Frequently Asked Questions about Placenta Encapsulation

Placenta encapsulation process, represented by the tree of life artwork

We have been providing the highest standard in placenta encapsulation services in the Tampa Bay area for many years. Over time we’ve heard and answered lots of questions from our clients. Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our placenta encapsulation process:

1. Why do some people choose to consume their placenta after giving birth? 

A few of the reasons that people decide to consume their placenta are: to improve their postpartum mood, to restore or balance their post birth hormones, to improve lactation, and to improve their overall recovery from birth. There is limited research on the actual benefits. However, anecdotally, many women have shared their personal stories and former clients have observed these benefits in their experience.

2. Do you pick up my placenta from the hospital and bring it back to me encapsulated?

Firstly, we provide you with a transportation supply kit that you bring with you to the hospital or birth facility. Shortly after the placenta is born, it is placed into a zip-loc bag or container. (Usually your nurses and providers help to package up the placenta.) It is then double bagged and put on ice in the soft-sided cooler that we provide to you. This must be done within 4 hours of delivery. Then you or a family member will transport it to your home and put it in your fridge. We believe that it is safest for you (or your family members) to be the only ones that transport your placenta. This way it never leaves your possession. 

3. How does it work with my hospital and bringing my placenta home?

The hospitals in the Tampa Bay are familiar with people requesting to have their placentas released. It happens often in our community. They each may have their own policies and procedures and some may require you to sign a release waiver. We recommend you tell your care provider and your birth team about your plans to keep your placenta in advance.

4. Are there any reasons I will not be able to bring my placenta home for encapsulation?

In rare circumstances your provider may send the placenta to labs for testing due to complications in labor and birth. In our experience, when this occurs you are usually unable to bring your placenta home for encapsulation. When this happens we refund you for the unused services, minus the small deposit that covers the cost of your transportation kit.

5. Where does the placenta encapsulation process take place?

We perform this service in the home of the person who will consume the placenta. Your home! 

6. Why is it important that the placenta encapsulation service is performed in my home? 

Here are the reasons: 

  • You can be confident that your placenta is in fact yours, as it is the only one in your home and you brought it there yourself. 
  • You will not have somebody else’s placenta used in your pills. 
  • There is no risk of your placenta being exposed to any unfamiliar bacteria that may interfere with your healthy postpartum recovery.
  • There is no risk of cross contamination with another placenta or blood borne pathogen.
  • Transparency. You are welcome to observe the process if you wish. 
  • Our postpartum placenta specialists can support you best when they are with you. They are trained and certified to educate and support you during this period and we want you to reap the full benefits of this opportunity. 

For your safety our team maintains these professional guidelines. We hold the highest standards in the industry and keep these guidelines in place for your peace of mind and protection.

7. Do I need to provide any supplies or equipment for this service?

No. All that we need is some space on your countertop in the kitchen and use of your stove. Our placenta specialist will bring all of the equipment and supplies that she needs to use. Our equipment is cleaned with hospital grade cleaning agents. Additionally, any supplies that can be used just once and then discarded are single-use. When we are done we will leave your kitchen spotless. You don’t have to worry about anything!

8. How many placenta pills will I get?

This depends on the size of your placenta. Just as each person and pregnancy is different, each placenta is unique. Some are bigger or smaller. A dehydrated placenta may produce anywhere from 100 – 200+ pills. Fun fact: the average number of capsules produced for the last 15 placentas that we encapsulated was 156 pills.  

9. Which process of placenta encapsulation do you offer?

At Buddha Belly we offer the traditional method of encapsulation, which is based on traditional Chinese medicine. The process includes steaming the placenta prior to dehydration in order to kill germs or bacteria. Knowing that we use this method gives our clients peace of mind for safe consumption. 

10. How long does the process take?

It takes about 24 hours to complete the entire process. Our placenta specialist will be with you for about 1 ½ – 2 hours each day for 2 consecutive days.

11. Do we need to be home during the process?

This is up to you and what you are most comfortable with. You do not need to be home during the process. We want to make the process as smooth and easy as possible for you. We are happy to accommodate your preference. 

12. When you are processing my placenta will there be a smell? 

There may be a mild aroma during a brief time while your postpartum placenta specialist is in your home. We steam your placenta, along with lemon and ginger root, for about ten minutes. The steaming process provides an additional line of safety to kill any bacteria growth on the placenta. You may only smell lemon and ginger. You may smell a bit of a stronger odor, more like meat cooking. If you are sensitive to odors, we recommend you leave the kitchen or burn a nice candle during this short period.

13. How often do I take the placenta pills? 

Your placenta specialist will discuss general guidelines for consumption, and we encourage you to listen to your body’s cues and set a routine for consumption that meets your personal needs. Most clients experience optimal benefits when consuming their placenta capsules based on the following guidelines, however each woman is different and preferences may vary. 

2 capsules 3x a day for the first 3 days

1 capsule 3x a day for the next 7-10 days

1-2 capsules a day until gone

It is best to take them with juice containing Vitamin C, as this may amplify the benefits associated with placenta consumption. It’s not recommended to take your capsules with milk as it may reduce the benefits.

14. Where do I store my placenta pills?

Your placenta capsules should always be refrigerated. For long term use your capsules should be stored in the freezer.

If you have any questions we haven’t answered here, please feel free to contact us! We look forward to having the opportunity to provide you with this nourishing postpartum support. 

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information presented is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Always refer to your licensed care provider for medical advice.

You might also be interested in: The Five Senses of Placenta Encapsulation.

About Christie Collbran

Christie believes in helping women recognize their own inner wisdom, strength and power. Having served as President of the Tampa Bay Birth Network for six years and with ten years serving families as a birth doula, she has a reputation for leadership, dedication and compassion. A childbirth educator, certified lactation counselor as well as a certified doula, she makes a point of ensuring mothers and their partners understand all their birthing options and what to expect on their journey.> keep reading