Why should I encapsulate my placenta? For a naturally happier & healthier postpartum transition! Placenta encapsulation may lead to many advantages* such as better mood, increased energy, increased breastmilk production, lower chances of anemia and lower chances of the 'baby blues'.
From a survey of the nearly 100 encapsulation clients served by Lia since 2009, the majority report more even mood, increased energy, decreased anxiety and irritability and a quicker recovery. 98% would be likely to encapsulate with a future pregnancy.
What is involved in the process? How long does it take? In the traditional method of placenta encapsulation, the placenta is first steamed with special herbs to enhance the effects, then it is dehydrated and ground into powder, and finally the capsules are filled with the powder. The raw method skips the steaming step and the placenta is dehydrated, ground, and then the capsules are filled.
Encapsulation is a two day process. On the first day the placenta is prepared for dehydration and the drying process is started. On the second day the dried placenta is ground and transferred into capsules.
We only use a dehydrator to dry the placenta, NEVER an oven (ovens generally do not have low enough temperature options, so the placenta may dry in just a few hours, but with higher heat and we do not know if higher temperatures may alter the effectiveness of your capsules).
All of this is carried out with the utmost respect and reverence for the placenta and the process.
When should I not encapsulate or consume my placenta? There are a few circumstances in which the placenta is unsuitable for encapsulation. It is important for the fresh placenta to remain refrigerated, or frozen if the encapsulation process cannot be started in the first 48 hours post-birth. If it is not kept chilled bacteria may grow and consumption would pose a health hazard.
Also, should you develop an infection during the labor or postpartum you should not consume your placenta.
There are other situations where deciding to go ahead with encapsulation should be made on a case-by-case basis.
I have a frozen placenta from my last birth - can I still have it encapsulated? It is best if the encapsulation process is done within a few days of the birth, however, a previously frozen placenta can be encapsulated. The general guideline is that the frozen placenta should not be much more than 6 months old. If your placenta is older than this you may chose to explore other options like burial. Placenta prints are not possible with a frozen placenta due to the consistency of the blood after thawing
How many pills will I get? How long will they last me? The average placenta provides about 140 pills. The number of pills available will vary depending on the size of your placenta (women have reported as little as 75 and as many as 200).
Standard dosage is 2 capsules, 3 times a day for the first two weeks and then slowly reducing the dose until the mother feels she no longer needs to take them. Depending on the quantity of pills your placenta provided you can continue to take them for 4-6+ weeks or until your supply runs out.
If you choose to stop taking the pills before you run out, the pills may be stored in the freezer for future use.
What are the capsules you use made of? I only use vegetarian cellulose capsules that are Kosher, Halal, non- GMO, and contain no additives or preservatives . What else is in the capsules? Nothing. Only your dehydrated, ground placenta. I do not recommend adding any herbs, spices or other ingredients to placenta capsules as if you had a bad reaction to the herbs your placenta would go to waste. If you plan to take other herbs postpartum it is a good idea to take them as separate capsules.
How do I get my placenta released from the hospital and keep it fresh during storage and transport? It is a mother’s right to keep her placenta after the birth of her child. The state has outlined guidelines for hospitals to facilitate this and a copy is available to my clients if they face any difficulty. Discuss your decision to take your placenta with your care provider prenatally to find out any special requirements from your hospital (some have paperwork).
Keeping your placenta after a cesarean section is possible. I do not perform encapsulation and your hospital will not release your placenta if you have an active infection or chorioamnionitis. It is important that your placenta not be sent to pathology where it may be contaminated with chemicals that are not compatible with ingestion. Should your placenta need to be studied, it should be possible to have a small sample cut from the placenta to go to pathology and the rest packaged for you to take home.
For the safety of my clients and myself, I do not perform encapsulation for mothers with Hepatitis or HIV, but can come to your home to talk a family member or friend through the processes using your own equipment.
For maximum freshness and to avoid spoilage the placenta should be placed in a leak-proof container and stored in an insulated (soft-sided lunch style is fine) cooler with ice packs or gloves filled with ice until it can be refrigerated. Any time the placenta is being transported it should be in the cooler with ice/ice packs.
Have you participated in placenta encapsulation for yourself? Yes. Lia's own experience with placentophagia was an awakening for her. After suffering from postpartum depression following the birth of her first child, she was seeking a natural path to a happier postpartum. For Lia, the difference was very profound and noticeable to herself and the others around her. It was a blessing to have such a joyous postpartum experience with her second and third children. Lia is honored to provide placenta preparation services for new mothers in the hope that they too will feel the amazing power of the placenta remedy.
Are there any studies to support the benefits of consuming my placenta? Yes, here is a link to some study summaries and abstracts about the effects of placenta consumption.
Are there other options for consuming or using the placenta besides encapsulation? Yes! Placenta encapsulation is a popular method because the capsules are tasteless, odorless and do not resemble the original organ, but it is not the only option.
Some people choose to consume their placenta raw in smoothies (a good combination is frozen strawberries, orange juice and sweetener), prepare the placenta as they would beef or organ meats, or have a piece of their placenta made into a liquid tincture.
Many recipes are available online and I am happy to accommodate additional preparation requests when possible.
It is also possible to use the placenta powder inside your capsules to create non-edible creams, ointments and other cosmetic products.
