Cod Liver Oil

Placenta Encapsulation – FAQ


What are the benefits of placenta capsules? 

Scientific research shows placenta contains iron, protein, B12, and hormones. All of which promote healing in a new mom’s body during the postpartum period. Placenta capsules help balance hormones, decrease baby blues, increase breast milk, boost energy, and tone your body.

My 10-minute placenta video to answer question more fully!

Can a Group B Strep positive (GBS+) mom use placenta capsules? 

In short, 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. I 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’ll 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 hrs. 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’s 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. I don’t expect to meet the new mom or baby and come and go quietly.

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

How do I get my placenta home from the 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, we encapsulate in your home because:

  • It is not legal for us 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, if you prefer at a friend or family member’s home. 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’s your training and certifications?

As a PBi-Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist and Mentor, I trained with Placenta Benefits – the 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 certifications 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. The 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 encapsulating process smell?

If your home is properly ventilated, there’s 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 a c-section?

Many clients have epidurals or a cesarean and 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 births. Even more so because the placental hormones act as a nature’s pain reliever. I’ve had moms take the capsules and tea within hours of birth and not need another painkiller. Same goes for stitches or epidural after-effects.

Why do you use a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) method? 

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a new mom is considered cold (‘Yin”) inside after losing blood (“Yang”) during birth. One way to return heat (“Yang”) and a flowing balance of energy is to consume “warming” food (cooked food, hot/warm food).

This is why my process involves steaming the placenta. I do not do RAW encapsulation which causes more cold inside a new mom’s body. The aim is to warm, not cool … to contract, not expand … to calm, not stimulate.

Placenta capsules made with 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. Our tea/tincture has a similar effect.

This method allows to save any remaining capsules for the future when your menses return or even for much later during the infamous menopausal years. When stored properly, the capsules – and nutrients/hormones within – remain potent for years.

Why are TCM capsules better than raw? 

I 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 allows 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. 

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 my baby comes earlier or later than my “due date”? 

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

Will my 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 have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your insurance you may be able to get a placenta encapsulation service covered.

Are there contradictions to ingesting my placenta? 

Placenta capsules made with a TCM method have a warming nature designed to move blood and tonify the reproductive organs. If you have an existing “warm” condition (mastitis, flu, infection) the capsules can interfere with your body’s ability to cool down. If symptoms of chills, fever, or aches are present then it is recommended to stop taking the capsules until things clear up. 

One risk of the capsules is if the expectant mom has regularly used tobacco. This is because the heavy metals (i.e. cadmium) can be held in the placenta tissue and make it questionable whether the placenta should be ingested.

An induction or c-section birth does not typically interfere with the encapsulation process. 

My placenta is in the freezer…can I still 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 service cost?

Please see pricing page. Scholarships and barters are available to those that qualify and discounts given to teen and single 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 would 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 would like to make a payment towards a current balance, we can do that too. 

Serving Central VT, Chittenden County & Upper Valley NH

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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