Placenta Encapsulation FAQ

Is placenta encapsulation safe?

Placenta encapsulation (Placenta Pills/capsules) is safe when you select an encapsulation provider that uses proper preparation protocols and knows the most up to date safety and sanitation guidelines.

  • It’s possible you may have heard that Health Canada recently (Nov 2018) issued a statement advising against the consumption of placenta products. For details on APPA’s stance in regards to these statements click here to learn more.

Why should hiring an APPA Certified Placenta Specialist be my top priority?

Respect/Sanitation/Ideal Workspace/Experience/Standards

APPA (Association of Placenta Preparation Arts) is not simply a means to certification. APPA is, first and foremost, a resource for accurate, up-to-date, internationally transferable information and comprehensive training in safe practices has always been their number one goal.

APPA has the highest of industry standards and holds all trained and certified Placenta Specialists to these standards and Code of Ethics. This Code of Ethical Conduct assists Association of Placenta Arts Providers in carrying out their responsibilities to their clients, colleagues, the profession, and the community.

APPA provides mandatory Board Reviews of each Encapsulation Specialists Personal Preparation Protocol for Certification. Protocol Review thoroughly covers transportation procedures, safe handling and storage, workspace preparation, sanitation procedures, preparation procedure, personal protection equipment review and mandatory placenta only processing equipment approval review. Protocol Review is intensive work for each Placenta Specialist, taking place over several weeks, and is reviewed individually by each Board Member before Certification is granted.

One on One Mentor guidance and assistance from an experienced and knowledgable mentor is also provided throughout the training period. This ensures all trainees have ample assistance in working through training while correctly building their own required knowledge base and professionalism.

APPA’s Mandatory Course Material covers the following:

  • Standards of Practice + Code of Ethics

  • Building a Safe Practice + workspace

  • Sanitation + OSHA/EPA Guidelines

  • Food-Handling Guidelines

  • Respecting The Placenta

  • Placenta History + Remedy Theory & Research

  • Biohazard Transport + Disposal

  • Bloodborne Pathogen Course

  • Traditional Methods + Modern Methods of Preparation

  • Protocol Certification Board Review

What is the Traditional Method of Preparation?

Traditional Method of preparation is when the placenta is first brought up to a food safe internal temperature of 180+ degrees Fahrenheit via steaming for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of the placenta. Once steamed it is then sliced as thinly as possible to allow for even and rapid drying in a dehydrator at 160+ degrees Fahrenheit for 16-18 hours.

What is in my Placenta capsules and tincture?

This is simple and straight forward. Your placenta capsules contain only your placenta. No additional herbs, spices or extras. Your tincture is your placenta along with 180 proof vodka.

How long will I need to wait for my Capsules?

Encapsulation and capsule delivery generally takes 24-48 hours for a refrigerated placenta. A frozen placenta will take an additional 1-2 days so that it can be safely thawed. The sooner I am able to pick up your placenta the sooner I can have it completed and capsules returned to you.

What type of capsules do you use and how many will I get?

Vegetarian gelatin capsules are used in size 00. How many capsule you receive depends on the size of your placenta. Generally, the average placenta yields anywhere from 90-120 size 00 capsules.

How do I acquire my placenta, is there anything specific I need to do?

By right, your placenta belongs to you. That being said, depending on where you birth you may be asked to sign a release form for your placenta. Birthing at home or at the Birth Centre is fairly standard and only requires that you prepare to safely store and/or take away your placenta (see storage requirements below). Birthing in the hospital may require you to inform your nursing staff and doctor of your desires and to sign off on a potential AHS Release form. This is quick and easy to do. What you choose to do with your placenta after delivery is your personal right and should be respected amongst hospital staff without cause for delay in release.

I tested positive for Group B Strep (GBS+), can I still encapsulate?

Yes, absolutely. You can still choose to encapsulate if you’ve tested positive for Group B Strep during pregnancy as long as it is a colonization and not an active infection. GBS colonization and infection are two very different things. Group B Strep alone is not a contraindication for encapsulation and testing in pregnancy does not necessarily determine actual status at time of delivery. Using the Traditional Method of steaming for capsule preparation with GSB+ further minimizes any potential risks. For more details click here to read more directly from APPA.

Encapsulation can still happen when:

  1. Epidural/Pitocin is used in labour. Epidural or pitocin use is not a contradiction to placenta encapsulation.

  2. Cesarean Birth occurs. Your particular birth choices/outcomes do not affect whether or not your placenta can or cannot be encapsulated. 

  3. GSB+(colonization only) is present. See above

  4. HPV is present.

  5. Herpes is present (Discretion of Provider).

  6. Meconium is present. You can still encapsulate if there is meconium present. Any bacteria present is from your own natural flora. Due to following Food Safety standards and the Traditional Preparation Method, with heat applied, meconium is not a problem and does not make the placenta unfit for encapsulation. 

