Placenta Encapsulation Frequently Asked Questions
Q) Can I have my placenta encapsulated if I had a c-section, epidural, or pitocin during labor?
A) Yes, you can still use your placenta if you have a cesarean birth as long as your placenta has not been sent to pathology prior to our collection. We recommend you to have a sterilized leak proof 2L container ready to store your placenta after birth. If you are on any other type of medication during your pregnancy just contact us before deciding on placenta encapsulation.
Q) Can I encapsulate my placenta if my baby passed meconium before birth?
A) Yes. Meconium is sterile, it does not contain fecal bacteria that normal stool does. Meconium is dangerous for the infant to inhale, but is otherwise harmless. Additionally, your placenta is thoroughly washed before encapsulation preparation.
Q) What if I give birth prematurely?
A) Premature births are often associated with problems in pregnancy. As long as your placenta is examined and cleared from any type of abnormality after birth we are happy to help you with our placenta services.
Q) I want to donate my baby’s cord blood. Will I still be able to have my placenta made into capsules?
A) Yes, you can do both. Let your doctor or midwife know that you want to to both cord blood banking and placenta encapsulation. Immediately after the birth, your care provider will collect the cord blood sample. After that, they will turn the placenta over to you to do as you wish.
Q) Are there any circumstances when it would not be possible to use the placenta for encapsulation or other placenta remedies?
A) Yes, the only absolute contraindications are an infection of the placenta or amniotic membranes during labor called chorioamnionitis or improper handling and storage. If your placenta has been sent to pathology in hospital for any reason, we cannot make your placenta into capsules because it may have been contaminated while in the pathology department. You can request the hospital to take just a small piece of your placenta for examination in this instance.
We also do not recommend using your placenta for encapsulation if your placenta has not been stored properly after birth. See storage guidelines below.
Q) How do I store my placenta safely after birth?
Your placenta should be put into a clean and sterile, leak proof container immediately (within 2 hours) after birth and stored in a cooler bag on ice. You should contact your placenta specialist soon after your birth to ensure your placenta is collected within 24 hours.
Q) When is the best time for the cord to be cut if using my placenta for placenta encapsulation?
We highly suggest all mothers to choose delayed cord clamping for the benefit of their newborn. Delayed cord clamping involves leaving the umbilical cord intact for at least 3-10 minutes after birth, longer if possible. During this time the cord is still pumping up to 150ml of iron and stem cell rich blood to your baby which has been scientifically proven to have lifelong benefits to your baby. Delayed cord clamping does not affect placenta encapsulation in any way so the best time to cut your baby’s cord is when you choose.
Q) I’ve heard the placenta is full of waste and may contain toxins, is this true?
Your placenta acts as a life supply for your baby during pregnancy and if it were full of toxins this would make a very dangerous organ for your baby to be fed from, therefore it is not possible for the placenta to be ‘full of waste’. The placenta acted as a gateway for nutrient supply to your baby and waste from your baby to be passed back to your body to be filtered through your organs. There are small amounts of heavy metals in the placenta however it is scientifically proven that these levels are no grater than normal levels of heavy metals found in the body and in mothers colostrum and breast milk. Source 1 Source 2
Q) How long can I store my placenta in the fridge or freezer for before using it?
We always advise mothers to make use of their placenta sooner rather than later. They will get the most benefit during the postpartum period. If circumstances arise where this preparation cannot take place within 5 days after birth, it should be transferred to a freezer in a freezer safe container. Placentas are only safe to be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and must then be transferred to the home freezer. The placenta should be thawed thoroughly in the fridge only for 24-36 hours before encapsulating or making any other remedy.
Q) How is the placenta prepared for TCM placenta pills?
- The placenta is cleaned then steamed with lemon, ginger and hot pepper (added to the water only) according to TCM recipes (Raw capsules skip this process)
- The placenta is then thinly sliced and dehydrated using a food dehydrator for 12-24 hours until completely dry
- The dried placenta is ground into a powder and put into empty capsules
Q) What is the difference between RAW and TCM method of placenta capsules?
