How do your services work?
Once you have booked services, we are officially on call for your birth! We have easy and convenient pickup hours from 5:00pm - 10:00pm, 7 days a week, including all holidays.
After your baby is delivered, give us a call during pickup hours to schedule your placenta pickup at 770-846-4978. Once we pick up your placenta, we get to work right away to ensure our clients have their capsules back as soon as possible.
If you have your baby outside of our pick up hours, please package the placenta in the cooler provided by mail or meeting and put the placenta in the trunk of your vehicle until we arrive.
Can I still encapsulate if I have a C-Section or medication?
Absolutely! If you have a c-section, let your nurse know that you plan to keep your placenta so that it does not go to pathology and instead, ask that they package it up for you.
With medication, the general rule is that it is safe to have during pregnancy, then it is safe for placenta encapsulation.
What do I need to take with me to the birthing location to be prepared for encapsulation?
1. The cooler to properly store the placenta during your stay and for transportation.
2. Your birth plan with one line regarding wanting to take keep your placenta. Also, discuss your plan to keep your placenta with your OBGYN or Midwife as soon as you book our services to keep all of your birth professionals informed.
3. Notify your delivery nurse(s) when you arrive at the hospital you are keeping your placenta so they can prepare any waivers for release and know in advance to prepare it for you to take home.
What is proper placenta care & Handling for Encapsulation?
As quickly as possible after the birth (at least within the first two hours after birth), the placenta should be placed into a food-grade container or bag and sealed tightly and refrigerated or placed on ice inside a cooler. Please be sure to replenish the ice often and it should never be left to melt.
For Hospital Births:
It is best to never let the placenta leave your site. Hospital staff are very busy and can easily be distracted and could accidentally discard your placenta or send it to pathology where it could be ruined for encapsulation. Your placenta is not their highest priority. Most hospitals will accommodate your wishes to take the placenta home by preparing it for transport, but once packaged they will not accept any responsibility for proper storage of it during your stay.
We recommend that either your spouse/partner, family member, birthing partner, or doula is in charge of the placenta once it is birthed so that it is properly stored and not lost or damaged.
PLEASE BE SURE TO BRING THE COOLER WITH YOU TO THE HOSPITAL.
This will ensure you can properly store your hospital packaged placenta following your birth.
Your partner or Doula should package the placenta inside a ziplock bag or biohazard bag that is sealed. Once the placenta is packaged, please leave it in that packaging to avoid any cross- contamination or a mess and have your partner or Doula take it to your vehicle.
As soon as possible, place the packaged placenta in your cooler between two more ziplock bags that contain ice to ensure it will stay cold. Continue to replenish the ice as it melts to ensure the placenta does not spoil. If you have a private room & private refrigerator you can keep your placenta in there if the container fits until it can be taken home and placed in your refrigerator.
Ideally, you do NOT want the hospital to store your placenta for you! This is the number one way a placenta accidentally gets lost/ruined/sent to pathology.
If you forget a cooler simply take the tub that you are given in your hospital room (washing/baby bathtub) and fill it with ice to place the packaged placenta in the ice and place that in your vehicle. As long as it is kept cool and not allowed to spoil it will be fine until we arrive for pickup or you take it home and get it into the refrigerator. Placentas can be kept on ice/refrigerated for a few days before encapsulation if necessary, without any spoilage, but the sooner it can be prepared for encapsulation the better.
For Birthing Center Births:
At our local area birthing centers, the midwives are very kind and will double bag the placenta for you, so you can promptly take it home with you, to be refrigerated. Please ensure you still take a cooler along with you to have it put on ice until we arrive for pickup, or you are discharged and take it home. The birth center may or may not have ice, its always a good idea to take a couple of ice packs and ask them to freeze them for you upon arrival.
For Home Births:
Have your midwife place your placenta into the plain Ziploc bag, squeeze out the excess air, and then have her place it into a second Ziploc bag and squeeze out the excess air and seal. Then place the bagged placenta directly into the fridge.
What if they want to take my placenta to Pathology?
