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How to Choose a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist

March 20, 2018

 

It sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Especially since Google makes hopping on the internet and typing in “Placenta Encapsulation Near Me” and clicking on the first link that pops up - easy peasy. BUT there’s actually a lot more involved in this industry that maybe a typical customer/client might not realize.  We all want the best service and the best bang for our buck; but there’s a lot more to it than that.  So, let’s get started with 10 tips on choosing a Placenta Specialist that’s right for you!

 

1.      Communication

This may sound super obvious, and it should be. BUT we’re not just talking about someone that responds quickly to your inquiry here.  Because they definitely should be getting back to you promptly. However, keep in mind this is an on-call business which means many of us may be with a client or driving, or even at a birth at the very moment you contact us.  So, some grace IS appreciated.

We’re also talking about communication as far as making sure you know everything you need to know! At no point should you, the client, be expected to know what you’re doing here.  A company or specialist that you contact should assume that you are coming into this without any previous knowledge, and thoroughly explain everything to you, until you have no other questions.  This may include going over how their process works, the different placenta remedies they offer, the unique benefits of each remedy, pricing, refund policy, forms you’ll need to sign, how to order, and what happens next. You want to feel comfortable with the specialist or company you are booking with, and feel that they meet your expectations, and are knowledgeable.

 

2.      Training & Certification

There are a lot of people that offer this service, which is great!  However, it is ALWAYS important to choose a specialist or company that has proper training. You wouldn’t hire a mechanic to work on your car that learned from watching YouTube videos, would you?  No exceptions here either. Professional training not only teaches students what to do, but it also teaches them how to keep everyone involved safe 100% of the time. There are things that if I hadn’t trained with a reputable company, I myself would never have realized.  So, the same applies here for anyone you choose to encapsulate your placenta, or even if you’re considering doing it yourself.

Not only do you want to ensure that the specialist or company you choose has taken proper training but, check to see if they also have a certification with the company. Certification is often not required, but it speaks volumes for the students that have gone above and beyond putting in the time and effort to complete certification.  It shows dedication and commitment to excellence!

In addition to training and Certification with a certifying organization, you’ll want to ensure they also have completed a Bloodborne Pathogens and Infection Control course AND a Food Handlers Food Safety Course and passed both exams. These courses are VERY important. WHY? These courses teach students how to properly handle and care for your placenta while it is in their possession for processing. It teaches students all about practicing universal precautions to protect themselves and their clients. 

 

“Universal Precautions: An approach to infection control to treat all human blood and certain human bodily fluids as if they were known to be infectious for HIV, HBV and other bloodborne pathogens (Bloodborne Pathogens Standard 29 CFR 1910.1030(b) definitions).” OSHA.gov

 

Food and meal prep delivery: This is a great service for families, but always ask where they are preparing your food.  In the state of Pennsylvania, food for sale must be prepared in a licensed and inspected kitchen.  If your doula or specialist is preparing you food in their home, they will need a separate kitchen that is inspected, and their ingredients must be kept in a separate pantry away from home use. Another option that is acceptable would be having them prepare the food for you privately in your home with the ingredients you provide them.

 

3.      Continuing Education

Now that you realize how important proper training is, you’ll want to ensure that the individual or company you choose is on top of their continuing education.  ServSafe Food Handlers Certificates expires after three years, and the Bloodborn Pathogens Certificate expires after one year. So, this means every year, and every three years for ServSafe, your placenta specialist should be taking the course again and receiving a new certificate after passing the exam. Every state has different regulations, this is for Pennsylvania, so if you’re from another state check up to see what their regulations are. 

Always ask to see up to date certifications! You’re not a bad person for asking.  This is an important investment to make, so don’t ever feel like you can’t ask these questions.

 

4.      Offering an array of remedies/services

Every individual or company that offers placenta encapsulation services may not offer the same remedies, and that’s okay.  Not everyone is comfortable with or able to offer everything.  BUT make sure the company you go with offers the remedies that you want though! If you really want a placenta print in addition to your placenta pills, then make sure you’re choosing someone that offers this.  Make sure that you look at their previous work in the past to ensure their style/quality is something you enjoy, because this is what your print most likely will look similar to. Everything in this business is hand crafted, so make sure that you like the work of your artisan! Placenta prints should ALWAYS be done using edible and food safe colorings. 

Similarly, you might also want to make sure that the ingredients they use in other products/remedies are ingredients that follow your lifestyle.  Are you vegan? If yes, make sure they offer  vegan capsule options. Are you gluten free? Make sure the capsules they use are also gluten free. Make sure the ingredients they use in balms are something you’re comfortable with and not allergic to.

 

5.      Price

Obviously, price is important to everyone. You may or may not see a broad range in pricing for this service and that’s completely normal.  Some students choose to offer introductory prices as they work towards their certifications, and other seasoned individuals/companies may charge more.  Make sure the price point is something you feel comfortable with.  If you ever see a company with extremely high rates, it doesn’t hurt to ask them if something extra is included in the price, or what exactly you’re getting.  It may just be that they charge a premium price for the exact same product/service.  In that case, it’s up to you to decide if you’re getting a good deal or not. If an individual or company makes wild or extravagant claims, you’re not a bad guy if you follow up and ask them to explain or provide an explanation of what that means.

