Every person's reasons for choosing to encapsulate their placenta are different.
It might be that they've heard about it from a friend or in the media and think it sounds like something they're happy to try.
Perhaps they suffered from Postnatal Depression after their last pregnancy and are willing to try everything to avoid a repeat experience.
Some women wish to honour the placenta and complete a full circle journey.
Whatever the reason, they are all equally valid and unique, just as your placenta is.
One of my clients, Kirsty, talks about her reasons and what she experienced from taking her placenta capsules.
I had my first baby in a rural hospital, so I didn’t get to keep my placenta, it wasn’t even an option (or so I thought), and within days of delivery I was slipping into post natal depression. For my second, and last, baby I knew I had this opportunity. The idea of having another placenta literally thrown in the bin was heart breaking for me, and PND is the darkest place I’ve ever been, I would do anything to not experience that again. I can’t say that my capsules alone stopped post natal depression this time, but it helped me form a bond with my midwives who helped me basically smuggle my placenta out of the hospital in a bucket, it made me feel strong, proud, and powerful to be able to bring it home and decide what happened with the parts of mine and my baby’s body. It made me feel like a strong mama bear, using what my body had given me to aid my recovery.
Got a placenta in your freezer? Do you wish you could have had it encapsulated but perhaps didn't know about my services? Well I have a special deal for you!
Can you answer yes to these questions:
Then I would like to offer you the chance to have your placenta encapsulated for the special price of $235
If you are ready to go ahead and book your encapsulation, head to my placenta encapsulation page and fill out the booking form with the code "POPSICLE" and I will email you an invoice to complete your booking. Payment must be received in full when your placenta is delivered to me.
If you've got some questions or you're not sure if your frozen placenta will meet the above criteria, you can contact me here.
Although fresh placentas are best, it is possible to encapsulate a frozen placenta bearing in mind that some B vitamins will be lost from freezing. Food storage guidelines recommend that meat is frozen no longer than 6 months.
Have you ever heard of Rescue Remedy? If so, I like to think of a placenta tincture as your own personalised version.
A thumbnail size piece of your raw placenta is steeped in vodka for 6 weeks. After this time it is ready to strain, resulting in a powerful remedy which embodies your placenta's hormonal, mineral and nutritional quality.
Similar to a homeopathic remedy where the principle of healing is 'like cures like'. Perfect for when you are challenged or feeling out of balance, this remedy, your own remedy, will always be there to help you regain your equilibrium.
You can order a placenta tincture separately or as part of your placenta encapsulation package.
Elemental Beginnings will provide you with:
7 tips to get your placenta home
So, you want to keep your placenta and take it home with you?
Here are some tips I give to my clients who wish to keep their placenta for encapsulation but can be used by anyone.
1. It is YOUR placenta, not the hospital's. You can keep it if you wish!
2. Put it in writing - make a note of it in your birth plan, discuss it with your care provider and have them put it in your notes. You don't have to tell them why you want to keep your placenta.
3. Remind hospital staff upon arrival and after baby is born that you want to keep your placenta.
4. Have your partner / birth support person / doula act as your Placenta Minder. Put them in charge of ensuring you get your placenta so you can concentrate on the birth and your new baby instead of worrying where your placenta is. This beautiful Placenta Minder in the picture made sure her friend's placenta was all kept even though it was manually removed in pieces.
5. If you are planning on consuming your placenta in any way, get it in the fridge or on ice as soon as possible. I recommend taking your own small cooler with you and asking the hospital for ice so that it doesn't have to leave your possession. Few hospitals will put it in their fridge for you as it is technically considered medical waste.
6. In the event that your placenta needs to go to pathology, request that only small samples are taken so that you can have the rest. If you are going to practice placentophagy, it is important that your placenta doesn't come into contact with any formaldehyde, preservatives etc
7. I haven't had any issues collecting placentas from my clients from any of the hospitals around Adelaide including private hospitals and from what I've heard most care providers have been helpful to these families in respecting their wish to keep their placenta.
[2017 UPDATE - Due to new policies, some care providers will tell you that you can't have your placenta for 7 days. If you want to take it home sooner, be firm that you DO NOT CONSENT to this policy. Policies are there to guide the staff, they are not law that you have to follow]
Some readers of Elemental Beginnings shared their experience with taking their placenta home from hospital on Facebook:
"I took in an ice cream container, and asked in my birth plan for it to happen. My lovely midwife each time (3 babies) just wrapped it in a plastic bag and popped it in the ice cream container and into the fridge for me. Easy peasy!" - Nicole
" I took my grand daughters home. The midwife wondered why i wanted it but was ok to do it. My daughter had to sign papers and it was put in a histo bucket for us." - Lee
"Our midwife placed ours in a plastic bag and then in an ice cream tub we'd brought in. As far as I can remember anyway. Then it went in the fridge until we were ready to go." - Amanda
"I had an unexpected cesarean and while I was being sutured and processing all that was going on around me, I finally yelled out, "my placenta!!!"
The ob looked over the curtain and replied sarcastically, " what are you going to do, plant a tree with it?"
I was so upset over the lack of his caring that its Me and my babies body part being "disposed" of,
I simply said "exactly"
He proceeded to say it was medical waste and was on its way out and I insisted they get it. My doula friend who attended me brought it in during recovery thrilled to show me it was still warm in the bag they placed it in (black garbage bag). I still have it in my freezer " - Niki
Have you taken your placenta home from hospital? Please share what your experience was like in the comments.
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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.