Birth and your placenta FAQs

Can I use my placenta if I have a caesarean section?
Yes. The placenta will be delivered with your baby if you have a caesarean section delivery (a C-section). You should ensure that your care team are aware of your request to keep your placenta and provide them with the clean storage container with lid. The team may put the placenta into a plastic bag (a yellow biohazard bag) and they may add a saline solution which is used to prevent bacterial growth. Simply place the whole bag into your clean storage container with a lid and refrigerate in a cool bag or fridge to 8 degrees or below within 30 minutes.
In hospital you will not be able to use a fridge and should take a cool bag.  Do not leave the container or cool bag unattended or anywhere where it might be picked up or get lost. When you have a C-section you will be moved between rooms and should keep your placenta with you. Putting a birthing partner on ‘placenta patrol’ places the responsibility with them!

Can I use my placenta if I have a water birth?
Yes, but it is important that the placenta is delivered onto a clean surface (such as an inco pad or towel) and not into the birthing pool.

Can I use my placenta if I have a lotus birth?
Yes. A lotus birth is where the umbilical cord is not cut and clamped immediately after delivery. You can use your placenta if you have a short-term lotus birth – where the cord is cut after it stops pulsating (up to 6 hours after the baby is born).  Once the cord is cut, the placenta should be refrigerated as soon as possible using a cool bag or fridge. After 48 hours in a fridge it should be placed into a deep freezer.

What happens if my placenta is stained with meconium?
Meconium is the sticky tar-like poo that your baby produces in first few days of life until milk gets into it’s digestive system. Sometimes, the baby passes meconium for the first time in the womb or as it is born and this may stick to the placenta. If this is the case I will clean the placenta and use the TCM method which steams the placenta during preparation and kills bacteria immediately. You cannot have a placenta smoothie if there is meconium staining of your placenta due to the bacteria that may be present.

Are there any people who cannot have capsules made from their placenta?
You cannot have capsules made from your placenta if you have a blood borne virus such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV. Also your placenta cannot be used if it is taken to the lab for tests – as it will have been handled and not chilled immediately.

Drugs used during labour
You can have capsules made from your placenta if you are given medicine or anaesthetics during the birth of your baby including a Syntometrine injection.

Other medications
If you are taking any prescription medicines other than those used during pregnancy please seek the advice of your doctor before having capsules made from your placenta.