Abby Block, CD(DONA), CBC

Doula & Breastfeeding Support ~ Serving Brooklyn & NYC

What is Placenta Encapsulation?


Placenta Encapsulation:
Traditional  Method

The Traditional Method of preparation for placenta encapsulation follows this protocol: the placenta is cleaned, the umbilical cord is removed, and the placenta is steamed with organic lemon, ginger, and hot pepper (such as jalapeno or cayenne.) The placenta is then dehydrated for 8-12 hours, ground into a powder, and placed into 00-size gel capsules. Vegetarian capsules can be used upon request, and the steaming ingredients may be modified for food sensitivities. 

I most often recommend this preparation to clients. The roots of the traditional preparation process come from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a centuries-old medical system which believes that beginning at two hours postpartum, the new mother enters into a cold state. By steaming the placenta with warming ginger and hot pepper, the placenta is enhanced with heat to nourish the mother and bring her body into a more balanced state. Steaming the placenta also destroys potentially harmful bacteria and may make some of the hormones and nutrients in the placenta more biochemically available.

Placenta Encapsulation:
Raw Start Method

This method requires cleaning the placenta, removing the umbilical cord, dehydrating the placenta for a minimum of 12 hours, grinding it into a powder, and placing the powder into size 00 gel capsules. This method skips the step of steaming, as outlined in the Traditional method and generally takes longer to fully dehydrate; otherwise the two methods follow the same procedures. Raw foodists should note that I use the FDA standard for safe dehydrating of meat, which is 160 degrees. 

Placenta Tincture

After the placenta has been cleaned, a small piece of raw placenta is cut and placed in alcohol to rest for 6 weeks. You will receive your tincture when it's only a day or two old, so you'll need to let it steep for a minimum of 6 weeks. At the 6-week mark, the tincture can be decanted into a dropper bottle (included), and the tincture can be used in times of need or transition to support mental, emotional, and physical health. Tinctures last indefinitely and may be replenished with alcohol to last a lifetime, as the alcohol efficiently preserves the placenta. Tincture is the gentlest placenta preparation and a beautiful way to continue to receive the benefits of your placenta for years and years to come.

Umbilical Keepsake

The umbilical keepsake is simply the umbilical which has been cleaned and drained of as much blood as possible. It is then arranged into a shape, word, letters, or other symbol upon your request. It serves as a sweet memory of your baby's lifeline in utero. 


Placenta Prints

Your placenta print is made by pressing your placenta onto heavy stock water color paper before it's prepared for encapsulation or tincture. Prints are made using only placental blood, and each one is unique. They make a great keepsake and can be framed for display or added to your baby book. 


Raw Placenta Chunks

Small single serving sized pieces are cut from your placenta once it's been cleaned. They are individually wrapped in wax paper and frozen immediately. The chunks (usually 2-5 chunks) will be delivered to you packed in ice and will need to be placed in the freezer as soon as possible. The chunks may be used at your discretion; often women make smoothies.

Placenta Smoothies

For my home birth doula clients only, I can prepare a raw placenta smoothie in your kitchen, using your equipment ingredients. The smoothie is made with a small walnut-sized piece of placenta and your favorite smoothie ingredients. The benefits of fresh raw placenta are the most powerful of all the placenta preparations, and are said to assist the uterus in efficiently contracting after birth in order to slow and lessen postpartum bleeding.

Placenta services have not been evaluated by the FDA, and the services offered here are not clinical, pharmaceutical, or intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Clients should be advised that they take full responsibility for their own health and for choosing to use placenta services.