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How do I keep my placenta after giving birth?

Ensure that your midwife, birthing team and family are aware that you wish to keep your placenta and note this in your birth plan. Discuss your plan to keep your placenta with your midwife during your antenatal appointments.

How do I store my placenta?

The easiest way to store your placenta is by purchasing our Placenta Collection Kit, which is designed to keep placenta cool for 12 hours. The kit itself will remain cold for up to 72 hours, so plenty of time to labour.

This kit has been specially developed for Placenta Practice by a leading bio-medical scientist with input from the Environmental Health Office. Kit includes everything you need to safely store your placenta. Special attention has been paid to the design of the kit to minimise the unfortunate instances of lost placentas in hospitals.

If you decide against the Placenta Collection Kit your placenta should be double bagged into zip-lock bags and placed into a clean 2 litre sterile, leak-proof container as quickly as possible, but definitely within 30 minutes of its birth. This container should then go in to the cool bag for no longer than 6 hours. If your ice packs melt you must buy two large bags of ice so that you can chill the placenta within 30 minutes of birth (send your partner to find a local petrol station or supermarket). After 6 hours your birth partner, doula or family member should take the placenta home for refrigeration.

Your placenta needs to be kept cool to ensure it remains safe to consume. Your placenta should be stored in a refrigerator below 8°C after the cord is cut, however not all hospitals will allow you to use their fridge/freezer. This is why it is important to be prepared with either a cool bag or Placenta Collection Kit option. Talk to your midwife and add a note to your birth plan to ensure staff know you are keeping your placenta.

Our Gold collection service guarantees your placenta is collected within 12 hours. Many clients choose this service because they want their placenta to be processed as soon as possible, believing “The fresher it is, the better it is”. Others choose this service to simplify caring for the placenta after birth.

PLEASE NOTE: Clients who cannot benefit from our Bronze, Silver or Gold collection, because of their distance to us, will need to purchase our Placenta Collection Kit. They will instead benefit from our Courier collection option. Unfortunately, without the kit, we cannot safely transport the placenta using a courier, therefore cannot fulfill their order.

How do I get my placenta to you after I have given birth?

We can collect your placenta from your home or the hospital. When you book we will ask for your due date and contact you before this date to make sure you are prepared. When you go into established labour you should text us, with another text once you have given birth. You (or a family member) can then liaise with us over collection of your placenta depending on what level of collection you have chosen.

Are there any reasons the hospital may not allow me to keep my placenta?

This is very rare. If there are significant abnormalities of the placenta your healthcare team may send your placenta for further examination. Other conditions, such as signs of infection during labour, may mean that consuming your placenta is not advisable. The most usual reason is that your hospital, doctor or midwife are not aware that you want it to keep your placenta. Clear communication is therefore essential!

Are there any situations that would make it unsafe for me to consume my placenta?

There are a few situations where we would not be able to process your placenta. These are:

  • If the placenta is sent to pathology
  • If there is a uterine infection
  • If the placenta is improperly stored
  • If the mother smoked during pregnancy

Please let us know if you have any specific questions. If you are on medication during your pregnancy we ask you to seek advice from your consultant before deciding on placenta encapsulation.

Can I encapsulate if I’m induced, have a Caesarean section or a medicated birth?

Encapsulation is still possible if you give birth with an epidural or if you have a Caesarean section. The placenta acts as a filter, filtering out toxins and sending them back to the mother’s liver to be detoxed from the system. If you are on medication during your pregnancy we ask you to seek advice from your consultant before deciding on placenta encapsulation.

Can I use my placenta if I have a water birth?

Yes. But it is important that the placenta is delivered onto a clean surface (such as an inco pad or towel) and NOT into the birthing pool.

Unfortunately the temperature and condition of the water makes it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

Chances are once baby is born you will want to be out of the water for proper skin on skin.

Your birthing team will also encourage you to step out of the water shortly after birth. It is very difficult to gauge potential blood loss while you're still in the water.

