Encapsulation Preparation Checklist
- Your locally-assigned encapsulation specialist will contact you soon after you book to introduce herself. Call or text her when you go into labor or have a scheduled induction or C-section date. If you have your baby overnight, keep the placenta in the cooler on ice or in the fridge and text/call your encapsulation specialist first thing in the morning. Many hospitals will want the placenta off the premises within a certain time frame; that is fine, your partner can put the cooler in the car. Pack it with extra ice!
- Put a cooler in your car with two ziploc (gallon size) bags. An approximately 28 quart size, plastic, hard-sided cooler is perfect. We do not return styrofoam coolers for sanitary reasons. All other hard-sided coolers will be sanitized and returned to you. Some hospitals and birth centers will give you the placenta in a plastic basin with a lid and some will place it in your Ziploc bags; either is ok. Be sure to ask for ice to add to your cooler and call/text your encapsulation specialist. **Home birth: It will be fine in a refrigerator for 2 days. After 48 hours, you would need to put it in the freezer, if encapsulation has not been done by then, for some reason.
- Inform your Doctor/Midwife that you will be encapsulating your placenta and that you will need it to remain free of chemicals and uncontaminated after the birth. If you have had some health concerns during the pregnancy, your placenta may be unhealthy to consume and the doctor may want to run tests on the placenta, so it is best to talk about it before the birth. Generally speaking, unless you have a uterine infection or diseases such as AIDS/HIV or hepatitis, your placenta is considered safe and consumable. If your OB wants to send your placenta to pathology for some reason, have them use sterile tools to cut a piece off to send to pathology and kindly bag up the rest of the placenta for you. If your entire placenta is taken to the lab, unfortunately, it is not safe for encapsulation.
- You may want to contact the hospital/birth center to ask for copies of any paperwork you’ll need to sign in order for them to release your placenta to you. As of January 1, 2016, Texas law states that hospitals and birthing centers must release your placenta to you, so long as you do not have any infectious diseases.
- Around 36-37 weeks, you’ll be tested for Group B Strep (GBS) by your OB or midwife. Should you test positive for GBS, your placenta IS still SAFE for encapsulation. Please click here for more information on the safety of encapsulation and GBS.