 

6.      Passion, Support, and Guidance

When someone is passionate about the work they do or the service they provide, everybody wins! You will see it in their work. You will see it in their professionalism.  You definitely want someone that not only is appreciative of your business but hasn’t forgotten YOU are the customer. It never ceases to amaze me when people are in the customer service business but hate working with customers/people.  Make sure you like them and make sure you trust them!

Support and guidance through this whole process is key.  You want them to be available for you throughout the whole process. That includes phone calls, emails, text messages, etc.  If their contract has language that suggests they are only available to you at  times, really evaluate that and see why. Make sure that’s something you’re comfortable with.

Make sure to choose someone that not only has products to sell but also GUIDES and consults with you on what remedies/products may be right for YOU.  Placenta remedies have different uses for different time frames. Some remedies help specifically at certain times better than other items.  If you’ve previously had postpartum depression, or you’ve always suffered with anxiety, there are different options for you to consider. It’s important to always mention these things to your placenta specialist and together discuss what options suit you best.

 

7.      The Process

The process and where a placenta specialist or company practices is important.  Communication and planning are paramount, so it’s always important this is communicated to you. Currently in the industry there are typically three ways this process works and is provided to you:

 

         In a Commercial Grade Facility:

This option provides a commercial, sterile, or sanitary, separate facility or workspace to process client placentas in. Your placenta is picked up, taken back to the facility where it will be processed/dehydrated.  Your placenta is professionally monitored and supervised throughout the entire process which ensures the dehydrators are running and heating at the proper temperatures at all times. The client is not at risk since the preparation is not in their home. The finished product is returned to you within the next day or so.

 

         In the Placenta Specialist’s Home

This is where the placenta specialist picks up your placenta after you have your baby and completes the whole process in their home. Your independent specialist will monitory and supervise your placenta throughout the whole process. They will deliver your placenta remedies back to you after the process is completed, usually on the second or third day. This option decreases any risk to the client since the preparation will not be in their home.

 

         In your Home

This is where the Placenta Specialist or company comes to your home to complete the process from start to finish in your home. They will bring everything with them needed to complete the service over a period of 2 days. This option does not offer professional supervision of your placenta during the dehydration process and assumes the client will be responsible.  With this option you will need to ensure your specialist is able to thoroughly clean your home before AND after the process, understands which chemicals are safe to use on your counters and flooring to neutralize blood and kill bloodborne pathogens.

 

There is no right or wrong answer here as to “Where is the safest place to encapsulate your placenta”. There are pros and cons to all options, and quite honestly, it is personal preference for each client. This is something worth doing a little research into, talking with different providers in your area, and learning about their process, and ultimately doing what works best for you.  

Some important things to consider: IF you are gluten free/gluten intolerant or have any food allergies, you will mostly likely need to go with a company that has a commercial facility that does not allow food products on premises, or a placenta specialist that comes to your home.  Keep in mind you will want to make sure everything from the placenta specialist things are properly cleaned and do not contain any gluten or food residues.  Their equipment needs to be stored and contained away from their personal use at home, and always away from any food products.

 

8.      Refund Policy

Always read your contract thoroughly.  Also, make sure they have one!  If they require you to pay ahead of time, or at the time of booking, make sure this refund policy is something you are comfortable with.  Many things can happen at birth since it is completely unpredictable. This can include the outcome where you do not get to keep your placenta after all. Choosing a placenta specialist or company that understands this and reflects this in their refund policy is great. 

 

9.      Reputation/Reviews

Everyone will be at different stages in their professional career when you may be seeking a placenta specialist.  That may mean some individuals may not have a ton of reviews, but you can always ask around about their reputation or their character. If they are up front with you that they are newer, and you really like them, give them a chance! Similarly, if others in the birth community in your area will not work with them, there might be a good reason why. However, reading customer reviews is always a great way to get an idea of how others have felt about the service provided.

 

10.  Agency, Independent Specialist, or private Company?

Just like the three different options for the process of this service, there are also different options when it comes to what type of business to choose. 

 

With an independent specialist you know they are committed to serving you, your interactions from start to finish will be with the same person, which is very personable. You might want to ask them about their backup policy and what happens if you go into labor while they are away. Make sure they are always in communication with you.  Choosing an independent can be a very intimate process.

 

Doula agencies are popping up everywhere lately.  While some of them tend to have more staff available to you, there are a lot more things to consider. Many hire independent contractors to outsource the work. Which means, you might not know who will show up at your door to encapsulate your placenta until the day of, especially since some have a very high turnaround rate.  The other thing to consider is, the contractor that comes to your home is never supervised by the owner, and you have no way of knowing if this person is seasoned, brand new, or is even following safe protocols – unless you (the client) are watching the whole process and know EXACTLY what you’re looking at.  What’s more, many agencies also charge you a higher rate because they have contractors they need to pay.

 

A private company/commercial facility offers a service similar to an independent specialist but, also may have staff onsite assisting in the daily operations. The owner or supervisor will always be on site supervising operations ensuring quality control. Their equipment may be commercial grade and their facility will most likely use all stainless-steel tables and sinks. Providers that offer this option have spent a lot of money to build a commercial grade facility that ensures a safe, sterile, and sanitary place to provide this service.  If this service ever becomes regulated by the FDA, they’ll be prepared and ready to pass the inspections, codes, and protocols required.

 

There you have it! A comprehensive guide to ensuring you have all the tools needed to get started in finding a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist near you. I hope all of these points have brought awareness of the many things to consider when choosing a professional to encapsulate your placenta. Good luck in your search!