Placenta Remedies FAQs
People have reported an increase of oxytocin (our "love" hormone) which helps bonding with your new baby and the uterus returning to its normal size, a decrease in postpartum depression and anxiety (you will often hear these to referred to as the "happy pills"), an increased milk supply for those that are breastfeeding or pumping, as well as an increase to iron levels which aids in healing from birth. These effects are a result of substances in your placenta, such as iron, oxytocin, and prolactin.
The anecdotal benefits from a placenta tincture is hormone balancing, support through menopause, soothing indigestion, decreasing insomnia, aiding through transitions or trauma, easing anxiety, as well as reducing PMS symptoms. The tincture has no shelf life and it is actually refillable, so it can last for as long as you need it to!
The reported benefits of placenta salve is to support those pesky skin ailments that may be lingering from birth such as perineal tears, c-section scars, or hemorrhoids. During postpartum it can be a perfect aid for sore or cracked nipples! It’s also helpful beyond postpartum for other skin-related issues such as eczema, diaper rash, scraps and burns too!
We use the Traditional Chinese Method (TCM) for encapsulation. Our process is to rinse your placenta and then to steam it. Next, we cut it into thin strips and place them in the dehydrator. Once dried, we then grind it into a powder and place it into capsules.
*We follow the highest safety standards during this process both in properly cleaning and sanitizing the work area as well as in carefully handling your placenta.
Are there any other ingredients in my placenta capsules? ***Optional***
This is optional. During the steaming process, we add lemon for grounding, ginger for circulation, and myrrh for adding warmth. These can either be added into the water where they do not come in contact with your placenta or they can be placed on your placenta for extra benefit. You can choose which option is best for you. The capsules that we use are made from vegetable cellulose.
The process takes about two hours for two consecutive days, to allow for your placenta to fully dehydrate. We typically process placentas in our personal workspace, following all of the same safety standards. However, we do have an option for encapsulation in your home as well.
No, you will only need to provide your placenta! For those that prefer to encapsulate in our personal workspace, we will pick up your placenta from your birth location. Once we have finished encapsulation, we will return your placenta to you.
For those that prefer encapsulation in your home. We will come into your kitchen and use a small space on your counter as well as the sink and the stove top. We clean and sanitize these areas before and after the process on both days. We will move any of your personal items out of the way and put them back when we have finished.
*If you are on medication during your pregnancy it is recommended to seek advice from your care provider before having your placenta encapsulated.
Yes! Just be sure to communicate with your care team that this is your plan and once born, place the placenta in a bowl or on a clean surface rather than letting it float in the water for an extended period of time.
Yes, GBS or any other vaginal infection is not contraindicated for encapsulation. As long as the TCM is used, which steams out and kills any potential negative bacteria. This is the method of encapsulation that we use!
If you are diagnosed with Chorioamnionitis (infection of the placenta), this would be a contraindication for encapsulation.
Encapsulation is still an option, even if your baby passed their first poop before or during birth. Meconium is sterile and while it may stain the placenta some, it isn’t harmful or contraindicated for encapsulation.
What if I give birth prematurely, can I still encapsulate?
Yes, as long as your placenta is not sent to pathology, then there is no problem!
Are there any circumstances when it would not be possible to use the placenta for encapsulation or other placenta remedies?
Yes, though it is rare. If your placenta has been sent to pathology for any reason, I am unable to encapsulate your placenta. This typically happens in the event of a uterine infection. This is due to the risk of contamination and the potential for improper storage.
If your provider suggests that your placenta go to pathology and you plan to encapsulate your placenta, you can ask them to only take a piece of it to test and for you to keep the rest. It’s also a good idea to discuss your plan to keep your placenta prenatally with your provider.
How do I store my placenta safely after birth?
Your placenta should be put into a clean, leak proof container after birth and stored in a cooler on ice or in a refrigerator. Container ideas for the placenta include a glass or plastic container with lid or double bagged in gallon size Ziploc freezer strength bags. If using ice, please bag the ice separately and place around the container holding the placenta, inside of an insulated cooler.
How long can I store my placenta in the fridge or freezer before using it?
