I am interested in encapsulating my placenta but... is it safe?
Let's take the mystery out of it
So, you have heard of encapsulating your placenta and think it might be the right choice for you but you have one big question on your mind: is it safe? The answer is "Yes!" For most people, encapsulating your placenta is completely safe. Let's take the mystery out of the process so you can feel confident booking your encapsulation support.
Meet your Placenta Encapsulation Specialist!
Jenn Avis is one half of the Hello, Baby! team and when you book your placenta encapsulation, it is Jenn who will be creating your capsules, tinctures, prints, balms, or chocolates for you. In additional to encapsulating placentas, Jenn is a birth and postpartum doula, a prenatal educator, and passionate about supporting her clients from bump to baby. Jenn trained to encapsulate placentas through the International Placenta & Postpartum Association (IPPA), has completed her Safe Food Handlers' training and Bloodborne Pathogens certification and is well on her way to achieving certification as a Trained Placenta Encapsulation Specialist.
Is encapsulating your placenta safe?
This is a really important question! Whenever you take a supplement you always want to know what it is, if there could be any side effects, and if it is safe. That's just common sense.
Maternal health matters
First and foremost, your health matters when it comes to encapsulating your placenta. If you are having a "normal", healthy pregnancy free from complication and illness, there is no reason to assume your placenta will not be safe to encapsulate or tincture. Communication between you and your encapsulation specialist during your pregnancy, at the time of placenta pick up, and in the first few days after birth is very important. There are certain factors (maternal fever or newborn infection, for example) that may result in your placenta not being safe for consumption.
Storage, handling, and processing.
The next safety issue to consider when having your placenta encapsulated is how it will be stored after birth, who will be handling it, and where it will be processed. Some of the responsibility of storage and handling falls on you as the creator and "owner" of the placenta and some falls on me, your encapsulation specialist. It is my responsibility to educate you about what to do with your placenta after birth and how to store it safely. It is also my responsibility to connect with you after birth to verify that those guidelines were followed and that your placenta has not come in contact with any medications or products that could make it unsafe for you to ingest. It is your responsibility, along with your birth partner and/or care providers, to ensure that the guidelines for safe storage and handling are followed and to let me know about anything outside of the guidelines that happened or that you are unsure about.
The risk of cross contamination
For example, if your placenta is taken to pathology for testing after birth we will not be able to encapsulate or tincture it for you because we cannot know for certain what it has come in contact with or even verify for certain that it is your placenta. When you book your Placenta Encapsulation services, we will meet and review this sheet which explains the various risks of encapsulation as well as the contraindications for encapsulation.
Once we are satisfied that all is well, I will take your placenta home where I will carefully clean and sanitize my work space according to safe bloodborne pathogens and food handling protocols to begin the preparation of your placenta products.
Are there any risks while taking your pills?
Now that you know a little more about how we keep the process of encapsulation safe, we can talk about risks associated with taking your capsules. In reality, there are two main sources of risk to consider once you start taking your placenta capsules and/or tincture and they concern the storage of your capsules and how you respond to taking them as a supplement in your postpartum wellness routine.
How to store your capsules safely.
Storage is the biggest potential source of risk and making sure you keep your capsules dry is very important to avoid the possible growth of bacteria or mold. This is simple to do! Make sure your hands are dry when taking a capsules from your bottle and put the lid on tightly as soon as you are done. Easy-peasy! When you book your Placenta Encapsulation services you will also be given instruction on how to store you capsules and tincture properly.
How do the capsules make you feel?
For most people, taking their capsules or tincture provides them with a boost - a boost in energy, mood, and even breast milk! That being said, for some people that boost can be too much and lead to the jitters, feeling anxious, feeling overheated, and even an oversupply of breast milk. Being mindful of how your capsules make you feel - just like you would with any other supplement - is important! You can always decrease the number of capsules you take and, like with any other Hello, Baby! support, you can always reach out to your encapsulator for suggestions.
We want you to feel completely confident about booking your placenta encapsulation. If you have any questions, just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you ASAP! In the meantime, you could check out our past posts about all things placenta!