Below are the most frequently asked questions about our placenta services.
- What you need to know before birth
- What to do at the time of birth
- How the placenta is prepared and more about our preparation services
- How to take your placenta preparation
If you have any additional questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact us
I am interested in working with you. What should I do next?
If you are interested in placenta preparation, begin by reading through the material about Santosha’s placenta services on this website to get an idea of what you’d like to do. Next, fill out the form here, which goes directly to Jaime. Please include with your inquiry your guess date, where you are planning to birth, and the city you live in. I offer placenta services to women who live and birth within a 15 mile radius of Asheville, North Carolina.
Once I confirm my availability, I will send you our contract. You can complete this form and either scan and email or snail mail a copy. Once we have completed the contract and you have submitted a deposit, I will be on call for you beginning 10 days before your guess date and until you deliver!
What should I do to prepare for encapsulation?
Tell your care provider that you would like to keep your placenta. Most birth settings are familiar with this practice.**
Ask your doctor if the hospital provides a container or if you need to bring your own. Some hospitals will provide a bucket with a lid on it. If you are not sure, I recommend bringing a Styrofoam cooler where you can keep your placenta over ice, especially if you deliver in the middle of the night. Ideally, the placenta would be placed in a sealable plastic bag and set in this cooler on ice.
You should also write your wishes into your birth plan and bring a copy of your birth plan to the hospital or birth center with you.
You might want to designate a member of your care team to be the placenta keeper/tracker, particularly if you give birth in a hospital. This person can remind the team (nurses, doctor, etc.) present at your birth about your wishes and make sure that your placenta is kept and properly handled (it’s best not to let it out of your sight!). This person can be your partner, a family member, or your doula.
If you decide at your birth that you want placenta preparation, it’s not too late! Give me a call.
** If you are part of the minority who unfortunately receives push back, remember: you have a legal right to make this request and have it honored. After all, your placenta is YOUR organ.
Ideally, placenta preparation should be begin within the first 24 to 48 hours after birth, though it can begin much later so long as the placenta has been properly kept (see chart). If you have given birth between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., please call me and I will come to your birth location as soon as I am able. If you give birth at night, please place the placenta on ice or in a wrapped bowl in the fridge and call me in the morning. You can reach me by call or text at 619-392-9333 during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
If you were on the fence about encapsulating, but decide you wish to at/after birth, give me a call. If I am available, I will be more than happy to prepare your placenta for you!
|Room temp. for 1-2 hours|
|Fridge for 72 hours max|
|Freezer, up to 2 years, unprepared|
What if I was given medications before or during birth that I am concerned about ingesting in the placenta?
Many believe that the placenta filters out most drugs that may be used just before or during labor. For example, the drugs in an epidural are thought to leave the placenta rather quickly and should not be a concern for encapsulation. However, if you are concerned about any medications you took before or during birth, the best approach is to first freeze and then dehydrate your placenta, a process which takes just a couple additional days.
Can you still encapsulate my placenta if I have an epidural or a c-section?
What about Group B Strep or if there was meconium in the amniotic fluid?
In each of these cases the placenta can still be prepared. However, fresh preparation is not recommended if you have meconium in the amniotic fluid (not a problem for encapsulation).
What if I had a C-section and they want to send my placenta to pathology?
If the placenta must be taken to pathology, ask if they can do a visual exam or cut a small piece to examine instead of taking the whole placenta. If they insist on taking the whole placenta, you can insist that it is kept refrigerated before and after examination, and that you get it back within 72 hours. Also insist that they use absolutely no solutions, especially formaldehyde. If this solution is used, the placenta is no longer a good candidate for encapsulation.
Where does preparation occur?
I typically prepare placentas in my own home. I adhere to the very strictest standards of sanitation and safety. I only encapsulate one placenta at a time, so there is no risk of a placenta “mix-up.”
If you have a strong desire, I can prepare the placenta in your home for an additional cost. If I prepare your placenta in your home, I bring all the equipment needed for the process—everything, down to the paper towels and the sponge. I do my best to leave your space cleaner than I found it. The first visit takes about 1½ to 2 hours. The placenta is prepared and placed in the dehydrator for approximately 8 hours (I program it to turn off automatically so you don’t have to worry about it). I return the following day to begin the encapsulation process, which usually is complete in about an hour. You can start taking your capsules right away for the maximum postpartum benefits.
