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Placenta Encapsulation Process at Wyld Garden

Updated: Jun 27

placenta pills made by encapsulating a placenta

While the placenta encapsulation might seem unconventional, the process itself follows a strict set of guidelines aimed at ensuring safety and efficacy. In this blog post, I'll talk about the steps involved in placenta encapsulation and how I keep the emphasis on safety.

Understanding Placenta Encapsulation: First, let's understand what placenta encapsulation entails. The placenta, a temporary organ that develops during pregnancy, is rich in nutrients, hormones, and bioactive compounds. Proponents of placenta encapsulation (including me!) believe that consuming it can aid postpartum recovery by replenishing essential nutrients and hormones, reducing the risk of postpartum depression, increasing energy levels, and enhancing lactation. Anecdotally, I hear from clients that they notice a big difference when the take their pills and when they don't.

What is the placenta but a very high quality piece of meat? Since placenta preparation is akin to food preparation, I take all the necessary food safety precautions when storing and preparing your placenta to keep it at food safe temperatures.

Melissa wearing PPE and holding bleach, ready to encapsulate a placenta

Let's get into it!

Step 1: Preparation and Collection: The process typically begins immediately after birth. It's crucial to ensure that the placenta is kept at food safe temperature until it is processed, usually within 24 hours of birth.

I suggest everyone planning to encapsulate bring a cooler with them to their birth location. When I am your doula, I bring my own cooler, the same kind that they use for organ transplants, and fill it with ice right after your baby is delivered to ensure the coolest possible environment.

The processing space is prepared by first a thorough soap and water cleaning, and then a bleach bath. I suit up, too! Then, placenta is carefully inspected to ensure its health and suitability for encapsulation. It's then rinsed thoroughly with cold water to remove any excess blood.

Step 2: Steaming: Also known as the "traditional method," steaming is an additional step in the placenta encapsulation process that can eliminate any potential pathogens by heating the placenta quickly to a food safe temperature. The traditional method is the most common method that my clients use. The placenta is kept in the steam bath until a thermometer reads that it is cooked completely through.

Some people choose to forgo this step and go right to step 3, which is called "raw processing." Raw processing bypasses any possibility of steaming affecting the bioactive compounds. While steaming occurs, all dehydration tools go into a bleach bath.

Step 3: Dehydration: After steaming, the placenta is thinly sliced and placed in a food dehydrator at a low temperature for several hours until it becomes dry and brittle. Dehydration helps to remove moisture from the placenta, preserving it and allowing it to be ground into a fine powder later in the process. At the end of dehydration, all encapsulation tools go... your guessed it... into a bleach bath.

Step 4: Grinding and Encapsulation: Once fully dehydrated, the placenta is ground into a fine powder using a food-grade grinder. The powdered placenta is then carefully encapsulated into pills using a machine. Strict hygiene practices are maintained throughout this step to prevent contamination. Then it is time for more bleach: all work surfaces are thoroughly cleaned again.

Step 5: Storage and Consumption: The encapsulated placenta is stored in a clean, airtight container. For extra safety you can keep your pills refrigerated or frozen until they are ready to be consumed. It's recommended to start with a small dosage and gradually increase as needed. I provide detailed instructions on dosage and usage to ensure safe consumption for my clients.

placenta encapsulation supplies

Safety Considerations

Safety is paramount throughout the placenta encapsulation process. Here are some key safety considerations I bear in mind:

  1. Hygiene: I ensure that all equipment and surfaces used in the encapsulation process are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to prevent contamination.

  2. Temperature Control: Proper steaming and dehydration temperatures are essential for eliminating harmful bacteria while preserving the placenta's beneficial properties. That's why I certified in food safety as part of my training!

  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): I wear gloves, masks, hair coverings, and other appropriate PPE to minimize the risk of cross-contamination.

I think consuming your placenta can be an empowering way to support your own postpartum healing. When birth doesn't go as planned or hoped for, it can be an especially supportive tool for reclaiming a piece of your birth story. I love offering it to my clients.

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