Placenta Encapsulation Services
Placenta encapsulation is the process of turning the placenta into capsules. Placentophagy is the practice of ingesting the placenta after it has been cleaned and then eaten raw or steamed, baked/dehydrated, ground, and placed into pill form. Traditionally, this is taken by the mother and is believed to give numerous health benefits.
UNLV researchers were joined by colleagues at the University of South Florida, who surveyed new mothers, and found that about 3/4 had positive subjective experiences from ingesting their own placenta, citing beliefs of "improved mood", "increased energy", and "improved lactation".
To read about the history of placenta encapsulation please go here.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses placenta to strengthen the kidneys. Some say that mood swings resulting from a drop in the blood progesterone level respond well to a treatment with placenta remedies. Placenta has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 1400 years. Some believe it to be an effective treatment for a variety of conditions, including infertility, immune system strengthening, asthma, liver problems, arthritis and many more conditions. Raven Lang, a midwife who has studied TCM, advises women to use placenta during the postpartum period to aid in recovery from childbirth, prevent postpartum depression and minimize bleeding. Like the Germans of the 17th century, the Chinese boil the placenta in water and use both the placenta and water for making various remedies. In Traditional Chinese Medicine 'yin' or cold is believing that birth opens up the body. "Yang' energy or heat, which is done by steaming the placenta with warming herbs such as Ginger, helps nourish the body postpartum. Steaming at a low temperature is meant to enrich the placenta with energy. After cooking it is dehydrated/dried, powdered and put into capsules.
Some people believe the following to be some of the benefits of Placenta Placentophagy:
- Increased energy - Thyroid stimulating hormone helps boost energy
- Lessen postpartum bleeding - Urokinase inhibiting factor & factor Xlll stops bleeding and enhances wound healing
- Increase in milk production - Prolactin helps promote lactation
- Replenishes iron stores - Hemoglobin replenishes iron deficiency and anemia
- Helps balance hormone levels - Gonadotropin is the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone
- Helps prevent depression - The placenta contains high levels of CRH/Corticotrophin known to reduce stress and helps unlock energy stores
- Faster healing of tears & C-section:
- Gamma globulin a immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections
- Interferon stimulates the immune system and helps protect against infections
- Oxytocin can cause the uterus to contract and reach it's pre-pregnancy size
NEED TO KNOW INFORMATION:
Pitocin, Epidural and Caesarean: 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 caesarean, you will need to be vigilant about making sure your placenta is treated properly. If you have hired me as your doula, I will ensure that your placenta is properly refrigerated and stored for encapsulation.
Group B Strep: 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 labour, 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.
Meconium: 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. If you are worried about a possible infected placenta, I can sterilize the placenta using a vinegar cleansing method which was developed by Karl Theurer in 1987 in Stuttgart, Germany.
Pre-eclampsia: Placenta encapsulation is not contraindicated for moms with Pre-eclampsia. Many women who’ve had pre-eclampsia have very successfully used Placenta Pills. No one fully understands pre-eclampsia or exactly how to prevent it, and although the placenta does seem to play a part, it is not usually unfit for consumption. After the birth, your placenta will be examined by your care provider for irregularities and problems. Most of the time, the placenta is completely fine and you should have no problem having it released for encapsulation. If your care provider diagnoses a problem or infection in the placenta, it will be sent to pathology and you won’t be able to take it home.
HIV, Hepatitis A,B & C: For your safety and the safety of others, I will not be able to process your placenta if you have any of these.
Placenta Package Choices:
Depending on the size of the placenta you will get between 75 to 200 capsules. A cord keepsake is included in all packages and involves dehydrating the cord.
Please scroll to the bottom of this page to request placenta encapsulation services. Your placenta capsules come in your choice of Grape Flavour, Strawberry Flavour or Vegetarian.
□ Raw Method - Dehydrated & Encapsulated: $160.00 ($150.00 for doula clients)
□ Basic - Steamed, Dehydrated & Encapsulated: $175.00 ($150.00 for doula clients)
□ Booster - Steamed with ginger, hot peppers & lemon, dehydrated & encapsulated: $200.00 ($150.00 for doula clients)
□ Raw Frozen - Cleaned, prepared & packaged for smoothies &/or soups: $50.00
□ Tincture - Cleaned, prepared & packaged in a dropper with alcohol base: $50.00 (Please allow 6 weeks for processing).
□ Sterilization of Placenta - (optional) This process is done when meconium is present using a vinegar sterilization method: $10.00
□ Art Print - The placental print is done before washing and preparing and is printed with retaining blood, an alternative using food based dye is also available in your choice of colours: $25.00
Equipment Needed (the following should be on hand at home or brought to the birth cottage (Round House) or hospital):
1. A hard, medium sized cooler, labeled with mother's name, address and phone number, this is used to properly store the placenta during your stay &/or transport home. Soft sided and Styrofoam coolers are not advisable as they can leak.
