Frequently asked questions about placenta encapsulation and postpartum doulas
If your question isn't here - email me to ask it!
I don’t know if I will need a postpartum doula or not. Can I decide after birth?
Yes! Most of my clients realize they need extra support after birth, or they are transitioning to motherhood for the second or third time and recall a deep need for support from their first experience. Our journey through birth is truly indescribable, unknowable until we go THROUGH it. There can be countless unexpected outcomes and feelings, even from a beautiful, sacred, natural birth experience. We emerge as new beings as we welcome a new baby Earthside, into our families. It can be difficult to anticipate exactly what our postpartum needs are.
Email or call me with any questions you may have before or after your birth and we can decide if it is a good time to work together. When I connect with mamas before birth we spend time anticipating needs, formulating a postpartum plan, and discussing expectations and possibly boundaries for the weeks after birth. I also put myself “on call” for mamas that have previously arranged to hire me as their postpartum doula and paid a downpayment, whereas my availability may be unclear if we get in touch after your birth.
Anytime you feel the urge is a good time to reach out! This may be 4 months before you give birth or 3 months after you give birth.
How did you learn to prepare placentas?
I started with my own placenta and Aviva Romm’s book Natural Health After Birth as my guide after the birth of my first son in 2011. My now-husband actually did most of the work while I held my newborn and gave instructions from the couch.. It was an intuitive, no-brainer choice for our family following homebirth and with my history of high emotions. I didn't know anyone else in my area providing this service, or that people actually did this for others, at the time.
After my own experience, I read as much about placentophagy and placenta preparation as I could find. I began working as a doula and offered this service to interested (and trusting!) clients to both practice the process and witness first hand the results of placentophagy on their own mothering transitions. I learned from the experience, the changing laws, the feedback from mamas, papas, and even their babies. At this time I have encapsulated over 45 placentas.
Currently, I am up to date on Blood Borne Pathogen Certification and trained through ProDoula as a Postpartum Placenta Specialist. I will complete my certification with ProDoula by the end of 2017.
How do I know that the placenta I am ingesting is my own placenta?
AS OF MAY 2017 I PREPARE PLACENTAS IN CLIENTS HOME ONLY! This is to give you the greatest insurance that your placenta is your own. Clients are responsible for the transport of their placenta to their home, for which I provide all details and instructions. (You may also arrange for a trusted friend or family member to transport your placenta home).
-Your placenta comes from the hospital in a tub labeled with your name. If you are giving birth at home then I will provide a label and container for you.
-You are welcome to watch and participate in the process as much or as little as you like. Family members have the same option.
-I only work with only placenta at a time. Ever.
-I only work in your home. Your placenta is already there.
-I hold in my mind and heart each mama and baby as I work with each individual placenta. I am constantly mindful of who this medicine is being made for.
If you have further concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask me anything! I have never been a part of a placenta switch, and these measures ensure I never will be!
How were you trained in Postpartum Doula Care?
I completed my first training as a Birth and Postpartum Doula through DONA in 2011. I completed ProDoula Postpartum and Infant Care Doula training in 2017 and am currently working towards their rigorous certification. I have over 50 hours of in person trainings specifically for postpartum families and newborns, as well as consistent continuing education through books, workshops and up-to-date articles. I am continuously learning about pre and perinatal mood disorders, sleep, infant feeding, the postpartum & pregnant body, and more.
I want to give my sister/friend the gift of placenta encapsulation or postpartum doula services. How can I arrange that for her?
What an amazing gift! First, make sure it is something she wants done. Second, contact me to make a deposit or full payment, and share her contact information with me. I will then be in touch with her about the rest of the process. If you want to see placenta photos or just hear from me when all is done, I am happy to reach out to you at that time, too!
Are there any negative side effects of ingesting your placenta?
There is little to no scientific research on placentaphagy. The results we know are anecdotal, as witnessed in animals, or from cultures around the world throughout history. I feel the greatest risk can come from bacteria if the placenta is not stored or prepared with extreme caution, as one would treat any healthy meat. See the above question about food poisoning for more details on that.
The most common negative side effects reported by mamas include engorgement or too much milk, too much energy (a “wired” feeling), and anxiety. Most of the time this can be amended by adjusting how many pills you are taking and the time of day. I always remind mamas that each placenta is as individual as you are, so there are not one-size-fits-all dosing guidelines. If you have a history of over producing milk or postpartum anxiety let me know I and I will give you instructions on how to start small with the amount of placenta you ingest. If you feel “wired” when you try to sleep at night or rest with baby, I recommend only taking pills in the morning. We will work together to find the right amount of placenta for you to take. The pills are encapsulated in a size “0” capsule which holds approximately 500 mg. For some mamas and babies, 500 mg is enough for 1 day. Others may benefit from taking this dose 3 times per day.
There is simply so much happening after a baby is born, inside your body, mind and heart, that it is often hard to pin down exactly what the cause may be. Gentleness, awareness, and time give us great insight. I always recommend listening to your body and contacting me with any questions about the right dose for you. That said, if something feels seriously abnormal, (a sudden increase in bleeding that doesn't stop with rest, fever, sharp pain in breasts, uncontrollable fear or sadness, and more), please contact your midwife or OB immediately. This is likely not related to your placenta pills and is an extraneous health concern that needs attention.
I am having a cesarean birth, can I still take encapsulate my placenta?
Yes! No matter how you birth make sure your care provider knows beforehand that you want to keep your placenta. In a cesarean birth your doctor will remove your placenta and keep it unadulterated in a biohazard tub with your name on it. They may keep it in a fridge at the nurses station or give it to you to keep in a cooler with ice packs once you return to your room.
How and when should I get in touch with you to begin the process of preparing or ingesting my placenta?
Call or text me at 828-719-9920 between the hours of 9 am and 9 pm. Let me know within 12 hours of the birth of your baby. I would like to encapsulate your placenta for you as quickly as possible so that you can begin feeling the desired stabilizing effects, and as much heads up as I can have, the better.
My placenta has been frozen, can it still be encapsulated?
Yes! Just move placenta from your freezer to your fridge approximately 24 hours before I am scheduled to begin the preparation process.
Why do you process placentas in my home?
The guidelines that I am required to hold myself accountable to far exceed the standards of my industry. As a ProDoula Postpartum Placenta Specialist I encapsulate in your home so that:
You can be confident that your placenta is in fact yours as it is the only one in you home. You brought it there yourself.
There is no risk of your placenta being exposed to any unfamiliar bacteria that may impede your healthy postpartum recovery
I can support you best when I am with you. I am a postpartum doula, and trained to educate and support families in this vastly transitional time. I can offer information and help as I am already in your home to process the placenta. I can also stay completely out of your way if that is desired. I want you to feel safe and cocoon in trust and support; please call on me while I am in your home.
How can I secure services?
Upon signing a contract with me 50% of the total contracted fee is due. This can be paid via check in the mail, cash or check in person, or credit card online. When I receive your 50% deposit I become "on call" for you for the dates surrounding your due date (or other specified time outlined in your contract). The remaining 50% is due upon completion of your placenta preparation or upon weekly invoicing for postpartum doula or pregnancy doula services.