Where are you, and are you willing to travel?
I'm located in the Salem Oregon area, and yes, I am willing to travel! I'm currently focusing on the main greater Mid-Valley/Willamette Valley areas (Corvallis to Portland), but I am willing to travel elsewhere as needed, for an additional fee (to cover gas and other expenses)! Please contact me for further information if you are outside my area.
Can I have my placenta encapsulated if I had a c-section, epidural, or pitocin during labor?
Yes, to all the above! These interventions have no noticeable effect on your placenta capsules. Epidural anesthesia and pitocin are said to break down very quickly after entering the placenta. In your birth plan, make sure you clearly specify 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 steaming process. Rarely however, Group B strep can lead to a uterine infection. Rarely however, Group B Strep can lead to a 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. Otherwise, Group B Strep is not normally contraindicated in placenta remedy preparations.
Can I encapsulate my placenta if my baby passed meconium before birth?
Yes! Meconium is actually said to be sterile, as it does not contain the same fecal bacteria like normal stool does. Meconium is dangerous for the infant to inhale, but is otherwise harmless. Additionally, your placenta is thoroughly washed in the preparation for the encapsulation process, so any meconium on the placenta would be removed prior to the steaming and final preparations.
Can I encapsulate my placenta if I had Preeclampsia?
Yes! Placenta encapsulation is not contraindicated for moms with Preeclampsia. Many women who’ve had preeclampsia have very successfully used their Placenta Pills. Although the placenta does seem to play a part, it is not usually unfit for consumption. After the birth, your placenta will be examined for irregularities and problems. Most of the time, the placenta is completely fine and you should have no problem having it released for encapsulation. However, if your care provider does diagnose a problem or infection in the placenta, it will be sent to Pathology and you won’t be able to take it home.
If I’m having a hospital birth, will the hospital release my placenta to me?
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 conversation with your care provider and a statement in your birth plan is the best way to do this. After delivery, the hospital will have you sign a release form or waiver. Once the placenta has been inspected and determined healthy, they will put it in an enclosed container for you. Please make sure they know that it is being used for consumption and it needs to be treated as such (eg. refrigerated). Please also note that the hospital will not release your placenta if you have any of the following diseases: HIV, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Hep-B or Hep-C.
Can my placenta still be encapsulated if I am a smoker?
Some placenta encapsulators will still encapsulate a placenta if the mom is a smoker, but I generally will not. The reasoning behind this is that there are some amounts of heavy metals present in all placentas (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23140988), and since they are metals they do not metabolize like other toxins, rather they can further accumulate. I am really not trying to offend anyone by this, but rather I just feel that it is just better for the mom to try to reduce the amount of heavy metals in her system for her own health and that of her baby's. I personally don't feel comfortable with it as being "safe". For women who smoke heavily, the placenta is negatively effected (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15984568), and since a mother who smokes could accumulate really high levels of heavy metals in her placenta, having those reintroduced into her system through her ingested placenta would potentially pose more harm than good. I strongly think that placentas of mothers who smoke should not be consumed in any way. I feel that unfortunately in this case, the risk of heavy metal poisoning outweighs the benefit of the placenta capsules. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause for potential clients.
What if the doctor wants to send my placenta to pathology?
Usually if the placenta needs to be taken to pathology, you can negotiate a little bit and ask if they can just cut and use a small piece of it for examination instead of taking the whole placenta. However, if they insist on taking the whole placenta, you will unfortunately not be able to have your placenta encapsulated.
When is the placenta prepared?
The placenta preparation should take place as soon as possible after the birth, (ideally within the first 48 hours, but it can wait closer to 72 hours if needed). Directly after the birth, the placenta should be placed in an enclosed container; for homebirths the placenta should be double bagged in Ziploc bags, and if at a hospital, they usually put it in a plastic container for you. Then, it needs to be placed in the refrigerator until it is time for encapsulation. It can safely be stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, but if you know ahead of time that it will not be prepared within that time frame, it is best to just place it straight into the freezer.
Can I have my placenta encapsulated if my baby was premature?
Yes, unless the doctor decides to take the whole placenta to Pathology. Moms of preemies need all the help they can get bringing in their milk, healing quickly, and balancing postpartum moods. If your doctor wants to culture the placenta, you can often negotiate to have just a piece of the placenta taken to Pathology so you that you can still encapsulate the rest.
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? (Double bagged, frozen within 48 hours of the birth, no signs of frostbite, has been kept frozen without any thawing or re-freezing). If it has been properly frozen, you can have it encapsulated up to one year after the birth. In this case, 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 (or triplets, quadruplets, etc.!). Can I have both of them encapsulated, and would there be a difference in cost?
Absolutely! In the case of twins (or multiple births), we will process the placentas together. The cost for multiple placentas from the same mother at one pregnancy would only have a small additional fee of $50/placenta.
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 your body specifically makes each one for your baby. Sometimes a placenta can be very unique; an unusual shape, size, or extra lobes. But “unique” does not mean “unhealthy”. The only situations in which a placenta wouldn’t be safe to consume are: 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 and stored properly after the birth; or if you have HIV, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Hep-B or Hep-C. An arbitrary "abnormal" amount of calcification in the placenta does not preclude encapsulation.
How do I store my Placenta Capsules?
You should store your capsules in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard. If you are wanting to store the capsules for long-term use, then you should move them to the freezer. If you move residences, make sure to keep your capsules cool and dry until you can get them back in the freezer. Stored properly, your capsules will last many, many years.
On average, how many capsules can I expect to receive from my placenta?
The amount of capsules depends on the size of the placenta. A small placenta will yield around 75 –100 capsules. A large placenta can produce up to 175 or more. On average, you can expect around 125 –150 capsules. Generally speaking, bigger babies have bigger placentas and smaller babies have smaller placentas.
What do you do with the amniotic sac and the umbilical cord?
The amniotic sac is cleaned and steamed along with the placenta. The umbilical cord is usually dried in a heart or spiral shape and given to you as a birth keepsake to keep, if you like.
What if I have a disease such as HIV, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia, or Hepatitis B or C?
Unfortunately, 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. Also, if you have any of these diseases the hospital will not release your placenta to you.
I would like to have/or had a traditional Lotus Birth. Is my placenta fit for consumption?
Possibly. A Partial Lotus birth would enable placental preparation, as long as the placenta is still kept on ice/in a cooler near baby at all times. Ideally, the placenta should be encapsulated within the first 48 hours after birth if not immediately frozen. A Full Lotus birth does not enable placental preparation; the placenta is out too long, which causes it's nutrients and hormones to transfer to the baby instead of being available for the mother through encapsulation or other preparation.
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 seen placentas encapsulated from mothers who carried 41, 42, and even 43 weeks. I haven't noticed a difference in the health of the placenta as gestation increases (unless the mother had a nutritional deficiency); however, sometimes the amniotic sac will be very, very soft, due to the increased Relaxin hormones as pregnancy progresses. Occasionally I will notice extra calcification, but that is normal in 38-40+ week placentas and doesn't affect your capsules at all.