How many capsules will I get?
The number of capsules will depend on the size and density of your placenta, as well as the preparation method you choose.
In general, the placenta weighs about 1/6th the weight of the baby. Bigger babies tend to come with bigger placentas, littler babies tend to come with littler placentas. The average number of capsules for Traditional style preparation is about 150-175, although I’ve had as few as 100 and as many as 225. The average number of capsules for Raw style preparation is about 1/4 to 1/3 more, as placentas shrink considerably when steamed.
Can I still encapsulate my placenta if I am induced, have a medicated birth, or have a cesarean section?
Yes. These birth outcomes do not affect whether or not your placenta can be encapsulated. Women who have had epidural, pain medications and/or cesarean sections are all eligible candidates for placenta encapsulation and will receive the same benefits as those who have not had any of the above.
Strep-B, GBS or any other vaginal infection requires you request only steamed method only. This means I will steam your placenta before encapsulation to ensure the bacteria from your infection is killed before dehydrating your placenta.
How many capsules do I take each day?
You will receive dosage guidelines with your capsules. They are guidelines, not strict instructions. Your placenta is not a standardized factory product. Each one will have a different proportion of hormones and nutrients, made just for you. You can take more or fewer capsules depending on how you are feeling.
A good starting place is two capsules, three times a day. If you are feeling overwhelmed or having trouble sleeping you can reduce your dosage to one, three times a day, and/or skip the last dose of the day. After two weeks, if you are doing well and your bleeding has almost stopped, you may wish to cut back to one, three times a day so that your capsules last longer and you taper gradually off of the hormones. Most people will have best results by continuing to take their capsules until they are gone. Placenta capsules help your body transition from pregnant to not pregnant.
What supplies do you use and how are they sterilized?
I use only glass, food grade plastic and disposable supplies. Everything is thoroughly washed with soap and hot water then sanitized in a bleach solution as outlined and required for disinfection. I wear a new set of disposable gloves for each step of the process, from washing the placenta, to steaming, to dehydration and finally to encapsulating. I follow the same guidelines that are used for cleanliness and sanitation in food service industries and small laboratories.
How should I store my placenta capsules?
Placenta capsules can be stored in the jar provided in a cold, dark place or refrigerator for up to a year, then transferred to a freezer for later use.
It is very important that raw dried placenta capsules are consumed within 6-12 months and are stored in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria growth.
Storage and Transportation at the hospitals
They may supply you with a white plastic placenta bucket, but it’s a good idea to bring your own packaging to be on the safe side. It’s safe to leave it out at room temperature for three or four hours – after that it should be kept cool. You can store your placenta in anything you would keep food in. You can use a couple of large freezer strength ziplock bags, a tupperware-type container or a glass casserole container with a lid. A placenta is about the size of a salad plate and about 2-3cm thick, but it squishes. Please do not rinse your placenta or wrap it with absorbent material. Do not allow ice or water to come into direct contact with it. If it will be a while before it sees a refrigerator you can put ice packs around your packaged placenta. You can fill ziplocks or hospital gloves with ice from the ice machine to make cold packs.
Any reason I may not be able to use my placenta?
There may be circumstances under which your placenta can not be used. Significant abnormalities of the placenta may necessitate your doctor or midwife sending your placenta to Pathology for further examination. You can request the hospital to take just a small piece of your placenta for examination in this instance.
Conditions, such as signs of infection during labor, may mean that consuming your placenta will not be beneficial to you. If in doubt I will consult with you before proceeding. It should be possible to claim your placenta after C-sections. If you are not able to obtain and use your placenta for any reason, I will return your deposit and provide you with some other ideas to support your postpartum recovery.
If you develop any infections such as mastitis, the flu or a common cold that is accompanied by a fever, it is recommended that you discontinue use of your placenta pills until the illness or infection has cleared. You can continue taking your capsules once the symptoms have subsided.