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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQs

How do your services work?


Once you place your order, you are officially on our schedule! We have easy and convenient pickup hours from 8:00am - 10:00pm, 7 days a week, including all holidays. After your baby is delivered, give us a call during pickup hours to schedule your placenta pickup at 717-925-0154. Once we pick up your placenta, we get to work right away to ensure our clients have their capsules back as soon as possible. If you are a nationwide customer, you'll receive your kit between 34-36 weeks (unless other arrangements are made!) with instructions & everything you'll need to package and ship your placenta to us for processing after you give birth.




What is the difference between the Steamed & the Non-Steamed methods of preparation?


The non-steamed method skips the steaming process and goes right to slicing and dehydrating the placenta. This method typically produces slightly more potent placenta powder because the hormones present in the placenta are exposed to less heat and processing vs. the steamed method. You will also typically receive a higher quantity of capsules vs. the steamed method. The steamed method involves steaming the placenta to 160 degrees prior to dehydration. This can provide a more gentle dose of vitamins and hormones than the non-steamed method, and often results in slightly less capsules. This method is recommended for clients who test GBS+ or anyone who feels they would prefer the extra peace of mind that bringing the placenta quickly to 160 degrees provides. Both methods are safe for mom and baby, and both follow USDA standards for consumption of food products.




Can I still encapsulate if I have a c-section or have medication?


Absolutely! If you have a c-section, let your nurse know that you plan to keep your placenta so that it does not go to pathology and instead, ask that they package it up for you. With medication, the general rule is that it is safe to have during pregnancy, then it is safe for placenta encapsulation.




What do I need to take with me to my birthing location in order to be prepared for the encapsulation process?


1. A cooler to properly store the placenta during your stay and for transportation. 2. Your birth plan with one line regarding wanting to take your placenta home with you. Also discuss your plan to keep your placenta with your OBGYN or Midwife as soon as you book our services to keep all of your birth professionals informed. 3. Notify your delivery nurse(s) when you arrive at the hospital you are keeping your placenta so they can prepare any waivers for release, and know in advance to prepare it for you to take home.




What size/type cooler should I bring with me to my birthing location?


For hospital or birth center births: We recommend a medium sized, hard sided, cooler. Soft sided coolers tend to leak over time, unless they have a hard plastic insert (those work without leaking), & smaller coolers (personal lunch sized) often are not large enough to accommodate the packaging hospitals use. Styrofoam disposable ones also are suitable & can be thrown away after use if that is preferred. Often the packaging of your placenta varies by each hospital. Some will double bag the placenta, while others will use various sizes of plastic containers. The Igloo Playmate cooler and the Igloo Ice Cube cooler work well for clients, but do not feel that you need to buy anything special, as you most likely already have a cooler around your house that will work perfectly. If you do use a personal sized cooler and you find the container will not fit you can always ask hospital staff to simply double bag the placenta for you so it will fit properly. All hospitals can and do double bag when asked, in order for the packaged placenta to properly fit in a cooler with sufficient ice. We’ll bring a cooler with us to transfer your placenta into at pick up, so we will not keep your cooler. It will only be used by you for storage until pick up. If you're a nationwide client you'll keep your placenta in the cooler with ice until discharge or (preferably) until a friend or family member can take it home and place it in the freezer. For Home Births: To prepare for a home birth you simply need to have something for your midwife to place your placenta into. You can place your placenta into a gallon sized Ziploc bag, and then double bag it. You can then store in the refrigerator until we arrive to pick up. If you are a nationwide client, you can place your placenta into the freezer.




What is proper placenta care & handling for encapsulation?