In rare cases, your physician may feel that your placenta needs to go to pathology. If this does happen ask if they can do a visual exam in the delivery room instead, or see if a small piece sent to pathology would suffice instead of the entire placenta. If your physician feels the whole placenta needs to be examined in pathology unfortunately it will no longer be suitable for encapsulation/consumption due to cross-contamination and potentially the use of formaldehyde. Please be aware that a small percentage of placentas actually need to go to pathology in their entirety. Most doctors will try working with you so everyone gets what they need.
Placentas that are sent to pathology for examination are NOT able to be encapsulated, so this is something that should be avoided if at all possible. Families may also refuse additional testing if they would prefer their placenta not be lost to pathology; so speak to your medical care provider about weighing the pros & cons of your choices.
What if I am induced/have a medicated birth/have a cesarean? Can I still encapsulate?
Yes, yes, and yes. Your particular birth choices/outcomes do not affect whether or not your placenta can or cannot be encapsulated. We have encapsulated many placentas birthed by mothers who received epidurals, IV pain medications during labor, Pitocin inductions, and had cesarean sections. Any medications or drugs that are considered safe to administer during pregnancy, labor, and delivery are also safe for placenta encapsulation.
What if I am opting for delayed cord clamping?
Yes. You can delay cord clamping up to 2 hours before the placenta needs to be placed on ice or refrigerated.
What if I am opting for cod blood banking/donation?
Yes, as long as you are opting for traditional cord blood banking only and no placenta blood banking. You will need to check with the company you are working with for their instructions. We have plenty of clients that have this done and still encapsulate their placenta
What if I am opting for tissue banking?
If only the cord &/or part of the placenta is being banked then yes. If the entire placenta is being banked, then no.
What if I give birth prematurely?
Premature birth does not automatically determine your placenta being unfit for encapsulation and I have encapsulated numerous preterm placentas. I have found that most doctors and midwives will try to still accommodate your wishes to take your placenta home with you and will try to either do a blood test, send only a piece of the placenta to pathology, or will only do a bed-side visual examination in order to not have to send the entire placenta to pathology. However, in some cases, the placenta legitimately does need to be sent to pathology in order to determine the possible preterm cause. Ultimately it is up to the decision of your doctor as to whether your placenta will be released or not.
What if there is meconium staining?
Previously it was thought that meconium was sterile, but new research is coming out showing that it is not, and the bacteria that may be present on the placenta is from your own natural flora. When preparing your placenta, we follow USDA food standards and meconium is not a problem and does not make the placenta unfit for encapsulation.
What if I get a fever in labor?
Fever does not always equal infection and is most commonly associated as a side effect with epidurals given during labor. If you have a fever for only a few hours before birth, then it is unlikely that the placenta is infected in any way. Your care provider can also determine if the true infection is suspected by how the placenta looks, feels, and smells. Some area hospitals will also provide testing if they want to rule out infection, but inspection without testing is what is most common. Historically our clients that have been told a fever was associated with infection ended up having clear lab test results two days postpartum and the placenta was always able to be encapsulated. True infection, that renders the placenta unusable, has not been common during our practice, and when it does occur there is no question that the placenta needs to be discarded. If you have a fever question following your birth, please contact us with details and we can go from there with the best plan of action.
What if my placenta has calcification, or the doctor says it's "old"?
Calcification, in any amount, is a variation of normal and does not make the placenta unfit for encapsulation.
What is the ideal time frame for encapsulation?
A placenta that has been handled properly and stored on ice and/or refrigerated must be picked up and the encapsulation process started, within 72 hours. The placenta should be stored in a cooler with ice or in the refrigerator until we arrive for pickup. We pick up the majority of placentas for our clients within our pickup hours of 5:00 pm – 10:0pm.
Although this is usually never the case, if for any reason it is not possible to start the process within the first 72 hours following birth, or you’re not sure if you want to book with us right away, the placenta should be frozen until you decide to book with us or it is possible to start the process. Double-bag the placenta in gallon-sized zip lock freezer bags and place it in your freezer (chest freezer is the best option if available) and give us a call.
What if I give birth earlier or later than my EDD?
