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If you have a question but don't see it listed here, please feel free to contact us or attend one of our local informational sessions:

Benefits

Can your placenta harm you if ingested?

No. It’s made for you, by you. The University of Nevada- Las Vegas conducted a survey of 200+ moms who had encapsulated their placenta. The only negative side effect reported was that some moms, and only occasionally, would “burp up a taste” after taking a dose. While we use vegetarian capsules for most clients and have not had any negative feedback, we do offer grape-flavored gelatin capsules for clients who would like to ensure that there is absolutely no taste. Taking the capsules with a meal or snack also helps decrease the chance of an adverse taste.

I’ve heard that ingesting your placenta can decrease your milk supply. Is this true?

There are some who believe that placenta encapsulation will hinder milk supply because the placenta contains the hormone progesterone. However, the progesterone consumption from placenta is naturally sourced, bio identical to the mother, low dose, and balanced with other positive breastfeeding hormones (such as oxytocin). The studies that support this theory of placenta hindering milk supply are inherently flawed because they use as reference the extremely high dose, synthetic progesterone found in birth control.

Statistically, only about 1 to 2% of moms can’t produce enough milk. With the low breastfeeding rates in this country, it is statistically more probable that those moms didn’t get the help they needed or had circumstances that led them to have a poor breastfeeding start. While placenta can enhance milk supply, it is not a replacement for good breastfeeding practices and clinical assistance when problems occur.

As Jodi Selander, founder of PBi, says: “Dried placenta has been used historically in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to increase milk production. We have one small study from the 1950s in which dried placenta was shown to substantially increase milk production over a placebo (dried beef) in women who were selected for insufficient lactation.

However, the method of preparation is extremely important. We prepare the TCM method of placenta encapsulation, which will yield the TCM remedy of Zi He Che, which is used to increase milk production according to The Materia Medica, the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. When prepared properly, it will work properly.

Another argument against using placenta is because a retained placenta inhibits milk production, so the logic is extended to the capsules also inhibiting milk production. This is actually not true, since an attached placenta in utero does indeed function to inhibit milk production, but once it is born (and completely detaches from the uterus), all of the hormones that trigger milk production are released. The theory from a hormonal standpoint is that these hormones are then augmented by ingesting the placenta, which is a completely different mode of hormone transfer to the mother’s system (through the gastrointestinal tract as opposed to directly into the bloodstream).

That being said, we do not know HOW placenta works to increase milk production. From the more scientific standpoint, we believe it may be the prolactin that is present in the placenta, which then acts on her endocrine system to enhance milk production. From a TCM perspective, it has to do with the mother’s chi, and the placenta having a warming and tonifying effect on her system, which augments the milk production. Again, if the placenta is prepared in some other fashion, she will not get these same effects.”

Capsules/Broth

Can you tell me more about the Mother’s Broth and how I would use it?

Mother’s Broth is a similar concept to soup stock. It is a natural, nutrient rich by-product of the steaming process of the placenta. While it is mostly water, it contains the essence of the placenta and the Traditional Chinese Medicine warming herb, ginger.

You can add a few tablespoons to soup or any drink (i.e. tea, soft drinks, a smoothie). The broth is perishable. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

After 3 days, the broth may be placed in an ice cube tray to be frozen. The cubes can be placed in a freezer safe bag and used as needed.

Many new moms feel that the broth gives their capsules a “jump start.” One client said that drinking the broth was like drinking an energy drink but without the chemicals. If you prefer not to drink the broth, it also makes a wonderful plant food.

Do you use gluten-free capsules?

Yes, we use vegetarian capsules, which contain no preservatives, gelatin, gluten, GMOs, wheat, animal by-products or starch. They are made from pure cellulose of either pine or poplar. Even our flavored gelatin capsules, which you can special request, are gluten-free.

Is there any reason I should stop taking my capsules?

If you develop a fever or any kind of infection that involves heat (mastitis, flu, etc.), you should stop taking your capsules immediately because it can cause the infection to go deeper and may be more difficult to heal. You may begin taking your capsules again when the ‘heat’ has been gone for 24 hours.

General

Can you still encapsulate my placenta if I have an epidural and/or c-section? What if I have Group B strep or there’s meconium present in the amniotic fluid?

Yes, yes, yes, and yes! Your birth choices/outcomes do not affect whether your placenta can or cannot be encapsulated.

Is there any reason my placenta should not be encapsulated?

If you develop a uterine infection while in labor, your placenta cannot be encapsulated. In addition, Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS also make your placenta unsuitable for ingestion.

What if my placenta is sent to the hospital’s pathology lab?

Unfortunately, the pathology lab is not a sanitary environment, so it would be unwise to ingest it afterwards. If your doctor insists on sending it, ask that they remove a small piece to send and allow you to keep the rest.

When do clients pay?

We require a $50 deposit when you decide to use our services. This is to ensure that we have sufficient supplies, and to guarantee our “on call” availability. The balance (total cost minus the deposit) is due when we finish your capsules, although you are more than free to pay in advance so it’s one less thing you have to worry about. We take cash, check, and Paypal. If your placenta is deemed unsuitable for encapsulation, or you’ve experienced a miscarriage, we will refund your deposit. That said, it is important to us that all families who desire placenta encapsulation receive this service. If our fees are not within your budget, please contact us, so that we can work with you on making it happen.

Process

Do I need to provide any supplies for you?

Only a quart-sized glass or Mason jar if you’d like to keep the Mother’s Broth. Your only responsibility during the entire process is to get your placenta to your refrigerator. All we need from you is access to your stove, kitchen sink, an electrical outlet, and a few feet of counter space.

What if I can’t or don’t want to have it done at my house?

We understand. We have a few clients every year who either have family coming in from out of town, are in the process of moving, or have the “tiniest kitchen in the world.” First, our specialists and our process are discrete and respectful of your space and your company so you never have to worry about our specialists working alongside your extended family. However, we have clients who ask if we can encapsulate at a family’s member’s house, and we absolutely can! The only place we can’t encapsulate is in our own homes, because we do not own commercial kitchens. By law, unless your home kitchen has been inspected by the health department, you can not sell an item for consumption created in it.

What type of equipment do you use and how is it sterilized?

All of the equipment that our specialists use is stainless steel, disposable, or food-grade plastic. Non-disposable items, on the first day, include the steam pot and dehydrator but they are used only with parchment liners, so your placenta is never in contact with anything another placenta has touched. Our specialists wash everything with hot water and soap, and sanitize with a bleach solution, as this follows OSHA and FDA regulations for preparing food in someone’s home. After sanitizing in bleach, the equipment is then run through the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle. We are overly cautious when it comes to cleanliness! We follow strict guidelines and keep up-to-date food handler’s safety certificates.

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