You want the safest experience for your encapsulation don't you? I work hard to keep my equipment and encapsulation area clean and sanitised for you so here are some things you can do:
1. Take your own food safe zip-lock bags or clean food container for your care provider to store your placenta in after birth. Don't use the bags provided by the hospitals as you don't know where they have been or if they are food safe.
2. Ensure your placenta is put in the fridge asap after birth and definitely within 3 hours of birth. Don't forget to check the fridge is working - your placenta must be kept below 5 degrees celsius. If a fridge isn't available, you can use ice, but it will need to be checked and topped up regularly. Take your own esky incase the hospital won't store it for you.
3. Don't birth your placenta on the toilet - this is just asking for trouble if your placenta falls in. If you really can't move away from the throne while you're in labour land, get your care provider to slide a fresh towel under you and catch your placenta in a clean container. The same procedure can be done if your birthing "on land" - we all know poo happens during birth, it can't be helped =)
4. Make sure your partner/friend/birth support is well educated on keeping your placenta safe and hygienic. This way you don't have to worry about your placenta and can focus on you and your baby or on the rare occasion if you have a general anaesthetic and aren't awake.
5. If you want to look at your placenta and explore your baby's home up close, make sure you have washed your hands before touching it or have clean gloves on. See the video below for good handwashing technique
Remember, you are planning on consuming your placenta so look after it!
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Kelly Harper is the owner of Elemental Beginnings Doula & Placenta Services in Adelaide. She provides placenta encapsulation and doula services to families during pregnancy, birth and in their fourth trimester.