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General Inquiries
Why should I consume my placenta?
During birth, women lose 1/8 – 1/10 of their blood supply. The mammal placenta was made to be consumed and make up for this loss by giving the new mother essential fats, amino acids, vast amounts of iron, and essential hormones, all to aid the body in self recovery after birth.

Avoid postpartum symptoms: depression, low vitality, fatigue, insufficient lactation and hormonal imbalance. Have your placenta processed into capsules to replenish the energy and nutrients you lost during pregnancy!

Why Consider Placenta Encapsulation?
Your placenta is full of your own bio-specific hormones, nutrients and healing properties:

  • Gonadotropin: the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
  • Prolactin: promotes lactation.
  • Oxytocin: for pain and bonding; produced during breastfeeding to facilitate bonding of mother and infant. In pharmaceutical form this is a very addictive drug because it promotes a feeling of connectedness with others.
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone: boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events.
  • Cortisone: combats stress and unlocks energy stores.
  • Interferon: stimulates the immune system to protect against infections.
  • Prostaglandins: anti-inflammatory.
  • Hemoglobin: replenishes iron deficiency and anemia, a common postpartum condition.
  • Urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing.
  • Gammaglobulin: immune booster that helps protect against postpartum infections.

This list courtesy of the fabulous Placenta Bakery.

HOW MANY CAPSULES WILL MY PLACENTA MAKE?
Each placenta is different in size and substance, so the amount of capsules it makes can vary from 90 to 150.

HOW LONG DO I USE MY CAPSULES?
The first two weeks are the most important and effective time to be taking the placenta. You can taper off after that, or continue to take them at the original dosage. Follow your body’s cues and adjust the dosage accordingly.

How is the placenta prepared? 
Your placenta will be prepared following the Traditional Chinese Method. This includes gentle handling of the placenta, cleansing in clean water, careful drainage of the blood vessels, steaming with spices and dehydration.

Do you encapsulate in my home or your home? 
I offer both services. I only encapsulate one placenta at a time, so there is not risk with cross contamination in my home. See Pricing for more info.

What kind of capsules do you use? 
I use vegetarian based 00 sized capsules. They are medium sized and easy to swallow. If you prefer, your capsules can be mixed with herbs.

WHEN DOES THE ENCAPSULATION PROCESS BEGIN?
The encapsulation process should ideally begin within 48 hours after birth. The placenta will generally be suitable for consumption for 7 days (refrigerated the entire time). If it is foreseen impossible to begin the process within the first 72 hours after childbirth, the placenta should be frozen within the first 24 hours. Double-bag the placenta in gallon sized ziplock freezer bags. The placenta will be entirely thawed for TCM style encapsulation, which takes about 24 hours in the refrigerator. It does not need to be thawed entirely to make the raw capsules.

HOW LONG DOES THE ENCAPSULATION PROCESS TAKE? 
The process takes place over a period of two days. Day 1 starts with gentle cleaning and ends with dehydration. Day 2 starts with removing the dehydrated placenta and ends with encapsulating the granules. I will not be in your home for longer than 2.5 hours each day.

DO I NEED TO PROVIDE ANY SUPPLIES FOR THE PROCESS?
Nope! I provide all the necessary materials for the placenta encapsulation process. All you need to provide is your placenta.

What kind of container should I put the placenta in? 
This is particularly important if you are going to freeze the placenta. A container with a flat bottom that is large enough to hold your placenta without it folding over on itself.  However if you are not freezing the placenta, it should have a lid, and be made of plastic or glass.

Regarding the Health of the Placenta
IS THERE ANY TIME I SHOULD NOT TAKE PLACENTA CAPSULES?
Placenta should not be taken if the body is fighting off a common cold, flu, or infection. If you should get a breast infection (mastitis), the placenta should not be taken until infection is cleared. If symptoms such as chills, fever, sneezing, aches, flushed cheeks, hot palms and feet or night sweats should occur, stop taking the capsules until the body has fought this off. The reason for this is because placenta is extremely tonifying in nature and can cause a pathogen to grow stronger and go deeper into the body.

What if I had oxcytocin, an epidural, a C-section, other drugs or meconium was present? 
You can still encapsulate your placenta. Most drugs break down during the process. For a C-section, make sure the staff knows you want to keep your placenta. They will bag it for you, label it and most likely freeze it, though refrigeration is the best option. If you do have a C-section, your placenta will be very beneficial to your healing process, both physically and emotionally. If meconium is present, a process is done using vinegar to gently sterilize the meconium.

