Doulas Northwest | Why We Encapsulate In Your Home
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07 Apr Why We Encapsulate In Your Home

True story…

I kept my son’s placenta in my freezer for over FOUR years, after his birth. Not for any specific reason either, other than I didn’t want to throw it away.

When he was born in 2006, I had never heard of placenta encapsulation, and wasn’t aware of the variety of ways to make use of one’s placenta. But I did know that it was a special item, that had fulfilled an important role, and I didn’t feel that the right place for it, was the trash.

Fast forward those four plus years, to early 2011.

I had become a labor doula, and had been serving  clients since 2007. Awareness about placenta encapsulation was on the rise, and it caught my attention too.

I began to hear from clients: “Will you/can you encapsulate my placenta for me too?”

At the time, it was easy to find discussions, forums, online photos & tutorials. It didn’t take long for me to decide that indeed, I would be adding this service to my practice.

After attending one of my area’s frequently available workshops, armed with a better understanding of the process, I thawed out my son’s placenta. How happy was I, that I still had it!

Taking some time to examine his placenta, all that time later, was amazing. I understood then, what I was looking at, and holding in my hands. I knew I wouldn’t consume it, with as much time as had passed, but it was an invaluable tool, in my early learning about placentas and the power they hold.

As I got started with integrating encapsulation services into my doula practice, I had a big decision to make. Where to process?

We had been told during the workshop, that transporting and processing in a space other than the client’s home, was a very grey area, legally, and probably not legal at all. Shrugged off with a smile, we were encouraged not to worry about this.

After other attempts to find reliable information about this, as well as not being comfortable with the idea of bringing a client’s placenta into my personal kitchen (for several reasons), I decided my policy would be, processing in the client’s home, only.

It made the most sense to me, at the time.

My clients loved it! I had no trouble contracting with labor clients, as well as families who had not hired my labor doula services. They knew there were other options for this service, and chose to hire me.

Family after family raved about the benefits of having this done in their own space, with the ability to see & learn if they chose to, and enjoying the overlapping support they received from me while I was there, hearing about their experiences & concerns as new parents.

More than two years later, and after dozens of happy clients (only ever had ONE go elsewhere due to processing location), I began to allow myself to consider the convenience of processing in my own home. As a single mother, it had never been convenient to keep my “In Client’s Home” policy in place.

I worked toward setting up a separate work/processing space in my home, for this purpose. One that would keep the storage and processing separate from any part of my personal kitchen, for the protection of both my clients and myself/family.

Once this space was complete a year and a half ago, I began offering the option to clients of which place they would prefer processing to take place.

Many chose my less expensive option of encapsulating in my separate work space. This didn’t surprise me. I provide a professional service and they were happy to save a little between the two options.

For a while, I loved the convenience! It was wonderful to avoid childcare by waiting until after bedtime to start a placenta. It was wonderful to avoid transporting my supplies to another’s home to do the work. For a while.

After my enjoyment of the convenience wore off, I could not ignore the common sense on my shoulder that kept reminding me…

“You’re carrying some else’s placenta in this car.”

“How terrible would I feel if there were a car accident on my way home, and her placenta was damaged/compromised, or confiscated?”

Would I have a legal issue on my hand, if the authorities knew I was carrying it?”

“No matter how clean I make this space, I just can’t be sure that none of my household’s bacteria is coming in contact with these placenta…”

These and other concerns have ultimately led me all the way ‘round the bend, back to where I started.

Doulas Northwest has re-adopted the “In Client’s Home” processing policy for all placenta services and I have never felt more about confident about it.

Both for us, at Doulas Northwest, and for our clients. I know that it will mean the best for our clients. Despite the strict sanitation protocols, care taken, and professionalism I provided…I still believe it to be best for our clients.

This confidence has continued to be reinforced, as every single client, since reinstating this policy, has been HAPPY and THANKFUL to know that the processing would take place in their homes.  Those we have already served since reinstating our in-home policy, continue to rave about the benefits they experience when we’re in their home, and, we have not seen a drop in our hire rate, as a result of this policy.

One of the less anticipated, but most appreciated aspects of our policy to encapsulate in a client’s home, is the time I get to spend with the client as she has just gone through the major physical and emotional process of having a baby. She’s now on the other side, possibly needing an attentive ear, asking for gentle guidance here and there for this or for that. I’m glad to be that person, a trained Postpartum Doula, that can provide support for her while I am there.  It has become more than an encapsulation service. It has become a bridge from pregnancy to postpartum.

This is my experience, as a professional placenta specialist.



Authored by Kristyn Blocher

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