Imagine, if you will, a facility where a placenta is sent to become placenta capsules that a new parent can take to help them in their postpartum recovery.  That place is The Placenta Factory.

The Placenta Factory is a brightly lit facility. It is cleaned thoroughly multiple times per day to prevent contamination of the placenta. It is staffed by people in clean suits who wear hair nets, eye protection, face masks, gloves, and aprons. The tools and equipment used to prepare the placenta is thoroughly sanitized between uses.

Inside the Placenta Factory these highly trained personnel remove the stored placenta from its secure cold storage and transform it into placenta capsules under laboratory-like conditions.

Uh. Actually. They don’t.

Normally what happens is a very nice lady found online through a Google search who didn’t seem to charge too much showed up after a person had their baby. This very nice – presumably – lady took the placenta and, well, hmmm. Well, honestly, who really knows.

I used to be one of those very nice ladies.  And I am. Very nice, that is.

Let me tell you what I used to do. I would pick up a placenta from a hospital after a baby was born. I said “Hello!” to the new parents, cooed at their newborn baby and then I left.  I then went home. Well, most of the time I did.  The placenta was in a cooler, after all, so sometimes I didn’t go straight home.

When I did, finally, get home, I would put the placenta into my fridge.  I usually had to make some room beside the leftovers of last night’s supper. It was usually a good time to remove the few science experiments that were emerging in the various containers stacked in the refrigerator.  And, then, it was time to start cleaning the kitchen, because that is where the placentas were processed and encapsulated.

You see: there is no Placenta Factory. There is no special facility where placentas go to get magically turned into placenta capsules.

The facility was my kitchen.  The one where my family and our two cats ate meals. It was the same space where my kids stood with the door to the fridge open staring in and wondering what was edible all while lowering the temperature inside the fridge and thereby putting the contents at risk of spoilage.

The placenta was cleaned in my kitchen sink. It was steamed on my stove. It was dehydrated on my counter.  All while the usual stuff that happens in kitchens went on around it.

The biggest misconception that people have about placenta encapsulation is that it is sent away to a clean facility somewhere. They further believe it is processed by people in lab-like conditions. But, that is just not true.

A few practitioners will protest and say that they process in a special space where only placenta encapsulation occurs using counters and sinks and stoves that only ever get used for placentas and are maintained in highly sanitized conditions between uses.  But how do we know that? Because they told us? Because there are pictures of it on their website?

I realised a while ago that I could no longer carry on processing placentas in my own home.  There were lots of reasons but the most important one was that there was no way for a client to ever KNOW for a fact that their placenta was being processed safely.  That realisation led to some fundamental changes in how I and my whole team at Hamilton Family Doulas process placentas.

Let me outline what we do and why.

Clients Bring Their Own Placenta Home

This is a big one. If the clients bring their own placenta to their own home they know exactly what happened to that placenta, how it was stored, how long the trip was and that it went from the hospital (or their own home) straight into their own refrigerator or freezer.

Processing Happens In The CLIENT’S Home

By processing placentas in their own kitchens our clients can verify the sanitation procedures from start to finish. They can see how we clean and prepare the space, how we clean after use and how we pre-sanitize the equipment before leaving the space. (All re-usable equipment is washed with hot soapy water, rinsed and finally it is soaked in a 10:1 bleach and water solution and air dried between uses.)

Clients Can Always Access The Postpartum Placenta Specialist

At any point in the process, or even from start to finish, the client can observe what is happening. They can ask questions about anything to do with making the placenta capsules and the Postpartum Placenta Specialist will answer as thoroughly as possible. This means that the entire process is completely transparent to the clients. There are no secrets or hidden processes to be wondered at.

Help In Home When Clients Need It Most

The Postpartum Placenta Specialists are trained in both how to safely process the placenta and in postpartum recovery and support. We often start off processing a placenta and finish off by helping with new parenting issues like sleep and baby feeding concerns. The Postpartum Placenta Specialist has the additional training to address new parent transitions and provide guidance to new mothers who may be struggling.

Professionalism

Professionalism to us means holding ourselves to the highest possible standards. We are trained and certified (or pursuing certification) in placenta processing, we are also trained and certified (or pursuing certification) in postpartum support. Each specialist has blood borne pathogens training and is certified in First Aid and CPR.  In addition, each Postpartum Placenta Specialist is insured and has undergone a vulnerable sector check.  These are people that can be trusted to know their stuff and operate safely.

We do all of this because there is no Placenta Factory.  And because some nice lady’s kitchen is no place for a new parent’s placenta.

Want some more info?  We love to talk about exactly how you can get an amazing Postpartum Placenta Specialist to come to your home to transform your placenta into placenta capsules to supplement your healthy postpartum recovery.  Phone us at 289 426 5170 or email us at hello@hamiltonfamilydoulas.com.