Steps Towards Safe Placenta Encapsulation

Safe placenta encapsulation requires refrigeration

The popularity of placenta encapsulation is growing in DC & Maryland. And I’m invested in ensuring that my clients receive reliable, safe placenta encapsulation. You only get one opportunity at this. I want you to receive all the benefits that you can.

Here are a few things that I think are important when considering encapsulation, as a Postpartum Placenta Specialist:


Because the placenta is an organ, it is subject to bacterial growth within 2-4 hours. To minimize this, your placenta MUST be double bagged, or placed in a container provided by the hospital, and then placed on ice in a cooler, within 4 hours.

When I encapsulate placentas for my labor clients, I tend to manage this step for them while they bond with their baby. For all clients, I discuss the steps with both partners and provide them in writing.

Once in an environment that is 40 degrees or below, your placenta is safe for encapsulation within four days. If for some reason the process cannot begin in this time frame, it will need to be placed in the freezer.


I require my clients to be aware of the location of their placenta at all times. This provides the reassurance that they are taking pills that replenish only what has come from their own body. It also means that I do not transport my clients’ placentas. 

While managing placenta transportation is an extra responsibility, I trust my clients more than anyone else to keep an eye on their own organ.

  • I provide my clients with written transportation instructions and a spill kit in case of emergency. I also ensure that their coolers are properly labeled.
  • It’s best if the placenta goes directly from your body to your hospital room, and then to your own refrigerator. This is a great thing to cover in your birth plan or postpartum plan. If you’re my client, I’ll ensure you’ve thought this through.
  • If the hospital wants to refrigerate your placenta, find out where it will be and put your name on it. Make sure that the staff knows that your placenta cannot be disinfected or sent to pathology.


To me, respecting the sacred nature of your placenta means practicing impeccable hygiene. I provide all the supplies necessary for encapsulation.

And I take precautions to prevent any contamination from myself to my clients, or from one client to the next. This includes a thorough sanitization process of all equipment, strict cleaning and disposal procedures (I don’t even reuse cling wrap rolls, as they can’t be sanitized) and, frankly, more bleach than I use in any other area of my life.

The added bonus of my obsession with sanitation is that your kitchen is likely to be cleaner when I leave than any time in the next few years of your child’s life.


Before I was comfortable encapsulating, I took an in person, standardized training from experts. These experts are available for ongoing support and accountability. I’m held to a strict code of conduct and required to stay up to date on bloodborne pathogen certification. I make a point to stay up to date on the research (though it still leaves much to be desired), and I’ll be sure to update my procedures as time goes on.

Not all encapsulators follow these procedures. And not all clients require them. It’s your placenta. You can cry if you want to.

(Please don’t! That was a joke I couldn’t resist.)

However, if you ask me, there is just no reason to compromise safety. A safe placenta encapsulation provides added peace of mind to your recovery, not extra variables. I think you should accept nothing less than high standards.

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