What do I need to take with me to my birthing location in order to be prepared for the encapsulation process?
- An ice-cream container (your placenta measures approximately A5 in size)
- Or double-bagged zip-lock bags with your name clearly marked on it
- A cooler box to properly store the placenta during your stay if the facility does not have a fridge (medium sized, soft sided, or styrofoam coolers all work well)
- 2 cooler bricks/some ice blocks to keep the placenta cool but not frozen
- Your birth plan with one line regarding wanting to take your placenta home with you
- Any documentation you may need from the hospital or birthing facility to release your placenta
What is proper placenta care and handling for encapsulation?
- Don’t contaminate it: Hospital staff will package the placenta inside some sort of container or bag that is sealed and labelled. Once the placenta is packaged by the hospital staff, please leave the placenta in this packaging to avoid any cross-contamination or a mess.
- Store it soon: after your birth and once she/he has checked it over, simply ask your midwife/doctor to pop your placenta straight into the cooler box with cooler/ice blocks as soon as possible after birth to ensure it will stay cold.
- Have a Plan-B: If you forget a cooler and your room doesn’t have a fridge, simply take the tub that you are given in your hospital room (washing/baby bath tub) and fill it with ice and place the packaged placenta on top. As long as it is kept cool and not allowed to spoil it will be fine until we can 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.
- Confirm hospital policy beforehand: Ideally, you do not want the hospital to store your placenta for you! This is the number one way a placenta accidentally gets lost or ruined. However, storage policy varies per birthing location and even by who happens to be on staff during your birthing time, so some area hospitals will offer/require that they store the placenta for you. We recommend that you confirm the hospital policy with your place of birth upon your booking with them.
- Put someone in charge: It is best to never let the placenta leave your sight since hospital staff are busy, can easily be distracted and could accidentally discard your placenta. Your placenta is not their highest priority so 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 do not let the placenta leave your birthing facility with anyone other than us or our courier.
Will the hospital release my placenta to me?
- Prior to your birth, preferably upon booking your bed, we recommend that you find out what paperwork your facility requires in order to release your placenta to you because every hospital and birthing centre have different policies. Most hospitals will require a release of liability waiver to be signed, some do not require any special paperwork – it may just depend on who is on staff during your birthing time.
- You should tell your doctor or midwife ahead of time that you plan to take your placenta home and write it in your birth plan. This way if there is an issue, you can deal with it before you are in labour. You do not need to share with your medical staff what you intend to do with the placenta, just that you would like to have it after your baby is born & that it is not to be treated with any chemicals.
- If you run into troubles having your placenta released, be sure to mention that you have a ‘profound belief in taking your placenta home with you’ or you require it for ‘religious reasons’.
What if I am induced/have a medicated birth/have a cesarean section/VBAC? Can I still encapsulate my placenta?
- Yes, yes, yes and yes! Your particular birth choices/outcomes do not affect whether or not your placenta can or cannot be encapsulated.
- In fact in cases of major abdominal surgery you are more in need of the benefits and recovery that placenta encapsulation offers.
What if I am opting for delayed cord clamping? Can I still encapsulate my placenta?
What if I am opting for cord blood banking/donation? Can I still encapsulate my placenta?
- Yes, as long as you are opting for traditional cord blood banking only and not placenta blood banking.
- You will need to check with the company you are working with for their instructions.
What if I am option for tissue banking? Can I still encapsulate my placenta?
- 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 my placenta has calcification, or the doctor says it is “old”?
Calcification, in any amount, is a variation of normal and does not make the placenta unfit for encapsulation.
Can I still encapsulate my placenta if I have HIV, Hepatitis and any other related blood disorders, viral or bacterial infections?
No. Our safety and yours has not been certifiably concluded in this regard. We are happy to refer you to a colleague who will offer you that option.
Are there additional cost for travel if I live far away?
- Travel cost is included in the encapsulation fee for collection of the placenta from the place of birth, unless over 20kms.
- Location will be agreed upon during booking. If this further than 20kms or it changes to over 20kms after the contract has been signed, a travel fee of R200 will be incurred depending on location.
- Courier services to areas outside of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein can be arranged at a cost of R550 for placenta collection and R550 for capsules delivery.
How will you arrange to collect my placenta?
- Please text us as soon as you go into labour so that we can ensure that all our equipment is ready.
- Then contact us when you have birthed so we can arrange collection of your placenta.
- We always try to pick up sooner than later, but have to schedule pick-ups according to family / work commitments at the time. We aim for same-day collection but in some cases it has to be the second day after being contacted.
- Once we receive your text that you have birthed we will work with you to schedule a pick up time and let you know.
When will I receive the finished capsules?
- After we process and encapsulate the placenta, it is our aim to deliver your placenta capsules to your home within 48-72hrs so that you have it available as your milk comes in.
- However, delays can occur depending on the particular placenta and how it responds to the dehydration process.
- Finished capsules are usually delivered back to you within 4- 5 days maximum. We keep in contact with you during the encapsulation process to update you as to how the process is going.
How do I know I will not receive someone else’s placenta?
- Only one placenta is ever prepared at a time, so there is never a chance of an accidental switch or any cross contamination of any kind.
- All of our materials used are either disposable or thoroughly sanitised and disinfected according to universal food safety and blood borne pathogens standards.
Will my placenta be exposed to bleach or any other chemicals?
- We only use high-quality bleach to sanitise our equipment, both after one placenta and before another.
- All equipment is washed, soaked in boiling water, rinsed and thoroughly dried before it comes into contact with a placenta.
- This ensures that while there are no germs, there is no harm to the placenta tissue either.
How many capsules will I get from my placenta?
- Each placenta differs in size, thickness and constitution which will respond uniquely to the dehydration process.
- You can expect a yield of 120 – 250 capsules.
How should I take my placenta capsules?
You will receive a detailed recommended dosage card along with your placenta capsules for you to keep and refer back to.
How long should I take my placenta capsules for?
- We recommend that a mother takes her capsules for the first two weeks postpartum at least.
- Some moms do set aside the rest for future transitions where they would benefit from taking their capsules such as returning to work, future moves, travel away from baby, start of preschool/kindergarten, major illness, etc.
When should I not take my placenta capsules?
- If you develop an infection such as mastitis, flu, or a common cold with fever, it is recommended that you discontinue use until the illness/infection clears.
- Once symptoms subside you can start taking your placenta capsules again.
How should I store my placenta capsules?
- After the encapsulation process is completed, your placenta capsules will be placed in a sealed jar and should be kept dry.
- Reintroducing moisture into the powder can cause rot or spoil to occur. We do include a silica pocket in the jar to ensure that your capsules are kept dry.
Can I take my placenta caps instead and stop taking my other mood, anxiety meds etc.?
- The consumption of your placenta is not a cure or treatment for established mental health problems, nor should it replace any medically-prescribed treatment.
- Your placenta capsule is one tool in helping to curb or limit postpartum depressive symptoms.
- Baby blues can affect up to 80% of women within the first week of birth and women who consume their placenta report fewer emotional issues and a more enjoyable babymoon.
Get in touch with us!