FAQs

Why do you prepare the capsules in my home?

  • To comply with state and federal guidelines, and create the cleanest and safest environment for encapsulation, the entire process is completed in your home. It is imperative that you know what is happening to your placenta (or any other food that you ingest).
  • Texas has strict standards for facilities that prepare consumable substances. Regular inspections are performed by the local authority to ensure proper food handling, sanitation and other safety compliance standards. This is a new type of service. There is no government/health department monitoring or inspecting that will ensure proper food safety and sanitation guidelines are met. And there are currently NO facilities in the United States that are approved for the preparation of placenta pills.
  • You can be certain that you are getting your own placenta; and ONLY your placenta. (This Miami Maternity Center is under fire for its suspected practices).
  • You can be assured that your placenta pills are prepared in a clean environment. Without regular health inspections and monitoring, the only way to ensure your pills are being prepared in a clean and legal environment is by having them prepared in your home. As a certified Food Safety Manager, I follow the same procedures for cleanliness and sanitation used in food service establishments.
  • As a PBi-Trained Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, my handling and disinfection practices meet strict Federal (OSHA and EPA) and local guidelines. Our standards also meet EPA guidelines for licensed small laboratories, who handle bloodborne pathogens and medical waste.
  • Apart from legalities of things, encapsulating a placenta in your home allows the whole family to be part of the process if they’d like.  As it has been for centuries, this ritual is a sacred event, and photos and questions are welcome!

How soon after the birth do you start the process?

  • Ideally I start the process no later than three days after the birth.  However, if there are delays the placenta can be frozen.

How long does the process take?

  • The process is completed in two sessions at your home, each lasting about two hours.

Will there be a smell in my home?

  • In a home with a decent ventilation system there will be very little or no smell. Otherwise, there is a very localized smell in the kitchen. The overwhelming consensus is that it smells like liver. The liver-like smell does not permeate one’s home and dissipates rather quickly.

Do you use Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques to prepare the placenta?

  • Yes, I am trained to use this method; including the use of “warming” herbs and “conscious” handling of the placenta. According to TCM, the postpartum woman is considered cold (when we lose blood and “Qi” [or life force] we turn cool [very “Yin”] and become “Yang” deficient. In order to return our bodies to a warm flowing balance of energy we must warm the body).  Due to the postpartum woman being “cold”, she must consume “warming” food (foods that have been cooked or steamed and/or foods that are hot/warm). The warm counteracts the cold in order to reestablish homeostasis throughout the body.

Why use a PBi-Certified Specialist vs. one that is Non-Certified & Independent?

  • There are independent professionals (i.e. doulas, herbalists, etc.) who offer placenta encapsulation at a lower price. Yet, they often do so as they are typically not certified and prepare capsules in their own kitchens. Often, they have read online articles and “How to” instructions. Many of these online methods are not correct in eyes of Traditional Chinese Medicine and some are downright dangerous.
  • I am concerned that women are turning their placentas over to people who may not fully understand how to safely encapsulate a placenta. More concerning is many independent specialists are illegally transporting placentas to their own kitchens to encapsulate. At this point in time there is no law allowing a Specialist (certified or not) to legally transport a human organ unless it is their own – or to encapsulate a placenta outside of a client’s home.
  • I am PBi Certified, ServSafe Food Safety Certified, and have completed Bloodborne Pathogen Training. I also have immediate access to a comprehensive database on ALL things placenta and can answer questions that you may have. I operate with the highest level of integrity, honesty, safety and efficiency. In the end, it’s your choice. You elect the provider you think can offer you the best service. However, understand that you only get once chance at this!

Is eating my placenta safe?

  • Placentophogia has been practiced for thousands of years.  Using proper handling and care, this process is completely safe.  I take extra care to ensure your placenta is handled properly at all times.

My placenta is in the freezer…can it still be encapsulated?

  • As long as the placenta is frozen shortly after birth, and not damage from “freezer-burn”, it may still hold medicinal value. Though hormones within placenta decrease, its nutritional value may still be present. If frozen for longer than 6 months, the strength of its potency may be reduced.

