Frequently Asked Questions about Placenta Encapsulation

Updated: Jun 3

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 Specialist's Home:  The Specialist will schedule a pickup time with the Client, after they are home from the hospital and the placenta is in the refrigerator. Pickup times are usually scheduled within 24 hours of notification from the Client. The process takes approx. 2-days, both days the process takes 2-4 hours to complete. If the placenta is still frozen upon pickup, the Specialist will continue to refrigerate the placenta until thawed enough to begin encapsulation. Each day the Specialist’s kitchen will be thoroughly sanitized according to OSHA protocols. The Specialist uses a bleach solution or concentrated germicide as required by blood-borne pathogen training. All supplies are provided by the Specialist. The prepared capsules will be delivered to the Client’s home within 72 hours from pickup. Written instructions for storage, handling and ingestion are texted to the Client upon drop-off.


In Client's Home: The Specialist begins after the Client is home from the hospital and the placenta has defrosted (if frozen) in the Client’s refrigerator for at a minimum of 24 hours. OR, if home delivery, encapsulation may take place within 24 hours. The process takes approx. 2-days, both days the process takes 2-4 hours to complete. Each day the Client’s kitchen will be thoroughly sanitized according to OSHA protocols. The specialist uses a bleach solution or concentrated germicide as required by blood-borne pathogen training. All supplies are provided by and brought to the Client’s home. Written instructions for storage, handling and ingestion are texted to the Client upon completion of the capsules. **Access to an empty sink, stove, cleared counter top space and an outlet are needed and required during service.** [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, written instructions for storage, handling and ingestion are texted to the Client upon drop-off. 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 an 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

If your hospital has an immediate release policy, you will want to arrange for someone to transport your placenta home. Your placenta should be double-bagged and placed on ice in your cooler, to be taken home within the next 2-3 hours. Your Specialist should be notified and will arrange a pickup time w/i the next 24 hours.


Sunrise

Mike O’Callaghan - Nellis

Southern Hills


Hospitals that release the placenta when Mom is discharged

Centennial Hills

Summerlin

Mountain View

UMC

Spring Valley

Henderson


Hospitals requiring pick up 3 days postpartum

Mountain View


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 will want to place your placenta in the refrigerator and call your Placenta Specialist. She will come over within the next 24 hours to pick it up at your home and begin services.


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. If you prefer the TCM approach we are always happy to accommodate your wishes.


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.


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.


What are the contraindications for placenta encapsulation? What would prevent me from consuming my placenta?

We do not recommend encapsulation for those experiencing:

  • Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) rash

  • Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG)

  • Heavy smoking during pregnancy

  • Heavy drug usage

  • Cancer of the placenta which is called choriocarcinoma.

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.


Are there any side effects?

Common Side Effects Include:

  • Digestive upset (usually solved by taking capsules after a meal)

  • Overproduction of breast milk

  • Mild headaches

Uncommon, but few reported:

  • Increased cramping

  • Reduced breast milk supply

  • Rashes that resemble PUPPP


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. 



"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."