What supplies are used? How they are stored and sanitized? The supplies used during the encapsulation process are all stainless steel and food-grade plastic. All equipment is washed with hot soapy water and sterilized with a bleach solution after each use. The preparation area is fully cleaned and sanitized with bleach solution prior to and after processing of the placenta. All equipment is thoroughly washed and sanitized after use. If I have a cesarean section can I encapsulate my placenta? Yes, absolutely. Please speak with your health care provider so they know you plan to take your placenta home with you.
How should the placenta be handled or treated from the time of birth until the time of processing and preparation? If you are having a hospital birth, ask your nurse to double bag the placenta in a biohazard bag or ziplock; or in a hospital provided plastic container. Consider bringing two of your own zip lock bags and/or a plastic food storage container. Although hospitals typically have a container for the placenta, please do not rely on the hospital to provide a container. The placenta should be put on ice and refrigerated within 2 hours following the birth. Bring a cooler to the hospital to keep the placenta cold with ice following the birth. Either arrange to have a friend or family member transport the placenta home after delivery, or schedule a pick-up from the hospital with your Placenta Encapsulation Specialist. The placenta must be properly refrigerated or frozen until preparation. If the placenta will be prepared within 72 hours after delivery, then it may remain in the refrigerator. If however the placenta will not be processed until after 72 hour after delivery, then it should be placed in the back of the freezer where the temperature is most consistent.
If you are having a homebirth, ask your midwife to double bag your placenta and refrigerate it. Storage is the same as mentioned above.
Your Placenta Encapsulation Specialist will help with logistics for the big day and make sure you have all the resources you need for a successful transportation of your placenta.
How do I obtain my placenta following the birth? If you are having a homebirth, your midwife will usually double bag your placenta and ask if you want it refrigerated, frozen or thrown out. Follow the guidelines mentioned above for handling and storage guidelines. It is helpful to talk with your care provider about your wishes for the placenta before you go into labor.
If you are having a hospital birth, be sure to speak with your primary care provider ahead of time. Find out what your hospital’s policy is for the release of placenta. Tell your primary care provider you plan to take your placenta home after birth. This should be noted in your chart and mentioned in your birth plan. You may also need to sign a release/waiver to take home your placenta.
Are there any legal considerations? In New York State, hospitals are allowed to release healthy placentas according to the New York State Department of Health. See their statement from February 2010 below:
"NYS regulated hospitals and medical facilities may, at the request of a patient or patient's representative, return a healthy placenta for disposition by the patient without violating any NYS public health law or regulation.
NYS does have regulations (10 NYCRR section 405.24(d)), requiring hospitals to implement waste management programs in compliance with the Public Health Law Article 13, Title XIII for regulated medical waste. Regulated medical waste is defined in the Environmental Conservation Law section 27-1502(2)(b) as waste generated in the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings and includes "human pathological wastes, including tissues, organs, body parts and body fluids that are removed during surgery." However, waste material is material which is being discarded. If a placenta is not discarded but rather used for medical/religious/cultural purposes, then it is not classified as waste. There is no provision in statute or regulation expressly prohibiting the return of a healthy body part to a living patient."
What are the different ways to encapsulate placenta? Placenta Encapsulation Specialists typically offerr two methods of preparation:
Raw Start Dehydration Method: the placenta is thinly sliced raw, prior to dehydration. Moms who take raw pills have experienced high bursts of energy, with almost immediate effects.
Traditional Method: inspired by the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) preparation of lightly steaming the placenta before dehydration. Moms who take TCM pills report a tonifying effect, or a building of energy.
Can I “DIY” my own placenta?
Yes! Women and midwives have prepared their own placentas for centuries.
While you definitely can prepare your own placenta, hiring a placenta arts specialist will help the process before and after your labor be more joyful, and efficient. I bring to the table years of research and experience in the proper process for preparation, the types of methods that are best for each woman depending on her wants and needs, and I have tried and tested systems in place that create for an efficient and smooth preparation.
When you are expecting your little one there are countless considerations you and your family are making all at once. Hiring a caring professional to prepare your placenta will ease your load, and leave you with capsules and tinctures you will use for many years.