What happens if my placenta is stained with meconium?

Meconium is sterile, does not contain the faecal bacteria that normal stool does and therefore is perfectly fine to encapsulate. Meconium is only dangerous for the baby to inhale, but is otherwise harmless. If your placenta is heavily stained we will wash it thoroughly before encapsulation preparation. We will advise you once we have checked it. If it is thick with meconium you may only be able to have Traditional Chinese Medicine capsules. You cannot have a Placenta Smoothie if there is meconium staining because bacteria may be present.

Can I delay cord clamping if I am encapsulating my placenta?

Delayed cord clamping (waiting at least 10 minutes after delivery to cut the cord, preferably until it has completely stopped pulsing) has been proven to hold lifelong benefits for babies, and is something we encourage all families to research before giving birth. Delaying cord clamping will not have any negative effect on your placenta. You may want to read the blog we have published on this very subject.

What if I am Group B Strep positive (GBS) or have an infection and need antibiotics, will I still be able to use my placenta?

Group B Strep is a common bacterium that does not normally pose health risks to the mother. All bacteria in the placenta are killed during the steaming process, and with Group B Strep we only use the Traditional Chinese Medicine method of placenta encapsulation.

Rarely, Group B Strep can lead to uterine infection. If you developed a uterine infection or fever during your labour, your placenta would not be considered useful in healing, and is likely to be taken to the pathology lab for testing. Otherwise Group B Strep is not contra-indicated in placenta remedy preparation.

Can I have my placenta encapsulated if I am storing cord blood and tissue stem cells?

Yes, you can do both. We work closely with Smart Cells, one of the world's leading umbilical cord blood stem cell storage companies. We will liaise with the dedicated Smart Cells Phlebotomist on the day of birth once we've received your text confirming birth of baby.

It is important to ensure your midwife and doctor knows that you wish to have both placenta and cord services. Where possible it should be included in your birth plan.

Can I have my placenta encapsulated if I am diagnosed with pre-eclampsia?

Placenta encapsulation is not contra-indicated for mothers with pre-eclampsia. Many women who have had pre-eclampsia have very successfully used placenta capsules. No one fully understands pre-eclampsia or exactly how to prevent it, and although the placenta does seem to play a part, it is not usually unfit for consumption. After the birth, your placenta will be examined for irregularities and problems. Most of the time the placenta is completely fine and you should have no problem encapsulating.

Can I have my placenta encapsulated if my baby is premature?

Yes, mums of premature babies need all the help they can get bringing in their milk, healing quickly, and balancing post-natal mood. As long as your placenta is examined and cleared for any type of abnormality after birth we are happy to encapsulate it.

Are there any people who cannot have capsules made from their placenta?

You cannot have capsules made from your placenta if you have a blood-borne virus such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV. You can have capsules made from your placenta if you are given medicine or anaesthetics during the birth of your baby, including a Syntometrine injection. If you are taking any prescription medicines other than those used during pregnancy please seek the advice of your doctor before having capsules made from your placenta.

Can I have my placenta encapsulated if I am storing cord blood cells?

Cord blood or stem cell storage are both absolutely fine with placenta encapsulation. You need to ensure your your chosen storage company is aware you will be keeping your placenta. They will need to follow our handling procedures and ensure the temperature is kept below critical levels at all times. If you haven't already chosen, we recommend Smart Cells. We collaborate on many births with Smart Cells staff. They are fully aware of our procedures on the day of birth.

Can I donate my babies cord blood to Antony Nolan Trust?

Yes you can. However you must ensure they are aware you will be keeping your placenta for encapsulation. They must also follow our handling procedures and ensure the temperature is kept below critical levels at all times.

What does it mean to have your placenta encapsulated?

