Cod Liver Oil

Placenta Encapsulation – FAQ


What are benefits of placenta capsules? 

Scientific research shows that placenta contains iron, protein, B12, and hormones; all which promote healing in mom’s postpartum body. Capsules help balance hormones, decrease baby blues, increase breast milk, boost energy, and tonify the uterus.

Updated research on ingesting placenta capsules here.

My 10-minute placenta video to answer this question more fully.

Can a GBS+ mom use placenta capsules? 

It depends on the preparation method. NOT ALL ENCAPSULATION PROVIDERS USE THE SAME SAFETY STANDARDS. Happy Bellies’ encapsulation process addresses the issue of bacterial pathogens using the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) method of preparation. We have safely prepared capsules for Group B Strep (GBS+) positive moms since 2011. Read more…

How does this work? 

It’s preferable to reserve your spot at least 1+ month before estimated due date. You do this by filling out intake form and paying deposit. Once you’ve done this, you will receive a confirmation email and final invoice.

The encapsulation is completed in your home within 3 days (72 hours) of birth. I bring the necessary supplies and only need access to a sink, stove-top, electrical outlet, and bit of counter space. The entire process is completed in two steps and take a total of 5-7 hours. The placenta is left to dehydrate for a period of time in between these steps. I clean and sanitize the kitchen after each step.

You might think it awkward to have me in your home in the immediate postpartum. Though it may be a minor inconvenience, I am not there as a guest or to visit. Nor do I expect to meet the new mom or baby. I come and go quietly; leaving your kitchen cleaner then I found it.

You receive placenta capsules, tea/tincture, and dosage instructions. Placenta prints are an additional $25.

How do I get placenta home from hospital?

It’s as simple as telling your doctor or midwife that you want to keep your placenta to consume. You’re NOT bringing it home to plant under a tree. You can ask the hospital ahead of time if they have a protocol for releasing placenta (speak with someone in pathology or obstetrics). Some hospitals want to know in advance, others upon admission. Most hospitals in VT/NH are familiar with our service and comfortable with moms bringing their placenta home for ingestion.

Once your baby is born, you (or a family member/friend) will bring the placenta to your home and put it into the fridge. Depending on our availability (and what works best for you all as a family), we may be able to come while you’re still recovering in the hospital. 

You’ll receive a detailed checklist and an informative letter to share with your care provider upon booking. 

Why do you encapsulate in my home?

To comply with state and federal guidelines and to create a clean, safe environment, I encapsulate in your home because:

  • It is not legal for me to transport a placenta without proper certification and/or to encapsulate in our home.
  • You can be certain you’re getting your placenta and ONLY your placenta. (Maternity Center under fire for suspected practices).
  • You know exactly what happens and that your placenta is stored at proper temperatures at all times.
  • If you choose to, you can observe your capsules being made, even take pictures 😉
  • You can be assured your placenta is prepared in a clean environment. Without regular health inspections and monitoring, the only way to ensure capsules are prepared in a clean environment is to have them prepared in your home by a certified Specialist (us) specifically trained to handle blood properly.
  • There are currently NO facilities in the United States that are approved for the preparation of placenta pills.

It is perfectly legal to have your placenta prepared at your own residence (or at a friend/family member). You only get one placenta when you have a baby. If it’s handled in an unsafe manner; over-processed; molds; ends up being someone else’s placenta; or causes sickness …. you lose out on your one opportunity to get all those benefits of your placenta in your postpartum period.

What is your training and certifications?

As a PBi-Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist and Mentor, I trained with Placenta Benefits (leading resource in placenta encapsulation) to prepare placenta medicinally using a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) method that is on file and documented with the FDA.

I maintain my certification as a ServSafe Food Handler and follow the same procedures used in food service establishments. My handling and disinfection practices meet strict Federal (OSHA/EPA) and local guidelines and PBi-standards meet the same EPA guidelines for licensed small laboratories, who handle blood-borne pathogens and medical waste.

As a PBi-member, I have access to a comprehensive database on ALL things placenta and can answer questions you (or your care provider) may have. I operate with integrity, safety, and efficiency.

Does the process smell?

If your home is properly ventilated, there is little to no smell. Otherwise, there may be a slight smell – described as cooked liver – in the kitchen area. Any smell dissipates quickly once the encapsulation is complete.

What if I have an epidural or c-section?

Many of the new moms that I encapsulate for have epidurals or cesareans. 9 out of 10 times, the doctor releases the placenta without a problem. These new moms benefit as much as those who had un-medicated ‘natural’ births; in some ways, even more so because placenta hormones act as a natural pain reliever and give mom much relief during a sensitive, vulnerable time. I have had moms take the capsules and tea within hours of birth and not need another painkiller. Same goes for stitches or epidural after-effects.

