Despite centuries of safe use, the information on this page has not been evaluated by Health Canada or the FDA. The services offered by Roxanna Farnsworth of A Conscious Beginning, are not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Mothers who choose to utilize the services on this page take full responsibility of their own health when using these remedies.
Q: I want to book your placenta encapsulation services. Now what?
When you are ready to book my services please fill out my contact form and secure a place on my calendar. Have your partner or family member text my cell phone when you are in active labor (this isn’t always possible which is fine but it does help me prep my kitchen and go over my schedule). Text again when the placenta is ready for pick up. Please make sure the texts are in the following format: your name, place (home, hospital’s name), status (labor or ready for pick up). I will text that number to arrange a pick up time.
Q: How is the placenta prepared?
I was trained in the Traditional Chinese Method of placenta encapsulation. This includes gentle handling of the placenta, cleansing in clean water, careful drainage of the blood vessels, steaming with spices and dehydration. Your placenta will then be ground and placed in capsules yielding 80-150 capsules, depending on the size. You will be given further instructions such as dosage, care and guidelines once your placenta is encapsulated. If you are interested in Raw Preparation I do this as well, please inquire via email.
Q: What is Mother’s Broth?
Mother’s broth is the water after the placenta has been steamed. The broth is high is nutrients from the placenta including iron and hormones. It also contains the Traditional Chinese warming herbs ginger and myrrh. You can drink it in a variety of ways: all at once, over the course of three days, with tea or another broth (such as home made chicken broth like I did), or a little at time (one option is freezing it in ice cube trays). If you are interested in consuming your broth let me know on my registration form and I’ll provide further details.
Q: Do you encapsulate in my home or your home?
Right now I am only offering in my home placenta encapsulation. I only encapsulate one placenta at a time, so there is no risk with cross contamination in my home. In addition I follow strict sterilizing practices for all my equipment and kitchen space, and OSHA guidelines. See pricing for more info.
Q: How long does the encapsulation process take?
The process takes place over a period of two days. I usually pick up the placenta within 24 hours of being notified that it is ready and return the capsules within 48 hours after the pick up. Please note that I am a full time mother to three young boys (find out more about me and them here).
Q: How many capsules will I get?
This depends on the size of your placenta. The size of your placenta can range depending on gestation age (how many weeks you are when baby is born), baby’s size, and your diet. Some placentas yield 90, while others can make up to 150.
Q: What kind of capsules do you use?
I use locally sourced vegetarian kosher ’00’ sized capsules. They are medium sized and easy to swallow.
Q: What kind of container should I put the placenta in?
Please instruct your birth support (partner, doula, family member) to instruct nursing staff (including shift changes) upon admission that you will be keeping your placenta. If you are birthing at a hospital the nurses will place your placenta in a sterile bag and/or white bucket with a lid. I strongly recommend keeping your placenta in sight at all times so it is not accidentally discarded. Please plan on bringing a small cooler with you to the hospital and requesting a bag of ice to keep the placenta cool until I arrive.
If you birth at home simply place in a food safe container with a sealed lid or ziploc storage bags (double or triple bag for preventing leaks). Storage container is particularly important if you are going to freeze the placenta. You will need to freeze your placenta if pick up cannot be arranged within 72 hours of birth, prior to this keeping it on ice or in the fridge is fine. A container with a flat bottom, large enough to hold your placenta without it folding over on itself is very helpful to ensuring an easy encapsulation. It should have a lid, and be made of plastic or glass. A frozen placenta can be more difficult to work with, as the blood vessels can stick to each other and it makes draining more difficult.
Q: What if I am Strep-B positive or have a maternal infection and need antibiotics?
With Strep-B, your care provider will suggest you be given penicillin during your labour to prevent transmission of the infection to your baby. You are allowed to opt out of antibiotics if you wish and many mother’s have safely done so. If you do choose antibiotics during labor it is potentially possible that there could be some antibiotic remaining in your placenta, and therefore your capsules. If this possibility bothers you, then encapsulation may not be the best option for you. However, keep in mind that the antibiotics will not have an effect on the benefits of the placenta. If you suffered from a fever (diagnosed by your care provider) during labor (from GBS infection or any other infection) or the baby got sick from a confirmed infection during labor, then the placenta is not suitable for consumption.
Q: What if I had oxcytocin, an epidural, a C-section, other drugs or meconium was present?
You can still encapsulate your placenta! Most drugs break down during the process. For a C-section, make sure the staff understand you want to keep your placenta. If you do have a C-section, your placenta will be very beneficial to your healing process, both physically and emotionally. If meconium is present, a process is done using vinegar to gently sterilize the placenta.
Q: What if I had a yeast infection, develop thrush, or meconium was present at birth?
You can still consume your placenta! Meconium is sterile, therefore it does not affect the placentas benefits, nor does it affect you.
If you suffer from thrush while taking the capsules, it may be beneficial to stop taking the capsules at your discretion, however, some clients have continued taking them and did not notice any side effects.
Q: When is a placenta considered unsuitable for consumption?
If the mother is HIV, Hep B or C positive or if the placenta is sent to the pathology lab for examination. This rarely occurs, but in the case that it does, simply have a family member call me.
Q: What is Lotus Birth? It is possible to encapsulate and have a gentle separation as well?
According to Placenta Benefits TM:
“A lotus birth is when the placenta is left attached to the baby until it detaches on its own, generally after several days. In lotus birth, it is common to salt or otherwise help the placenta dry out more quickly. While traditional lotus birth is a beautiful ceremony honoring the connection between placenta and baby, it renders the placenta unsuitable for consumption. If lotus birth is important to you, a modified version could be performed while still encapsulating the placenta.
a) The placenta could stay connected to the baby for up to three or four hours. This would give the baby a gentle transition to the world, and the placenta would still be fit for consumption after this amount of time. Do not exceed four hours before separating the placenta and refrigerating it.
b) Another option at four hours postpartum is to sever the portion of placenta that you desire to encapsulate, and place it into the refrigerater. The remainder of the placenta can stay intact, along with the cord to baby until it falls off naturally. This allows a modified version of both lotus and encapsulation while understanding you are not receiving either in full – resulting in fewer capsules, no cord keepsake, and some will be severed (not full lotus.) Remember that we need to start the process within the first 24 hours (ideally) to 48 hours of the birth. We do this because the hormones within the placenta will begin to metabolize and change.
If the placenta is encapsulated after 4-5 days, has been kept cool and does not spoil, the capsules will not be as potent from a hormonal standpoint. While the iron and other nutrients take longer to break down, choosing a more optimal lotus birth could result in potentially less effective placenta capsules. Lotus also tends to involve salting of the placenta. Adding that much sodium into the capsules is not going to be good for a system and is a step that would be better skipped.
The modified options above (a, b) offer a lotus-type gentle birth while also having the full benefit from the placenta capsules, and those are what PBi believes to be best.”