What if I am Strep-B positive or have a maternal infection and need antibiotics? 
With Strep-B, you will be given penicillin during your labour to prevent transmission of the infection to your baby. It is potentially possible that there could be some antibiotic remaining in your placenta, and therefore your capsules. If this possibility bothers you, then encapsulation may not be the best option for you. However, keep in mind that the antibiotics will not have an effect on the benefits of the placenta. If you suffered from a fever (diagnosed by your care provider) during labor (from GBS infection or any other infection) or the baby got sick from a confirmed infection during labor, then the placenta is not suitable for consumption.

What if I had a yeast infection, develop thrush, or meconium was present at birth? 
If you had a yeast infection or there was meconium, the placenta is still suitable for consumption. Meconium is sterile, therefore it does not affect the placentas benefits, nor does it affect you.

If you suffer from thrush while taking the capsules, it may be beneficial to stop taking the capsules at your discretion; however, many people have continued taking them and do not notice any side effects.

When is a placenta considered unsuitable for consumption? 
If the mother is HIV, Hep B or C positive or if the placenta is sent to the pathology lab for examination. This rarely occurs, but in the case that it does, simply have a family member call me.

Regarding Alternative Forms of Placenta Consumption

Is it better to consume the placenta Raw or use the Traditional Chinese Medicine method? 
According to Placenta Benefits TM: “Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests that cooling foods are best in the first 48 hours postpartum. Raw foods, thus raw placenta, are used to help calm the hormonal rush and blood flow down. After the first 48 hours, warming foods are most beneficial. Cooked or steamed foods (prepared and/or encapsulated placenta) are used to help rebuild blood, chi, and slowly increase the body’s endocrine functions.

Encapsulating the prepared placenta allows for longer term of ingestion, possibly providing a longer time of benefits.

To consume the placenta raw, it is not recommended to chew it. Mastication is considered a harsh process and imparts negative energy into the live tissue. If the placenta needs to be severed, it is recommended to be done with sharp kitchen shears. To consume raw, sever a small pea size and hold under tongue like a homeopathic pellet for as long as possible, then swallow whole with fluids.”

As a client of Joy Within, we can discuss your options and see if consuming a small portion of the placenta is right for you. A few pieces can be set aside and put in the freezer in small portions. It’s best to hold the frozen placenta under your tongue, similar to a homeopathic remedy, for a few minutes, and then either swallow or expel the placenta.

Why should I not make a placenta smoothie? 
According to Placenta Benefits TM: “Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests, blending, pulverizing, or masticating the raw placenta is harsh and imparts negative energy into the live tissue. It is neither recommended to chew nor blend raw, fresh, or frozen placenta for smoothies. Adding placenta powder to smoothies 48 hours postpartum is a viable option.”

What is Lotus Birth? It is possible to encapsulate and have a gentle separation as well? 
According to Placenta Benefits TM: “A lotus birth is when the placenta is left attached to the baby until it detaches on its own, generally after several days. In lotus birth, it is common to salt or otherwise help the placenta dry out more quickly. While traditional lotus birth is a beautiful ceremony honoring the connection between placenta and baby, it renders the placenta unsuitable for consumption.   If lotus birth is important to you, a modified version could be performed while still encapsulating the placenta.

a) The placenta could stay connected to the baby for up to three or four hours. This would give the baby a gentle transition to the world, and the placenta would still be fit for consumption after this amount of time. Do not exceed four hours before separating the placenta and refrigerating it.

b) Another option at four hours postpartum is to sever the portion of placenta that you desire to encapsulate, and place it into the refrigerater. The remainder of the placenta can stay intact, along with the cord to baby until it falls off naturally. This allows a modified version of both lotus and encapsulation while understanding you are not receiving either in full – resulting in fewer capsules, no cord keepsake, and some will be severed (not full lotus.) Remember that we need to start the process within the first 24 hours (ideally) to 48 hours of the birth. We do this because the hormones within the placenta will begin to metabolize and change.

If the placenta is encapsulated after 4-5 days, has been kept cool and does not spoil, the capsules will not be as potent from a hormonal standpoint. While the iron and other nutrients take longer to break down, choosing a more optimal lotus birth could result in potentially less effective placenta capsules. Lotus also tends to involve salting of the placenta. Adding that much sodium into the capsules is not going to be good for a system and is a step that would be better skipped.

The modified options above (a, b) offer a lotus-type gentle birth while also having the full benefit from the placenta capsules, and those are what PBi believes to be best.”

Hospital Release of Placenta
If you are birthing at a hospital, you will find that the rules and regulations regarding the release of a healthy placenta will vary from one institution to another. Some hospitals will release it immediately, and some hospitals have protocols about keeping placentas in pathology for anywhere from 5 to 15 days. Make sure you ask about this at one of your prenatal appointments.