Traditional, Raw or Other preparation, which should I choose? The traditional method of preparation has been around for quite some time and references the Chinese medicine philosophy that after giving birth a mother should be kept warm as her Chi has been depleted from birthing. The warmth is vital to her postpartum recovery. Steaming the placenta with the lemon, ginger and pepper ‘warms’ it. Approximately 75% of my clients choose this method and find the capsules to help balance their mood and ease recovery. The broth left over from the steaming can be returned to you at no extra cost to add to your own soups and meals for further benefit. The raw method of preparation is done when a mother wants to retain as much of the hormones and other nutrients that may be available to her from the placenta, as we do not yet know the effect that steaming/cooking as on all of the components of the placenta. The placenta is sliced and dehydrated without the steaming step. This method generally yields more capsules as there is some shrinkage during steaming with the traditional method. A smaller percentage of clients choose this method or a combination of the traditional and raw methods (half the placenta prepared each way) and report more energy in addition to the other benefits. Other options that I offer for placenta ingestion include raw smoothies and tinctures. Raw smoothies, from my experience, are the best way to take your placenta ‘raw’, even over the raw encapsulation method. The boost in energy and mood cannot be compared. Small pieces of frozen placenta can be blended with fruit and juice/liquid to create a smoothie in which the taste of the placenta is undetectable. I highly recommend that mothers choose to have me reserve a few pieces of placenta for them to use in smoothies. This is done at no extra cost and includes ideas and instructions for making the smoothies. Tinctures are also available for a small additional fee of $15 for an 8oz bottle. A piece of placenta is soaked in alcohol and shaken daily for 6 weeks, then returned to you with instructions for usage.
"Thank you again for the capsules! And for your smoothie recipe; they were really delicious, I used your ratios with all different fruits and juice and they were fantastic. I think my favorite, if you want to try it, was 1/2 blueberries, 1/2 raspberries and organic lemonade for the liquid. MMmmm!" – Mother who added smoothies on to her encapsulation service
What protocols do you use to ensure safety? I have taken both Blood Borne Pathogens and Food Handlers training. If you are choosing for me to encapsulate the placenta in my home, I have a space and work surface dedicated to placenta encapsulation that is not used for any other purpose. Regardless of place of preparation all of my equipment is cleaned thoroughly and sanitized with bleach between clients. Whenever possible I utilize disposable items such as one time use cutting boards and lining my dehydrator trays with parchment paper. My pots and knives are stainless steel for sanitation purposes and my grinder and capsule filler come apart for cleaning and sanitizing. I do not use a steamer rack as the small holes are difficult to clean properly. Instead with the traditional method the placenta has the sliced lemons as posts above the steaming water. When encapsulation takes place in your home I am happy to utilize your own equipment, if you desire, and if they are suitable for the purpose.
What do you use to dehydrate the placenta? I always use a temperature controlled food dehydrator and never an oven or non-controlled dehydrator. The models of dehydrator I use have the fan at the top so that no placenta pieces can fall into them and get caught, risking contamination.
When do you offer a refund? Your deposit is refundable until 37 weeks of pregnancy if you decide not to proceed with encapsulation. After that refunds are available if your placenta could not be released due to chorioamnionitis or other medical reason. All other reasons will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Once the encapsulation process begins the full fee is due, even if you decide not to take or use your capsules.
How long have you been providing placenta encapsulation services? I have been encapsulating placentas since 2009 and to date have had encapsulated nearly 100 placentas (and have had many repeat clients)!
Can I do my own encapsulation? Yes, you can. If you prefer to handle the encapsulation yourself there is much information to be found on the internet.
If I can do it myself, why would I want to pay for the service? Encapsulation should begin as soon after the birth as possible. The first few days postpartum can be quite taxing and stressful for a new mom without the added burden of preparing her placenta for encapsulation. By providing encapsulation services the work of caring for and preparing the placenta is left to the professional and the mother and father are free to spend their time resting and bonding with their new baby.
What areas of Massachusetts do you serve? We provide placenta encapsulation services to all of Massachusetts including Boston, MetroWest, North Shore, South Shore, Worcester, Central Mass, and Western Mass.
What is your fee structure and what does it include? All encapsulation options include your dehydrated and powdered placenta placed into vegetarian capsules, a storage container and guidelines for use and storage. Placenta prints, cord keepsake and tree of life charm with crystal birthstone are included at no charge if you desire these options.
Other options such as a placenta tincture or salve are available for an additional fee.
Fees range from $125 to $300 depending on service location.
$125 If you select to have your placenta encapsulated at my home and someone brings your placenta to me and picks up the finished capsules.
$150 If you select to have your placenta encapsulated at my home and someone brings your placenta to me and you would like your capsules returned to you by mail.
$250 For clients located in Worcester County and within 1 hour of zip 01535 if you wish for me to pick up your placenta to encapsulate at my home or would like me to encapsulate in your home.
$300 For clients located further than 1 hour of zip 01535 if you wish for me to pick up your placenta to encapsulate at my home or would like me to encapsulate in your home.
How do I sign up for your encapsulation services? If you are ready to proceed with securing placenta services please fill out the Registration form.
* Disclaimer: I am not a licensed medical professional and I am not able to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any health condition. Services and fees are for the preparation and encapsulation of your placenta, not for the sale of the pills. No specific benefits or effects are promised. It is your responsibility to determine whether using placenta preparations may be of benefit to you.