Placenta Encapsulation FAQ
Ease your mind with frequently asked questions about placenta encapsulation
What does it mean to have your placenta encapsulated?
Placenta Encapsulation is the process of turning raw placenta in to safe to consume capsules, similar to herbal supplements. Placenta goes through a verified set of processes, Seasons of Balance Family Acupuncture uses a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) method that has been used for centuries. The capsules end up being steamed, dehydrated at certain temperatures, ground in to fine powder, then manually filled in to capsules.
What can you do with your placenta after birth?
Your placenta can be processed and ‘encapsulated’, meaning it can be turned in to capsules for you to take in the weeks or months after birth.
What can I hope to expect from taking my own placenta capsules?
Each woman’s experience is different, yet there are common benefits noted. Please refer to How it Works to find out more about the benefits.
How do I know the placenta remedies are from my placenta and not someone else’s?
At the very basic level we only ever process one placenta at a time in the practice. Seasons of Balance Family Acupuncture is a family owned and operated business. We work to the highest safety and quality standards. We have complete confidence in the integrity of our technique and processes in our controlled practice environment.
How many pills will my placenta make?
Placentas vary in size so the number of capsules also varies.
The number of capsules made from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) method averages 0-180 capsules.
How long will my capsules last?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) capsules can be stored in a cool dry dark cupboard, but not the fridge, for up to 2 years if stored properly. We strongly advise clients to wash their hands before handling their placenta capsules and avoid leaving the jar open.
After the initial postnatal period, any leftover capsules can be transferred to a ziplock bag, and stored in the freezer to use as needed.
Most women will receive enough capsules to last between 4 – 8 weeks postpartum.
How often do you take placenta pills?
You will receive full instructions regarding dosage with your capsules,
Most women consume one or two capsules three times a day during the first couple of weeks post-partum or until they feel their hormones have returned to normal. You can take one or two capsules whenever you feel you may need a little more energy or to boost your milk supply when breastfeeding. Placenta capsules can be taken as needed and there is no single correct dose.
You may adjust your dose as you feel right. Listen to your body – it will tell you what it needs!
Will I experience any side effects when taking my placenta capsules?
We highly recommend you follow the care instructions. Storing your placenta capsules properly, avoiding TCM capsules when ill and not taking more than the recommended dose will reduce your chances of experiencing any side effects.
However, if you experience any side effect which you suspect is caused by your capsules, please stop taking them immediately. Please inform us without delay and seek medical advice.
When should I not take placenta capsules?
According to the TCM principles of using placenta, it is recommended that the capsules are not taken if the mother is experiencing symptoms of an infection, fever, cold/flu, including mastitis. This is due to the energetics of the placenta being ‘warming and ascending’. It is viewed that adding this energy onto an already ‘warm’ condition is thought to worsen the symptoms and delay the rebalancing of homeostasis. Only once your symptoms have subsided should you start taking your placenta capsules again.
Do not take placenta capsules while you are pregnant because of their hormone levels.
Do placenta pills go bad?
Yes they can. The pills have a best before date and must be consumed accordingly. It is also important to store your pills correctly. Traditional Chinese Medicine capsules should be consumed within 6 months of birth. Capsules should be stored in a cool, dry place, but not in the fridge.
Storage and Collection
How do I keep my placenta after giving birth?
Ensure that your midwife, birthing team and/or family are aware that you wish to keep your placenta and note this in your birth plan. Discuss your plan to keep your placenta with your birthing team and family during your antenatal appointments. Hospitals will usually have a place they can store the placenta after it is birthed.
How do I store my placenta?
Your placenta needs to be kept cool to ensure it remains safe to consume. Your placenta should be stored in a refrigerator below 8°C after the cord is cut. However, not all hospitals will allow you to use their fridge/freezer. This is why it is important to be prepared with a cool bag or cooler.
If you do not have access to a fridge right away, your placenta should be double bagged into zip-lock bags and placed into a clean 2 litre sterile, leak-proof container as quickly as possible, but definitely within 30 minutes of its birth. This container should then go in to a cooler for no longer than 6 hours. The cooler should be filled with ice packs or two large bags of ice so that you can chill the placenta within 30 minutes of birth. After 6 hours your placenta should be stored in a fridge.
The placenta can remain the the fridge for up to 3 days. After that, the placenta must be stored in a freezer. It will stay preserved in the freezer indefinitely.
How do I get my placenta to you after I have given birth?
We can collect your placenta from your home or the hospital. When you book we will ask for your due date and contact you before this date to make sure you are prepared. When you go into established labor you should text us, with another text once you have given birth. You (or a family member) can then work out a plan with us over the collection of your placenta.
Are there any reasons the hospital may not allow me to keep my placenta?
This is very rare. If there are significant abnormalities of the placenta your healthcare team may send your placenta for further examination. Other conditions, such as signs of infection during labor, may mean that consuming your placenta is not advisable. The most usual reason is that your hospital, doctor or midwife are not aware that you want it to keep your placenta. Clear communication is therefore essential!
Are there any situations that would make it unsafe for me to consume my placenta?
