Placenta FAQ's

Placenta FAQ’s

Placenta FAQ’s answered

Why should I choose Earth Bound Baby to advise regarding encapsulate my placenta?

I am the FIRST Registered and approved Placenta Encapsulation Specialist by Environmental Health. I am verified by Environmental Health for exceeding requirements for health and safety legislation. As an IPEN Placenta Encapsulation Specialist I am City & Guilds Accredited in Food Hygiene Certificate Level 2 for Manufacturing, City Guilds Accredited in Food Safety and Hygiene Certificate Level 2 for Catering and have qualified with NICE and HSE Blood borne Pathogens Standard for UK Pro Infection Control. I have a Level 2 certificate in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) I am also phlebotomist and work in conjunction with Smartcells.

Will placenta capsules help with breastfeeding?

As the placenta separates from the uterine wall during the third stage of labor, a dramatic shift in hormones takes place in the mother blood stream and brain. The hormones that help during birth, like oxytocin and prolactin, continue to be important, as breastmilk production starts in the first few days after giving birth. The placenta has a store of these hormones leftover from the labor, which could be absorbed in placenta capsules. The placenta also has beneficial iron and protein to strengthen the new mothers blood and ease recovery from her birth experience. All of these factors can ultimately lead to a less fatigued new mother with a better chance of bringing in a full milk supply. Placenta capsules have supported many of my clients through months of successful breastfeeding, they say they notice their milk comes in much quicker than expected and remains consistent without problems post-birth. I cannot guarantee any effects from placenta capsules on breastfeeding. I recommend that you take 1-2 placenta capsules 3 times a day for as long as needed after birth.

How do placenta capsules help with the baby blues?

Research shows us that the placenta makes many hormones and raises their levels during the end of pregnancy. The brain is usually responsible for the production of these hormones, so while the placenta is making them, the brain slows production. When the placenta is birthed, many of the hormones are still in the blood and tissues of the placenta. The hormones in the mother bloodstream will drop dramatically at birth. The brain will take a few weeks to balance the production of the hormones, which is why we think many mothers, as many as 80%), experience some symptoms of the baby blues. Placenta capsules can offer an easily absorbed form of some of these hormones like estrogen, prolactin, and corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH). These hormones can balance the production of serotonin, which is a hormone associated with feelings of happiness. They may also help get breastfeeding off to a good start and keep your stress levels low during the postpartum period. The baby blues often hits mothers between days 3-5 after birth. I aim to collect your placenta from your birthing place within 24 hours from hearing from you. I encourage all new mothers to contact me as soon as possible after birth to ensure you receive your capsules by day 3-5 after birth in the aim to prevent the baby blues and firmly believe the placenta should be as fresh as possible in making your placenta capsules

Why does placenta medicine help with fatigue?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses placenta medicine to address fatigue. Research has shown that many new Mothers are anemic, or iron deficient. This condition sometimes occurs during pregnancy, but can be brought on by blood loss during delivery. Most Mothers recover their iron stores due to their increased blood supply from pregnancy, but for those that are still anemic, symptoms can lead to physical fatigue, making the stress of caring for a newborn or recovering from a difficult birth even harder. Mothers with symptoms of fatigue that don’t go away with extra rest have been shown to have a higher risk of developing postpartum depression and a lack of bonding with their newborn. The good news is that even if a Mother is not iron deficient at delivery, the boost of iron from placenta medicine can raise energy levels and balance emotions by lessening the stress of the postpartum period.

When preparing TCM capsules are hormones destroyed?

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. Placenta pills give a new mother the chance to benefit from her placenta for months after birth and have shown to have incredible benefits to energy levels and breast milk supply. There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest the placenta pills are or are not beneficial. IPEN and other placenta encapsulation specialists rely on personal experiences, anecdotal evidence and testimonials from new mothers who reveal placenta encapsulation was the key to their speedy recovery following birth. Moreover, many people chose to eat organic meat to avoid added hormones and other artificial growth factors that are injected into livestock by non-organic farmers to produce more meat in a shorter space of time. If artificial hormones that are injected into livestock are still present in cooked non-organic steaks on the dinner table, then hormones surely survive the cooking process and can have an effect on our body.

Can I keep my placenta for now and decide to encapsulate it later?

If you are undecided about placenta encapsulation, I would highly recommend that every woman keep their placenta and freezer it just in case you find yourself needing it. If you decide that you dot nned it, then nothing is lost, but once you get rid of it, it’s gone for good so better safe than sorry. Once frozen TCM capsules will be the method used to encapsulate your placenta.

What is the difference between simple and TCM capsules?

