Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of placenta encapsulation?

Some reported benefits of placenta consumption:

  • Defense against postpartum depression and baby blues
  • Replenishes your iron to prevent postpartum anemia
  • Lends you a consistent flow of oxytocin, known as the love hormone
  • Provides the HPL hormone to help establish early and healthy milk supply
  • Stabilizes your hormones post-birth
  • Replenishes your B vitamins and energy used during childbirth
  • Protection from infection and bleeding
  • Offers natural pain relief through the Placental Opioid Enhancing Factor, which can also boost the effect of prescription pain medication
  • Helps tone your uterus back to normal size
For a comprehensive look at the benefits/risks, research, and history of Placentophagy, click here. *The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are in no way meant to replace medical care or advice.

I've heard the placenta is full of waste and toxins. Is this true?

The placenta is your baby’s life-support system during pregnancy and if it were full of toxins, this would make a very dangerous organ for your baby to be fed from. The placenta’s job is to keep the maternal and fetal blood separate, at the same time allowing nutrients to pass to the fetus and allowing waste from the fetus to pass through the mother. Toxins in the body and waste from the fetus are processed by the mother’s liver and kidneys for elimination. There are small amounts of heavy metals in the placenta; however, it has been proven that these levels are no greater than normal levels of heavy metals found in our body and in a mother’s breast milk. Source

What steps do you take to ensure the encapsulation process is safe?

Proper encapsulation protocols require a specialist to steam the placenta to kill pathogens, and/or dehydrate it at 160°F for up 24 hours, to keep potentially harmful bacteria from remaining present in the placenta. Qualified placenta encapsulators, like myself, are highly trained to ensure that the placenta is prepared correctly. I am certified in handling blood born pathogens and follow federal and state food safety guidelines, holding a Texas Food Handlers certification. If you are still unsure about the environment in which the placenta is processed, you can choose to either tour my home workspace or you can always choose to have me encapsulate in your home.

What supplies do you use and how are they sterilized?

I use stainless steel, ceramic, glass, and disposable supplies. I take great pride in using the safest, non toxic tools to process your placenta. Everything is thoroughly washed with antibacterial soap and hot water then sanitized in a bleach or medical-grade disinfectant cleaning solution, as outlined by OSHA as a requirement for disinfection. I wear a new set of disposable latex-free gloves for each step of the encapsulation process. I follow the same guidelines that are used for cleanliness and sanitation in food service industries and laboratories.

Is it legal to take my placenta home from the hospital?

In 2016, a law was enacted in Texas requiring hospitals or birthing centers, without a court order, to release the placenta to any woman who gives birth as long as 1) the woman tests negative for infectious diseases, and 2) the person taking possession of it (the mother) signs a release form. Please ensure you discuss your decision to bring your placenta home with your care provider and put it in your birth plan. I give my clients all of this information and further instructions when you book my services.

Can I have my placenta encapsulated if I have a medicated birth or Cesarean?

Yes, absolutely! These birth outcomes do not affect whether or not your placenta can be encapsulated. Women who have had an epidural, pain medication, and/or a Cesarean are all eligible candidates for placenta encapsulation and will receive the same benefits as those who have not had any of the above.

If I am GBS (Group B Strep) positive, can I still encapsulate my placenta?

Yes! Just be sure to have your placenta encapsulated using the Traditional Method, for extra precaution. The bacteria are inactivated or killed during the steaming process as well as when dehydrated.

Can I still consume my placenta if there was meconium present at 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, I will thoroughly wash the placenta with some apple cider vinegar if there has been meconium staining. This disinfects without compromising the integrity of the organ.

What if the hospital wants to take my placenta to pathology after birth?

If your placenta needs to be taken to pathology, ask if they will cut a small piece to take to examine, which they can do in your room, instead of taking the whole placenta. They only need a small piece to do their testing and can usually review in your room. The whole placenta should not have to leave your room. If they insist on taking the whole placenta, you are no longer a candidate for encapsulation. We can not guarantee that it has not had chemical on it or that it was keep refrigerated properly. We can still do a cord keepsake and a placenta print.

How should I store my placenta after birth?

Your placenta should be put into a clean and sterile, leak-proof container immediately after birth, for examining. Your provider may leave it in the container or you may be responsible for storing it. I suggest bringing two freezer ziploc bags to your birth place just in case. Your placenta should then be stored in a cooler on ice within 2 hours of birth. Or in a fridge, if there’s one available. You should contact your placenta specialist soon after your birth to ensure your placenta is collected within 24 hours.

How many capsules can I expect to receive?

The number of capsules varies for each person, depending on the size of the placenta and the preparation method chosen. The placenta is gently steamed in the Traditional Method and will decrease in size during the steaming process. A placenta usually yields anywhere from 90 – 175 capsules.