A) Unlike the Traditional Chinese Medicine preparation of the placenta, when processing a placenta raw we do not steam the placenta during the process. We simply forgo the steaming process. This is not to say one method is better than the other, just that you have several options for encapsulation and should choose the method that best suits your needs and preferences. Fro a more detailed explanation, please see our TCM vs Raw page.
Q) Which is better, consuming the placenta raw or using the Traditional Chinese Medicine method?
A) Both! We recommend mothers to consume some of their raw placenta after birth in a smoothie to support the body in immediate repair and then consuming the rest of their placenta in capsules. The many potent stem cells and growth factors found in the raw placenta may be the key reason so many of our clients report almost immediate reduced blood loss and increased energy within minutes after enjoy a raw placenta smoothie. A raw placenta smoothie only requires 1 piece of raw placenta and the rest of the placenta can easily be made into raw dried or TCM capsules for ongoing benefits from the placenta.
Q) Aren’t the hormones contained in the placenta actually destroyed during the cooking process used when preparing TCM capsules?
A) To some extent the heat process when preparing TCM capsules may affect the stem cells, hormones and B vitamins but to what degree is unknown. Minerals such as iron are not damaged by heat and there may be minimal damage to other nutrients found in the placenta. Placenta pills give a new mother the chance to benefit from her placenta for months after birth and have shown to have incredible benefits to energy levels and breast milk supply. There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest the placenta pills are or are not beneficial. IPEN and other placenta encapsulation specialists rely on personal experiences, anecdotal evidence and testimonials from new mothers who reveal placenta encapsulation was the key to their speedy recovery following birth.
Moreover, many people chose to eat organic meat to avoid added hormones and other artificial growth factors that are injected into livestock by non-organic farmers to produce more meat in a shorter space of time. If artificial hormones that are injected into livestock are still present in cooked non-organic steaks on the dinner table, then hormones surely survive the cooking process and can have an effect on our body.
Q) If I have a raw placenta smoothie, will I taste the placenta?
A) No, raw placenta smoothies taste of nothing but fruit and berries. Atlanta Placenta has come up with an excellent and simple recipe that ensure mothers enjoy their smoothies after birth and taste nothing other than the fruit used to blend with the raw placenta.
Q) How many capsules will my placenta make?
A) Placentas make between 90-200 capsules depending on the type of method you choose and the size of your placenta. We have found that the raw preparation method usually produces the most amount of capsules. The other factor is the health and size of your placenta
Q) Will I experience any side effects when taking my placenta capsules?
A) We cannot guarantee results with placenta capsules or any other placenta remedy. Because your placenta is made by you the quality and potency of your placenta smoothie and capsules is unique to your own placenta. We highly recommend you follow the care instructions given to you at delivery. Storing your placenta capsules properly, avoiding TCM capsules when ill and not taking over the recommended dose will reduce your chances of experiencing any side effect. Very rarely, less than 2% of moms who consume their placenta have reported some side effects when taking their placenta capsules. Of the few that have reported some side effects, some side effects have included:
- Mild headaches (reported rarely – we believe a lower dose is recommended to solve this problem)
- PUPPPs rash returning after 3 days of consuming capsules (reported rarely)
- Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) sufferers feel less relief (we believe this is due to the high level of relaxin hormone in the placenta, which is the cause of PGP)
- Emotional symptoms, stress, anxiety, depression
Q) With regards to a placenta therapy such as a tincture, will I be able to purchase more when I have used up all of my supply?
A) No, but we can either make a homeopathic duplicate for you or show you how to do it yourself. It is an easy process so as long as you have some of your original mother tincture, you can make homeopathic duplicates.
Q) How long should I take my placenta capsules for?
A) You can take your placenta capsules for as long as you feel you need them. When we deliver your placenta back to you, we will go over some ways you could enjoy your capsules. Most of our clients choose to enjoy their capsules within the first 6 months and after that, they have their tincture.
Q) I have some capsules left over and I’m pregnant again, can I take my left-over capsules while pregnant?
A) The placenta is designed to help the body recover after childbirth and composes of hormones which may contract the uterus. To prevent any risk of miscarriage or pre-term labour, we highly advise mothers not to take placenta capsules while pregnant.