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Placenta Encapsulation in Ireland: FAQ

shutterstock_148602884 (1)What do I need to take to hospital for placenta encapsulation?

  • A 2lt clean, sealed plastic tub for your placenta with your IPA label attached to the lid.
  • 6-10 frozen ice blocks
  • A large, clean cool  box or cooler bag
  • Any payment due to your specialist.

What sort of container do I need for my placenta?

  • A sistema klip it food storage container is ideal as it will prevent spillage.

Will my container and cool box be returned to me?

  • If you are having a smoothie made or the specialist is collecting from your home rather than hospital, then the placenta can  be transferred to the specialists container.
  • If the placenta is being collected from hospital it may not be possible to return your container. The specialist may bring her own cool bag and ice packs and if so will leave your cool bag & ice packs with you. If not, you may make arrangements to collect your cool bag / ice packs from your specialist

How can I be sure that it is my own placenta that I take home from hospital ?

  • To be completely sure that you are taking home the right placenta, we strongly recommend that you don’t allow the placenta to leave the room after the birth.
  •  The placenta can be checked in your presence and added straight to your container and cool box, where you can keep it safely by your side for peace of mind.
  • We recommend that you ensure that the placenta is put directly into your own container with your own label on it and that you or your partner ensure that your hospital sticker is on the container twice.
  • You can add this request to your birth preference sheet

How do I safely store my placenta until it is collected by my specialist?

  • Request that your placenta be birthed onto a clean, absorbent incontinence sheet or a clean surface. Add this to your birth preference sheet.
  • Ensure that your placenta is put into the cool box as soon as possible after the birth and within a maximum of half an hour.
  • Ensure that your placenta is kept chilled. Add more ice or new ice packs if necessary. Most hospitals will have ice machines. Consider purchasing a thermometer to ensure that the cool box is kept below 8 degrees Celsius. If the hospital doesn’t have an ice machine then your partner can always see if there is a convenience store nearby where ice can be purchased
  • Move the placenta to a fridge within a maximum of six hours of being in the cool box and ideally after three if possible.
  • If your placenta is not being used within three days we recommend that you freeze it as soon as possible.
  • The latest research shows that for optimal freshness your placenta can be safely stored in the fridge for up to three days.

Can I have more than one remedy made from my placenta?

  • Yes, you can have any of the other remedies made alongside your placenta capsules.

How many capsules will I get?

  • The number of capsules you get will be dependent on the size of your placenta. Raw or fresh  encapsulations yield a larger number of capsules than TCM or steamed encapsulations. In general most people get between 90-300 capsules, with the average being around 150.

Is placenta encapsulation suitable for vegetarians?

  • Yes, our capsules are vegetarian and not made from gelatin. Since no animal has been harmed in the process most vegetarians feel comfortable with consuming their placenta.

Will my hospital allow me to take my placenta home? And will they be surprised at my request?

  • We have not had any issues with hospitals in Ireland or Northern Ireland refusing a mother to take her placenta home. Most hospitals are now used to this request.
  • Some of our busier hospitals in Dublin or Belfast are very used to this request and often know our specialists well. If you are told that you will not be able to take your placenta home you are probably being misinformed by a member of staff that is new to this practice.

Are there any situations when it is not possible to encapsulate a placenta?

In the following situations it will not be possible for our specialists to encapsulate your placenta –

  • If the mother has Hepatitis, HIV or AIDs
  • If there is any infection of the placenta or uterus
  • If the placenta goes to pathology for any reason. Please note a placenta is the property of the MOTHER not the HOSPITAL. If you feel that you or your baby will benefit from lab work done on your placenta then inform your care givers that they can only take a piece of the placenta to the lab.
  • If your placenta has not been stored correctly, within the time frame guidelines, or has not been kept chilled
  • If you are unsure whether it is your own placenta

Can I encapsulate my own placenta without using a specialist?

  • Yes, but most mothers prefer to concentrate on their baby and leave placenta work to specialists who have been professionally trained.

Can I still use my placenta if I am induced, have a medical birth or have a Cesarean Birth?

  • Yes, as long as the placenta is kept clean and stored safely as per the usual guidelines
  • We recommend that you take your 2lt container into the operating theatre with you and give it to the midwife in charge, requesting that the placenta be put straight into it after delivery.

I am taking medication. Can I still use my placenta for encapsulation?

  • We recommend that you check this with your own doctor for peace of mind.

Can I use my placenta if I have tested positive for GBS – Group B Strep?

  • Yes, but we recommend TCM (steamed) encapsulation rather than raw (fresh) encapsulation.

Can I use my placenta if there has been meconium reported in the waters?

  • Yes, meconium is sterile and is only dangerous when inhaled by the baby. If there is heavy meconium staining your midwife can add saline to the sealed container.
  • Please inform us if there is meconium and we will put your placenta through an extra stage of cleaning. If the straining is heavy we may recommend TCM (steamed) rather than raw (fresh) encapsulation, but this will be up to your discretion.

Find a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist