How do the capsules help in my postpartum recovery?
Placenta encapsulation has been researched more extensively recently, but it is certainly not a new modality. Through that research and the traditional ways in which it was utilized, placenta encapsultion has been shown to:
Balance your hormones and increase your energy
Enhance Milk Supply/Production
Increase Iron levels, as well as replacing vitamins, minerals, and proteins
These benefits may lead to a faster recovery from birth, shortened postpartum bleeding and a hastening of the uterus to return to it's normal size, preventing the baby blues and lessening the chance of postpartum depression, and the capsules can even be saved for your own use during menopause.
I'm sold! So how does this work? When do I need to get you my placenta?
Once you've made the decision to encapsulate your placenta, the process is really quite simple. I do ask for a $50 deposit up front. This will all be collected automatically when you book your encapsulation. Simply book any time slot on your estimated due date and I'll contact you.
When labor begins, I prefer a call as soon as possible. However, I realize I will be near the bottom of your list of priorities at the moment and will completely understand being called afterwards. I process most placenta's in my home. I like to arrange a time for you to drop the placenta off, within 24-48 hours of the birth (it should be processed within 72 hours, see below where I address that further). After I have the placenta in hand, the process can begin. It generally takes around 24 hours start to finish. I can then either bring your capsules to you at a time we arrange, or you can pick them up from me. Final payment isn't due to me until you have your capsules in your hands!
Wait you process it in your home? Is that safe?
Originally, I processed the placenta in my clients homes. However, I have found that most families prefer that I process it outside of their home. I follow strict OSHA and food safety handling guidelines when processing a placenta, and I only ever process one at a time so you can be sure that you are only ingesting your own placenta.
How should I store and handle the placenta after the birth?
As quickly as possible after the birth, the placenta should be placed into a food-grade container(two large freezer ziplock baggies will work if you are at a home or birth center, and many hospitals will place it in a plastic carton for you). The placenta should be then sealed tightly and refrigerated or placed on ice.
Why should it be encapsulated within 72 hours?
The hormones that are coursing through our bodies during pregnancy crash right after birth. Around day 5, we experience an extremely low hormone level, which is where you might start to see the baby blues, and insomnia. By processing the placenta within 72 hours, supplementation can begin and those crashes can be avoided. If circumstances don't allow for encapsulation to occur within 72 hours, the placenta can be placed in the freezer until the process can begin. Just because it's not started within 72 hours doesn't mean the benefits are lost! Every effort will be made by myself to help you get this started in a timely manner, but if there are obstactles to that goal, you can still utilize your placenta just as you had originally planned.
What if I'm having a hospital birth?
One of the things that I have spent a lot of time on during these last few years is getting the hospitals policies caught up to speed on placenta encapsulation. Most of the area hospitals actually have protocols in place for families that choose to encapsulate specifically. One local hospital even has stickers they place on the containers for the placentas that say "For Encapsulation"! We've made some huge strides forward in coming to an understanding with the staff and the providers involved.
There are times when they may wish to send your placenta to pathology. This is your choice and is a decision that you can be a part of. If they want to send it to pathology, ask if a 'gross examination' (or just an examination done with the eyes) can be done. If they would like to test the placenta, ask if just a small part of it can be used and the remainder can be left with you. All of that being said - there are a few choice times when I would recommend forgoing encapsulation in exchange for the wellbeing of the Mother or Baby. If you ever have questions or need advice regarding this, please contact me as soon as possible. Client or not, these rights are important to me. So is the health and welfare of Mother and Baby. I will do my best to advise you on the best path for your particular situation.
What about medications used during birth? How about an induction or a cesarean section?
My clients regularily have inductions, use pain medications, receive antibiotics, or have C-Sections. None of these are reasons to forgo encapsulation. The only time when a placenta simply cannot be processed without question, is if the placenta goes to pathology and is treated chemically there. This renders the placenta toxic and unsafe for encapsulation.
What process do you use? Is this safe?
I utilize modern OSHA, FDA, sanitation/food handling guidelines with traditional chinese medicine preparation methods. The placenta is steamed, dehydrated, and ground down into a powder. Then, it is placed into non-gelatin capsules (safe for the vegetarians amongst us!) and stored in an airtight container.
The process is entirely safe. I thoroughly disinfect and sanitize my work space and equipment before and after use. I also only process one placenta at a time to eliminate any chance of cross-contamination. I have taken blood-borne pathogen training independently and also as part of my training as a Registered Nurse. I am also certified for food handling in the State of Iowa.