What forms of payment do you accept?

  • Cash, check, PayPal, or Venmo
  • Payment plans available
  • Gift certificates available
  • If you know a mom who really wants to have her placenta encapsulated but is on a tight budget, this makes a wonderful gift!

Can you encapsulate without GBS and/or Meconium?

  • Yes! As long as it is done properly using the Traditional Chinese Medicine method. Raw preparation of placenta pills (where the heating part of the process is skipped, entirely), does NOT allow the placenta (an organ meat) to heat to safe enough temperatures to destroy potential pathogenic bacteria. I have always and will ONLY ever provide TCM encapsulation services. Here’s some great info a friend wrote on the subject: http://www.womancraftaustin.com/news/gbs-placenta-encapsulation-safety

How many capsules will I get?

  • Placentas vary in size, most women receive between 100-200 capsules for postpartum recovery. 80 capsules will typically last a period of 3 weeks. Your placenta is perfectly made for you, by you. Stored properly, placenta capsules – and the nutrients and hormones contained within – remain potent for years.

Care of my placenta?

  • After birth, store the placenta in a clean airtight container and refrigerate as soon as possible.  If you are unable to refrigerate within the first few hours, use a cooler with ice until you get home.
  • 
Make notes in your birth plan and discuss with attending nurses.
  • Never let your placenta leave your sight!  Do not allow it to be taken to pathology where it may be ruined for consumption.
  • If it will not be possible to start the encapsulation process within the first 72 hours after giving birth, you should plan to freeze the placenta immediately after your child is born. Double bag the placenta in gallon sized zip lock freezer bags. Please contact me regarding best storage options for your situation and time frame.

Below is an overview of compounds that make up a placenta.

Some of the known ingredients in the placenta (believed to aid in healing) are:
  • Oxytocin – For pain and bonding; produced during breastfeeding to facilitate bonding of mother and infant.
  • Interferon – Stimulates the immune system to protect against infection.
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone – Boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events.
  • Prostaglandins – Anti-inflammatory
  • Hemoglobin – Replenishes iron deficiency and anemia.
  • Gammaglobulin – Immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections.
  • Urokinase Inhibiting Factor & Factor XIII – stops bleeding and enhances wound healing
  • Iron – The placenta contains a large amount of natural iron. Fatigue. stress. cognitive impairment, and PPD can be related to the existence of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in women.

  • Estrogen – During pregnancy, estrogen helps the uterus grow, increases blood circulation, and regulates progesterone and stimulates thyroid hormones in the body. Estradiol and Estriol are two forms of estrogen that are produced by the placenta, and rise sharply during pregnancy. It is believed that the abrupt decrease in estradiol levels after delivery (reaching pre-pregnancy levels by postpartum day 5) may contribute to the onset of PPD. 

  • Progesterone – Ensures the placenta functions properly, protects the uterine lining, and stimulates breast tissue. Progesterone is produced by the placenta in pregnancy, and declines rapidly after delivery, signaling the breasts to produce milk. 

  • CRH (Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone) and Cortisol – These stress relieving hormones are produced by the placenta and rise sharply before delivery to prepare the body for the stress of birth. CRH increases by 3 times in pregnant women, and levels drop rapidly after delivery. Cortisol raises blood sugar levels and maintains normal blood pressure, which is required during times of stress. One study, noted in an article by Jodi Selander, (PBi founder) concluded that women with lowest levels of CRH also experienced depressive symptoms.

  • Prolactin – Increases greatly late in pregnancy, and stimulates lactation after birth. Levels decrease three weeks postpartum in non-lactating women. In breast feeding mothers, prolactin will eventually decrease to pre-pregnancy levels. There is belief that lower levels of prolactin may contribute to the onset of PPD.

     

Hospital Release Policies

Seton – Requires a 72 hour hold.  Placenta must be FROZEN.
St. David’s – Immediate release.
Scott & White – Immediate release.
Let the hospital staff know you plan to take your placenta before you go into labor. You will sign a release of liability form.  Don’t forget to take a cooler with you.  And please remember to add bags of ICE to the cooler.