As quickly as possible after the birth (at least within the first two hours after birth), the placenta should be placed into a food-grade container or gallon ziplock bag, sealed, and refrigerated or placed on ice inside a cooler. Please be sure to replenish the ice often and it should never be left to melt. For Hospital Births: It is best to never let the placenta leave your site. Hospital staff are very busy and can easily be distracted and could accidentally discard your placenta or send it to pathology where it could be ruined for encapsulation. Your placenta is not their highest priority. Most hospitals will accommodate your wishes to take the placenta home by preparing it for transport, but once packaged they will not accept any responsibility for proper storage of it during your stay. 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 BE SURE TO BRING A COOLER WITH YOU TO THE HOSPITAL. This will ensure you can properly store your hospital packaged placenta following your birth. Medium sized, soft sided, or Styrofoam coolers all work well. Hospital staff will package the placenta inside a container or biohazard bag that is sealed. This container/bag may also be labeled and/or placed inside of a bio-hazard bag. Once the placenta is packaged by hospital staff, please leave it in that packaging to avoid any cross- contamination. As soon as possible, place the packaged placenta in your cooler and then add ice to ensure it will stay cold. Continue to replenish the ice as it melts to ensure the placenta does not spoil. If you have a private room & private refrigerator you can keep your placenta in there if the container fits. Ideally, you do NOT want the hospital to store your placenta for you! This is the number one way a placenta accidentally gets lost/ruined/sent to pathology. If you forget a cooler, simply take the tub that you are given in your hospital room (washing/baby bath tub) and fill it with ice to place the packaged placenta on the ice. As long as it is kept cool and not allowed to spoil it will be fine until we arrive for pickup or you take it home and get it into the freezer. 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. The packaged placenta should be stored in a cooler with ice or refrigerated until we arrive for pickup or until you take it home. For Birthing Center Births: At our local area birthing centers the midwives are very kind and will double bag the placenta. Depending on what time you give birth and how quickly they dishcarge you, we may come to the center for a pick up, or you may be discharged with your placenta to take home, & place in the refrigerator until we stop by for the pick up, or freezer if you are a nationwide client. Please ensure you still take a cooler along with you to have it put on ice until we arrive for pickup, or you are discharged and take it home. The birth center may or may not have ice, so it’s always a good idea to take a couple of ice packs and ask them to freeze them for you upon arrival. For Home Births: For our Nationwide clients, have your midwife place your placenta into the plain Ziploc bag, squeeze out the excess air, and then have her place it into the biohazard Ziploc bag and squeeze out the excess air and seal. Then place the bagged placenta directly into the freezer right away. For our local home birth clients, have your midwife place your placenta in some kind of container and place in the refrigerator until we arrive for pick up.




Will the hospital release my placenta to me?


The hospitals all have policies that allow for a mom to take her healthy placenta home with her for any reason (cultural, religious, nutrition, etc.) However, some hospitals are much more placenta friendly than others. The way to ensure the best placenta release outcome is to be prepared if necessary to continue to request the release of your placenta. Some hospitals may try to convince you not to keep your placenta, or tell you that it needs to be tested in pathology (because they know you cannot keep it once it is sent to pathology). You can simply deny any testing they suggest to the placenta if you wish, and continue to ask for the release of your placenta. It’s also a good idea to not let it out of your sight, and to have your spouse or family member take possession of it immediately after birth to avoid this issue. We have encapsulated placentas from all of our area hospitals, so if you have specific questions/concerns regarding your particular hospital for delivery please contact us and we can discuss. They may require you to sign a standard release form to have it released into your possession. 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 labor. I also recommend that you mention your intentions again upon admission and then again once the placenta is birthed. Be friendly and cooperative when discussing your intentions to take home your placenta. You are not required to share with your care team what you intend to do with the placenta if you don't wish, just that you would like to have it after your baby is born & that it is not to be treated with any chemicals.




What if they want to take my placenta to pathology?


In rare cases your physician may feel that your placenta needs to go to pathology. If this does happen ask if they can do a visual exam in the delivery room instead, or see if a small piece sent to pathology would suffice instead of the entire placenta. If your physician feels the whole placenta needs to be examined in pathology unfortunately it will no longer be suitable for encapsulation/consumption due to cross contamination and potentially the use of formaldehyde. Please be aware that a small percentage of placentas actually need to go to pathology in their entirety. Most doctors will try working with you so everyone gets what they need. Placentas that are sent to pathology for examination are NOT able to be encapsulated, so this is something that should be avoided if at all possible. Families may also refuse additional testing if they would prefer their placenta not be lost to pathology; so speak to your medical care provider about weighing the pros & cons of your choices. Please note that some area hospitals offer food safe examinations & food safe storage in their refrigerators when they know placenta encapsulation is desired. Please let the staff know your intentions and ask if these are options if pathology is mentioned.




