How do you prepare my placenta?
Placenta encapsulation is the process of preparing the mother’s placenta after the birth of her baby(ies), by separating the membranes and umbilical cord from the placenta, rinsing and draining maternal and fetal blood, steaming, slicing thin and then dehydrating to doneness, to then be ground and placed into capsules for the mother to ingest as she sees fit. Per food safety guidelines we do not offer raw prep for capsules, we steam, then dehydrate your placenta at 160°F for at least 8 hours, testing for doneness before encapsulation. All bacteria (including GBS) begins to die at 55° C (131° F) for 30 minutes. Proper preparation at these temperatures ensure that no harmful bacteria are present.
Encapsulation is a two day process:
Day 1: Once the placenta is thawed and ready for dehydration it must dehydrate for at least 8 hours.
* Before the placenta can be prepared, it must be defrosted if frozen. This can take another 24hrs.
Day 2: Involves grinding the dehydrated placenta into powder and placing it in capsules.
At CPES's Home: The specialist will schedule a pick up time with the Client within the first 24-48 hours of birth. 24 hours is more accurate following a home birth, where hospital policies may effect pickup time depending on release policy. The placenta must be kept in the fridge if more than 3-4 hours after birth. Hospital Birth: Please check the hospital policy regarding releasing the placenta. The specialist will pick up the placenta at the client's home once the client and placenta is released. Some hospitals freeze the placenta right after birth. In this case the placenta should be placed in the refrigerator until pick up. Each day the CPES's kitchen will be thoroughly sanitized according to OSHA protocols. The specialist uses a bleach solution as required by blood-borne pathogens training. All supplies are provided by the CPES. The prepared capsules will be delivered at client's home within 2-3 days after pickup and a brief postpartum visit will be completed.
In Client's Home: The specialist usually waits until the client is home from the hospital and the placenta is released OR the specialist can begin the process right after birth, if a home birth. If you prefer that we prepare the placenta in your home, it will require a minimum of two 90-minute visits to your home and complete access to your kitchen. The dehydrator will need to be undisturbed in a corner of your kitchen for 10-12 hours between our visits. Each day the client's kitchen area will be thoroughly sanitized according to OSHA protocols. The specialist uses a bleach or germicidal solution as required by blood-borne pathogens training. All supplies are provided by and brought to the client's home. **Access to an empty sink, stove, cleared counter top space and an outlet are needed and required.** [Additional $50 surcharge fee required for processing the placenta at client's home.]
How many capsules will I get?
The amount of capsules you get will depend on the size of your placenta. The size of your placenta depends on the size of your baby. An average baby weighs about 7 lbs. and yields 80-120 capsules. I have seen a placenta make as few as 65 capsules. I have seen a placenta large enough to make over 250 capsules.
Will everything come with dosage instructions?
Yes, as soon as you pay for services, you should receive an email with a beautifully illustrated e-book with dosage instructions, recipes and contact information. When our Specialist drops off your capsules she can also review and answer any questions you might have.
Do you pick up my placenta at the hospital?
No, the hospital will not release your placenta to anyone but you. It is your responsibility to tell the hospital staff that you want the placenta released to you. Most hospitals will have you sign a form called a “Disposition of Placenta” which will permit you to take possession of your placenta. We recommend bringing a cheap insulated cooler with you to the hospital.
When will I get my placenta from the hospital?
Each hospital has their own protocol for the release. These are subject to change anytime, but last we checked, it was as follows:
Hospitals requiring immediate pick-up after birth
Mike O’Callaghan - Nellis
Hospitals that release the placenta when Mom is discharged
Hospitals requiring pick up 3 days postpartum
Hospitals requiring pick up 7 days postpartum
St. Rose Siena
St. Rose San Martin
How does the Placenta Encapsulation Specialist get my placenta?
After you have possession of your placenta and are home, you need to call the Placenta Dept. Manager, Sarah at 702-569-4666. She will either come over that day to provide services herself or will make sure that another Specialist is notified and will arrange with you a pickup time from your home.
Do you use the raw or TCM method? What is the TCM method?
Both and Neither. TCM stands for “Traditional Chinese Medicine” and it is commonly prepared by adding lemon and ginger to the water in which the placenta is steamed. According to some who practice placentophagy, the addition of the lemon and ginger infuses the placenta with nutritive properties from the lemon and ginger. Initially, we were trained to prepare according to the TCM approach. As we worked with our clients, we found that some clients were very sensitive to the capsules and experienced headaches, upset stomach and mood issues after taking their capsules.
We theorized that for some mothers the lemon had a cleansing effect and the ginger intensified that effect. Cleansing can be a good thing, but hard for some when the body is recovering from birth. We began eliminating the lemon and ginger, but continued to lightly steam, dehydrate and powder the placenta to prepare capsules. With time and experience, we saw that more moms preferred this method of preparation and there have been no adverse effects reported to us from our clients since we eliminated the lemon and ginger.
If you prefer the TCM approach we are always happy to accommodate your wishes. If you would like a personalized mix of herbs to be used during preparation of your placenta or added to your capsules, we encourage you to locate a local TCM practitioner for recommendations.
What qualifications do you have to prepare my placenta?
