What are the benefits of placenta encapsulation?
Your placenta is rich in many nutrients and hormones lost during delivery.
- Gonadotropin: the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
- Prolactin: promotes lactation.
- Oxytocin: for pain and bonding; produced during breastfeeding to facilitate bonding of mother and infant. In pharmaceutical form this is a very addictive drug because it promotes a feeling of connectedness with others.
- Thyroid stimulating hormone: boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events.
- Cortisone: combats stress and unlocks energy stores.
- Interferon: stimulates the immune system to protect against infections.
- Prostaglandins: anti-inflammatory.
- Hemoglobin: replenishes iron deficiency and anemia, a common postpartum condition.
- Urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing.
- Gammaglobulin: immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections.
Replacing these nutrients can lead to faster healing times, a more stable mood and the ability to produce more milk. You can read all about it here.
How do you know when to start my placenta?
If you are not a current birth doula client, we ask that you call or text us to let us know that you are in labor. Once you have delivered your placenta please have your partner or support person transport your placenta to your home as soon as possible. It should be kept on ice until you get it home and then placed in the refrigerator. Please call us after delivery to arrange a time to come to your home to start the process.
Will my Hospital release my placenta?
Most hospitals will allow you to take your placenta but it is up to you to clear it with your care provider before you deliver.
How do I store my placenta?
You can store your placenta in a container with a lid in the refrigerator or with ice directly on it. You want to treat it as though it were an expensive steak. Your placenta is able to be stored in the refrigerator for 4 days post delivery. If you are unable/unsure if you would like to encapsulate your placenta you can freeze it. We will accept a placenta up to 3 months after delivery if frozen within 4 days of delivery.
How long does the process take?
Placenta encapsulation is a two day process. Expect your specialist to be there 1-2 hours each day.
What are the capsules made of?
Our capsules are made of gelatin, however if you are vegan we can use capsules made from rice.
What is your sanitation process?
Are your encapsulation specialists trained?
What if I am GBS positive and need antibiotics?
There has been no research to suggest whether or not antibiotics are present in the placenta after delivery, it is likely that trace amounts will remain in your placenta. Because the antibiotics would be reabsorbed by your body before being transferred to your breast milk it is unlikely that the antibiotics will get to baby, however it is up to you to decide whether or not you wish to consume your placenta.
Under what circumstances would my placenta NOT be suitable for encapsulation?
If you have an active uterine infection.
In very rare cases your placenta may be taken to pathology for testing. If this happens it is usually dipped in formaldehyde making it unsuitable for encapsulation. Please call us immediately if this happens and we can arrange postpartum doula hours in lieu of encapsulation services.
How many capsules will my placenta make?
Your placenta should make between 100-200 capsules depending on size.
How many/How often should I take my placenta capsules?
The first two weeks is the most effective and beneficial time to take your placenta capsules. Your postpartum placenta specialist will instruct you on a consumption schedule.
What are the risks of consuming my placenta?
The most common reported side effect (about 4%) is a “jittery feeling”. It is most often described as feeling like you have had too much caffeine. If you start feeling jittery, stop taking your pills and see if you feel better. You can then decide to start taking less or just discontinue all together.
What is a placenta tincture?
A placenta tincture is made by steeping your placenta in a high quality alcohol (we use vodka) for 6 weeks. The alcohol preserves the placenta and the nutrients and hormones indefinitely. This is a great way to reap the benefits of your placenta long after your capsules are gone. Many women find it helpful to reduce symptoms of PMS when your menstrual cycle returns and to ease the symptoms of your reducing hormones during the onset of menopause.
Can I still encapsulate my placenta if I choose to have a placenta print?
Yes. We use food coloring to create our beautiful placenta print keepsakes. It is very important to Lancaster Doulas to only use USDA food grade products when handling your placenta.