Updated research on placenta capsules here.

Why use TCM method? 

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a new mom is considered cold (yin) inside after releasing both blood and baby (yang) during birth. One way to return heat (yang) and a flowing balance of energy is to consume “warming” food, such as cooked and/or warm food.

This is why my process involves steaming the placenta. I do not offer RAW encapsulation because this method will cause a new mom’s body to become ‘cold’ inside, when what we want to do is warm her. We want to contract, not expand. We want to calm, not stimulate. We want to ground her in body, mind, and spirit.

Placenta capsules made with a TCM-method are warming to counteract cold and re-establish homeostasis, rebuild blood/chi and regulate endocrine functions (thyroid, adrenals) for good metabolism, sleep, and mood. The tea/tincture that I make has a similar effect.

This method lets you save remaining capsules for future use, like during menopause. Stored properly, capsules (+ nutrients/hormones within) remain potent.

Why are TCM capsules better than raw? 

I am trained to prepare capsules with a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) method. This is a safe, potent way to ingest placenta capsules. The steaming process we use breaks down the cell walls of the placenta which allow your body to more easily access the vitamins, protein, and hormones stored in the placental tissue. Research shows that the iron levels in a placenta doubles when prepared using a TCM-method.

Placenta carries bacteria, viruses, and other blood borne pathogens. This is one reason not to ingest raw placenta capsules. The bacteria and all that exist on and in the placenta and the surrounding blood are inherent when in your body and vaginal canal, but once the placenta is born it’s exposed to oxygen and the bacteria quickly take on a life of their own.

Downsides of raw capsules…Increase postnatal bleeding, decrease breast milk production, cause your body to feel cold, inhibit healing.

For these reasons and more, I prepare capsules with a TCM method according to OSHA standards set forth by FDA. Updated research on placenta capsules here.

How many capsules do I get?

Each placenta varies in size, but most women receive 100-200 capsules (120 average) for postpartum recovery. You’ll use about 85 capsules in the immediate postpartum period and can freeze the rest or keep taking them until they’re gone. Your body makes what it needs and your placenta is the perfect size for you!

What happens if baby comes earlier/later than “due date”? 

If you are more than 14 days overdue from your EDD, or have your baby earlier then 14 days before, you are still a client and guaranteed service. There is simply a chance that I may not be able to encapsulate within that 3 day period. If so, you will receive instructions to freeze the placenta for a brief period of time. Frozen properly, the hormones and nutrients within the placental tissue remain intact.

Will health insurance cover placenta encapsulation service?

This is a question for your insurance company. Most don’t, but if you have history of PPD or anxiety you may have better luck. If you’ve got a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your insurance you may be able to get a placenta encapsulation service covered.

Are there contradictions to ingesting placenta? 

Placenta capsules made with the TCM method have a warming nature that moves blood and tonifies reproductive organs. If a new mother has an existing “warm” condition (i.e. mastitis, flu, infection) then the capsules can interfere with her body’s ability to cool down. This is why it’s recommended to stop taking the capsules until symptoms of chills, fever, or aches are no longer present. 

The two main things that put a new mom at risk for taking placenta capsules are 1) If she regularly used tobacco during pregnancy (heavy metals, like cadmium, can remain in placenta tissue) and 2) If she develops a fever during labor, or time of birth, due to an amniotic infection (a.k.a. chorioamnionitis). Both these situations could make the placenta questionable to ingest. Please contact Tara if you have more questions about this.

Having an epidural, induction, or cesarean  birth will not typically interfere with the encapsulation process. 

My placenta is in freezer … can I encapsulate?

As long as the placenta is frozen shortly after birth and isn’t damaged from “freezer-burn”, it may hold medicinal value. Hormone levels will have decreased but the nutritional value may be present. If it’s been frozen longer than 6 months, its potency may be reduced to nil.

How much does this cost?

Please see pricing page. Scholarships and barters are available to those that qualify and discounts given to teen moms. Like us on FB, to see specials.

In the case that you are unable to obtain placenta due to a high fever/infection during the birth of your baby, you will be refunded all but the non-refundable deposit fee of $50 within 2 weeks of request.

If you’d like to purchase a gift certificate for a mom-to-be please contact Tara; this is a lovely baby shower gift. Due to the nature of this business, no surprise gifts please! If you are a friend or family member of an expectant mom and would like to contribute a payment towards a current balance, we can do that too. 

Disclaimer: Benefits of placenta encapsulation are supported by ongoing research. However, statements here are not evaluated by the FDA and my service is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Please make any decisions to consume your placenta with your care provider. I am not a medical doctor, holistic practitioner, or herbalist. Those utilizing this service take full responsibility for using their placenta capsules, tea, and tincture at their own risk.

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