Placenta Encapsulation is the process of turning raw placenta in to safe to consume capsules, similar to herbal supplements. Placenta goes through a verified set of processes in a clinical setting, over a number of hours. Both types of capsules (TCM and Simple) end up being dehydrated at certain temperatures, ground in to fine powder, then manually filled in to capsules.

What can you do with your placenta after birth?

Your placenta can be processed and 'encapsulated', meaning it can be turned in to capsules for you to take in the weeks or months after birth. We can also make some other amazing remedies, such as a tincture, an essence, creams for both mother and baby, balms and homeopathic remedies.

How do I know the placenta remedies are from my placenta and not someone else’s?

At the very basic level we only ever process one placenta at a time in the practice. It is physically impossible to work on multiple placentas at the same time. So it is simply impossible to receive someone else's placenta. Furthermore, our processes, including Stock Control Measures, Labelling Methods, Temperature Control Measures, Traceability and Product Recall Measures have all been audited by Environmental Health Office before granting us approval to practice.

Placenta Practice is run by professionals working to the highest safety and quality standards. We work to similar standards to a medical practice and have complete confidence in the integrity of our technique and processes in our controlled practice environment.

Where do you prepare the Placenta Smoothie?

Placenta Practice can only make this at your home, using your own blender. It is not possible to prepare Placenta Smoothies on hospital wards or in other public areas. The smoothie is prepared freshly for you and you should drink it as soon as possible after preparation. If you would like a Placenta Smoothie you must book our Gold collection as the smoothie needs to be made within 12 hours of birth. This is a requirement from Environmental Health Office.

How many pills will my placenta make?

Placentas vary in size so the number of capsules also varies.

The number of capsules made from the Simple Placenta method can be anywhere from 120-220.

For Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there can be up to 50% fewer capsules.

How long will my capsules last?

Recommendation is to use Simple Placenta Capsules within 12 weeks. Simple Capsules can be stored in a cool, dry dark cupboard, but not the fridge. We strongly advise clients to wash their hands before handling their placenta capsules and avoid leaving the jar open.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) capsules can be stored in a cool dry dark cupboard, but not the fridge, for up to 6 months. We strongly advise clients to wash their hands before handling their placenta capsules and avoid leaving the jar open.

How often do you take placenta pills?

Most women consume one or two capsules three times a day during the first couple of weeks post-partum or until they feel their hormones have returned to normal. You can take one or two capsules whenever you feel you may need a little more energy or to boost your milk supply when breastfeeding. Placenta capsules can be taken as needed and there is no single correct dose. You may adjust your dose as you feel right. Listen to your body – it will tell you what it needs!

Will I experience any side effects when taking my placenta capsules?

We highly recommend you follow the care instructions. Storing your placenta capsules properly, avoiding TCM capsules when ill and not taking more than the recommended dose will reduce your chances of experiencing any side effects.

However, if you experience any side effect which you suspect is caused by your remedies, please stop taking them immediately. Please inform us without delay and seek medical advice.

We can only comment on cases reported to us by our own clients. Web searches will reveal articles and opinion pieces about placenta encapsulation, typically of American origin. We work to different standards in the UK than the US. All our remedies have been audited as safe by the Environmental Health Office. Furthermore, Placenta Practice is so far the UK's first and only company to have all its remedies (including Placenta Smoothie) tested by a respected microbiologist to confirm safety.

Out of the many clients we have worked with, only the below clients reported potential side effects to us;

- 5 clients reported headaches when they took their capsules at the same time as other supplements. For this reason we recommend taking your capsules at a different time to any other supplements, especially if they are iron supplements. If not essential, please consider stopping additional supplements until you have used up your placenta capsules.

- 1 client reported her baby had developed acne. This cleared up when she stopped using her capsules for a week. Clients doctor suggested her baby may have been reacting to the hormones contained in the placenta. This client reduced her dosage with no more acne.

- 1 client reported taking her capsules on 3 different occasions and coming out "in fever/chills...cramping in the evening/night". Following correspondence with the client no conclusive reason for her experiences could be found.

