How are supplies stored and sterilized?
All equipments is washed with antibacterial soap and sanitized with a bleach solution. The preparation area is fully cleaned and sanitized with bleach solution prior to and after processing of the placenta. My husband is a Chef and I am fully aware of food-safety protocol. Gloves are worn and hair is pulled back. This is of utmost importance while your pills are being prepared.
If I have a cesarean section can I encapsulate my placenta?
Yes, absolutely. Talk with your health care provider so they know you plan to take your placenta home with you. Please know ahead of time that if they choose to send your placenta to pathology, they usually do not need the entire placenta, they can cut a piece off. Entire placentas that are sent to pathology are not suitable for encapsulation and ingestion.
How should the placenta be handled or treated from the time of birth until the time of processing and preparation?
If you are having a hospital birth, they will put the placenta in a biohazard bag or tub. The placenta should be put on ice and refrigerated as soon after birth as possible. I suggest bringing a cooler to the hospital. In the case of an overnight delivery, some hospitals do not want the placenta to stay. You will need to arrange to have your doula, a friend or family member transport the placenta after delivery. The placenta must be properly refrigerated until preparation. If the placenta will be prepared within 72 hours after delivery, then it may remain in the refrigerator. If however the placenta will not be processed until after 72 hour after delivery, then it should be placed in the back of the freezer where the temperature is most consistent. If the delivery is not overnight, I will make my best effort to come pick up the placenta as soon as possible.
If you are having a homebirth, ask your midwife or doula to double bag your placenta and refrigerate or freeze it. Storage is the same as mentioned above.
How do I obtain my placenta following the birth?
If you are having a homebirth, your midwife or doula will usually double bag it and ask if you want it refrigerated, frozen or thrown out. Follow the guidelines mentioned above for handling and storage guidelines. It is helpful to talk with your care provider about your wishes for the placenta before you go into labor. If you are having a hospital birth, be sure to speak with your primary care provider ahead of time. Find out what your hospital’s policy is for the release of the placenta. Tell them you plan to take your placenta home after birth. This should be noted in your chart and mentioned in your birth plan. You might be asked to sign a release/waiver to take home your placenta although this is not always the case.
How long will the preparation process take?
The process usually takes about 24 hours total, split over 2 days. The first part takes about 30 minutes of preparation, then about 20-24 hours of dehydrating (usually overnight) and then another hour for the second part of encapsulation and clean up. I almost always get the pills to my clients within 48 hours.