Congratulations on your pregnancy and for your interest in improving your postpartum health! Postpartum is a time full of adjustments, so making plans to take care of yourself while taking care of your baby (or babies) is a wonderful first step into parenthood. This is a quick look into the process, FAQ’s, and other helpful information that will allow you to better understand placentology.
How does the process work? You choose how you would like your placenta to be prepared. Once it is clear which services you would like, I will give you a cooler than you will pack in your birth bag. Make sure to have a conversation with your care provider so they are aware you have plans to keep your placenta. You are then responsible for letting me know when you are in labor. This allows me to plan ahead to make sure I am able to come meet you at your birthing place to pick up the placenta. Partners, family members, doulas, please remember to ask hospital staff to put placenta on ice (changing ice every 4 hours) or directly into a fridge. The placenta is a live organ and needs to be kept safe and on ice to preserve it for consumption use. Once I have picked up the placenta, I will then take it to my home to prepare it for you. I have gone through Florida’s Food Handling Safety requirements, Bloodborne Pathogen Handling Safety requirements, and Brilliant Birth Academy’s Placenta Encapsulation Training to ensure you the safest preparation of your placenta. I examine the placenta in depth to ensure it is safe for consumption before preparing it. I will call you for a “pre-dosage” call. This allows me to see how you're doing your first few days postpartum, decide what dosage is appropriate for you, and to schedule a drop off date with you. I’ll then package up all your goods, include dosages, additional information, and my contact information in case you would like to follow up with anything, and drop it off with you.
What ways do you prepare the placenta? There are several ways to prepare the placenta. I do raw encapsulations, Traditional Chinese Medicine (aka Gentle Method) encapsulation, tinctures (2oz), salves (2 oz), prints, and cord keepsakes.
What happens if my placenta is not safe for consumption? I will refund you! I require a non-refundable $100 down payment for supplies. But if something happens that is out of the family’s control, I will always refund the rest.
How soon do you start the process after the birth? I prefer 24-48 hours after the birth. In non-ideal situations, if the placenta has been kept on ice/stored in fridge, ASAP is prefered.
If I have a medicated/cesarean section birth, am I still able to use the medicinal aspects of my placenta? Yes! The only thing that would not allow you to consume is if it was cut up during surgery (there will not be much to encapsulate), if it was sent to pathology, if there was cross contamination at birth, or if any fever is present at the time of birth in mom or baby.
How many pills will I get? It depends on the size of the placenta, and if the placenta is used to make tinctures/salves/keepsakes. Rough, an average placenta can make anywhere between 100-300 pills.
There are SO many benefits of postpartum placental consumption. Here is a list with brief descriptions that actually make sense!
Reported Benefits of Postpartum Placental Consumption:
Alleviated postpartum bleeding
Enhanced uterine involution (uterus return to pre-pregnancy size)
Improved & accelerated healing & recovery
Reduced maternal postpartum pain
Prevention or treatment of anemia
Facilitated bonding with newborn
Increased strength & vitality
Accelerated weight loss postpartum
Prevention & relief of headaches
Treatment & prevention of hypothyroidism
Replenishment & regulation of hormones
Improved quality of sleep
List Adapted from Jodi Selander, ALlison Cantor, Sharon M. Young & Caniel C. Benyshek: “Human Maternal Placentophagy: A survey of Self-Reported Motivations and Experiences Associated with Placenta Consumption.” Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 52:2, 2013, pp 93-115.
Overall, the majority (69%) of the respondents reported no negative effects from placental consumption. The single most cited negative effect was an unpleasant taste or smell.
But why does the placenta have all of these medicinal benefits? Because of its properties! When we examine how the placenta can facilitate this wonderful bond, we find that the placenta is rich in the following:
Minerals, Trace Elements, & Vitamins, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and phosphate, along with trace elements including copper, zinc, iron and selenium.
Iron & Selenium, which aides in uterine recovery and blood loss
Oxytocin, which alleviates maternal hemorrhage
Prostaglandin, which accelerates postpartum injuries or strain
Prolactin & Human Placental Lactogen (hPL), which increases milk production and aids in weight loss
Progesterone, which aids in improving mental clarity and general cognitive function postpartum
Vitamin B6, which serves to prevent depression, improve mental clarity, and aid immune system
Stem Cells, which have countless regenerative properties
Opioids/Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF), which is a natural pain reliever
Serotonin, which helps regulate sleep patterns
Corticotropin-Releasing Hormones, which allows mom to function under stress and negative emotions postpartum