What if I am induced/have a medicated birth/have a cesarean section?  Can I still encapsulate my placenta?


Yes, yes, and yes. Your particular birth choices/outcomes do not affect whether or not your placenta can be encapsulated. We have encapsulated many placentas birthed by mothers who received epidurals, IV pain medications during labor, pitocin inductions, and had cesarean sections. Any medications or drugs that are considered safe to administer during pregnancy, labor, and delivery are also safe for placenta encapsulation.




What if I am opting for delayed cord clamping?  Can I still encapsulate my placenta?


Yes. You can delay cord clamping up to 2 hours before the placenta needs to be placed on ice or refrigerated.




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 no placenta blood banking. You will need to check with the company you are working with for their instructions. We have plenty of clients that have this done and still encapsulate their placenta.




What if I am opting 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 I give birth prematurely?


Premature birth does not automatically make your placenta unfit for encapsulation and we have found that most care providers will still accommodate your wishes to take your placenta home with you. If your care provider suggests testing to the placenta due to premature birth, they (or you) may suggest either a blood test, sending only a piece of placenta to pathology, or a bed-side visual examination so you are still able to have your placenta encapsulated. However, in some cases the placenta does need to be sent to pathology for in-depth testing in order to determine a possible cause of preterm birth. Ultimately the release of your placenta in this situation is up to the decretion of your doctor.




What if there's meconium staining?


When preparing your placenta, we follow all USDA food standards, so the presence of meconium will not make the placenta unfit for encapsulation.




What if I get a fever in labor?


During and after giving birth, a fever does not always indicate infection and is commonly associated with epidurals given during labor. If you have a fever for only a few hours before birth, then it is unlikely that the placenta is infected in any way. Your care provider can also determine if true infection is suspected by how the placenta looks, feels, and smells. Some area hospitals will also provide testing if they want to rule out infection, but inspection without testing is most common. Many of our clients that have had a fever during labor end up having clear lab test results two days postpartum, meaning the placenta is able to be safely encapsulated. True infection that renders the placenta unusable is stataistically uncommon and when it does occur, there is no question that the placenta needs to be discarded. If you have a question regarding fever following your birth, please contact us with details and we can go from there with the best plan of action.




What if my placenta has calcification, or the doctor says it's "old"?


Calcification in any amount is a variation of normal and does not make the placenta unfit for encapsulation.




What is the ideal time frame for encapsulation?


A placenta that has been handled properly and stored on ice and/or refrigerated must be picked up and the encapsulation process started, within 72 hours. The placenta should be stored in a cooler with ice or in the refrigerator until we arrive for pickup. However, typically we pick up majority of placentas for our clients within hours of birth during our pickup hours of 8:00am – 10:00pm and within 12 hours after birth if you deliver during the late evening and early morning hours. If you are a nationwide client or you’re not sure if you want to book with us right away, the placenta should be frozen after birth within 72 hours. Double-bag the placenta in gallon-sized zip lock freezer bags and store in your freezer (chest freezer is the best option if available) and give us a call when you're ready for us to come pick it up or when you're ready to package up the placenta for shipping.




What if I give birth earlier or later than my EED?


We understand that birth is unpredictable, and we only use your EDD as a guess date and know to expect your call sometime around your due date.




What if I didn't get a chance to place my order before going into labor?


Not a problem at all! You can place your order on our website right from the hospital after you deliver, and just give us a call as you normally would for pickup of your placenta between 8:00am – 10:00pm 7 days a week, or if you're a nationwide order just take your placenta home and place in your freezer until your kit arrives and you can pack it up to ship to us. It’s not too late to order!




When do you start encapsulation?