There are no laws regarding the preparation of placenta capsules. Once the placenta becomes your property, you are able to have it prepared as capsules by whomever you choose. At WRM, LLC it is a requirement that our contractors have completed a professional training as well as mentorship in preparing placentas, OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen training and annual re-certification, as well as Clark County Food Safety Training and obtain a Food Handler Safety Training Card. We also require that they sanitize their work spaces according to the protocols set forth by OSHA and prepare your capsules with your safety and health as our primary concern.
Where do you prepare my placenta?
Our Specialists typically prepare placentas in their own work-space, but in home service is provided in your own kitchen. The process takes approx., 2-3 days, both days the process takes 2-4 hours. Each day the Specialist's work-space will be thoroughly sanitized according to OSHA protocols. The Specialist uses a bleach or germicide solution as required by blood-borne pathogens training. All supplies are provided by the CPES. The prepared capsules will then be delivered at client's home within 2-3 days after pickup and a brief postpartum visit will be completed. If the client desires in home service, the placenta is prepared in the mother's own kitchen. It will require a minimum of two, 90-minute visits to your home and complete access to your kitchen. The dehydrator will need to be undisturbed in a corner of your kitchen for 10-12 hours between our visits. Each day, a space in the client's kitchen will be thoroughly sanitized according to OSHA protocols. All supplies are provided by and brought to the client's home. In order to provide adequate service, access to an empty sink, stove, cleared counter top space and an outlet is needed and required.
If there was meconium can I still get my placenta encapsulated?
Yes! Meconium staining is typically on the fetal side of the placenta, membranes and umbilical cord. We should have no problem removing it and continuing on with your encapsulation. Each placenta has two layers to the amniotic sac. The chorion is the thicker layer that is physically attached to the bulk tissue of the placenta. The amnion is the second layer which is thin, fragile, see-through and is the portion that directly holds the fluids in. This is the layer that is directly touching the baby. When the baby passes meconium in utero, the thick, sticky substance adheres to the membranes and umbilical cord. We can actually pull back the amnion layer of the amniotic sac, which would remove all of the meconium from the fetal side of the placenta. If there is still meconium staining, simple water will not fully remove it. We will then gently rub or soak the placenta with a small amount of apple cider vinegar to remove it, rinsing it off before it is prepared. If the placenta, even after soaking still appears to be severely stained we will not go through with encapsulation. You would be notified and entitled to a partial refund.
What are the contraindications for placenta encapsulation? What would prevent me from consuming my placenta?
Things that would prevent our Specialists from encapsulating your placenta are:
*Chemically contaminated placentas in pathology, either sanitizing or preserving.
*Placentas that have sat out longer than 4-5 hours at room temperature post birth with no preservation methods.
*Placentas that have been in the refrigerator for more than 4-5 days without being frozen.
*Uterine infections or chorioamnionitis
*Heavy smoking during pregnancy
*Heavy drug usage
*Cancer of the placenta which is called choriocarcinoma.
If I plan to do Cord Blood Banking, can I still get capsules?
Yes, you can. Typically the blood is collected from the chorionic veins and a tissue sample is taken in some cases. Sometimes they may also take the entire umbilical cord. That would only affect your ability to have placenta prints done or get an umbilical cord keepsake.
What about Religion and Placenta Consumption?
The question that often comes up: Is eating your placenta considered cannibalism? When taking a deep look at cannibalism it is defined as a human consuming the flesh (fat and muscle) of themselves or another human being that has been deceased either naturally or premeditated. The placenta is not any of these.
1. The placenta is not flesh. It is a functioning and complex organ. It is not a muscle (the uterus is a muscle) and is not made up of fat.
2. Mothers should only be consuming a placenta that is theirs. Their body naturally discards the placenta, so nothing has been harmed.
3. Mothers also breastfeed their babies. Milk that has been created from their body and their cells, which is now going into another living human being. Breastfeeding is in no way considered cannibalism.
Is there any chance I will get someone else's placenta?
At Well Rounded Momma, we have a strict policy that hospital labels are double checked and only one placenta may be processed at a time by a Specialist. This absolutely ensures that you will receive your own placenta back.
Are there any risks?
The risks of placenta encapsulation are few as long as your Specialist uses strict safety and sanitizing protocols, as well as understanding what the contraindications for consumption are. Scroll above to see what WRM, LLC requires of their Placenta Specialists [see: What qualifications do you have to prepare my placenta?] The basic risks of having your placenta encapsulated are: unsanitary conditions, improper sanitizing techniques, a placenta sent to pathology, or too little dehydration before encapsulation. When the placenta is sent to pathology there are always risks that the placenta has been contaminated with chemicals, that the equipment used for examination has not been properly sterilized or even that the placenta that was returned does not belong to you. This can make the mother and breastfeeding baby very ill. Please scroll through our FAQ section for a list of contraindications.
"Well Rounded Momma (WRM) is not a pharmacy, pharmaceutical representative, holistic practitioner, herbalist, or medical doctor. Benefits of placentophagy are supported by ongoing research but have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration-FDA. Placentophagy, is for natural nutritional supplementation and is intended solely for ingestion by the mother who has birthed the placenta(s) and not for her family members, friends, or other individuals), is a natural nutritional supplement and as such cannot be guaranteed to produce specific results."