Placenta Encapsulation – FAQ

FAQ for Placenta Encapsulation Service

Serving new mothers in Vermont since 2011.

What are benefits of placenta capsules? 

Scientific research shows placenta to contain iron, protein, B12, and hormones; all which can promote healing in a new mom’s postpartum body. Capsules are known to boost energy, balance hormones, decrease baby blues, increase breast milk, and tonify uterus.

Updated research on ingesting placenta capsules here.

My placenta video answers this question more fully.

Why hire a Certified Encapsulator?

I am a PBi-certified encapsulator. This means that I:

  • Follow strict OSHA guidelines
  • Renew my certificate in Food Safety & Handling
  • Knowledgeable in the benefits of placentophagy
  • Certified in the PBi method of placenta encapsulation
  • Have a network of experienced professionals
  • Am able to answer your questions
  • Check in during your postpartum period

Can I use capsules if I have GBS+? 

It depends on preparation method. NOT ALL ENCAPSULATION PROVIDERS USE SAME SAFETY STANDARDS. I am trained to prepare placenta into capsule form using a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) method on file with the FDA; a method that addresses the issue of bacterial pathogens like group B strep. I have safely prepared capsules for GBS+ moms since 2011. Read more…

How does this work? 

It’s preferable to reserve your spot at least 1+ month before estimated due date by filling out intake form and paying deposit. You will receive a confirmation email and final invoice within 3 business days.

The encapsulation is completed in your home after birth. I bring necessary supplies and only need access to sink, stove-top, electrical outlet, and bit of counter space. The entire process is completed in two steps and takes a total of 5-7 hours. The placenta is left to dehydrate for a period of time in between steps. Your kitchen is cleaned and sanitized after each step.

You might think it awkward to have me in your home in the immediate postpartum. Though it may be a minor inconvenience, I am not there as a guest nor do I expect to meet mom or baby. I come and go quietly; leaving kitchen cleaner then I found it.

You receive placenta capsules, tea/tincture, and dosage instructions. Placenta prints are an additional $25.

How do I get my placenta from the hospital?

As simple as telling doctor/midwife you want to keep placenta to consume. You are not bringing it home to plant under a tree! You can ask the hospital ahead of time if they have a protocol for releasing a placenta (speak with someone in pathology or obstetrics). Some hospitals want to know in advance, others upon admission.

In the 10+ years I have been encapsulating in Vermont, I have never had a hospital prevent a mom from taking her placenta home (unless there is an infection present, you will know this as would have fever during or immediately after birth). I am well-established in most birthing centers and hospitals here in Vermont and the staff at most are familiar with my service and comfortable with moms bringing placenta home for ingestion.

Many parents send placenta back to their home fridge with friend or family member. Sometimes dad steps out and brings it home. Once there (and depending on my availability) we will arrange a time for me to encapsulate. 

You receive an informative letter to share with care provider on booking. 

Why encapsulate in my home?

To comply with state/federal guidelines and create a clean, safe environment, I encapsulate in your home because:

  • It is not legal for me to transport a placenta without proper certification and/or to encapsulate in our home.
  • You can be certain you get your placenta and ONLY your placenta. 
  • You know exactly what happens and that your placenta is stored at proper temperatures at all times.
  • If you choose to, you can observe capsules being made 😉
  • You can be assured placenta is prepared in a clean environment. Without regular health inspections/monitoring, only way to ensure capsules are prepared in a clean environment is prepare them in your home by a certified Specialist trained to handle blood properly.
  • There are currently NO facilities in United States approved for the preparation of placenta pills.

It is perfectly legal to have your placenta prepared at your residence (or a friend/family). You only get one placenta when you have a baby. If it’s handled in an unsafe manner, over-processed, molds due to moisture, ends up being someone else’s placenta (rare yet…), or causes sickness, you lose on an opportunity to get the benefits of your placenta in your postpartum.

What is your training and certifications?

As a PBi-Certified Placenta Encapsulationist, I trained with Placenta Benefits (leading resource in placenta encapsulation) to prepare placenta medicinally with a Traditional Chinese Medicine method on file with FDA.

I maintain my certification as a ServSafe Food Handler and follow procedures used in food service establishments. My handling and disinfection practices meet strict Federal (OSHA/EPA) and local guidelines and PBi-standards meet the same EPA guidelines for licensed small laboratories, who handle blood-borne pathogens and medical waste.

As a PBi-member, I have access to a comprehensive database on ALL things placenta to be able to answer any question that you (or your care provider) have. I operate with integrity, safety, and efficiency.

I am worried that the process will smell!!

If your home is properly ventilated, there is little to no smell. Otherwise, there may be a slight smell (described as cooked liver) in the kitchen area. Any smell dissipates quickly once encapsulation is complete.

What if I have an epidural/c-section?

Many moms I encapsulate for have epidurals or cesareans and 9 out of 10 times, the doctor releases the placenta without problem. These new moms benefit as much as those who had un-medicated ‘natural’ births. In some ways, even more, because placenta hormones act as a natural pain reliever to give mom relief during what is a sensitive, vulnerable time. I have moms take the capsules and tea and not need any other painkiller. Same goes for stitches or epidural after-effects. Updated research on capsules here.

