I just wanted to take a moment today to address those who are considering encapsulating their placentas themselves. This is not a tutorial. Rather this is a look at the pros and cons of doing it yourself and really this is a post about the value of service placenta encapsulation specialists offer.
I will start by saying that if you are very set on doing your placenta yourself, then there is no reason why you cannot. There are, however, many things to consider.
The first thought is figuring out how to do it. I do not provide training, and the only training institute that I can endorse that I know will give proper training is www.placentabenefits.info. The training program will cost you over $200. As far as I have been able to determine, the internet is a poor guide on how to actually do an encapsulation properly, which is why I forked over the money to learn properly. There are several tutorials online that I have found that tried to show how to do the encapsulation, yet they leave out important steps to preserve the integrity of the capsules once they are finished. If you go through the whole process, you want your capsules to last!
The next thought I have is the cost of supplies. I spent somewhere between $200- $300 on the supplies. Of course, I do this professionally, so I got good stuff. I could see someone reasonably spending about $100 on the supplies given that they have some of the essentials already at home, but not much less than that. Also, some of the supplies are not able to be purchased individually, so you pay for more than you need and will have a lot left over. There's also an issue of figuring out all the supplies you will need and making sure you have all of it by the time you need it. If you pay for the above training course, you will get a supply list.
There is a great book about placentas by Cornelia Enning called Placenta: The Gift of Life. This book does have great placenta recipes, but it doesn't really give a good tutorial on how to do a placenta encapsulation. It also costs around $26. It's a good resource and has lots of interesting information, but it won't teach you how to encapsulate. I just thought I'd mention that since that was originally why I bought the book.
There's also the consideration that you have only one placenta. How important are the placenta capsules to you? If you don't mind that they might not turn out right, then maybe paying for the service isn't right for you. But for the woman that this is really important to, important enough to gather supplies, learn how to do it, commit to and make time to do it, and then not have the capsules turn out how you want, this is something you need to consider. A professionally trained specialist is going to be able to make sure your pills are done properly and turn out right. They're also able to ensure that the placenta is encapsulated in such a way that preserves the integrity of it, which will maximize the benefits the capsules give.
Another consideration is the time frame in which the encapsulation needs to be performed. Ideally, the process should be started within 24 hours. This ensures maximum freshness. Within 48-72 hours is still okay, but the benefits experienced may not be as numerous or as enhanced. For many women, this time frame simply isn't going to be feasible. Most women are more interested in their new baby and also need the time to recover. Also, since the majority of women give birth in the hospital, rushing to be home in this time frame and fighting fatigue and exhaustion and a desire to be with your new baby to get the placenta encapsulated simply doesn't make sense. If you have a C section, due to the length of the hospital stay and the time needed to recover, there is no way to encapsulate within this time frame.
I don't wish to make it sound as though you can't encapsulate your own placenta. If you have the desire, you can do it, so long as you know the considerations. There are going to be differing circumstances for different women that may make it more feasible to do it yourself. After my next birth, I plan to have a home birth, so I will be home to encapsulate my own placenta. I have the training and the supplies, so there is no reason why I wouldn't do it myself. Actually, I am going to be thrilled to do my own placenta since this is something I love to do. This works for me and you may have the right circumstances that encapsulating your own placenta will work for you too.
My goal with this post is to show that having your placenta encapsulated by a specialist can be of value to you. We take our profession seriously. We treat each placenta with reference and respect. We ensure you receive the maximum benefits from the process. We get as many capsules from the placenta as possible and we make sure the capsules turn out right. From this service, your postpartum experience can be amazing. We also afford you the ability to rest after you have your baby and spend time with your baby which is what you want to do most anyway. While to some women, a fee of $200 may seem high and some may wonder what the value in it is and why they should pay it, I want to be that reassurance that for what you receive, $200 won't seem like such a big deal. I hear this from my clients time and time again and they are often so thankful they did it.
Ultimately, only you can make the decision of whether or not encapsulating your placenta yourself is right for you. I hope this post highlighted some things to consider as well as the value a specialist can offer you. Whatever choice a woman makes, it thrills me the most to know she is considering encapsulating her placenta. You definitely won't regret it!