There are a few situations where we would not be able to process your placenta. These are:
- If the placenta is sent to pathology
- If there is a uterine infection or chorioamnionitis ( an inflammation of the fetal membranes due to bacterial infection)
- If the placenta is improperly stored (sat out longer than 4-5 hours at room temperature post birth with no preservation methods.)
- Placentas that have sat in the refrigerator for more than 4-5 days without being frozen.
- If the mother smoked during pregnancy or if there was heavy drug usage.
- Cancer of the placenta, which is called choriocarcinoma.
Please let us know if you have any specific questions. If you are on medication during your pregnancy we ask you to seek advice from your consultant before deciding on placenta encapsulation.
Birth and Your Placenta
Can I encapsulate if I’m induced, have a Caesarean section or a medicated birth?
Encapsulation is still possible if you give birth with an epidural or if you have a Caesarean section. The placenta acts as a filter, filtering out toxins and sending them back to the mother’s liver to be detoxed from the system. If you are on medication during your pregnancy we ask you to seek advice from your consultant before deciding on placenta encapsulation.
Can I use my placenta if I have a water birth?
Yes, but it is important that the placenta is delivered onto a clean surface (such as a towel) and not into the birthing pool. It is common for caregivers to ask the woman to leave the pool to birth the placenta.
In some cases the placenta is birthed quickly so it may happens whilst in the water. It is safe to encapsulate and it’s recommended for the placenta to be steamed to make sure all bacteria are eliminated.
What happens if my placenta is stained with meconium?
Meconium is sterile, does not contain the fecal bacteria that normal stool does and therefore is perfectly fine to encapsulate. Meconium is only dangerous for the baby to inhale, but is otherwise harmless. If your placenta is heavily stained we will wash it thoroughly before encapsulation preparation. We will advise you once we have checked it.
Can I delay cord clamping if I am encapsulating my placenta?
Delayed cord clamping (waiting at least 10 minutes after delivery to cut the cord, preferably until it has completely stopped pulsing) has been proven to hold lifelong benefits for babies, and is something we encourage all families to research before giving birth. Delaying cord clamping will not have any negative effect on your placenta.
What if I am Group B Strep positive (GBS) or have an infection and need antibiotics, will I still be able to use my placenta?
Group B streptococcus (GBS) is one of the normal bacterias that can be found in a pregnant woman’s vagina or rectum.
At around 36 weeks gestation you will be tested to alert your care provider for this to become a problem during labour. Some women choose to be treated for it and others don’t.
Regardless of your choice, your placenta can still be encapsulated as the high heat of steaming and/or dehydration will eliminate any remaining bacteria.
Can I have my placenta encapsulated if my baby is premature?
Yes, moms of premature babies need all the help they can get bringing in their milk, healing quickly, and balancing post-natal mood. As long as your placenta is examined and cleared for any type of abnormality after birth we are happy to encapsulate it.
Can I have my placenta encapsulated if it was sent to pathology for testing?
When the placenta is sent to pathology there are always risks associated. There is a chance that the placenta has been contaminated with chemicals, that the equipment used for examination has not been properly sterilized and even the placenta that was returned does not belong to you.
If your placenta needs to be taken to pathology for any reason, you can ask your care provider to take a little piece of it to examine while the rest is properly stored for encapsulation. If the results come back negative then you can still go ahead with your choices.
Can I have my placenta encapsulated and also do cord blood banking?
Yes, you can do both. You will need to voice your wishes to keep the placenta for encapsulation to the company you are using, and therefore to have it handled as a food product at the time of cord blood collection.
Can I have my placenta encapsulated if it has been frozen?
If your placenta was handled and stored properly soon after birth and also properly frozen, ideally within 24 hours from the birth and up to 4 days of properly storage in the refrigerator, then it is safe to encapsulate for up to six months after the birth.
The process of encapsulation will be longer, as the placenta will need to be completely thaw in the refrigerator first.
If the placenta has been frozen more than once then it will not be possible to encapsulate.
Can I have a tincture made as well as have my placenta encapsulated?
Yes. A placenta tincture is made from taking a very small portion (almond size) of the raw or steamed placenta, whichever is preferred, and placing it in a prepared solution of high grade alcohol for a minimum of 6 weeks.
Booking with Us
How much does it cost?
Placenta Encapsulation costs a total of $150.00 with keepsake and instructions. This Includes pick-up and delivery within a 20 mile radius of our Minocqua office. There is an additional $.50/mile for clients beyond 20 miles.
Add-on a tincture for an additional $25.00 or photos for an additional $20.00.
What is the booking process?
It’s as simple as giving us a call a (715) 220-6574 or emailing us at Treatment@SeasonsofBalance.com. We advise you to reach out as early as you can – before giving birth. Please get in touch as we will always accommodate last minute bookings.
From there, we will set up a consultation with you to gather the information we need. Then we wont see you again until your placenta is ready to be picked up!
How soon will I receive my Capsules?
The finished product will be delivered within 72 hours of receiving the placenta. (excluding Placenta Tincture which takes longer to produce).
What is the keepsake?
The keepsake is a dried piece of the cord shaped into a heart. The ability to make the keepsake will depend on the length that has been left uncut. You can always request your caregiver cuts the cord ‘long’; meaning leaving as much length to the placenta end of the cord as possible.