Frequently Asked Questions
Can I keep my placenta for now and decide to encapsulate it later?
If you are undecided about placenta encapsulation or remedies, I would highly recommend that every woman keep their placenta and freeze it just in case you find yourself needing it. If you decide that you don’t want to use it, then nothing is lost, but once you get rid of it, it’s gone for good so better safe than sorry. If you do want to use it then I can thaw it and make TCM capsules and other remedies safely.
Can I use my placenta if I am induced, have a cesarean section or a medicated birth?
Absolutely! Encapsulation is still possible if you birth with an epidural, narcotics, pitocin or if you have a cesarean section. The placenta acts as a filter filtering out toxins and sending them back to the mother’s liver to be detoxed from the system. If you are on any other type of medication during your pregnancy we ask you to seek advice from your consultant before deciding on placenta encapsulation or other remedies.
Can I have my placenta encapsulated if my baby is premature?
Yes, mums of premature babies need all the help they can get bringing in their milk, healing quickly, and balancing postnatal mood. As long as your placenta is examined and cleared from any type of abnormality after birth I am happy to use your placenta.
Can I still have my placenta encapsulated if I am diagnosed with pre-eclampsia?
Many women who have had pre-eclampsia have very successfully used placenta capsules. No one fully understands pre-eclampsia or exactly how to prevent it, and although the placenta does seem to play a part, it is not usually unfit for consumption. After the birth, your placenta will be examined for irregularities and problems. Most of the time, the placenta is completely fine and you should have no problem encapsulating.
Can I use my placenta if I have a water birth?
Yes, but it is advised that the placenta is delivered onto a clean surface (such as an inco pad or towel) and not into the birthing pool; although some mothers have birthed it into the pool and still used their placenta.
Is it safe to have my placenta encapsulated if I tested positive for Group B strep (GBS)?
Group B strep is a common bacterium that does not normally pose health risks to the mother. All bacteria in the placenta is killed during the steaming process. Rarely, Group B strep can lead to uterine infection. If you developed a uterine infection or fever during your labour, your placenta would not be considered useful in healing, and would likely be taken to the pathology lab for testing, but otherwise, Group B strep is no reason to not use your placenta.
Can I encapsulate my placenta if meconium was present at the birth?
Meconium is sterile, it does not contain faecal bacteria that normal stool does and therefore is perfectly fine to encapsulate. Meconium is only dangerous for the baby to inhale, but is otherwise harmless. Your placenta will be thoroughly washed and sterilised before encapsulation preparation. The only point to note is that if you have very thick meconium you can only have the Traditional Chinese Medicine placenta capsules rather than Raw Method capsules and you cannot have a smoothie but you can have other remedies.
What do I do after birth with my placenta?
Ensure that your midwife, delivery team and family are aware that you wish to keep your placenta and note this in your birth plan (I have forms to help you with this). Make sure that you have a clean container with a lid (like a tupperware box/ice cream tub etc.) and a water-tight food storage bag (zip-lock/resealable) in which to put your placenta. I will provide a label for your box. You will birth your placenta and the umbilical cord will be cut (you can still have delayed cord clamping). Then place the placenta into the bag and the box and refrigerate as soon as possible. If you cannot use a fridge straight away (some hospitals allow it, some do not) then take a cool bag with ice blocks inside with you and place the box into here. Phone/Text me as soon as possible after birth (or before if you have time!) and I will arrange to collect your placenta from the hospital or your house if you or a family member is going home.
Are there any reasons that the hospital may not allow me to keep my placenta?
This is very rare. If there are significant abnormalities of the placenta your healthcare team may send your placenta for further examination. Other conditions, such as signs of infection during labour (mentioned above), may mean that consuming your placenta will not be beneficial to you. The most usual reason that you will not keep your placenta is if your hospital, doctor or midwife are not aware that you want it. Clear communication will ensure that your placenta is kept, if you want it.
How should I store my capsules?
Capsules are best stored in the fridge or cool dry cupboard. Raw capsules must be kept in the fridge and consumed within 6 months. TCM capsules should be kept in a cool dry place (the fridge or cool cupboard is ideal) for up to 12 months and can then be kept in the freezer if you wish to keep spares.
Is there anything else in the capsules?
The capsules are made of vegetarian gel and contain only your placenta. Nothing is added to preserve or enhance the capsules.
What is the dosage of capsules?
The recommended dosage of your placenta capsules is 2 – 4 capsules per day for one month after giving birth and 1 – 3 capsules per day until they are finished after that. Placenta capsules can be taken as needed and there is no single correct dose. You may adjust your dose as you feel you need more or less. Listen to your body as it will tell you what it needs.
When should I not take placenta capsules?
TCM capsules should not be taken when you have a fever, flu, cold or mastitis due to the ‘yang’ warming properties. This is when Raw Method capsules or other remedies such a Tincture or Essence are so useful as these can still be used. Do not take placenta capsules while you are pregnant due to their hormone levels.