Method(Traditional Chinese Medicine Inspired)-The placenta is steamed with warming and tonifying ginger, lemon, and a pepper before it is dehydrated(160°F). This method is based off of the Traditional Chinese Medicine method. It is believed in Traditional Chinese Medicine that women are depleted of qi(energy) after birth, and that they give their own life essence in birthing a baby. It is also believed that mothers can be infected by cold after child birth. So, by doing the Traditional Method it warms the mother inside and out, and helps replenish the mother's qi and essence after birth. The Traditional Method is also said to be more slow and steady at releasing its benefits, and not making the mother too jittery or cause her to overexert herself.
The placenta is potentially exposed to bacteria from the birth canal, including maternal fecal matter and meconium. The traditional steaming process helps to kill off these bacteria and can help protect against any potential illnesses from bacteria allowed to culture on the placenta before encapsulation.
Raw Method- Mothers following the Raw Foods diet as well as some vegans and vegetarians may choose the Raw Method. The placenta is not steamed and is prepped and dehydrated soon after washing. Although the placenta is not steamed it is still dehydrated at a food safe temperature of 160F that is not in compliance with the Raw Foods Diet.
Most mothers prefer this if they believe that steaming can destroy beneficial nutrients during steaming. Although, the steaming method does not destroy beneficial nutrients. Capsules made via this method are said to give more of a boost of energy, quicker. Some mothers may experience jitteriness, but can adjust how many capsules are taken to avoid this.
How do I get my placenta released?
If you are planning on encapsulating your placenta you must let your Doctor/Midwife know ahead of time. It is also recommended that you add it into your birth plan. It helps to have a partner/family member/doula know as well so they can make sure your birth team is aware of your plans to keep your placenta, and to make sure your placenta is not taken out of the room. The hospital or Birthing Center may require you to fill out a release of liability form before it is released to you.
What do I store my placenta in?
You will need to have a hard cooler or disposable styrofoam cooler ready to take with you to the hospital along with at least 2 gallon sized freezer bags for ice. The hospital will give you the placenta in either a bag or container. You will put this in the cooler and keep on ice until pick up. If the container is too big, you can request the hospital to double bag it instead. The hospital should be willing to let you get ice from their ice machine as well.
Is there any reason why you would not encapsulate my placenta?
I will not encapsulate if you smoked during pregnancy, have sexually transmitted diseases, Hepatitis, HIV/Aids. If during labor you develop a fever I may not be able to encapsulate due to risk of infection, but you can have your Dr./Midwife do a visual exam and possibly a test to rule infection out. If no infection is present then I can encapsulate. If your whole placenta is sent to Pathology for testing I cannot encapsulate either, because chemicals might be present. If your provider wants your placenta tested it is advised that you request only a small piece be taken.
When will you pick up my placenta?
Please contact me once in labor and after birth. We will then set up a pick up time that works well for both of us. I will then pick up your placenta from a spouse/family member outside of the hospital or from your home.
How long does the placenta encapsulation process take?
Once I receive your placenta I’m usually able to complete the encapsulation process in about 48 hours or less.
What is the encapsulation process?
The encapsulation process includes:
Thorough sanitization of work space and all equipment. Strict OSHA standards are observed.
Carefully rinsing and cleaning the placenta.
Trimming the cord--this is dehydrated and turned into a keepsake.
If client desires, steaming the cleaned placenta before dehydrating(Traditional Steaming Method), or it will be dehydrated raw if not steamed.
Preparing placenta for dehydration
Heating the placenta strips to 160 degrees to kill any bacteria that may be present.
Complete dehydration in a dehydrator that is reserved specifically for placentas.
Grinding the dehydrated placenta into a fine powder.
Filling capsules with powder and placing in container(s).
Sanitization of all equipment and work space.
What are the Placenta Encapsulation benefits?
It is believed that consuming the placenta can:
Help balance your hormones
Replenish depleted iron levels
Assist the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy state
Reduce post-natal bleeding
Increase milk production
Make for a happier, more enjoyable post-natal period
Increase your energy levels
Help lessen the “Baby Blues”
Help lessen Post-Partum Depression
How many capsules can I expect from my placenta?
Capsule amount depends on the preparation method used, size of placenta, and size of capsules used (“00” or “0”). Average amount is 80-200 size “00” capsules.
How many capsules should I take?
Every woman and placenta is different. It is important to listen to your body to determine what your perfect dosage is. Some women may prefer more capsules per day, while others prefer less. Suggested dosage is 1-3 capsules, up to 3 times a day with meals for the first 1-2 weeks. After 2 weeks you can start to decrease the dosage down to 1 or 2 pills a day as needed.
Do not take capsules when fighting an infection or fever. Once symptoms have cleared you may continue taking your capsules.
How do I store my placenta capsules?
Store your capsules in a cool, dry, dark place such as a pantry or medicine cabinet. If you still have capsules left after 2-3 months and plan to store them long-term, move them to the back of your freezer.