How long does the process take?Encapsulation takes approximately two days or between 24 and 48 hours, depending on when I receive the placenta. I will have your placenta preparation returned to you within 48 to 72 hours after I receive it. Fresh preparations can be ready sooner if desired. Tinctures take six weeks to complete and will be sealed and mailed to you or can be dropped off at your home.
What are your payment and refund policies?
Partial payment (50%) is due when we agree to work together and sign the contract. This is what ensures I am on-call for your birth 10 days prior to your guess date and until you deliver. FULL payment (or balance) is due on or before your guess date. If we agree to work together late in the game, perhaps days before or hours after birth, payment is due upon pick up of the placenta. I accept cash or check. Payment can be made by mail in advance of your guess and birth date (whichever comes first) or made in person thereafter.
Prior to the “on-call” period, a full refund can be arranged. Within the “on call” period but before pick up, a refund of the full amount minus a $20 on-call fee can be arranged. Once a placenta has been picked up and preparation has begun, no refunds are available. In the rare chance the preparer is unable to fulfill her contractual responsibilities, a full refund will be made. Should the client fail to meet their responsibilities (e.g., failure to call, failure to secure and properly store placenta prior to pickup), a refund will not be available.
My placenta has been in the freezer for months or years, can I still encapsulate?
If your placenta has been frozen for several weeks or months, you can still benefit from encapsulation in most cases. Placentas are often candidates for encapsulation for up to two years postpartum. Though your placenta may not be as potent, it still retains many valuable nutrients. I am trained to evaluate placenta integrity to determine if encapsulation is feasible.
If frozen, please put the placenta in the refrigerator to thaw for 12 hours before pick up.
When is the best day to start taking the placenta?
You can begin as soon as you wish. Most women begin taking their capsules around day three postpartum. You can begin raw preparation as soon as it is ready. You can begin taking a tincture at any time.
What is the recommended dosage for placenta capsules?
All recommendations are printed on the bottle; so don’t worry about remembering this information for later. For the first three days, the recommended dose is 6 pills a day. The best way to take them is 2 at breakfast, 2 at lunch, and 2 at dinner. If you accidentally skip a dose or if you find the evening dose gives you more energy than you need, you can take 3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. It is important to take the pills with food, as it helps your body digest and derive benefits from the pills. On days 4 to 14, many women drop down to 4 pills a day, 2 in the morning with breakfast, and 2 with lunch or dinner. After two weeks, many women take 2 pills a day, 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. With this all said, every woman’s body responds differently to placenta consumption. If you find you get too much energy or a particular effect at a certain dose, adjust as seems appropriate. When you start to really forget to take your pills, it is likely a sign that you no longer need them (though it may be a sign you are just really tired J). Feel free to call me at any time with questions or concerns. I always welcome your feedback.
Where should I store the capsule jar?
Ideally, you can keep the jar in the refrigerator for up to six months. If it sits out on a counter for a couple hours accidentally, it’s not a problem. Keep away from heat and moisture. For long-term storage, place in a deep freezer.
Under what conditions should I NOT consume my placenta?
If you develop a uterine infection prior to or during labor your placenta cannot be encapsulated. Communicable diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS also make your placenta unsuitable for ingestion.
If you develop a fever or infection (e.g., flu, mastitis) in the postpartum, it is best to wait until the infection has cleared (at least 24 hours after symptoms resolve) to begin or resume taking your placenta pills. Many experts recommend mamas temporarily stop taking their placenta if experiencing symptoms such as chills, fever, sneezing, aches, flushed cheeks, hot palms and feet, or night sweats. This is because the placenta is tonifying and the TCM preparation functions to drive good or bad deeper into tissues—and we don’t want to drive infection deeper, only the positive benefits of the placenta!
Others believe that the placenta can actually help in times of physical stress (for example, some women report a reduction in their night sweats as a result of taking their placenta). In all cases, it is best to listen to and honor your body and your intuition about what is for your greatest good.
If you have any additional questions, please contact us.