Placentas can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you need to store for longer, then it will need to be transferred to the freezer for up to 6 months. If frozen, your placenta will need to be thawed before it can be encapsulated, either by putting it into the fridge or by running it under cold water.
It depends! If you are choosing to have us encapsulate in our personal workspace, we will coordinate with you to pick up the placenta at our earliest opportunity. This is often from your place of birth. If you are choosing to have us encapsulate in your home, the placenta will stay with you or in your home until we come to process it.
I want to donate my baby’s cord blood. Will I still be able to have my placenta encapsulated?
Yes, you can do both. We advise parents to bring two separate containers with them to their birthing location and ensure their care providers know that they wish to have both services. The placenta should be put into the placenta container after birth and stored safely in the cooler. The umbilical cord should then be stored in a separate container awaiting collection from the company of choice.
Aren’t the hormones contained in the placenta actually destroyed during the cooking process used when preparing TCM capsules?
To some extent the heat process when preparing TCM capsules may affect the stem cells, hormones and B vitamins but to what degree is unknown. Minerals such as iron are not damaged by heat and there may be minimal damage to other nutrients found in the placenta. There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest the placenta pills are or are not beneficial. The TCM process aids in adding the warming component to your capsules, which supports healing postpartum.
Do the capsules or tincture have a smell or taste like anything?
Placenta capsules may have a slight taste of meat however if swallowed quickly or taken with a flavored liquid most clients will not notice any taste or smell. The tincture may have an undesirable taste for some, you can place the drops directly into tea or juice to help mask it.
How should I store my placenta capsules and tincture?
We provide you with a tightly closed, dark glass storage jar for your capsules, tincture, and salve.. They should be stored in a dry and cool place, such as a cabinet. The capsules should be used within 12 months or placed into the freezer. The tincture is made to be stored for long-term use; it does not have a shelf life. The salve can be stored in the fridge if you would like it to be more firm.
How big are the capsules and how many will I get?
We use size ’00′ capsules when preparing your placenta. These measure just above 2 centimeters in length and hold roughly 700-750mg. Average is to get between 75-125 capsules, depending on the size of your placenta. It is recommended to start them after your milk has fully come in. Suggested use is 1 capsule per day for the first 3 days to see how you feel. Then adjust to 1-3 capsules per day, based on your own personal needs. On average, they last clients 1-2 months.
*The salve is the exception here, as it can aid in healing for any family member or friend!
Will I experience any side effects when taking my placenta capsules?
We cannot guarantee results with placenta capsules or any other placenta remedy. A very small number of people have expressed undesired effects when taking their placenta remedies, especially with taking them too soon (before milk comes in) or a lot all at once. However, in most cases my clients speak highly of the positive changes they experience.
The reported side effects are listed below for your benefit.
-Mild headaches (a lower dose may be beneficial)
-Stomach cramping or abdominal pain (may be a result of improper storage or if combined with an iron supplement)
-Emotional symptoms similar to PMS (a lower dose may be beneficial)
It is recommended to pause taking your capsules if you go on an antibiotic for any reason, just until you have fully finished the course. It is also recommended to stop taking them if you have a fever or become pregnant again.
I’m not sure my placenta capsules are working; how do I know?
We get asked this a lot. The answer is not the same for every person, but most people say that you will know it if you skip a day! Be mindful, listen to your body.
It is not recommended to encapsulate or consume a placenta after smoking cigarettes during pregnancy.
Yes! You can freeze your placenta after birth and it can be thawed and encapsulated anytime in those first 6 months!
Aubrey is a Certified Placenta Specialist through H.E.R.B.A.L. Brittany is certified through Placenta Benefits. We both have also completed OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens certification and ServSafe’s Food Handler certification.
Placenta for Healing: http://placentabenefits.info/medicinal.asp
Scientific Research: http://placentabenefits.info/research.asp
Interview on WBAL TV (Originally Aired 2/25/14): http://www.wbaltv.com/news/health/some-new-moms-having-placentas-made-into-pills-postbirth/24663658
Recent Article from The Baltimore Sun (Originally posted 7/17/14): http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/maryland-family/bal-women-eat-placenta-post-partum-baby-blues-20140717,0,825990.story
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