With the passing of HB 1670 in 2016, you can now have your baby and keep your placenta too! Although there are no court orders or additional fees required to have your placenta released, each hospital has different policies and it's best to be prepared for how your birthing place handles placentas after birth. No matter what hospital you're in, you'll need to sign the placenta release waiver (don't worry, your nurse will know exactly what you're talking about) and remind your nurse, doctor and/or midwife during pushing, or prep for cesarean birth, that you're keeping your placenta. It's also important to remember that your precious placenta should be on ice or refrigerated within 2-3 hours after birth and frozen within three days to be safely encapsulated. After booking services, I send a handy and specific checklist for how you can handle your placenta after birth, but generally, here's what you can expect when encapsulating with Woman Craft:
St. David's North/ Women's Center (North Austin Medical Center )
This St. David's releases placentas immediately, so bring a cooler and five gallon ziploc bags with you. After giving birth, ask your nurse to double bag your placenta and have your partner fill the remaining three bags with ice from the refreshment room. Pack your placenta in the cooler and surround it well with ice and let me know that baby is born. This hospital generally prefers that you don't bring your placenta to your postpartum room, so if you give birth overnight or I'm not able to make it to the hospital by the time you relocate to your new room, you can hand your placenta off to a relative or friend to keep with them or transport to their home for a few hours or keep your cooler in your car until I arrive for pickup. Either way, make sure to refresh ice as needed so that your placenta stays fully surrounded by ice!
St. David's South
St. David's Round Rock
These hospitals release placentas immediately, so bring a cooler and five gallon ziploc bags with you. After giving birth, ask your nurse to double bag your placenta and have your partner fill the remaining three bags with ice from the refreshment room. Pack your placenta in the cooler and surround it well with ice. Let me know that baby is born and keep your placenta with you in your L&D or postpartum room until I can swing by to pick it up. You can expect at 2-3day turnaround for placenta pills when you give birth at any St. David's in Austin.
St. David's Main
No need to bring a cooler with you unless you'll be transporting your placenta home yourself. This St. David's conveniently bags, labels and stores all placentas in a separate fridge on the L&D unit. If you're taking your placenta home yourself, you'll want to bring a cooler and some bags for ice with you, but if we're working together, I'll bring my own cooler to pick your placenta directly up from the fridge at nurses' station.
Seton Main & Seton Northwest
Seton hospitals do not directly release your placenta to you, but it can still be released (if you take issue with that, I suggest giving a call to the hospital risk manager in hopes of someday changing this unnecessary rule). All placentas at Seton are stored in their Pathology freezer for 72 hours. This means that after birth, your placenta will be bagged, labeled, and transported to the Pathology unity by a tech. Since placentas need to be on ice or frozen within 2-3 hours after birth, you should confirm with your nurse that your placenta has landed in pathology in a timely matter. It's also important for your to double check with your doctor after giving birth to make sure that they don't plan on having your placenta examined in pathology without legitimate reason (ex: suspected infection). A placenta that has been examined is unsafe for consumption. When working with clients at Seton, I pick the placenta up after the 72 hour hold. If you're picking it up yourself, you'll want to bring a cooler and ice. In addition to the 72 hours of freezing, you can expect another 1-2 days for the placenta to safely thaw, plus 1-2 days of processing, getting your your finished placenta capsules about 5-7 days after birth.
Birth centers (and home births) are super easy for placenta release, as you don't even have to sign a waiver to keep your placenta. Just bring a cooler and five gallon ziploc bags. After birth, have your midwife double bag your placenta and have your partner pack the placenta and cooler up with ice. Let me know that baby is born and I'll meet you at the birth center or at home a few hours later for easy placenta pickup! When using a birth center, you can expect a 2-3 turnaround on your placenta pills.
For more info on placenta encapsulation, read some FAQs right here. You can also contact me directly or book services online. Happy Birthing!