Ask the Placenta Lady About Placenta Encapsulation After Hospital Birth

(guitar music) – Hi, welcome to another episode
of Ask The Placenta Lady, where no question is too
strange for The Placenta Lady. My name is Jodi, I started
working with new moms back in 2006 and all of my clients
just started calling me The Placenta Lady, so that’s what I go by. I’ve literally heard
every question related to birth, pregnancy, post-partum, and so literally that’s
why our tagline is, no question is too strange
for The Placenta Lady. Because we’ve literally
been asked everything. I am very excited to have one
of our Placenta Encapsulation Specialists® from upstate
New York joining us today and her name is Polly Wood. Welcome to the show, Polly. – Thanks so much for having me,
I’m really happy to be here. I’m excited to talk to
y’all about my experience as a PBi placenta specialist. – Welcome to the show, Polly. Why don’t you tell us a
little bit about your work and what you do out there in New York? – Thanks, Jodi. So, I currently live in upstate New York. As of this year, I’ve
been doing birth work of all sorts for 20 years. So, in 1998 I became a birth
doula out on the west coast. I did birth assisting, I was taken by a lot of creative energy around birth. So some of my artwork you
can see behind me is inspired by birth, and pregnancy, and
women’s power in general. So I started training
with PBi in 2009 or 2010, so I think I’m moving into
my eighth year of working within the PBi network
offering placenta encapsulation and post-partum support. And that’s really what
I’ve been focused on for the last seven or eight years. Although I love pregnancy and birth, I feel like in general
the post-partum period kind of lacks in our
culture as far as the amount of support that’s available. – That’s awesome, Polly. I love that more and
more women are getting into the post-partum care and support and that women are getting
more of that care and support once they have had their baby. So, thank you for contributing to that. Our question for this episode is, “If I have my baby at the
hospital, how does it work “to have somebody come to my
home to prepare the placenta?” That is a great question and
one that we actually get a lot. So, with PBi and with my
training organization, I had to work with a
lot of safety agencies and oversight committees
and things like this. So, I am located in Las Vegas, Nevada so here the Southern
Nevada Health District regulates such things. Federally, we have the
Department of Transportation and each state, of course,
has their own regulations, but there’s a lot of protocols
and safety and licensing and things that come with the
transport of human organs. So as a leader of an
organization that does training and certification we
decided that it was safest, both for mothers and
for placenta preparers, to have the parents transport the placenta home from the hospital. And that just eases everybody’s mind. The parents always have
control of the placenta, they know how it’s being handled, they know the whole chain of custody as far as getting it
home from the hospital. It never leaves their
jurisdiction, their oversight. And so, if you have your
baby at the hospital then you would have a cooler, and it has to have the rigid sides and it has to be able to snap completely and securely closed, and
you would then be given the placenta at the hospital and you would then take it to your home. And you would either keep it
frozen for your specialist or you would start the thawing process. And of course at that
point you will be in touch with your placenta preparation person. At the hospital, they will
often just secure the placenta in the different kind of
packaging that they use and a lot of times they
will place it in a freezer. Now, different hospitals
in different states have different policies regarding
the release of placentas. Here in Las Vegas, it’s all
up to the different hospitals and they can create their own policies. We currently, as of this
filming, only have three states in our country that actually
legally protects the parent’s right to take the placenta
home from the hospital. So, what that means is that every hospital just has their own policy and procedure. This also means that you just need to talk to them in advance and say, hey, I plan to take my placenta home, what do I need to be aware
of to make that happen? If you run into trouble,
please reach out to us as an organization, We can help you in your
state or in your province, to see what we can do to help
and advocate on your behalf with the hospital if
they would try to refuse. So, it’s not a legal precedent, it’s literally just hospital policy. So just be aware of that, there’s no law forbidding your release of the placenta. You can absolutely, legally take it home, it’s just the hospital’s policy. So, we can change those, or try. Or, since you have choices
in childbirth you can choose to deliver at a hospital
that has a more mother and placenta friendly release
policy, so it is your option. And please, feel free to exercise those and please feel free to
reach out to us at PBi. All of us would be more than willing to help you with that situation. So once you get the placenta
home then we would arrange with your specialist to
come over and get started, and that’s based on your convenience and the availability of the specialist. And again, we never transport,
we never take it anywhere. We come to you and we do
everything right there in your own home, under
your own oversight. Do you have anything that
you would like to add, Polly? – I have a lot to add to this, I love hearing so clearly the piece about safety, transport standards. Here, in the area where I live,
generally it’s really easy. I’ve never had any challenges
with our local hospital. Actually, a lot of the nurses
and midwives, and doctors, at the local hospital
they’re very encouraging. Sometimes I hear from someone
that they’re in the hospital, this would be Cayuga Medical
Center in Ithica, New York, and if they don’t have
plans for their placenta sometimes I will hear later
that one of the nurses says, “Oh, are you going to
