Can I have my placenta encapsulated if I had a c-section, epidural, or pitocin during labor?
Yes, Yes, and Yes! These interventions have no noticeable effect on your placenta capsules. Epidural anesthesia and pitocin break down very quickly after entering the placenta. Make sure you specify clearly in your birth plan that you will be keeping the placenta, and that it needs to be refrigerated as soon as possible after the birth. Especially after a c-section, you will need to be vigilant about making sure your placenta is treated properly. Dads and doulas, this is your job.
Is it safe to have my placenta encapsulated if I tested positive for Group B Strep (GBS)?
Yes. Group B strep is a common bacterium that does not normally pose health risks to the mother. All bacteria in the placenta is killed during the heating and dehydration process. Rarely, Group B strep can lead to uterine infection. If you developed a uterine infection or fever during your labor, your placenta would not be considered useful in healing, and would likely be taken to the pathology lab for testing, but otherwise, Group B strep is not contraindicated in placenta remedy preparation
Can I encapsulate my placenta if my baby passed meconium before birth?
Yes. Meconium is sterile, it does not contain fecal bacteria that normal stool does. Meconium is dangerous for the infant to inhale, but is otherwise harmless. Additionally, your placenta is thoroughly washed before encapsulation preparation.
Will the Hospital release my placenta?
Most hospitals are fairly easy to work with when it comes to having the placenta released, however you will need to let them know before the birth that you are keeping your placenta. A birth plan is the best way to do this. After delivery, you will have to sign a release form or waiver. Once the placenta has been inspected and determined healthy, you can ask the nurses to double bag it in Ziploc bags brought from home and place it in the hospital refrigerator. If they will not bag the placenta, it is ok to store it in the hospital’s preferred container.
What if the doctor wants to take my placenta to pathology?
If the placenta needs to be taken to pathology ask if they can cut a small piece to examine instead of taking the whole placenta. If they insist on taking the whole placenta, you will not be able to have your placenta encapsulated.
When is the placenta prepared?
Ideally, the placenta preparation should take place as soon as possible after the birth, within the first 48 – 72 hours. Directly after the birth, the placenta should be placed in an enclosed container (the hospital will put it in a plastic container or a your Ziploc bags), and then in the refrigerator until you can get it to me. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. If you know ahead of time that it will not be prepared within that time frame, it is best to place it straight into the freezer.
I have a placenta stored in my freezer from a previous birth. Is it safe to have it encapsulated?
That depends on several factors: Was the placenta frozen properly? (Frozen within 48 hours of the birth, no signs of frostbite, has been kept frozen i.e. not thawed and re-frozen) If frozen properly, you can have it encapsulated up to one year after the birth. After we defrost your placenta we will inspect it carefully for any signs of damage. If we feel the placenta is unfit for consuming, we will return it or discard it and refund your deposit.
I have twins and will deliver two placentas. Can I have both of them encapsulated, and what would be the cost?
In the case of twins, I will process the placentas as I do with one. There is no additional cost.
I was told my placenta was “abnormal”. How do I know if it is safe to ingest?
Your placenta is as unique as your fingerprints. No two placentas are the same, as each one is specifically made by and for your baby and your body. Sometimes a placenta can be very unique; an unusual shape or size, extra lobes, etc. But “unique” does not mean “unhealthy”. The only situations in which a placenta wouldn’t be safe to consume is if you developed an infection during labor (remember, being GBS positive does NOT automatically mean you have an infection), if the placenta was taken to pathology, if it was not refrigerated properly after the birth, or if you have HIV, Hep A, B or C. Calcification of the placenta is normal and does not preclude encapsulation.
On average, how many capsules can I expect to receive?
That depends on the size of the placenta. A small placenta will yield around 125 capsules. A very large placenta can produce up to 200 or even more. On average you can expect around 125 – 150 capsules. Generally speaking, big babies have big placentas and small babies have small placentas.
What do you do with the amniotic sac and the umbilical cord?
The amniotic sack is cleaned and steamed along with the placenta. The umbilical cord is dried in a heart or spiral shape and given to you in an organza bag as a birth keepsake.
What if I have a disease such as HIV, Hepatitis A, B or C?
For your safety and the safety of others, we will not be able to process your placenta if you have any of the above diseases.
Do the benefits of the Placenta diminish if pregnancy lasts longer than 40 weeks? If so, at what week would you recommend canceling the Placenta Encapsulation process?
I have encapsulated many placentas from mamas who carried to 41, 42, and even 43 weeks. I haven’t noticed a difference in the health of the placenta as gestation increases, however sometimes the amniotic sac will be very very soft, due to the increased relaxin as pregnancy progresses. Occasionally I will notice some calcification, but that happens in 38-40 week placentas too and doesn’t affect your capsules at all.