Finding a Proper Placenta Encapsulation Specialist
By Jereka Hunt, CPES (PBi)
So, you’re having a baby. Whether it’s your first child or your fourth, you are likely doing your research and reading up on the newest findings. You started out with Mamaroo and slowly made your way to giving birth in a pool of warm water and hiring a doula (all of which you are strongly considering). You’ve finally stumbled onto Placenta Encapsulation and you know it time for you to get some sleep but you simply can’t stop reading (I mean, is this for real?!). You read on and you see that placentophagy has been in the news lately, especially as it pertains to new celebrity moms using their placentas for postpartum recovery. You see it is an all-natural alternative for healing during your postpartum phase. You’ve discovered the 4 out of 5 women will suffer from postpartum mood instability and at least 1 of them to go on to develop postpartum depression. You read that postpartum depression isn’t just some silly moodiness that new moms suffer from but it is actual clinical depression which is experienced (anytime) within the first 12 months after giving birth (and you do the math. Pregrancy = 10/9 months. Labor/Delivery = 8 – 36 hours. Postpartum = 12 months. You had a birth plan. What’s your postpartum plan?). You read stories of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety and you decide that you’ll be proactive about it. Let’s hire a placenta encapsulation specialist! I mean, it’s not very expensive and it’s completely nature. The vast majority of the 2000+ species of mammals consume their placentas immediately postpartum. It only makes sense, right?
Well, as a Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist who has offered services throughout NC, to over 500 families since 2010, I would agree with you. I would advise you to read about the benefits of placenta for a quick and rapid postpartum recovery; increasing of the milk supply, natural hormone replacement, iron replenishment and natural anxiety relief (we’ve had multiple clients who’ve stopped taking anxiety medication while taking their placenta pills, even after having just given birth). I would also strongly advise you to read testimonials from moms and dads.
After you’ve done your research and you’re ready to book your due date with a specialist, I would offer you the advice below for finding someone. I would make your aware that this is not a regulated industry and, though TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) placenta preparation has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, this is a fairly new type of alternative healing modality in western culture. As it is not regulated, you will need to do your own research to be certain you are hiring someone who knows what they are doing (you only get one placenta per child!) and who abides by proper food safety standards.
Here is our advice for choosing a proper encapsulation service:
1. Ask about their training, background and certification. “Which certifying company?” “Is your certification up to date?” (And then, look them up!)
It is true that the specialist may meet all of the criteria for being certified and may simply choose to not pay for listing with a particular certification company but you should at least be able to contact someone in charge to ask whether or not the specialist has completed training with them or is currently in training with them. Also, if they have completed training in the past, ask whether or not they EVER obtained certification status with the company. A simple email to admin should get you the answers you require.
2. Ask if they’ve had food safety and sanitation training (such as training with ServSafe, seen in NC restaurants right beside the Health Score). It is important that your specialist knows about food safety! The placenta is an organ meat and has the potential to carry pathogenic bacteria, the same as any other raw meat. It must be handled with care and a healthy respect for germs, bacteria, viruses and pathogens. You are going to ingest this, after all. Remember that cook out you attended where you watched in horror as the cook put raw chicken on the grill and used those same tongs to remove the other cooked meats? Yeah, you don’t want that person handling your placenta…
3. Ask where they prepare the placenta. This is very important as most, who pick up the placenta and bring back prepared pills, are taking placentas to their homes to prepare them, not to a certified, inspected facility. There is no facility in the entire US that is certified for placenta pill prep. Again, this is not a regulated industry. Some will offer you a choice between having it prepared in your home or theirs. It is our advice to steer clear of a service who offers to take your placenta away from you, for a number of safety reasons (is their home sanitary, do they have pets who roam freely in the kitchen area, is their refrigerator up to code, how are they labeling the placentas to prevent mix-ups, how well do they clean their kitchen prep area, etc.). If they prepare your pills at a facility, is the facility inspected for FOOD safety? If so, they will have a health score displayed prominently, as they will receive regular inspections by their local health department. The health inspector checks for food safety and sanitation compliance such as whether or not the refrigerator is up to code and holds proper temperatures, the sanitizing solution meets safety standards, etc.
4. They should be able to answer, “Can I still encapsulate my placenta if I develop a fever during labor? a sinus infection? a yeast infection? a uterine infection? a cold? if there is meconium? (The answer to one question is a solid “NO”, the answer to another is “it depends..”, the answer to four of them is “Absolutely”)
5. They should be able to quickly provide testimonials for their encapsulation services and customer service.
Click here to learn more about why we do not transport your placenta and why we do not prepare it away from you.
Book your due date here
Jereka Hunt, CPES (PBi)
Mentor and Owner
Wombmart Placenta Encapsulation