take your placenta home?” So, that’s often a surprise. So, I actually do a fair amount of traveling outside of the Ithica area. I travel to Corning, Binghampton, Elmira. A couple weeks ago, I
traveled over the border a couple hours into Pennsylvania. I think that when people do the research and they find out that
they really want someone who’s been trained and they wanna work within the PBi network
and they like this idea of having someone come into their home, they will find someone to travel and that’s often me within this whole upstate New York region. So, besides the safety standards, I do often get the question
when people reach out, I’m interested in having
my placenta encapsulated, how does that work for
them to come into my home? There’s something that
happens, I think it’s probably very different for all
of us based on what type of experience we bring to
the new mom and her family, but I feel like there’s
a bit of shapeshifting that happens with every individual client. Just as every birth is unique, every placenta encapsulation
experience is unique. It’s really an honor when
a family lets me come into their home and work with
them in that really special, sacred, intimate first couple of days. So, usually I end up getting there within the first 48 hours of post-partum. The situation’s vary from the times where someone is held in the
hospital a little bit longer, whether they need extra healing or they’ve had a cesarean birth. Sometimes I end up going
to the parents’ home and preparing the placenta
while they’re not there and I’m just in very close
touch, phone and text. And then the other extreme
is where I get to their house and the grandparents are there,
and the in-laws are there, their family, their best friends,
the other little siblings, and it’s a family affair. Really, what I learned as a
doula is that each situation, each home, each placenta
and family is different in that it’s really based
on the needs of the mom and the comfort level of the moms. So, if I come into your
home and you’re interested in the process and you
wanna see the placenta and you wanna help make the prints, and you wanna take photographs, and you wanna see every step of the way then you are absolutely
more than involved in that. If you are quiet, and tired, and sleepy and you just wanna stay
and nurse your baby in the other room, I feel
like I can either be engaged with people in their
kitchen or I can sort of do what a doula does which is sort of all of a sudden be invisible
even though I’m taking up a lot of space and working in the kitchen. So, it really becomes like
an educational experience for those that are really interested in it and I feel like the placenta encapsulation that happens in the home
really helps integrate the complete holistic birth experience. Because whether you had a home birth or whether you had a hospital birth, you just really never
know how it’s gonna go and once the baby is there
there’s a flurry adrenaline, there’s a flurry of activity,
and I feel there’s a kind of a magical support that we offer by being in the home and being yet another encouraging, calming, normalizing voice. Sometimes new moms,
really, they get sent home from the hospital, it’s their first time, and all of a sudden they’re alone, or they’re alone with their partner, and they’re like is this
how it’s supposed to be? So to have yet another person
actually come into their home because not everyone has family support, not everyone has community support. So besides just doing the encapsulation, which is the main service,
I feel like I tend to bring kind of a bag of tricks. If moms are receptive I use them, if they don’t want them,
I don’t push anything. But I don’t know, I just
like to be another person that’s there to say, hey,
if you need something I have 20 years of experience, this is what I see all the time. So, yeah, besides the
fact that most people say they’ve never seen their
kitchen so clean when I leave, which is kind of a common PBi promotional experience, it’s true. Really, I think parents
have, a lot of feedback I get is that they had no idea
how cool the placenta was. And what an awesome experience it is to be able to see the whole
process from start to finish. Or even if a couple, or if
mom is still in the hospital, I will ask her and will take photographs. I go through lots and lots
and lots of rubber gloves while I’m there to keep sanitary, but I will take photographs
and texts along the way so she is able to still
feel like she is part of the process if she wants to be. So, yeah. – That’s all really awesome, Polly, and I know as just the PBi
trainer it’s been awesome having you as a part of our community, for pretty much the last decade or so. Which has been fantastic. So, I just wanted to kind of add on to a couple of things that you mentioned. I loved how you said that by coming into the home we kind of end up becoming another normalizing person for her. Especially if you haven’t
had a baby before, and if you are just getting
home from the hospital, it can feel a little bit overwhelming. And I know that for myself, personally, I’ve been doing this a pretty long time and just like I say, there’s no question that’s too strange for The Placenta Lady. Literally, we’ll get
all kinds of questions and it’s nice to have
somebody that you can kind of build this relationship with and there as a support person for you. And I know that all of my clients, even weeks or sometimes months or sometimes years, I’ll get a text. Hey, this just happened,
what’s up with this? And just building that sense of community, because really we do need all the support that we can get in those early days. And it’s just so helpful to have somebody there to answer your questions. And I know that when I come in I absolutely cater to my families. It’s literally whatever they want and whatever their comfort level is. So yeah, sometimes we do come and mom just stays upstairs with the baby and I’m left pretty much
to my own devices there in the kitchen and then
sometimes I have three and four generations there in the kitchen asking questions and taking
pictures, and aunts and uncles, and it almost is like a
little post-partum party. And it’s really a blessing
and an honor to be invited to participate in their
