Here at Chicago Birth & Baby, we're pleased to offer you the most comprehensive range of options about how you will choose to ingest your placenta as well as where preparation of the placenta will take place. We have high standards for safety and professionalism and have perfected and streamlined the art and science of placenta encapsulation.
When you book placenta encapsulation with Chicago Birth & Baby, you'll receive a kit in the mail that includes a cooler and storage bags for your placenta, detailed storage and handling instructions, and guidelines about when and how you should contact us that labor has begun or your baby is born. That's right--we provide everything except the ice you'll need to keep it cold!
"[Cait] was SO easy to work with! [She] dropped off everything I would need to take my placenta home from the hospital with me (minus the ice) to my condo building...it was so convenient!"
Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation
Improved mood and energy
Diminished risk of postpartum depression
Faster involution (shrinking down) of the uterus
Replenishment of lost nutrients, particularly iron
Benefits to breastfeeding
The placenta is drained of blood, steamed, dehydrated at 160 F for 12-24 hours, and ground up to be placed into capsules. Since the placenta has been both cooked and dehydrated at a high temperature, it is possible that some alterations to hormones in the placenta have been made, but nutrients and iron are unlikely to be affected, and this method of preparation has thousands of years of history behind it. The traditional chinese medicine method may have a more balancing affect that is great for any woman but particularly helpful to those with anxiety.
The placenta is simply sliced and dehydrated at 120 F for 24-36 hours, then ground and placed into capsules. Due to less processing and lower temperature dehydration, the raw method may preserve more hormone content of the placenta and is more potent in affecting energy levels. The raw method capsules may have a stimulating effect
Raw Placenta Pieces
A week's worth of small pieces of placenta individual wrapped to pop into a smoothie.
Like making vanilla with fresh vanilla beans, but placenta! A small piece of placenta is steeped in organic alcohol for six weeks. The benefits of tinctures are similar to that of encapsulation, but a tincture can prolong the benefits and may have a longer shelf life.
Location of Encapsulation
IN THE ENCAPSULATOR'S WORKPLACE
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of your placenta being processed in your home or wish to have someone else transport it out of your birth place for you, the placenta will be picked up within 12-24 hours of the birth. We ask that you notify us when you are in labor to expedite the pick-up of the placenta, which occurs during normal business hours. After pick-up of the placenta, the capsules will be returned to you within a maximum of 72 hours. Just as in your home, the workspace and all equipment will be carefully sanitized both before and after working with your placenta, and great care will be taken to avoid having more than one placenta in the encapsulator's home or office at a time.
IN YOUR HOME
If you choose to have the placenta encapsulated in your home, you will be responsible for transporting the placenta from your place of birth to your home, although we will provide a kit and instructions to do so. We will come to begin the dehydration process 24-72 hours after the birth, and return to your home the following day to complete the encapsulation. All that you need to provide in your home is a sink, stove, countertop space, and outlet. The workspace will be throughly sanitized before and after we work. We are happy to discuss your birth, breastfeeding, or any other concerns with you while we work, and you are welcome to watch or take photographs--or not!
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT DO I DO WITH MY PLACENTA AFTER IT COMES OUT? DO I HAVE TO TELL SOMEONE I'M TAKING IT? HOW DO I STORE IT?
Most hospitals in Chicagoland are very accustomed to placenta encapsulation and have an official release form for you to sign, and once that paperwork is done, it's no problem to take over care of your placenta. That being said, it's never a bad idea to mention to your provider in advance that you plan to have your placenta encapsulated. Since the placenta is a human organ that will be consumed, it needs to be stored similarly to other food items that can spoil. When you book placenta encapsulation with us, you'll receive a kit in the mail that includes a cooler and storage bags for your placenta, detailed storage and handling instructions, and guidelines about when and how you should contact us that labor has begun or your baby is born. That's right--we provide everything except the ice you'll need to keep it cold!
HOW DO YOU CLEAN YOUR SUPPLIES?
We take health and safety very seriously at Chicago Birth & Baby. All of our placenta encapsulators have taken a blood borne pathogens course that meets the OSHA standards and is specific to placenta encapsulation. The workspace is thoroughly sanitized both before and after the encapsulation process, regardless of where the encapsulation is done. We have specific standards of practice for sanitizing supplies, including use of hospital-grade sanitizers that are effective against common blood borne pathogens such as HIV and Hepatitis B, among a host of other disease-causing bacteria and viruses. We require our clients to disclose to us if they carry any blood borne pathogens and would take additional precautions to provide one-time use equipment for that client's placenta.
IS THERE A REASON I SHOULDN'T ENCAPSULATE MY PLACENTA? WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN TAKING MEDICATIONS DURING MY PREGNANCY? WHAT ARE THE RISKS TO ENCAPSULATION?
There are very few contraindications to placenta encapsulation. The only absolute contraindications are an infection of the placenta or amniotic membranes during labor called chorioamnionitis or improper handling and storage. The placenta must be put on ice or in the refrigerator or freezer within 4 hours of giving birth, and then can only remain in the refrigerator for up to 96 hours. Freezer storage times are very generous.
Medication use during pregnancy or expected use of medication during postpartum is not a contraindication to placenta encapsulation. Most medications are not stored in large amounts in the placenta, at least that we know of, and the amount of capsules taken per day is quite small such that you would not be double dosing yourself. So far, we are unaware of any reactions with medications and would not expect such an event to happen.
Placenta capsules are like any other medication, herb, or supplement. We don't know exactly how your body will react. Most women have reported overtly positive results, however.