Your Questions, Answered
HOW DO I KEEP MY PLACENTA AFTER GIVING BIRTH?
Your midwife or care team should give your placenta to you if they know that you want to keep it. Ensure that your midwife, delivery 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 ante-natal appointments if possible.
HOW DO I STORE MY PLACENTA?
Make sure that you have a clean container with a lid (like a sandwich box) and a water-tight food storage bag (new, zip-lock/resealable) in which to put your placenta. Please ask me for a label for your box. After the umbilical cord is cut the placenta can be placed into the bag and then the box and refrigerated as soon as possible. Your placenta must be cooled by storing in a fridge or cool bag at 8 degrees or below within 30 minutes of its birth.
If you are giving birth in hospital you should take a cool bag with SIX frozen ice packs. Place the ice packs and container into the cool bag. The bag should remain in the room with you when you give birth. Once the placenta is in the container do not leave it unattended or anywhere where it might be picked up or get lost. Wrap a carrier bag around the ice packs and placenta box to keep the frozen ice blocks in close contact.
In hospital it is unlikely that you will be able to use a fridge to store your placenta but many midwives will allow you to store your ice packs in the hospital freezer during labour. 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).
If you are giving birth at home you can store your placenta in your fridge. Ensure that the container is sealed and place it on the lowest shelf.
HOW DO I GET MY PLACENTA TO YOU AFTER I HAVE GIVEN BIRTH?
I will collect your placenta from home or hospital. At the time of booking you will provide me with your due date. When you have had your baby and are ready for me to collect your placenta you (of a family member) can contact me by phone, email or text to confirm where and when to collect your placenta.
ARE THERE ANY REASONS THAT 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 will not be beneficial to you. The most usual reason that you will not keep your placenta is if your hospital, doctor or midwife are not aware that you want it. Clear communication will ensure that your placenta is kept, if you want it.
CAN I FREEZE MY PLACENTA?
Yes. You can freeze your placenta as long as it has been refrigerated within 30 minutes of birth. The placenta can be stored in a fridge for up to 5 days and if it has not been used by then you can place it into a deep freezer. I prefer to prepare placenta remedies from fresh placenta as freezing destroys the B vitamins. The other nutritional benefits remain and if you are freezing placenta, you should ensure that the bag is sealed carefully and not damaged by freezer burn.
I can make capsules and other preparations from frozen placenta.
CAN I USE MY PLACENTA IF I HAVE A CAESAREAN SECTION?
Yes. The placenta will be delivered with your baby. You should ensure that your care team are aware of your request to keep your placenta and provide them with the clean storage container with lid. The team may put the placenta into a plastic bag (a yellow biohazard bag) and they may add a saline solution which is used to prevent bacterial growth. Simply place the whole bag into your clean storage container with a lid and refrigerate in a cool bag or fridge to 8 degrees or below within 30 minutes.
In hospital you will not be able to use a fridge and should take a cool bag. Do not leave the container or cool bag unattended or anywhere where it might be picked up or get lost. When you have a C-section you will be moved between rooms and should keep your placenta with you. Putting a birthing partner on ‘placenta patrol’ places the responsibility with them!
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.
CAN I USE MY PLACENTA IF I HAVE A LOTUS BIRTH?
Yes. A lotus birth is where the umbilical cord is not cut and clamped immediately after delivery. You can use your placenta if you have a short-term lotus birth – where the cord is cut after it stops pulsating (up to 6 hours after the baby is born). Once the cord is cut, the placenta should be refrigerated as soon as possible using a cool bag or fridge. After 48 hours in a fridge it should be placed into a deep freezer.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY PLACENTA IS STAINED WITH MECONIUM?
Meconium is the sticky tar-like poo that your baby produces in first few days of life until milk gets into it’s digestive system. Sometimes, the baby passes meconium for the first time in the womb or as it is born and this may stick to the placenta. If this is the case I will sterilise your placenta using natural products (including white vinegar) to kill any bacteria before preparation of capsules and I will use the TCM method which heats the placenta during preparation. You cannot have a placenta smoothie if there is meconium staining of your placenta due to the bacteria that may be present. This is infrequent.
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.
HOW MANY PILLS WILL MY PLACENTA MAKE?
Depending on the size of your placenta, your placenta will usually make 80 – 200 capsules. If you take these regularly these will last 1 – 2 months after the birth of your baby.
HOW SHOULD I STORE MY CAPSULES?
Capsules are best stored in the fridge. Raw capsules must be kept in the fridge consumed within 6 months. TCM capsules should be kept in a cool dry place (the fridge is ideal) and can be kept in the freezer once you are using them infrequently.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE IN THE CAPSULES?
The capsules are made of vegetarian gel and contain only your placenta. Nothing is added to preserve or enhance the capsules.
WHAT IS THE DOSAGE OF CAPSULES?
The recommended dosage of your placenta capsules is 3 – 4 capsules per day for one month after giving birth and 2 – 3 capsules per day until they are finished after that.
Placenta capsules can be taken as needed and there is no single correct dose. You may adjust your dose as you feel you need more or less. Listen to your body as it will tell you what it needs.
WHEN SHOULD I NOT TAKE PLACENTA CAPSULES?
TCM capsules should not be taken when you have a fever, flu or cold due to the ‘yang’ warming properties. I recommend buying a tincture to compliment TCM capsules. Do not take placenta capsules while you are pregnant due to their hormone levels.
HOW DO I CHOOSE WHETHER TO HAVE AN ESSENCE, TINCTURE OR HOMEOPATHIC REMEDY MADE?
This is entirely your decision based on what you have read and the ways that you use other natural remedies. Read about the different placenta preparations and make your choice. If you would like to talk to me and ask questions or request further sources of information then please get in touch.
HOW DO I CHOOSE BETWEEN TCM AND RAW CAPSULES?
They both have similar benefits and can both help to battle postnatal depression. There is no correct decision or one preparation that produces more effective capsules than another. Read about the two different types on the PLACENTA PREPARATIONS PAGE and make your choice. If you would like to talk to me about this and ask questions or request further sources of information then please get in touch.
WILL PLACENTA PREPARATIONS STOP ANY PROBLEMS AFTER THE BIRTH OF MY BABY?
No! It’s a wonderful time but exhausting, stressful and one of the most demanding times of life. Placenta preparations will not change this – having a new-born baby is rarely easy. But we believe that a focus on nutrition and wellbeing puts you in the best place to optimise your postpartum experience. Placenta preparation is not meant to replace medical advice, medical care or medicine.
I’M HAVING TWINS, WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
You will have either one or two placentas and can decide how you would like them prepared, either together or separately.