Frequently Asked Questions

How soon after birthing my placenta must it be refrigerated?

Your placenta must be placed in a fridge or cool storage covered with ice within TWO hours of delivery.

What is the maximum time my placenta may be refrigerated prior to placenta encapsulation?

A maximum of TWO days if choosing raw placenta encapsulation and THREE days if choosing TCM inspired placenta encapsulation.

Can my placenta be encapsulated if it has been frozen?

Yes, your placenta may be encapsulated within six months if it has been stored, undisturbed, for the entire period in a deep freezer. The defrosting process will extend the time it takes to encapsulate your placenta.

Are the capsules used in the encapsulation process suitable for vegetarians?

Yes, Optimal Birth Recovery use vegetable capsules, made from vegetable cellulose and water. They are free from preservatives, additives and genetic modification.

Can my placenta be encapsulated if I have a caesarean section?

Absolutely! However, there are a number of considerations when encapsulating a placenta delivered via caesarean section. You need to ensure that:

  • your obstetrician is aware of your wish to keep your placenta (regardless of whether the caesarean is planned or emergency),

  • the operating room staff are aware to keep the placenta free of contact with chemicals, as a placenta that has come into contact with either sanitising or preserving chemicals is not considered safe for preparation, and

  • your support person takes your personalised Optimal Birth Recovery zip-lock bag into the operating room with them so that your placenta may be stored and secured immediately after delivery and inspection.

Can my placenta be encapsulated if it has come into contact with my baby’s meconium?

Yes, as the meconium generally is only in prolonged contact with the outer membranes covering the placenta, which are removed and discarded appropriately.

Can my placenta still be encapsulated if my birth care provider requires it to be assessed by the hospital’s pathology department?

Perhaps. The answer lies in the reason for the pathology tests and the pathology results. In the event that your birth care provider requests pathology investigation, Optimal Birth Recovery recommends that only a piece of the placenta be removed and sent for laboratory testing. Then the remaining placenta may be stored by you as per the Optimal Birth Recovery pre-encapsulation instructions. In the event that the whole placenta is sent to Pathology for testing, Optimal Birth Recovery is unable to offer placenta encapsulation services, given that there can be no guarantee that the placenta has been appropriately stored or not come into contact with chemicals.

Can my placenta be encapsulated if I have a Lotus Birth?

A Lotus Birth involves keeping the umbilical cord intact between placenta and baby until the cord naturally separates through drying, a process that takes multiple days. Lotus Birth is not the same as Delayed Cord Clamping. Optimal Birth Recovery choose to not prepare placentas that have been Lotus Birthed; however, other Melbourne-based placenta encapsulation providers may be able to assist you.

What precautions do your encapsulation specialists use?

Optimal Birth Recovery treat all clients as ‘infectious’, i.e. you are not obliged to disclose to us any communicable diseases and we adhere strictly to our Standard Operating Procedures, which incorporates sanitising and hygiene protocols and procedures. All Optimal Birth Recovery placenta encapsulation specialists are professional healthcare clinicians, hold Australian Food Safety and Handling certificates and have been certified in the handling and safety aspects of blood-borne pathogens. You may be secure in the knowledge that Optimal Birth Recovery placenta encapsulation specialists adhere to procedure on every occasion and with every client.

In what circumstances should encapsulated placenta not be used?

Breastfeeding mothers who are experiencing blocked mammary ducts, mastitis or any other adverse reactions should discontinue use immediately and contact their placenta encapsulation provider.