Q: Can my placenta still be encapsulated if I have a medicated birth or c section.
A: The answer to both of these is Yes. Medications that are used in labor break down quickly so that there are no lasting affects to the placenta. Be sure that your birthing team knows that you are planning to take your placenta, especially in the case of a c section, so that there is care taken to not contaminate the placenta and to have it put on ice as quickly as possible following its delivery.
Q: When is it unsafe to have your placenta encapsulated?
A: In the case of uterine infection during labor your placenta will need to be sent to pathology and would be unsafe for encapsulation. Fever during labor signifies possible infection but many care providers take a case by case approach to fever in labor to determine if they believe it is infection or other cause and this should be discussed with your provider in case of fever. If your provider believes infection may be the cause and wishes to send to pathology for testing you can request that they send a piece of the placenta and allow you to hold the remainder until results are known. If results come back saying there is infection you may choose to have a print created, bury your placenta, have a piece saved for a keepsake, or disposed of. If infection is not the cause and the placenta has been kept on ice or in a refrigerator for no longer than three days it is still safe to continue with the encapsulation process at that time. If it will be longer than three days for results we request that you place the placenta in the freezer until results are known.
For the safety of ourselves or other clients we cannot encapsulate a placenta if mom has HIV or Hep A, B, or C. Some believe it is still safe for the mother to consume her placenta even if she is positive for any of these because she is already carrying it and she could choose to encapsulate herself.
Q: Can I encapsulate my placenta if I test positive for Strep B, GBS?
A: Yes, you can still have your placenta encapsulated using Traditional Chinese Method of encapsulation because this method steams the placenta to 160 degrees before dehydrating. Some believe there are potential concerns to having the placenta processed using the raw prep method or to have a tincture made with the raw prep method due to the fact that it is not steamed to give the heat a chance to kill pathogens in the placenta. A mothers tincture can still be made for you using the powder after the placenta has been completely processed.
Q: Can I encapsulate if there is meconium present at birth?
A: Yes, when meconium is present at time of birth this does not affect the safety of the placenta. I will need to know that there was meconium so that I can do a pre wash and soak of the placenta before beginning the encapsulation process.
Q: Can I have a lotus birth and still encapsulate?
A: It is best for the placenta to be placed on ice within two hours of birth if encapsulation is desired. A partial lotus birth can still be attained and the cord can be separated by cutting or burning, depending on the wishes of the parents.
Q: Can I bank cord blood and encapsulate?
A: Yes, If you wanted to bank your babies cord blood and or tissue the cord blood would be drained by your provider into the kit you have provided them. They typically also remove the cord and a piece of the placenta tissue surrounding the cord insertion point and the rest of the placenta can be placed into the ziplock bags and put on ice in the cooler to be encapsulated. Prints typically do not work well in these cases since so much of the placenta is missing and cord keepsake is of course not an option but the pills, tinctures, smoothie drops, and salves can still be created for you.
Q: My care provider says my placenta must go to pathology for testing. Can I still encapsulate?
A: If there are complications during the delivery or immediately after the birth sometimes the provider will want to have the placenta tested. If the placenta goes to pathology it is not safe to encapsulate but you do have options. Ask your provider to take a small piece of the placenta for testing and leave the rest in your cooler on ice. The placenta can be held on ice or in your fridge or freezer until the results are back and you can then decide, with the help of your provider and encapsulator, if it is safe to continue with the plan to encapsulate. If results will be longer than three days from the birth the placenta should be frozen. It can not safely be consumed after three days in a fridge.
Q: What if I am on the fence about encapsulation at the time of birth and have not secured an encapsulation specialist?
A: Most encapsulation specialists can take last minute clients. As long as your placenta has been cared for properly, placed on ice or in a fridge or freezer within two hours of delivery, it can still be encapsulated. If you are still on the fence and have not yet made a decision it is always better to take your placenta home and place it in your freezer. Your placenta can be encapsulated for several months following birth if it was handled properly. You cannot of course get it back once it has been disposed of. If you are on the fence I would love to chat with you and answer any questions that you might have.