Why do you use a TCM method? 

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), new moms are considered cold (yin) inside after releasing blood and baby (yang) during birth. One way to return heat (yang) and a flowing balance of energy is to consume “warm” food, such as cooked and/or warm food; including how a placenta is prepared for ingestion.

The TCM method I use to prepare a placenta is one that has been used for centuries and involves a steaming process. I do not offer RAW encapsulation because this method has a cooling effect and can cause a new mom to feel ‘cold’ inside. Ingesting raw placenta is also not a good idea from a food safety perspective. What we want to do is warm the new mother. To contract, not expand. To calm, not stimulate. To ground her in body, mind, and spirit.

Placenta capsules made with a TCM-method are warming to counteract cold and re-establish homeostasis, rebuild blood (chi), and regulate the endocrine functions (thyroid, adrenals) for good metabolism, sleep, and mood. The tea and tincture that I make also has a similar effect.

This method allows you to save any remaining capsules for future use (i.e. returning to work or other stressful situations and menopause). Stored properly, capsules and the nutrients and hormones within, remain potent.

Why TCM capsules and not raw? 

I am trained to prepare capsules with a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) method. This is a safe, potent way to ingest placenta capsules. The steaming process I use breaks down the cell walls of the placental tissue; allowing your body to easily access the vitamins, protein, and hormones stored there. Research shows the iron levels in a placenta doubles when prepared using a TCM-method.

Placenta carries bacteria, viruses, and other blood borne pathogens. This is another reason not to ingest raw placenta capsules. The bacteria, and all that exist on and in the placenta and surrounding blood, are inherent in the body and vaginal canal, but once the placenta is born it is exposed to oxygen and the bacteria quickly take on life of their own.

Downsides of raw capsules: Increase postnatal bleeding, decrease breast milk production, cool body, inhibit healing. For these reasons and more, I prepare capsules with a TCM method that is on file with the FDA. 

How many capsules do I get?

Each placenta varies in size, but most women receive 100-200 capsules (115 average) for postpartum recovery. You’ll use about 85 capsules in immediate postpartum period and freeze rest or choose to take until gone. Your body makes what you need and your placenta is perfect size for you!

What if baby comes early or late? 

If more than 14 days overdue from EDD, or have baby earlier then 14 days before, you are still a client and guaranteed service. There is simply a chance I may not be able to encapsulate within 3 days of birth. If this occurs, you will receive instructions to freeze placenta for brief period of time. Frozen properly, hormones and nutrients within placental tissue remain intact.

Will health insurance cover placenta encapsulation service?

This is a question for your insurance company. Most do not. If you have history of PPD you may have better luck. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through insurance then this service might be covered.

Contradictions to ingest placenta? 

Placenta capsules made with TCM method have a warming nature that move blood and tonify reproductive organs. If a new mom has an existing “warm” condition (mastitis, flu, infection) the capsules can interfere with her body’s ability to cool down. This is why recommended to stop taking capsules until symptoms of chills, fever, or aches are no longer present. 

Two things put mom at risk for taking capsules 1) mom regularly used tobacco during pregnancy (heavy metals can remain in placenta tissue. 2) mom develops fever during labor or birth due to an amniotic infection (chorioamnionitis). Both these situations make the placenta questionable to ingest. Other contraindications: Hepatitis, HIV, or uterine infection.

Special circumstances not contraindications to placenta encapsulation are: Sexually Transmitted Infections (i.e. HSV, HPV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea), meconium staining, GBS+, Gestational Diabetes, HELLP, PUPPS (some moms wait few weeks before starting capsules), use of antibiotics during labor, cesarean, epidurals, spinal anesthesia, IV medication (i.e. Nubain, Pitocin, Mag Sulfate).

Having an epidural, induction, or cesarean  birth does not typically interfere with the TCM encapsulation process. 

Contact Tara if you have more questions.

My placenta is in the freezer, can I still encapsulate?

If placenta was frozen shortly after birth and not damaged from “freezer-burn”, it will hold medicinal value. If frozen longer than 6 months, its hormonal potency will have decreased (or reduced to nil) but nutritional value may be present. I encapsulated my placenta when my son was 5 and felt something 😉 Never say never.

How much does this cost?

Please see pricing page. Scholarships and barters available. Discounts to teen and single moms. Like my Instagram page for occasional specials. In the case that a mom is unable to obtain her placenta due to a high fever, infection during birth, you will be refunded all but the non-refundable deposit ($50). Refund processed within 2 weeks of request. To purchase a certificate for an expectant mom, contact Tara. A lovely baby shower gift! Due to the nature of this business, no surprise gifts please. 

Disclaimer: Benefits of placenta encapsulation are supported by ongoing research. However, statements here are not evaluated by FDA and my service is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Please make decision to consume placenta with a care provider. I am not a medical doctor, practitioner, or herbalist. Those utilizing this service take full responsibility for using capsules, tea, and tincture at own risk

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