When processing the placenta for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)placenta capsules the placenta is steamed. When processing a placenta simple raw the placenta forgoes the steaming process. This method follows the general Raw Foods rule that nothing should be heated where enzymes may be destroyed. This is not to say one method is better than the other, just that you have several options for encapsulation and should choose the method that best suits your needs and preferences. Simple raw encapsulation is not advised if there is suspicion of infection (maternal or fetal) or if meconium if present in the amniotic fluid, in this instance TCM will be the process I used so that any bacterial will be killed during the steaming process.

Why should I consider combined placenta encapsulation capsules?

The placenta can be divided in half and prepared to utilize the benefits of both simple capsules and TCM capsules, which provide mothers with a wider range of differing benefits. I would strongly recommend the combined placenta capsules as it is not advised that you consume TCM capsules when you have a fever, flu or mastitis. You will however be able to continue consuming your simple capsules.

It is said that simple placenta capsules are more energizing, however there is currently no research to suggest this is true. It is very important that raw placenta capsules are consumed within 12 weeks. TCM capsules can be kept indefinitely, this is why it is very important to consider having combined placenta capsules. It is thought that TCM capsules convert some of the nutrients to be absorbed which would normally be discarded in the raw process. TCM capsules give you a steady dose of hormones and nutrients. It is particularly good at stabilising emotions for those who have previously suffered depression or the baby blues. TCM capsules are thought to have more healing and warming properties than raw dried capsules.

Which is better, simple raw or TCM capsules?

All are equally as good as one another, however the simple raw capsules only last for 12 weeks where as the TCM capsules last up to 1 year in a cool dark shelf before storing them in the freezer to keep. For this reason I recommend mothers to choose my combined placenta service.

When is the best time for the cord to be cut?

I highly recommend all mothers to choose delayed cord clamping. Delayed cord clamping involves leaving the umbilical cord intact for at least 3-10 minutes after birth, longer if possible. During this time the cord is still pumping up to 150ml of iron and stem cell rich blood to your baby which has been scientifically proven to have lifelong benefits to your baby. Delayed cord clamping does not affect placenta encapsulation in any way.

When should I call you to advice me regarding my placenta?

I request a short text to let me know you are in established labour and then again once baby has been birthed. Please text or call me on 07515123124. The placenta is safe in the fridge for up-to 3 days should there be any delays in you contacting me.

How should I store my placenta prior to placenta encapsulation?

We advise that you purchase our biomedical designed Placenta Collection Kit which will keep your placenta cold for 12 hours before having to place in the fridge. Alternativly your placenta should be double bagged into zip lock bags and then placed into a clean 1.5 litre sterile, leak proof plastic clip side container as quickly as possible after the birth. Your placenta will need to be kept cool to ensure it remains safe to consume after birth. Ideally your placenta should be stored in a refrigerator between 0 – 4 after the cord is cut, however most hospitals will not allow you to store your placenta in their fridges, therefore you will need to store your placenta in a cooler bag with ice packs, however as mentioned our Placenta Collection Kits keep the placenta cold for 12 hours rather then the cool bags which only keep it cool for 6 hours. Talk to your midwife and add a note to your birth plant ensure midwives are aware that you are keeping your placenta. Your placenta can be kept in the cool bag for no longer than 6 hours. After 6 hours your birth partner, doula or family member should take the placenta home for refrigeration. I have a Gold collection service which ensure I collect within 12 hours which many of my clients book, this also ensures you get the most nutrient for your placenta, but again it is advised that you purchase the Placenta Collection Kit as this system keeps the placenta cold for 12 hours.

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 3 days. Placenta that have been frozen can be kept in the freezer for sometime, however I recommend that you have your frozen placenta encapsulated no longer than 6 months after it has been frozen. If you would like your frozen placenta encapsulating please contact me so that I can thaw your placenta safely ensuring its safe for TCM placenta capsule.

When is it best that my placenta is prepared?

Ideally placenta preparation should take place as soon as possible. I offer a Gold collection service which ensures your placenta is collected within 12 hours of birthing your placenta.

What is your sterlisation procedure?

To clean instruments safely and effectively I use the following method: The instruments are cleaned immediately after use then pre-soak in Helizyme enzymatic detergent solution and the soaked in Stabimed instrument disinfectant (hospital grade heavy duty cleaning fluids which kill all blood pathogens). A dedicated deep sink (not a hand basin) is used for this process and I have a separate sink for rinsing. To clean the equipment I use nylon brushes and sponges which are disposed of after use. Instruments are alway meticulously inspected for residual debris or blood after cleaning which is repeat to ensure my safety standards. Any residual dirt or organic material will interfere with the disinfection or sterilization process. I dry the instruments with disposable paper towels and stored in clean air tight containers. I sterilise and clean all equipment once again before placenta encapsulation.

How long will it take to make the placenta capsules?

The placenta encapsulation process takes about 18 – 24 hours with a fresh placenta.

How many capsules will my placenta make and how long will they last?

Placentas vary in size and will therefore the amount of capsules you get varies. It will also depend on weather you have TCM or simple placenta method. The average amount of capsules from a simple placenta is 180. For  TCM placenta the average amount of capsules from a placenta is 140. It is very important that simple placenta capsules are consumed within 12 weeks. TCM placenta capsules can be stored up to a year, I then advice you to freezer should you want to use them in later years to make more placenta tincture, placenta essence, placenta homeopathic remedy and placenta balms.

Will I experience any side effects when taking my placenta capsules?

There are no guaranteed results with placenta capsules or any other placenta remedies, because the capsules are made by 100% of your placenta. I do however highly recommend that you store your simple raw and TCM placenta capsules properly in a cool dark cupboard. Simple raw capsules are to be consumed within 12 weeks and TCM within a year before deep freezing them. Avoid TCM capsules when ill with flu, fever or mastitis. I would also advice you not to take an iron supliment along side your placenta capsules as this may give you headaches and constipation. Do not take over the recommended dose as this will reduce your chances of experiencing any side effect listed. Here are some reported side effects when taking placenta capsules, listed below:

  • Mild headaches (reported 3 times I believe a lower dose is recommended to solve this problem)
  • Stomach cramping or abdominal pain ( result from improper storage of capsules)
  • Stomach cramping for those also taking iron supplements (I recommend not taking iron supplements and placenta capsules at the same time)
  • PUPPPs rash returning after 3 days of consuming capsules
  • Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) sufferers feel less relief (I believe this is due to the high level of relaxin hormone in the placenta, which is the cause of PGP)
  • Unexplained lack of milk production
  • Emotional symptoms similar to PMS

How should I store my TCM placenta capsules?

Can be stored in a cool dark cupboard for up to a year, then transferred to a freezer for later use. If you are going to freeze them please do take them out of the glass jar as this may crack. Once the TCM placenta capsules have been frozen, they may be taken directly from the freezer and consumed within 6 months. If you are looking for a longer remedy please look at Placenta Tincture. I highly advise all clients to wash their hands before handling their placenta capsules and avoid leaving the lid off the jar for longer than needed. TCM placenta capsules will last an additional 6 months in the freezer.

How should I store my simple placenta capsules?

It is very important that simple placenta capsules are consumed within 12 weeks. Simple capsules can be stored in a cool dark cupboard. I highly advise all clients to wash their hands before handling their placenta capsules and avoid leaving them open.

Recommended dosage for simple capsules?

Take one capsule 1-2 capsules 3 times a day for the first 6-8 weeks. Avoid taking before bed as some mothers say the energy prevents sleeping. Avoid taking with milk as the iron from the capsules will not be absorbed as efficiently. After 6 weeks post-partum you can use the capsules as and when you need. Take 1-2 a day if you are lacking in energy, feeling low or just need a boost. For breastfeeding mums your placenta capsules will help boost your milk supply if you take 2 capsules 3 times a day until your milk returns to its normal flow. Simple capsules must be consumed within 12 weeks.

Recommended dosage for Traditional Chinese Method capsules?

Take one capsule 3 times a day for the first 6-8 weeks. Avoid taking before bed as some mothers say the energy prevents sleeping. Avoid taking with milk as the iron from the capsules will not be absorbed as efficiently. After 6 weeks post-partum you can use the capsules as you need. Take 1-2 a day if you are lacking in energy, feeling low or just need a boost. For breastfeeding mums your placenta capsules will help boost your milk supply if you take 2 capsules 3 times a day until your milk returns to its normal flow. I would advice you to freezer your TCM capsules for low milk supply, PMS, depression and mood-swings.

How often should I consume my placenta capsules?

Most women consume 1-2 capsules 3 times a day during the first 6-8 weeks post-partum or until they feel their hormones have returned to a state of normality. You can take 1-2 capsules whenever you feel you may need a little more energy (this is usually a sign of low iron) or to boost your milk supply when breastfeeding.

When should I not take my placenta capsules?

It is not advised to consume your TCM capsules if you have an infection, common cold, flu, fever or an infection such as mastitis. Only once your symptoms have subside can start taking your placenta capsules again. It is said that the heat energy from the TCM capsules can delay recovery because placenta can cause a pathogen to grow stronger and get deeper into the body. If you are suffering from mastitis a homeopathic treatment is very effective and is a highly recommended remedy by clients.

When is the best time to take my capsules?

When you are taking 1-2 capsules 3 times daily the best time to take them is in the morning with your breakfast, lunchtime and then in the afternoon with a glass of water. It is not advised to take them in the evening because you may have a hard time falling asleep at night.

