Placenta Services

Frequently Asked Questions
How will you transport my placenta if I choose to have it processed in your facility?
Your placenta will be transported in one of our designated coolers that are used only in the transportation of placentas from the place of birth to our designated processing facility. After each transportation, the cooler is cleaned and sanitized in accordance with OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen guidelines. We choose to transport in coolers to maintain a safe temperature for the placenta as it is transferred.
What if I choose to encapsulate in my home?
We are more than happy to encapsulate in your home. We prefer to begin the encapsulation process within a few hours after birth with a cut off at 24 hours after delivery in order to prevent natural growing bacteria to corrupt the placenta and render encapsulation unsafe. If we can not begin the process of encapsulation within the first 24 hours after birth the placenta must be frozen to prevent the growth of bacteria until a time can be scheduled for encapsulation. Note: it takes 2 days for proper thawing of a placenta. Once a placenta has been frozen it must be processed using the Steam-Start method.
How do I decide which location would be best for my placenta to be encapsulated in?
Just like anything else related to your birth experience, please make an informed consent decision about how you have your placenta encapsulated.

Click here to read a great article to help you decide.
When will my pills be ready?
In most cases, next day. Our goal with a quick turnaround is to make all efforts to protect you from harmful bacteria that can grow on the placenta after it has been delivered. Just like food, the placenta must be kept at a safe temperature for a limited amount of time. We guarantee quality work, which to us means that you have your pills in your hand as soon as possible.
Why don’t you offer the Chinese Method?
Short answer: We are not Doctors of Chinese Medicine.

Long answer: Why TCM? Tonification is the act of treating the body in a way that nourishes and replenishes the Qi, blood, Yin and Yang. During pregnancy the body produces more blood to nourish the fetus. This diversion in blood disrupts the balance of the body which leads to several symptoms. The Qi moves upwards. Emotions can cause the Qi to move too strongly and upset the fetus. The best advice for an expecting mother is for her to rest and keep her belly warm inside and out.When the mother is following Chinese philosophy she will want to bring her body back into balance after the birth. This can be achieved by using the Traditional Chinese Medicine method of heating the placenta both physically and internally with both steam and ginger. The ginger adds a warming aspect to the placenta and externally heating the placenta encourages the uterus to seal so that the blood can return to the areas of the body that it has neglected and thus Qi can be replenished. The mother can work with a doctor of Chinese Medicine for a personalized blend of herbs to address her specific needs and then her placenta specialist can steam the placenta with the prescribed herbs to infuse the placenta with warmth. When the mother ingests the placenta pills she will be bringing warmth and Qi back to her body.

Since, again, we are not Doctors of Chinese Medicine, we cannot offer the Traditional Chinese Method. We do offer a Steam-Start Method where the placenta is steamed without prescribed herbs before dehydrated and encapsulated.
What sanitation guidelines do you follow?
We follow OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard 29 CFR 1090.1030 which includes, but is not limited to:

  • The Placenta Specialist must use single use, disposable gloves.
  • The Placenta Specialist must wear proper eye gear, gown, and face mask.
  • The area where the process takes place must be disinfected with a 10:1 bleach solution that sits on the surface and all instruments for at least 10 minutes.
  • All the necessary equipment used for the processing of the placenta is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in a 10:1 bleach solution prior to and after each placenta.
For a full listing of standards click here.
When do I contact you? What is the collection and drop off process?
Each birthing location has their own unique policies and guidelines. After the Placenta Services Questionnaire has been completed and submitted, you will be given specific instructions based on where you are birthing.
Can I have my placenta encapsulated if I am induced, have a c-section, epidural, or Pitocin?
Yes, yes and yes!
Do I need to tell my doctor that I am going to have my placenta encapsulated?
You don’t have to, but it’s a good idea to make sure it’s noted in your chart that if your placenta requires a trip to pathology that only a portion is taken and to make sure it is stated in your birth plan. If you don’t have a birth plan be sure that you notify your nurse about your request.
What if I'm told that my placenta has to be sent to Pathology?
Why would a placenta need to go to pathology?
Unfortunately, this answer varies widely depending on who is giving the answer. It’s important to be informed as both a consumer (your doctor and birthing location both work FOR you—you are paying them for a service) and the owner of a placenta. If Pathology is mentioned you have the right to be told what medical indications are present. If there are none, and it’s just “what they’ve always done” remember this is YOUR placenta that YOUR body grew and birthed! Own it. (Seriously, women have sued hospitals for the rights of their placenta Link: http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/local/2016/05/30/rankin-woman-sues-for-rights-to-placenta/85046188/ )

There are no hard rules on this. ACOG hasn’t even mentioned it in over 14 years. What is published are guidelines.

