What is the proper care and handling for encapsulation?
As soon as possible after the birth, the placenta should be placed into a food-grade container (preferably glass), sealed tightly and refrigerated or placed on ice in a cooler. I encourage bringing a cooler with you to the hospitalas sometimes they will not let you put it i the fridge. You can purchase a disposable styrofoam cooler, or use any regular small cooler. If not disposable, the cooler will be sterilized and returned to you with your pills. A wide-mouth quart sized mason jar works well to store the placenta and won’t leak.
How should I notify you to come pick up the placenta?
If possible, please text me when you are in labor or heading to the hospital so that I have a heads up that the birth will happen soon. This enables me to get ready to pick up and process the placenta. After birth, you can call or text me to let me know your room number and that the placenta is ready to be picked up. I do my best to get there within a few hours. Sometimes families want time after the birth to just be together and do not want any visitors, I respect this and ask that you simply let me know when you are ready for me to come. I have an off-call time of midnight to 6am. If birth happens then please keep it refrigerated and text me and I will come in the morning. Should the birth take place while I am attending another birth it can either be refrigerated or I can send a proxy to come pick it.
What if my placenta needs to go to pathology?
Please call me right away, no matter the hour, if this occurs. In most cases pathology only needs a very tiny bit of the placenta and you can keep the rest of it. Once the placenta is taken to pathology though, it cannot be encapsulated as the risk of contamination is too high to be safe.
Will the hospital release my placenta to me?
I have had no issues with Maine hospitals releasing placentas. You should tell your care provider in your birth plan and once you are at the hospital for labor that you intend to keep your placenta. Many providers are aware that women often choose to keep their placenta after birth but please, make sure you discuss this during your prenatal care.
Where do you encapsulate the placenta?
I process the placenta in a sterilized space in my home with my own sterilized or disposable equipment. It is a multi-day process with strong odors involved, sterilizing chemicals (for equipment only not the placenta) and I often work late hours to get it back to you as soon as possible. Additionally in my home I can monitor the drying process closely to make sure it is processed as soon as it is ready and I can control the environment. For those reasons I believe that preparing it in my home is the best option.
How long does it take to encapsulate a placenta? When will my pills be ready?
It typically takes 24-72 hours, and in most cases pills are delivered within a few days.
How long after birth can a placenta be encapsulated?
The encapsulation process should ideally begin within 24-48 hours of the birth, but may begin anytime during the first four days after birth so long as the placenta has been properly stored in a refrigerator since birth, or has been frozen.
The placenta must be completely thawed before encapsulation, which will take at least 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. If there are any questions regarding storing the placenta please call me.
What ingredients are in placenta pills?
The only ingredient in your pills is YOUR placenta. I use vegetarian capsules.
What type of supplies are used and how are they sterilized?
The supplies used during the placenta encapsulation process are all stainless steel, food grade plastic, or disposable. Everything is thoroughly washed with surgical scrub soap and hot water, and then sanitized in bleach solution or a hospital grade sterilizing solution. Many of my tools are single use so as to lower the number of tools that are used for multiple clients.
How many pills will I receive?
Depending on the size of the placenta, you will receive anywhere from 75-200 pills, usually in the mid-high range.
How often should I take my pills?
You will receive directions for use with your placenta pills, though these are just guidelines for use and I work with each person to figure out the ‘dose’ that is right for them.
How long will my pills last?
Stored in the freezer, placenta pills keep indefinitely. Some people choose to save some pills in the freezer for when their cycle returns after birth.