While not a side effect, we had 3 clients report they did not feel their capsules did anything, or 'worked' for them. They felt they did not see any difference being on and off their capsules.

Each individual, and their placenta, is unique. We simply process the clients placenta into remedies in a safe environment, using a tested and verified system. Clients experiences using their remedies will be different than any other individual. We do not guarantee results and do not offer refunds should a clients expectations are not met.

Clients who choose to use our services take full responsibility for their own health and for researching and using the remedies we provide.

Clients agree that Placenta Practice is not liable and do not take responsibility for any results or effects the Client may experience before, during or after consuming the placenta unless resulting directly from the negligence of Placenta Practice.

Above was updated Jan 2020

When should I not take placenta capsules?

It is not advised to take your TCM capsules if you have an infection, common cold, flu, fever or an infection such as mastitis. Only once your symptoms have subsided should you start taking your placenta capsules again. We advise you to order Placenta Tincture to complement TCM capsules.

Do not take placenta capsules while you are pregnant because of their hormone levels.

If you do experience any side effects stop taking the remedies immediately and inform us and seek medical advice.

How do I choose my remedies?

Call us on 0808 1234 454. We will be able to discuss all the different options and tailor our service so that you get exactly what you want from your placenta. We will also be able to answer any questions you have.

Alternatively, if you know what you want then simply go ahead and use the Book Now option to select your remedies.

Do placenta pills go bad?

Yes they can. Both types of pills have a best before date and must be consumed accordingly. It is also important to store your pills correctly. Traditional Chinese Medicine capsules should be consumed within 6 months of birth. Simple Capsules will last for 12 weeks. Both types of capsules should be stored in a cool, dry place, but not in the frdige.

How much does it cost?

We have a dedicated Pricing page detailing all our remedies and their prices. You can also find prices for each individual remedy through our Products page. As a guide our capsules start from £200. Unless otherwise stated we don't require any up front payments or deposits (apart from Placenta Collection Kit). Payment is due on collection of your placenta or prior to processing your chosen remedies.

What is the booking process?

It’s as simple as filling in our online booking form, selecting the remedies you wish to go for and providing some medical information. We advise you to book early as we can be fully booked months in advance – but if you have only just heard about the benefits of placenta encapsulation do not worry, please get in touch as we will always accommodate last minute bookings.

Do I need to do anything once I have booked?

Once you submit your booking, keep an eye on your emails for our booking confirmation. Check your Spam/Junk folder in case our email is delivered there. We will provide you with all the information you need in a timely manner and guide you through the process of encapsulation so you know exactly what you need to do. If you have purchased our Placenta Collection Kit then all the documents you need will be sent to you. If not, there are some documents you will need to read and print. A link to these documents will be sent to you.

How soon will I receive my remedies?

We process each placenta within 1 hour of receiving it at the practice. Over 90% of clients will receive their remedies around 3 days after collection (excluding Placenta Tincture and Homeopathic remedy, which both take longer to produce). However size of your placenta and remedies you have chosen will all play a role in how quickly we can send them out. Weekends, Bank Holidays and severe weather conditions can delay delivery, if that looks to be the case we will inform you. Once your initial remedies are ready we will always use Royal Mail Special Delivery, which guarantees delivery to you the next day before 1pm.

Do you offer Placenta Encapsulation Services in London?

We regularly collect from a range of hospitals within the London area including: Portland Hospital, Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital, UCLH and Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital. For more information of Placenta Encapsulations in London, please click here to visit our dedicated page.

Do you offer Placenta Encapsulation Services in Winchester?

Yes, we do. We are only minutes away from the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, meaning we can collect your placenta within hours of birth. We also collect from other Hampshire hospitals too. Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton, and Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital are regular destinations for us. We also cover Andover and New Forest Birth Centre's. For more information of Placenta Encapsulation in Winchester, please click here to visit our dedicate page.