Placenta encapsulation is the process of preparing the birthing person’s placenta after the birth of their baby(ies) (by separating the membranes and umbilical cord from the placenta and rinsing and draining maternal and fetal blood), sometimes steaming the placenta (I no longer use aromatics), and finally dehydrating it at 160F to then be ground and placed into capsules for the birthing person to ingest as they see fit. The ingestion of the placenta is known as “placentophagy.” Many birthing people have noted benefits such as: reintroduction of beneficial vitamins, minerals, hormones, proteins, and other nutrients to the body following labor and birth resulting in restoring a more balanced body function, prevention of “baby blues” and the more serious postpartum depression, an increase in breast-milk production, shortened healing time, increased energy levels, and an over-all feeling of wellness, aiding in the transition between pregnancy and the early postpartum period in the person who has just given birth.*
After using placenta pills following the birth of my second son with profound results, I was excited to master the art of placenta preparation. This began in 2009 as part of my postpartum doula training and was followed by further study of history and recommended practices outlined by Cornelia Enning and Aviva Romm, MD. To date, I have prepared nearly one hundred placentas for clients. After a two-year hiatus during my family's transition to Vermont from Philadelphia, I am now happy to offer encapsulation services in Southern Vermont and surrounding areas.
Here, you can see my current certificate for completion of the Bloodborne Pathogens for Placenta Encapsulation Professionals course and exam (100% score). This course fulfills the federal workplace safety requirements of OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030.
What to Expect
Ideally, I begin the encapsulation process in your home or other designated location within 72 hours of your baby's birth and complete it the following day. If there are unforeseen delays prior to beginning the process, your placenta will need to be frozen. You are responsible for properly transporting and storing your placenta until my arrival. I bring all the necessary supplies and only need access to a sink, an electrical outlet (for the dehydrator and blender), a stove for those choosing steam preparations, and some counter space. The entire process is completed in two steps over two days and takes a total of five to seven hours of hands on time. I clean and sanitize your space after each step.
What my service includes
- The full placenta preparation and encapsulation process at your home or designated location
- Amber or blue glass storage container(s) for the completed placenta pills
- Written instructions for proper storage and handling of the finished placenta pills
- Suggestions for ingestion amounts
- Cord keepsake
Holistic "Raw Start" Preparation - Your placenta is thoroughly cleaned and cut into strips before being dehydrated at 160F until completely dry. Though the dehydration itself takes a bit longer, at this temperature, bacteria levels are reduced to food safe levels but hormones such as progesterone are better preserved than if the placenta is steamed prior to dehydration. Preliminary research findings about this method can be found here.
Steamed Preparation - Due to concerns about the inclusion of aromatics such as lemon and ginger, I no longer offer the TCM preparation. However, I am willing to steam your placenta prior to dehydration. This will contain less progesterone but kills the most bacteria. For warming and tonifying benefits, I encourage you to include separate infusions of ginger and lemon water to your daily rhythm to support your body in the postpartum period. In this way, you have full control and are better able to assess the situation should any sensitivities arise.
The standard Encapsulation Service outlined above is provided for a total fee of $300. There is a $25 surcharge for clients outside of a 30 mile radius of Marlboro, VT. Payment plans are available.
Placenta Prints ($25) - I can make a "tree of life" print using your placenta on acid free watercolor paper as a keepsake or piece of art. Note: The best prints tend to be made when the placenta has not been washed with water.
Client Requests ($ variable) - If you are interested in a preparation that falls outside of my normal services, please let me know. Depending on my schedule, I can often accommodate special requests. In the past, I have provided placenta tinctures, placenta essences, and placenta salves, as well as simple dehydrated placenta for use in ritual.
*While benefits of placenta encapsulation are supported by ongoing research, these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The decision to consume your placenta should be discussed with your care provider. In the case of encapsulation services, I am not acting in the capacity of a holistic care provider, medical professional, or pharmacist. Results vary, and by enlisting my services, you are agreeing to take full responsibility for consuming your placenta and do so at your own risk.
Note: Placenta encapsulation is no longer my primary offering, therefore, I have not dedicated significant space to its presentation. I encourage you to do your own research (you can start on the Reading List page) and let me know if you have specific questions about this supportive practice.