post-partum recovery in that way, and whatever that looks like for them. So, it really is a great way to connect and to build that relationship. And then we can also kind
of see how mommy’s doing. What kind of support does she have? Are people offering her water? Are they bringing her food? Or is she kind of left to her own devices? And so, we can sometimes
then lend additional support, maybe reach out to other
people in the community. May suggest lactation consultants, maybe suggest post-partum doula, suggest ways to kind of ease
this transition for her. And it goes far beyond
just preparing the placenta and I think that that’s something that I really want women to know, is that we are there in the community to provide a variety of just plain support and even if that just
means a listening ear. Did you have anything that you would like to add to that at this point, Polly? – Yeah, so there’s a
lot of staying in touch that I think lends to the
overall post-partum wellness of a new mom or someone who’s just a baby, whether it’s their first time or not. Personally, I let the moms know this when I’m ready to leave their house and they have their
capsules, I let them know that I text a lot in the
first couple of days, in the first couple of
weeks, and then slowly it tapers off or I lose track of time. Because we have really
specific dosage suggestions and guidelines that we follow
and because the moms are tired and overwhelmed and it’s
a lot of information, I tell them that I’m
gonna text them reminders. End of the first day,
after a couple of days, when the dosage changes. And I always say, you
don’t have to text me back, you don’t have to respond,
I want you to know that I’m just giving you these reminders. So a lot of times that will
start an ongoing sort of support for the first few weeks
or couple of months and I’ll just check back in. I think they usually just appreciate having someone else to check in. And again, as you said Jodi,
if we’ve met a partner, if we’ve met a child,
and we know a little bit about their family we can
also check in about that. And often, suggest links
to other specialists in town or in their community, or hey, have you asked your
friends to set up a meal train? There’s sometimes things
that come natural to us when we’ve been in birth
work that sometimes people don’t really know how to
find the support they need. – So you have mentioned
just now pick up, drop off and I just wanted to kind of clarify that in the placenta preparation world there is a mode of thought
where picking up placentas from the birth, so whether
that’s at the hospital or whether that’s from the parent’s home, and then bringing it somewhere
to having it prepared into capsules and then
dropping off the capsules. So that is what that’s referring to is the pick up drop off method. Now, I obviously am not
personal fan of that. I’ve just been doing this
work a really long time and I’m a little bit older and have seen a lot of things
happen and kind of go awry. Like they say, best laid plans. Here in Nevada, the Southern
Nevada Health District would not allow any sort of preparation of certainly human organs
for ingestion in a facility. There’s no licensing or
oversight or anything that you can get in the state of Nevada that would allow that. And so, from that perspective
I operate completely within the guidelines of my state and health district and region. So that is why I personally do not pick up and drop off, pick up placentas
and drop off capsules. But for the parent’s perspective,
as a mother of three, the placenta is from your
baby and it is just as unique and just as special as your baby. And it’s irreplaceable. So, having you carefully
and lovingly transport it to your home where it
remains for the duration of the preparation process where you can see how I’m handling it, where you can see the placenta, where you can see the entire process. Just having that level of transparency, I feel, is an important
part of my services and an important part of what I offer my clients here in Las Vegas. And it’s also part of how I train and promote placenta
encapsulation services to all of my students, all of my members, and everybody that is
in the PBi organization. So, we prefer to just come
to you, take care of you, in your own space and then
yes, leave your kitchen a whole lot cleaner than when we arrived. So, it’s just our little
way of making sure moms are taken care of in those early days. Thank you so much for being
on the show today, Polly. – Thanks for having me, Jodi, it’s been great to talk with you and just talk more about how we serve new moms and their families. – So, if somebody wanted
to get ahold of you or find out more about your services or maybe more about your artwork, how would they go about
getting ahold of you? – I have a Facebook page which is specific for my placenta encapsulation,
I believe it’s just called Polly Wood Placenta
Encapsulation Services, Post-Partum Wellness, you can find me by Googling me that way. So as a multi-disciplinary
artist I also have two websites which have some of my artwork,
and music, and such on them. And one of those is Rad Woman,
which is R-A-D The other is my name with a WS at the end, so it’s And actually, just a couple
of months ago I released some of my artwork onto
various merchandise and that is through a
site called Red Bubble. So you can look for Rad Woman images or my name on Red Bubble. So, I also of course have a profile page on the Placenta Benefits
providers search engine. So, if you go to and search to find a provider
you can find me there. And, yeah. – An easy URL for finding another PBi Placenta Encapsulation Specialist® if you’re not in Las Vegas for myself or if you’re not in New York for Polly, a quick URL is It’s not even or anything like that, Of course, our main website
it where you can find out more about why to use your placenta for
post-partum recovery. You can find us on
Facebook, Placenta Benefits, and on Instagram, PlacentaBenefits. Don’t forget to subscribe
to our YouTube channel so you never miss an episode and thank you for tuning
in to this episode of Ask The Placenta
Lady, where no question is too strange for The Placenta Lady. (guitar music)

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