2. 2 XL Ziploc bags for the placenta and 2 Large Ziploc bags for ice (the hospital has an ice machine)
3. Your birth plan stating that you are wanting to take your placenta home with you, (included in my doula birth plan questionnaire).
4. Placenta Encapsulation Waiver printed, signed and emailed to me (Monique Bandet/Labour Of Love Doula Services) before birth. It must be signed when the placenta is picked up.
5. Payment - it is easier to have this ready in your hospital bag so you don't have to worry about it after your birth. I accept cash, cheque or etransfer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Proper Placenta Care:
As quickly as possible after the birth (within the first 1 - 2 hours after birth), the placenta should be placed into the XL Ziplock bags and the hard medium sized cooler with ice and sealed tightly and then refrigerated or placed in a bag on ice. If you are my doula client, I will take it with me when I go. If you are not, please contact me as soon as you are in labour and keep me posted as to when your baby is born so I may pick up the placenta as soon as possible. The placenta should be processed within the first 24 - 48 hours, if you have not contacted me within that time to pick up, we will need to discuss whether or not the placenta is still safe to encapsulate/consume.
For Hospital Births:
It is best to never let the placenta leave your site. Hospital staff are very busy and can easily be distracted and could accidentally discard your placenta or send it to pathology where it could be ruined for encapsulation. Victoria General Hospital will accommodate your wishes to take your placenta home by preparing it for transport and placing it in a bio-hazard bag, but once packaged they will not accept any responsibility for proper storage of it during your stay. Once the placenta is packaged by hospital staff, please leave it in that packaging to avoid any cross-contamination or chance that it could leak and as stated above, place in two XL Ziplock bags on ice or in cooler with ice.
I recommend that either your spouse/partner, family member, birthing partner, or doula be in charge of the placenta once it is birthed so that it is properly stored and not lost or damaged. If you have hired me as your doula, I will make sure your placenta is properly looked after.
Please contact me as soon as you go into labour so that I may prepare to pick up your placenta within a certain time frame. I will pick up the placenta between the hours of 9:00am and 9:00pm. Please note, I only pick up in the Westshore, View Royal, Esquimalt and Surrounding areas. If it's more convenient, I can meet with a family member, friend, or your doula in the Westshore area.
If you forget a cooler, that is ok, just let me know before hand as I always carry an extra one in my vehicle. Until then, simply ask one of the nurses to give you a tub filled with ice, place the packaged placenta on the ice until I arrive. As long as it is kept cool and not allowed to spoil it will be fine until you can take it home and get it into the refrigerator or until I can pick it up. Placentas can be kept on ice/refrigerated for a few days before encapsulation if necessary without any spoilage, but the sooner it can be prepared for encapsulation the better. I recommend a max of 48 hours, any longer and there is a possibility of spoilage and nutrition/hormone loss. When the placenta passes the 72 hour mark, many beneficial hormones will have degraded and the resulting capsules will not be as potent as when the encapsulation process begins within the first 24 hours of birth. The capsules will still contain iron and other minerals and vitamins.
The Encapsulation Process Includes:
Steaming the placenta on it's own or in a Traditional Chinese Method using ginger, hot peppers and lemon, dehydration, grinding and encapsulating.
While using, please store your capsules in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator as it can accumulate condensation). They should be stored out of the reach of children. If you want to keep any remaining capsules, they should be spread on a cookie sheet, frozen and then stored in an airtight container in the freezer. If you move, please make sure to keep your capsules cool and dry until you can get them back into the freezer. Stored properly, your capsules will last many, many years.
This method consists of using a small piece of raw placenta and fermented in alcohol. This process takes approx. 6 - 8 weeks to process. After processing, if stored correctly, it can be used for many years to come. Some women use it for things like Postpartum Depression, PMS and stress. Some mother's use it on their baby for teething, colic, growing pains, stress etc... And some women save it for menopause.
I encourage you to read the following article and do your own research before deciding to encapsulate your placenta.
Please fill out the below Placenta Encapsulation placenta_encapsulation_waiver_-_contract.docx ahead of time (approx. one month before your due date and have it ready for me.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Biermeier, Sarah. "The Placenta-an Unappreciated Organ". Geneabirth. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
Young, Sharon; Benyshek, Daniel (2010). "In Search of Human Placentophagy: A Cross-Cultural Survey of Human Placenta Consumption, Disposal Practices, and Cultural Beliefs". Ecology of Food and Nutrition (Taylor & Francis Online) 49 (6): 467–84. doi:10.1080/03670244.2010.524106.
Beacock, Michelle (2012-07-01). "Does eating placenta offer postpartum health benefits?". British Journal of Midwifery 20 (7): 464–469.
Thomson, Murray (2008). "The Effects of Placental Corticotrophin Releasing Hormone on the Physiology and Psychology of the Pregnant Woman". Current Women's Health Reviews (Bentham Science) 4 (4): 270–279. doi:10.2174/157340408786848197