We understand that birth is unpredictable, and we only use your EDD as a guess date and know to expect your call sometime around your due date. If your baby arrives earlier or later please give us a call as you normally would.
How long can a Placenta be stored in the freezer before encapsulation?
Placentas that have been properly frozen (double-bagged and protected from freezer- burn) can be encapsulated up to six months after the birth (even longer in some cases). Has your placenta been frozen for a year or more? No worries. I can evaluate your defrosted placenta to see if it is fit for encapsulation, however, I do not guarantee results, only provide the service. I have encapsulated placentas frozen long term (over a year) and the moms still benefited greatly from their placenta capsules, so please do not hesitate to contact me because you think it has been too long. When you have recovered from childbirth, you can even freeze the capsules and save them for future difficult transitions, such as the weaning of your child and menopause.
What if I am a Vegetarian/Vegan?
Not a problem and in fact many of my placenta encapsulation clients prefer vegetarian/vegan capsules. We offer a plain, non-flavored vegetarian capsule that does not contain animal gelatin. They are free of Preservatives, Gluten, BSE/TSE, GMOs, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. This particular capsule is also our only option that is also GMO free. We also offer flavored capsules that are not vegetarian/vegan in Strawberry, Berry, Grape, Orange, and Lime.
Are herbs included in the finished capsules?
No. Placenta capsules are not an herbal supplement at all. Placenta pills are more in line with a whole food supplement. We do not place anything inside of the capsules other than your own dehydrated placenta powder. It is recommended that if a mother needs herbal supplementation it is done separately so proper dosages can be maintained and allergies to herbal remedies do not prevent you from taking your placenta capsules.
What type of supplies are used and how are they sanitized?
The supplies used during the placenta encapsulation process are all commercial and/or lab grade stainless steel, glass, food-grade plastic, or disposable, and the process is performed in our purpose-built kitchen. Disposable barriers are also utilized during the placenta preparation process to reduce contact with non-disposable tools as well.
Everything is thoroughly washed with hospital-grade soap and hot water and then disinfected and sanitized in a bleach solution and an approved hospital grade EPA disinfectant. Disinfectants, such as bleach, destroy or irreversibly inactivate all specified organisms within a certain time, usually 10+ minutes. I follow the same guidelines for cleanliness and sanitation that are used in foodservice establishments and small laboratories/hospitals. As an extra step of precaution and offering peace of mind to our clients, we also sterilize our tools and equipment using an autoclave.
What type of training and certifications do you have?
We are trained and certified Medical Couriers and renew training and certification yearly.
We have taken Placenta Encapsulation training through APPA (Association of Placenta Preparation Arts).
We are trained and certified in Georgia Food Safety and carry state food handler’s card which we recertify every year.
We are trained and certified through Biologix in bloodborne pathogens and infectious disease control and renew training and certification yearly.
We are trained and follow Universal Precautions set in place by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) which is an approach to infection control to treat all human blood and certain human body fluids as if they were known to be infectious for bloodborne pathogens. In other words, we follow the same strict safety protocols that hospitals use to ensure that us and clients are safe at all times.
How many capsules will I receive?
Placentas can range in size from 1-4 lbs and we have no way to predict the size until birth. However, on average, the majority of clients receive 175-225+ capsules.
What are more benefits of encapsulation?
Taking your placenta capsules are the best thing a new mother can give back to her body post-birth. They have been reported to help stabilize hormones, induce lactation & increase breastmilk production, support mental well-being, provide more energy, lend pain relief, and assisting in bonding.
Helps balance your hormones.
Replenishes depleted iron levels and provides 1/3 of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron.
Aids the uterus in shrinking back down to return to its pre-pregnancy state (reducing the risk of postpartum hemorrhage).
Reduces postpartum bleeding.
Induces lactation and increases milk production while helping to maintain a healthy milk supply through the breastfeeding relationship– this has been proven in a study.
Many women experience positive moods.
Increases your energy levels.
Can prevent or decrease your risk of experiencing the “baby blues” or Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety.
Many women feel they heal a lot faster and can get back to their normal routine much quicker.