There are lots of cool things about encapsulating placentas, not least of which is the wonderful effect the finished product can have with new moms!
One of the things I enjoy is that sometimes it is a solitary pursuit, quite different from the other hats I wear as a doula and an educator -- tasks that require all of my people skills. Since I do all of my work in people's homes, it's not uncommon for mom, dad, or grandma to peek in and be curious about what I'm doing -- and I love to tell them about it when I get a chance. But other times it's just me, myself, and I, and it was a time like this recently (when mom was still in the hospital and her partner was running errands to prepare for her return) that the beginnings of this blog post came to me.
It occurred to me that encapsulating placentas requires a lot more gear than my other jobs -- and all of these tools of the trade are picked for very specific reasons.
For example, I lug around a pot with steamer since I use the Traditional Method of preparation where the placenta is steamed prior to dehydration. Steaming it in this way helps to eliminate any bacteria that might be on the placenta which is definitely appealing!
Other tools include the machine I use to grind up the dehydrated placenta and the cool do-hickey that helps put it into capsules. But, it doesn't do everything -- I still need to fill and put together every capsule, one by one. At its best, this part of the procedure is very zen-like.
And then there are all the cleaning materials! Unlike my usual habit in my home kitchen which is to use cloth towels and environmentally-friendly cleaners, when encapsulating a placenta I use a lot of disposable products and germ-killing bleach. This is so I can follow universal precautions for blood-borne pathogens and to ensure that before, during, and after the encapsulation process the kitchen area is just as clean and sanitized as it can be.
And, at the end, I have the finished product: placenta capsules, placenta tincture, placenta salve. It's all great stuff!
But don't be tempted to try this at home! I'm glad I went through ProDoula's Postpartum Placenta Specialist Training (twice, actually, to make sure I was doing everything exactly right) to learn all the ins and outs of handling this amazing organ in the most respectful, most effective, and safest way possible.
Interested? Intrigued but slightly skeeved? Or just want some more information? Please fill out the Contact Form and we'll be happy to send along our Placenta Encapsulation FAQs -- and/or chat more on the phone or by email about why this might work for you.