You many never have heard of ingesting your placenta once baby is born, but in the past few years, it has become more and more common. You may wonder why someone would do this and if it is safe. We understand there is a moment of pause in thinking about placenta ingestion, but we encourage you to take a look at our 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 is steamed for 10-12 minutes with ginger and lemon. It is then thinly sliced, placed in a dehydrator, 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 process 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 for 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. You will receive instructions on how to safely transport it from hospital to home. The placenta should be kept in the refrigerator for the first 4 days. If the encapsulation process does not start in the time frame, the placenta must then be frozen. It can be safely and quickly defrosted prior to the encapsulation. 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. Recent studies have shown that there is no harm to the newborn if the birth parent ingests the placenta.
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 boost a 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!