|Three Providers To Meet Your Needs
Anne Ferguson, Aileen Larson and Natasha Reilly make up the Bywater Birth placenta encapsulation team. We provide professional, safe and fast encapsulation services around the Twin Cities Metro Area. To book our services, email Anne to get started! Anne handles all the contracting and coordination and will assign the encapsulator who will work with you when your baby arrives.
Click here to learn more about Anne and Aileen.
Anne is currently working on certification through APPA: The Association of Placenta Preparation Arts. Learn more about this wonderful organization here.
Natasha is a board-certified Lactation Consultant, birth doula, HypnoBirthing® instructor, and placenta encapsulator. Learn more about Natasha and her services at her website.
So What Is Placenta Encapsulation?
Most mammals consume their placentas after giving birth. An increasing number of mothers in the Twin Cities and around the country are consuming their placenta in capsule form.
Placenta Encapsulation Services include
- Pickup of your placenta at your place of birth and delivery of the capsules back to you within 24-72 hours. (Usually 24-48)
- Gently steaming, dehydrating, grinding and encapsulating your placenta for your consumption, or preparing your placenta using the raw start method. We also offer half and half if both methods appeal to you.
- Cord Keepsake
- Providing all the information you need about the benefits of placenta encapsulation and our procedures.
- Placenta tinctures available for an added fee.
Watch Anne talk about placenta encapsulation on the news!
Now Offering Placenta Tincture Starter Kits
Want to enjoy the benefits of your placenta for longer than the early weeks after giving birth? You can extend the life of your placenta by having us start a placenta tincture for you. Our "starter kit" includes: a raw piece of your placenta in a jar of vodka, a small funnel and coffee filter for eventual transfer into a tincture bottle, and a 2 oz tincture bottle. The cost for this is $20.
How it works:
When we prepare your placenta for encapsulation, we will cut off a small piece of placenta and put it in a jar of vodka. You will hold on to this jar for six weeks, rolling gently in your hands for 30 seconds each day to help the tincture infuse, and then after six weeks you can use the funnel and filter we provide to pour the tincture into the smaller bottle for easy use. You can keep the original tincture going by adding more vodka (150 proof) and it will last indefinitely! Store both in a cool, dry place.
Then, use 7-10 drops of tincture in a small amount of water and take as needed. Mothers report it helps during times of stress, trauma, transition, menstruation, menopause and it can also be given to the child during challenging times, a few drops in a little water, however, it’s possible blood borne pathogens may not be destroyed by the alcohol so mothers should be aware of this before giving it to their child.
Our Free Advice:
When in doubt, always plan to save your placenta. While it’s best to encapsulate a fresh placenta (one that is only a day or two old and has been refrigerated or ice since since 1-2 hours after the birth) you can also encapsulate a frozen placenta. Therefore, if you think there’s even a tiny chance you might want to do this, take your placenta home after your birth and put it in the freezer. That way, if your postpartum period isn’t going well and you feel like you need a boost, you can always decide to encapsulate your placenta weeks after the birth. If you don’t bring it home, it’s gone forever.
We can use the Traditional Method (steamed) in which the placenta is steamed, dehydrated, ground and put into capsules or the raw start method where the placenta is not cooked before it is dehydrated, ground and encapsulated. With both methods the finished product is a jar of capsules with powder in them.
HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK?
After the birth, you, your partner or your doula (if you have one) can call or text Anne to let us know the placenta is ready to be picked up. If it is the middle of the night, we ask that you wait until morning to get in touch with us. It is a good idea to bring a small cooler so the placenta can be put on ice until I can get there. *Keep adding ice so it stays cold!!* A few hospitals have fridges in the room that can also be used for this purpose. The hospital may have a bucket to put the placenta in, or you may wish to bring gallon-size ziploc bags (and double bag it please!). The red biohazard bags that hospitals sometimes use are probably best avoided because they may be chemical-laden and are not food-grade. The placenta should be put on ice within an hour of the birth. Then we come to your place of birth and pick it up as soon as we can. It takes 1-2 days to process, then we return the capsules to you, sometimes at the hospital, sometimes at your home just depending on timing and your preference.