We are able to start as soon as we have your placenta! You, your spouse, doula or midwife, can text/call our business line and let us know when your placenta is ready for pick up. Our pickup hours are 8:00am – 10:00pm 7 days a week including all holidays. Some hospitals require the placenta be removed from hospital premises within a few hours after birth. If this time falls outside of pickup hours, have a friend or family member take the placenta to your home and place it in your refrigerator and give us a call first thing at 8:00am to schedule your pickup. If you're a nationwide client, your placenta will be overnighted to us and we begin processing as soon as we receive your placenta in order to get your products back to you ASAP.




How/when will I receive the finished capsules?


It is typically a 48 hour process from the time we pick up your placenta until you receive your capsules back in the mail if you live in zip code that starts with 17***. We do try to utilize 9-5 delivery service when we can if we pick up your placenta early enough in the day. If you live outside of a 17 zip code it may take an additional day or two. You can upgrade to next day guaranteed shipping for an additional $25 if you would like to.




How long can a placenta be stored in the freezer before encapsulation?


Placentas that have been properly frozen (double-bagged and protected from freezer- burn) can be encapsulated up to six months after the birth (even longer in some cases). Has your placenta been frozen for a year or more? No worries. We can evaluate your defrosted placenta to see if it is fit for encapsulation, however we can not guarantee results. We have encapsulated placentas that were frozen long term (over a year) and the moms still benefited greatly from their capsules, so please do not hesitate to contact us. When you have recovered from childbirth, you can even freeze the capsules and save them for future difficult transitions, such as the weaning of your child and menopause.




What if I am a vegetarian/vegan?


Not a problem, and in fact many of our placenta encapsulation clients prefer vegetarian/vegan capsules. We offer a plain, non-flavored vegetarian capsule that does not contain animal gelatin. They are free of Preservatives, Gluten, BSE/TSE, GMOs, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. This particular capsule is also our only option that is also GMO free. We also offer flavored capsules that are not vegetarian/vegan in Strawberry, Berry, Grape, Orange, and Lime.




Are herbs included in the finished capsules?


No. Placenta capsules are not an herbal supplement. Placenta pills are more in line with a whole food supplement. We do not place anything inside of the capsules other than your own dehydrated placenta powder. It is recommended that if a mother needs herbal supplementation it is done separately so proper dosages can be maintained and allergies to herbal remedies do not prevent you from taking your placenta capsules.




What type of supplies are used and how are they sanitized?


The supplies used during the placenta encapsulation process are all commercial and/or lab grade stainless steel, glass, food grade plastic, or disposable, and the process is performed in our commercial, purpose-built facility. Disposable barriers are also utilized during the placenta preparation process to reduce contact with non-disposable tools as well. Everything is thoroughly washed with hospital grade soap and hot water and then disinfected and sanitized in a bleach solution and an approved hospital grade EPA disinfectant. Disinfectants, such as bleach, destroy or irreversibly inactivate all specified organisms within a certain time, usually 10+ minutes. We follow the same guidelines for cleanliness and sanitation that are used in food service establishments and small laboratories/hospitals. As an extra step of precaution we also sterilize our tools and equipment using an autoclave.




What type of training and certifications do you have?


We are trained and certified Medical Couriers and renew training and certification yearly. We have taken Placenta Encapsulation training through IPPA (International Placenta & Postpartum Association.) We are trained and certified in Pennsylvania State Food Safety and carry state food handler’s card which we recertify for every year. We are trained and certified through Biologix in bloodborne pathogens and infectious disease control and renew training and certification yearly. We are trained and follow Universal Precautions set in place by OSHA, (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) which is an approach to infection control to treat all human blood and certain human bodily fluids as if they were known to be infectious for bloodborne pathogens. In other words, we follow the same strict safety protocols that hospitals use to ensure that our employees and clients are safe at all times.




How many capsules will I receive?


Placentas can range in size form 1-4 lbs and we have no way to predict the size until birth. However, on average, majority of clients receive 175-225+ capsules.




How should I take my placenta capsules?


Detailed recommended dosage instructions and storage instructions are right on the labels of all our placenta products for easy use. If you ever have any questions about the suggested usage, you can always give us a call anyime.




