Placenta Encapsulation FAQ

What is placenta encapsulation?

Placenta encapsulation is the process of turning the placenta into capsules that the birth person can ingest. DC Doulas follows the traditional method, which is based on the process found in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The placenta will be steamed for 10-12 minutes and then dehydrated overnight at 160 degrees to kill any germs and reduce the risk of contamination from bacteria. This method reassures our clients that the capsules are safe for consumption.


Where does the process take place?

The placenta encapsulation takes place in your home. We want you to feel safe and confident about the process and know that your placenta never left your possession. Processing your placenta in your home keeps it in your environment and prevents contact with unfamiliar bacteria or substances. You can also watch what happens and ask questions along the way if you wish.


When do you start the process?

We like to start the encapsulating within 2 days of your birth so the capsules are available to you when you get home from the hospital. You will notify your Postpartum Placenta Specialist when your baby has been born and set up a time to begin the process.


What do we do with the placenta before the encapsulation?

The placenta should be placed on ice within 4 hours of the delivery. Once you transport it home, the placenta should be placed in the refrigerator. If the process cannot be started by day 2, the placenta should be placed in your freezer until the encapsulation begins. The placenta can be kept frozen for up to 3 months.


How long does the encapsulation take?

Placenta encapsulation takes place over a period of 24 hours. Your Postpartum Placenta Specialist will be in your home for about 2 hours on 2 consecutive days. If you want the process to start as soon as possible, arrangements can be made to start the process before you are home from the hospital.


What are the benefits of placenta encapsulation?

Anecdotal research shows the benefits of placenta consumption may include a boost in breast milk production, a higher level of energy for the postpartum birth person, and it may help balance post birth hormones which can help prevent postpartum mood disorders.

Important note:  Placenta encapsulation has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent disease or postpartum mood disorders.


What is a placenta tincture?

A placenta tincture is made from some of the ground placenta and vodka. The solution is mixed on day 2 of the encapsulation process, and then matures over the next 6 weeks. The tincture can be used after it has matured to help with low mood or to give a boost of energy on a tough day.


Will the placenta encapsulation bother my pets?

Pets can be attracted to the smell of the placenta and may even try to catch a sniff or taste, so it is important to keep your pets out of the area where the placenta is being processed to prevent contamination. The dehydrator that runs overnight will also need to be placed in a safe place so your pets do not disturb it.


What supplies do you need?

Your Postpartum Placenta Specialist will provide all the necessary equipment and supplies needed to encapsulate your placenta. All they need from you is the placenta, and access to the kitchen sink and stove, and some counter space with an outlet nearby to plug the dehydrator in.


How often do I take my capsules?

The guidelines for ingesting the capsules and the tincture will be covered in detail by your Postpartum Placenta Specialist at the time of the encapsulation You will also receive the instructions in written form to keep handy as you adjust to a newborn in the house.


How long do the capsules last?

The capsules should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed jar, which will be provided for you. The intention is that they will be ingested over the first 4-6 weeks of the postpartum period.

The placenta tincture is a long lasting solution that should be stored in a cool, dark place.


If you are interested in placenta encapsulation or have further questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 703-626-2196. We’d be happy to hear from you!

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