Click HERE to view our Placenta Encapsulation Brochure. This brochure will help you decide whether the traditional or raw start method is best for you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What steps do you take to ensure this process is safe?
We follow all universal protocols for dealing with the safe handling of blood borne pathogens. Anne is currently completing certification through APPA including extensive training on universal protocols, blood borne pathogens and food safety. We take safety very seriously and only work on one placenta at a time. All equipment is washed in hot, soapy water, then soaked in a 10% bleach solution, then rinsed. We wear gloves, an apron, eyewear, and a mask to protect ourselves and our clients and take great care that everything is as safe and clean as possible. We also ensure the steamed placenta has reached 160 degrees and dehydrate raw placentas at 160 degrees to meet food safety standards.
Where do you do this process?
We encapsulate in our home kitchens. This allows us to get the capsules back to you very quickly if you have a hospital birth and allows us to work in a kitchen we know is clean and sanitary. It also keeps the smell (which some find unpleasant) out of your home!
How much experience do you have?
Anne has encapsulated over 250 placentas since 2011. Natasha has been encapsulating since 2013 and Aileen since 2014. We continue to learn and research to make sure we are providing the best and safest service possible. Working with placentas is a passion of ours!
Can I still encapsulate my placenta if...
There are very few reasons that you cannot encapsulate. You *can* still encapsulate if you: have an epidural, have a c-section, there is meconium present (baby's first poop), you are Group B strep positive, and more. The biggest thing that can happen that would render the placenta unsafe is a uterine infection called chorioamnionitis. Additionally, if your provider wants to send your placenta to pathology for any reason, you can ask that they 1) just send a piece instead of all of it, or 2) send it all but make sure it is refrigerated and NOT treated with ANY chemicals. It must be very clearly labeled in this case. Any treatment with any chemicals, or uncertainty about how the placenta was handled at this point will render the placenta useless. We can wait to encapsulate until test results come back, or we can do the process immediately but you can wait to take them until you know the results of any tests. This scenario is very rare.
Is there any research on placenta encapsulation?
Much of our information at this time is based on anecdotal information from mothers who have tried encapsulation. However, there is some limited research out there.
2013 research from UNLV reports mothers' experiences with encapsulation.
Opiod-Enhancing factors in the placenta and amniotic fluid/tissues:
Mark B. Kristal, Jean M. DiPirro & Alexis C. Thompson (2012): Placentophagia inHumans and Nonhuman Mammals: Causes and Consequences, Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 51:3,177-197
Could it be the iron-rich nature of the placenta?
Research from John L. Bread et. al regarding the effect of iron deficiency on postpartum emotions and cognition.
Does the steaming process increase iron content? Reference to this presentation on the Placenta Benefits, Inc. blog.
Research from the 1950s on placenta's effect on breast milk production.
"Anne was great. She was extremely supportive and willing to help me with any questions I had and with breastfeeding as well. She was very knowledgeable about the encapsulation as well as breastfeeding. The first couple of weeks were a very stressful time for me, but Anne helped me educate myself with breastfeeding techniques and ways to increase my supply. I have told many others about encapsulation and my positive experience, all have been very interested in my story and the services I received."
"I was hesitant at first mostly due to the safety of the process and of the consumption. I was very interested in the benefits and did not want to experience the bad baby blues I had with my first baby, or the low milk supply so I decided to give it a try. I did bring my placenta home and took a few days to make the decision. I am glad I did!"
"Fantastic - will definitely do it with my next child. Although, I kind of wish my pills lasted longer. Maybe next time I will take less at the beginning with each dose so that they last longer."
"Anne encapsulated my placenta using the raw method, and it was such a difference from my first birth! I felt bright and cheery when my milk came in, and at one week, and still at two weeks. I had experienced NO “baby blues” or post-partum depression symptoms! Anne provided great service throughout the process, and was flexible on timing as we adapted to life with our new baby!"
"I never experienced postpartum depression and I felt great!"
“ I was very happy that I chose to have my placenta encapsulated. I felt that it provided a source of energy and balance to my postpartum experience.”
“No signs at all of depression. High energy levels.”
“Great supplement to replenish and recover from giving birth. I would highly recommend to anyone.”