Here are some links to have handy:
https://www.mmicgroup.com/pdf/placpath1.pdf
http://contemporaryobgyn.modernmedicine.com/contemporaryobgyn/content/tags/maternal-fetal-medicine/placental-pathology-it-time-getserious?page=full

Four categories of placental pathology have clinical utility: (1) findings relevant to the immediate care of the mother or baby; (2) findings predictive of possible recurrence that could guide care in subsequent pregnancies; (3) diagnoses that help explain adverse pregnancy outcomes; and (4) findings that may be important in medicolegal investigation of perinatal mortality and long-term morbidity.

Maternal Indications Recommended

• Systemic disorders with clinical concerns for mother or infant (e.g., severe diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, hypertensive disorders, col- lagen vascular disease, seizures, severe anemia [<9 g]) • Premature delivery <34 weeks’ gestation • Peripartum fever and/or infection • Unexplained third-trimester bleeding or excessive bleeding >500 cm

• Clinical concern for infection during this pregnancy (e.g., HIV, syphilis, CMV, primary herpes, toxoplasma, or rubella) • Severe oligohydramnios • Unexplained or recurrent pregnancy complica- tion (IUGR, stillbirth, spontaneous abortion, premature birth) 2007 MMIC • MINIMIZING OBSTETRICAL RISK (PAGE 28)

• Invasive procedures with suspected placental injury • Abruption • Nonelective pregnancy termination • Thick/viscid meconium

Other
• Premature delivery from >34 weeks’ to <37 weeks’ gestation • Severe unexplained polyhydramnios • History of substance abuse • Gestational age ≥42 weeks • Severe maternal trauma • Prolonged (>24 hours) rupture of membranes

NOTE: Delivery by cesarean section is not an indication for submission of the placenta for pathologic examination. Fetal/Neonatal Indications

Recommended
• Admission or transfer to other than Level I nursery • Stillbirth/perinatal death • Compromised clinical condition defined as any of the following: – Cord blood pH <7.0 – Apgar score <6 at 5 minutes – Ventilatory assistance >10 minutes – Severe anemia (Hct <35%) • Hydrops fetalis • Birth weight <10th percentile (IUGR) • Major congenital anomalies, dysmorphic phenotype, or abnormal karyotype • Discordant twin growth (>20% weight difference) • Multiple gestation with like-sex infants and fused placentas

Other
• Birth weight >95th percentile • Asymmetric growth • Multiple gestation without other indication • Vanishing twin beyond the first trimester • Following therapeutic/diagnostic intervention in utero (not a CAP indication)
Placental Indications Recommended

• Any gross abnormality or unusual appearance of the placenta, membranes, or umbilical cord. This includes, but is not limited to: in- farct, mass, vascular thrombosis, retroplacen- tal hematoma, amnion nodosum, abnormal coloration or opacification, bad odor, umbili- cal-cord thrombosis, torsion, true knot, single artery, absence of Wharton’s jelly. • Small or large placental size or weight for gestational age (<350 g or >750 g at term) • Total umbilical-cord length <32 cm at term

Other

• Abnormalities of placental shape • Long cord (>100 cm) • Marginal or velamentous cord insertion
How do I get my placenta released from the hospital?
Be sure anyone who will come into contact with your placenta knows that you want to keep it! The nurse will have you sign a Pathology Release form. Easy Peasy!
What if my baby passes meconium during the delivery? Is it still safe to encapsulate?
Yes! The placenta will get a vinegar rinse and then will be processed as usual.