I am not sure that my placenta capsules are working, how do I know?

Many of our clients say they simply feel good while taking their capsules but are unsure if that’s just the way it would have been had they not consumed their placenta. Try skipping a day or dose and see if you feel any different, then you will know if there really is a change or not.

Do the capsules smell or taste of anything?

Placenta capsules may have a slight taste of meat, however if swallowed quickly with a glass of water or orange juice or taken with a meal you will not notice any taste or smell. If you find your capsules begin to smell or taste unusually bad we recommend you stop taking your capsules and contact me on 07515123124 and I will be able to advise you on how to proceed.

Are there any circumstances when it would not be possible to use the placenta?

If your placenta has been sent to pathology in hospital for any reason encapsulating your placenta will not be possoble because it may have been contaminated while in the pathology department. You can request the hospital to take just a small piece of your placenta for examination in. I also do not recommend using your placenta for encapsulation if your placenta has not been stored properly after birth.

Why should I try and birth my placenta naturally?

Many hospitals and midwives now regularly administer an artificial hormone based injection called syntometrine to speed the third stage of labour. The injection is given routinely when giving birth by cesarean section. If possible birthing the placenta naturally is best for placenta encapsulation to prevent artificial hormones presenting in the blood and placenta tissues. The syntometrine injection does not prevent you from benefiting from placenta encapsulation and nor do cesarean births.

Can I encapsulate 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.

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, heal 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 encapsulate your placenta.

Can I still have my placenta encapsulated if I am diagnosed with pre-eclampsia?

Placenta encapsulation is not contraindicated for mothers 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 have my placenta encapsulated if I am storing cord blood cells?

Yes, you can do both. I advise parents to bring two separate 1.5 litre sterile containers with them to hospital and ensure their midwife or doctor knows that they wish to have both services. Your placenta should placed into the 1.5 litre container as quickly as possible after the birth and stored in a cooler bag on ice or in a safe refrigerator at home. The umbilical cord should be stored in the other 1.5 litre container awaiting collection from the company of choice. I work very closely with this company Please inform the blood banking that you are having your placenta encapsulated.

What if I have a yeast infection or develop thrush?

The placenta is still suitable for for encapsulation and consumption. If you suffer from thrush while taking the capsules, it may be beneficial to stop taking the capsules at your discretion, however, some clients have continued taking them and did not notice any side effects.

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 labor, 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 not contraindicated in placenta remedy preparation.

Can I encapsulate my placenta if meconium was present at the birth?

Meconium is sterile, it does not contain fecal 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 before encapsulation preparation if your placenta is heavily stained. I will advice you once I have checked over your placenta. It maybe that you can only have Traditional Chinese Medicine placenta capsules if it is thick with meconium.

Can I consume my placenta if I am a vegetarian or vegan?

The organ is a product of conception that develops separately out of the babys cells and implants itself into the mothers uterine wall to transfer nutrients, take over hormone production, and eliminate waste. While it joins two individuals together to sustain the newly created life, it is not a body part that would make placenta consumption an act of cannibalism that would turn a vegetarian into an omnivore. Many of my placenta encapsulation clients are vegetarian or vegan; I myself am a life-long vegetarian. You could consider using vegetarian capsules that do not contain animal gelatin.

I have a frozen placenta from a previous birth. Is it safe to have it encapsulated?

Provided that the placenta was refrigerated within 4 hours of birth and frozen within 5 days of birth, and has been stored well and protected from freezer-burn, placenta remedies can still be made. Fresh is best for placenta remedies, as with food however TCM capsules and placenta tincture can be made from a frozen placenta. B vitamins are destroyed during freezing, but other factors remain intact, remedies can still be made and are still very effective. After you have defrost your placenta it will need to be inspect very carefully for any signs of damage. If the placenta is unfit for consuming I will discuss options with you.

Can a family member take my placenta capsules?

I do not recommend anyone consumes placenta capsules other than the mother who made the placenta, however there will be no harm to immediate family members if the mother chooses to share her placenta capsules.

Can I have a lotus birth and encapsulate my placenta?

There are some modifications to the traditional practice. One is to not add salt or anything else to the placenta. Gloria Lemay has a great suggestion for keeping the placenta fresh: Purchase a square thermal lunch bag (one with a zip) and place an ice pack in the bottom. Put the placenta on the ice pack, then place another ice pack on top of the placenta. Zip the lunch bag up until the umbilical cord is coming out of the corner. Make sure that you monitor the ice packs. When they start to loose their coldness or melt, change for new ice packs. In total you will want to have 6 ice packs (3 stay in the freezer, and 3 stay in the bag). When the cord falls off I will be able to encapsulate as normal.