  7. Calcification within the placenta is present. Calcification, in any amount, is a variation of normal and does not make the placenta unfit for encapsulation. The presence of calcification isn’t an indicator that the placenta has begun to “age”.

  8. Delayed Cord Clamping has been done.

  9. You have chosen to do cord blood banking.

What if I deliver before or after my Expected Due Date?

I know babies have their own agenda and arrive when they are ready. I use your expected due date as a general place holder in my calendar and make myself available two weeks prior to and two weeks after your expected due date. In the event your baby arrives outside of these dates every effort will still be made to accommodate you. Simply email or text message me as planned and arrangements can be made for pick-up/drop off of your placenta.

What if I decide last minute to Encapsulate?

By all means, please contact me and we can make arrangements as soon as we are able. I will always work to accommodate clients. Be sure to follow the Packaging and Storage guidelines detailed below until I am able to come for pick up. If the placenta has been safely iced and refrigerated, but it has been 3 days since delivery, please freeze the placenta until pick up.

My Placenta has been frozen, can I still encapsulate it?

Yes, absolutely. Please contact me and we can discuss this further.

What if my Placenta needs to go to Pathology?

In rare cases your care provider may determine that your placenta needs to go to pathology. If this does occur then ask if its possible to do a visual exam in the delivery room instead, or request that only a small piece be sent to pathology rather than the entire placenta.  If your care provider feels the entire placenta needs to be examined in pathology, unfortunately, it will no longer be suitable for encapsulation/consumption due to cross contamination. Generally, a very small percentage of placentas actually need to go to pathology in their entirety. When requested most care providers will try working with you so everyone gets what they need. Placentas that do go to pathology for examination are NOT viable for encapsulation, so this is something that should be avoided whenever possible. It is also your right to refuse additional testing if you would prefer your placenta not be lost to pathology; so speak to your doctor or midwife about weighing the pros and cons of your choices. 

How should my Placenta be packaged and stored after delivery?

Once your placenta has been delivered proper care and handling is important. Your placenta must be placed into a food safe container/bag, sealed tightly and put on ice or refrigerated as soon as possible. I suggest having it placed into a ziploc/biohazard bag, placed on ice within a second ziploc/biohazard bag and finally placed inside of your refrigerator or a soft or hard sided cooler within 2 hours of delivery (4 hour maximum). Generally your nurse or midwife will do this for you but it is your responsibility to ensure the placenta is stored properly prior to pick up or drop off. Failure to do so could deem the placenta unfit for consumption. If you plan to deliver at the hospital or the birth centre it is ideal to take your own cooler for storing the placenta in the event they don’t have a designated fridge for storage during your stay. When coming for pick up I do bring my own cooler, labeled accordingly with bio-hazard stickers and lined with additional biohazard bags for transportation to my Placenta Kitchen. You will get to keep your personal cooler.

Where do you Pick Up my placenta from?

In most scenarios I am able to pick up from your home or can meet a close family member or friend outside of the hospital Labour and Delivery Ward (usually easiest to coordinate). I serve birthing families all throughout Calgary. For clients outside of the city living in Okotoks, Airdire, Chestermere and Chochrane, I do offer options for pick up or drop off; please email me for further details. A discount is also available to those who would like to drop of their placenta directly to me.

How soon will you pick up my Placenta after being contacted?

I do all pick ups and drop offs between 8am and 8pm and respond as quickly as possible to communications during these hours. I do request that you contact me as soon as you are able after delivery so arrangements for pick-up/drop off can be made in a timely manner. Pick-up time frames will vary depending on my current client load and family obligations but it is always my goal to pick up the same day or as early as possible the following day. If for any reason you haven’t contacted me within 3 days of the birth and the placenta has been appropriately refrigerated since the birth, please freeze the placenta until you are ready for pickup.

Do you Buy or Sell Placenta or Placenta Products?

I do not. Not only is this both unethical and unsafe, it isn’t a legal practice in Canada and anyone doing so should be reported to the Public Health Department. I only provide the service of processing your own placenta into capsules or tincture for your own personal use.

Marrow of My Soul is not a pharmacy, pharmaceutical representative, holistic practitioner, herbalist, homeopath or medical doctor. Benefits of placenta encapsulation are supported by maternal experience and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Placenta Encapsulation or placentophagy is intended solely for ingestion by the mother who has birthed the placenta(s) and not for her family members, friends, or other individuals and is not guaranteed to produce specific results. The services offered are not clinical, pharmaceutical, or intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Birthing Individuals who choose to utilize these services take full responsibility of their own health and for researching and using the offered services. Marrow of My Soul makes no guarantee as to capsule efficacy, but does guarantee the highest quality of service.