How long should I take my placenta capsules for?


We recommend that a mother takes her capsules for the first few weeks postpartum at least, but it is best to continue taking them until they are gone. Some clients do set a few aside for future transitions that they feel they would benefit from taking their capsules during, 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. You should also not take your placenta capsules or tincture when pregnant.




How should I store my placenta capsules?


After the encapsulation process is completed your placenta capsules will be placed in a sealed bottle and are shelf-stable if kept in a dry, cool dark place, such as a cupboard. To help you to remember to take them, you may decide to store them with any supplements you may take, such as your prenatal vitamins. Placenta capsules do not need to be refrigerated and this is not recommended due to the humidity causing mold in the capsules. After 6 weeks it is recommended to freeze any remaining capsules in a Ziploc freezer bag, and double bag them. Your placenta capsules may be taken directly from the freezer if you still take them daily. Placing them in the freezer after 6 weeks preserves their freshness and potency.




What do I need to know about my placenta tincture?


In addition to your placenta capsules you may also purchase a placenta tincture. Your tincture is truly an added bonus! Placenta tinctures can be used in addition to and long after your capsules are gone, during times of trauma, transition, or emotional distress, postpartum anxiety, premenstrual symptoms, and more. Your placenta tincture is made by tincturing a small amount of the placenta in a high grade, 100 proof alcohol and will be ready for use when your baby is six weeks old. It is recommended to allow the placenta to steep for at least six weeks before use but for maximum benefit we recommend letting it steep for a full 6 months. Shaking it periodically will help it steep thoroughly. The tincture is very shelf-stable if kept sealed and in a cool dark place, such as a cupboard, and will last for many years. It does not need to be refrigerated. If you are interested in having enough placenta tincture to last your lifetime you may add 100 proof high grade alcohol (vodka) to the bottle as the tincture is used, never allowing it to get below 1/2 full, though this may eventually reduce the potency if done too many times. Tincture may be taken by placing it in a small glass of water or juice. Do not take directly on the tongue. Dosage is included on the bottle label, but 7-10 drops is the normal recommended amount to take and may be taken a few times a day if needed. You can fill dropper from the top, to only get steeped liquid. Though many practitioners may mention your tincture being able to be used for your baby as well, it is important to acknowledge that children have a delicate balance of hormones, and your tincture may disrupt this balance. Unless under the care and advice of a licensed medical/naturopathic/homeopathic practitioner it is our recommendation that placenta remedies (including tinctures) should only be used by the mother they were made for.




Can placenta be used externally?


Yes. Placenta balms and salves are great for burns, scrapes, cuts, C-section scars, eczema, dry skin, diaper rash, and as a nipple butter/balm and much more! Many studies have shown the benefits of placenta healing wounds faster, and is very nourishing for the skin. Placenta (primarily sheep placenta) has been used in the cosmetic and hair industry for decades because of its truly healing and nourishing abilities! All of our placenta balms are hand crafted over several hours and can be infused with organic lavender, calendula, and/or chamomile. We use organic African shea butter, organic coconut oil, and natural beeswax along with your placenta powder to craft the balms.




What are more benefits of encapsulation?


Taking your placenta capsules are the best thing a new mother can give back to her body post-birth. They have been reported to help stabilize hormones, induce lactation & increase breastmilk production, support mental well being, provide more energy, lend pain relief and assisting in bonding.

  • Helps balance your hormones.
  • Replenishes depleted iron levels and provides 1/3 of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron.
  • Aids the uterus in shrinking back down to return to its pre-pregnancy state (reducing the risk of postpartum hemorrhage).
  • Reduces postpartum bleeding.
  • Induces lactation and increases milk production while helping to maintain a healthy milk supply through the breastfeeding relationship– this has been proven in a study.
  • Many women experience positive moods.
  • Increases your energy levels.
  • Can prevent or decrease your risk of experiencing the “baby blues” or Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety.
  • Many women feel they heal a lot faster and can get back to their normal routine much quicker.