Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Placenta Encapsulation?
  • Placenta Encapsulation is a form of placentophagia, the act of consuming placenta postpartum for personal reasons and beliefs. 
  • The placenta is steamed and dehydrated shortly following the birth, ground into powder, and placed into capsules (resulting in 100-200, depending on the placenta size) for you to consume with ease, no different than swallowing a vitamin or herbal supplement. The whole process will have your capsules ready within 48-72 hours.
How do I proceed if I want to have my placenta encapsulated?
  • Please fill out and submit the client intake form and services agreement found here. All questions and waiver/liability are to protect you and your health, my other clients, and myself while I work with a blood product and prepare it for intended consumption. The more information I receive, the better I can assist you and identify any potential concerns or contraindications that might prevent you from being unable to encapsulate. I will respond within 48 hours to confirm my availability and your registration along with payment instructions and an itemized invoice for the services you request. If you have any questions or would like more details before committing to the services, you are always welcome to email me, and we can discuss!   
What type of capsules are used? 
  • The capsules are clear, size 0 for easy swallow, and you have the choice between gelatin or vegetarian made. They do not include any wheat, preservatives, or GMO materials.   
How long does a client take the placenta capsules for?
  • Capsules are taken as soon as possible following the birth. How long they will last depends on the number of capsules rendered from the placenta as well as dosage which is determined and assessed on an individual basis. There is no set time frame, and each woman is empowered to listen to the needs of her own body and can stop taking them at any time should she no longer feel a need for them. Generally, they can last anywhere from three to six weeks.
If my placenta has been frozen, is it too late to encapsulate it?
  • As long as the placenta was frozen after a few days of being in the fridge and has not spoiled in any way, it is still possible to encapsulate. However, if it has been in the freezer for more than a year, consider it similar to any other meat product that could be freezer burnt, losing its nutritional value, etc. It may be best in that situation to find another way to honour the placenta (ie having a print made, planting it, cord keepsake).
Where do you prepare the placenta?
  • I prepare the placenta in my own home in a designated basement space. This is to ensure the area, equipment, and sanitizing protocols are up to standard to remove the risk of contamination as well as have me able to monitor and be present for the entire process. It also allows the family privacy as they are settling in with their new little one shortly after the birth. On top of following national food safety guidelines, I am trained in OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens for Placenta Encapsulators and completely sanitize my space as well as my separate encapsulation equipment in accordance with Health Canada standards for cleaning medical supplies. If you have any questions or concerns as to what that looks like, I am more than willing to discuss in further detail with you!    
Are there any circumstances where a placenta cannot be encapsulated?
  • If you give birth in the hospital and they want to take your placenta to pathology for testing, please ask if they can take a small piece and leave the rest with you. If your whole placenta is sent to pathology, there is no guarantee it will come back to you having been stored at the proper temperature for food consumption or having not come in contact with chemicals directly or through cross contamination. There may be instances where anomalies or abnormalities require the hospital to take the entire placenta, and it will not be made available to you.
  • Certain conditions during pregnancy such as placenta previa, abruption, or accreta can factor into how much placenta you will actually end up with, resulting in a lesser amount of capsules or not getting your placenta back from the hospital at all such as in a case where a D&C is administered to remove the placenta. 
  • Smoking during pregnancy is a contraindication as heavy metals will concentrate in the placenta tissue.
  • If a uterine or amniotic infection (such as chorioamnionitis) presents itself during labour, it is not safe to re-introduce the infection by consuming the placenta.   
  • If the placenta has come into contact with meconium (baby's first bowel movement), it may be heavily stained. I have found the hospital to be reluctant in releasing a placenta so far in these circumstances, so you may need to be adamant about taking it especially if you would still like to have artistic services rendered without encapsulating. The placenta will be thoroughly washed as well as separated from the amniotic sac and remaining areas affected by meconium staining should you still wish to have it prepared for encapsulation. 
  • A placenta from a c-section or from a mother who had an epidural, pitocin, certain other drugs, or antibiotics during delivery is still perfectly safe to encapsulate. Any residual drugs left in the placenta are minimal, as drugs pass through the placenta rapidly and are rendered unstable after processing anyway. The only exception to this is magnesium sulfate which is used for constipation during pregnancy, to treat eclampsia, or to halt pre-term labour. Many hospitals will not release a placenta if magnesium sulfate was administered the day of or during the birth, as there is some controversy in obstetrics questioning if this is safe to ingest or not. In most cases, it is safe, however this depends on a few different factors such as the reason why it was given, how much was given, and the mother's hydration levels. Due to this, the placenta may not be available for release. 
  • The majority of medications that were considered safe to be given during the pregnancy are not going to pose an issue with encapsulation. Please list any medications you are taking on the intake form when asked, and I will ensure the half life and molecular weight for crossing through the placenta tissue are safe.   
At what temperature is the placenta dehydrated?
  • I dehydrate the placenta at 160F for at least 24 hours until thoroughly dry. I use an actual top fan dehydrator and not the oven in order to control the temperature for removing moisture without cooking it.
Are toxins filtered during pregnancy then stored in the placenta?
  • According to Dr. Robert A. Bradley in his book Husband Coached Childbirth, the FDA classifies the placenta as a "bloody sieve". It is not a barrier (as has been popular thought in the past) which filters and prevents contaminants from reaching the fetus. Toxins, whether environmental, food, or medical/drug are susceptible to crossing the placenta and affecting the growth and development of the fetus rather than the placenta storing them. Remaining waste products are returned and eliminated back out via the mother's blood supply which does not mix with that of the fetus.   
  • Out of 87 environmental chemicals tested, far greater amounts of toxins were found in the mother and baby than in the placenta or cord blood (source). Consuming a placenta with these low levels of toxins would be no more harmful than continuing to live, breathe, and eat as normal in this world. For a point of reference, there are toxins in breast milk and animal meats as well, but the use and benefits of those are not discouraged based on that fact either.    
  • The functions of the placenta, according to many biology and midwifery textbooks, never mention storage of toxins as being one of the many detailed purposes of the placenta. It would be a medical waste hazard by the time of nine months if this were so. It's a facilitator organ that works as an exchange system between mother and baby rather than acting like an air filter.   
Does everyone experience the same results? Are there any risks or side effects?
  • Placentophagia never provides a guarantee and cannot be used to prevent nor treat any conditions as both Health Canada and the FDA currently have no regulation on the practice (although Health Canada reps have been involved in helping set general guidelines and standards for those practicing encapsulation). Those who have this service provided for them take the capsules based on their own research and beliefs and understand the potential of the placenta may not be the same for everyone.  
  • Considering the placenta has been found to contain hormones and nutrients, it is possible it will have an effect on the body, either positive or negative. Each woman may be affected differently. Common experiences are mostly positive, however every body is different and may react in the way of headaches, nausea, too much milk supply, or emotions being off balance. Ensure you are drinking lots of water and taking the capsules with food as instructed. Dosage can always be adjusted, and capsules can always be discontinued in the event of undesired effects. The intention of consuming the placenta via capsule form is to support the body during its brief transition from pregnancy hormones to postpartum ones. Not everyone needs their placenta to have a balanced postpartum and feel well, and if you don't need it, your body has an innate way of letting you know.  

If you have any additional questions or suggestions on others to add to this page, please feel free to email me, and I'll be happy to discuss your inquiries! 


Missina Germain • 289 - 691 - 6863 • missina@wombfruits.com facebook.com/wombfruits

Disclaimer: Content on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA or Health Canada and is not
intended to prevent, treat, or diagnose any disease, illness, or symptoms. Copyright © 2015 Missina Germain