Terms & Conditions for Encapsulation

Placenta Handling

  • You agree to contact me as soon as possible after the baby is born. Please contact me via text-message if after 12am or before 9am.
  • You agree to keep placenta in sight at all times to ensure it does not go to pathology, where it will be contaminated by chemicals or other harmful substances rendering it unsafe for consumption. If the hospital must test the placenta, a small piece may be taken off the maternal side and sent to the lab, while the intact placenta is stored properly. (please note: some hospitals require the placenta be stored in a dedicated refrigerator during your postpartum stay. While I haven’t had any issues with this policy, I cannot be held responsible for what happens to the placenta during that time.)
  • For hospital births: Your placenta will be placed in a plastic container. You agree to store the container in a cooler with ice.
  • For birth center births: The placenta needs to be put into in two Ziplock bags (double bagged) then into a cooler with ice. While some birth centers will allow you to store the placenta in their refrigerator, this is not always the case. Therefore you will still need to provide a cooler.
  • For home births: The placenta needs to be put into in two Ziplock bags (double bagged) then into your refrigerator.
  • You are responsible for providing the cooler. It can be one you already own, or a disposable cooler (the cooler bag is the most convenient and least expensive)
  • The same care instructions apply to cesarean sections.
  • You will be provided with detailed instructions after registration is complete.
  • If freezing the placenta is necessary, I will provide you detailed instructions for proper storage.

Payment & Refunds

  • $50 deposit is required to reserve services. Balance is due upon delivery of placenta service. Payment can be made in cash, check or credit card via PayPal. Checks can be made out to Denessa Hicks or Life After Birth.
  • You may cancel this contract at any time but the $50 deposit is non-refundable.
  • If you cancel after the I have picked up the placenta and/or the encapsulation process has begun: the balance is due in full and no refund will be given even if you choose not to accept delivery of the finished capsules.

Medical Courier Service

  • In order to ensure a quick pickup, a licensed medical courier may be used. This can be particularly beneficial for hospitals who require the placenta be released within a certain time frame.
  • The only information that will be disclosed is the hospital location and your name. Your contact information will NOT be given unless you give me permission
  • You will be given an approximate time for pickup. I will notify you when the courier is 10 minutes from your birth location. You will need to let me know where you would like to meet the courier (lobby, outside, etc).
  • You will have a 15 minute grace period from when I call, after which you will incur a surcharge.

Turnaround Time

  • I do my best to have your placenta back to you as quickly as it can safely be prepared. This is usually within 2 days after picking up and, barring a weather emergency, always within 72 hours.
  • In some situations, I may choose to overnight the capsules back to you to ensure you receive them within a timely manner. As always, I will be available to you to discuss dosage, storage, etc.

Backup

I make every effort to be available at the time of your birth, including taking a limited amount of clients per month. However, unexpected situations and emergencies may occur. In case I am unavailable to process your placenta, I have two trusted backups I can rely on: Jessica Chase of Tree of Life Birth Services and Natalie Erdossy of NOVA Placenta Mama.

If a backup is required, you will receive all of her contact information and she will receive a copy of your completed registration form. The balance would be paid directly to the backup.

Benefits & Risks

Reported Benefits:

  • Preventing and lessening the risk of postpartum depression or baby blues
  • Replenishing iron from blood loss during birth and prevention of post birth anemia in the mother
  • Lending a consistent flow of oxytocin long after the birth euphoria ends
  • Provides the HPL hormone to help establish early and healthy milk supply for breastfeeding
  • Stabilizes the constantly fluctuating hormones post birth
  • Replenishes B vitamins and energy that were used during the labor and birth processes
  • Protection from infection and bleeding due to retained placenta tissue or membranes
  • Offers natural pain relief from the labor and birth process via the hormone POEF (Placenta Opioid Enhancing Factor)

Risks

  • Cross contamination: You agree to bring your own cooler and keep the placenta with you in the room. The placenta should NEVER be sent to pathology (excluding Inova Hospitals).
  • Improper handling: Proper placenta handling is crucial. The placenta should be kept cold until encapsulation occurs. If encapsulation cannot take place for several days after the birth, the placenta will need to be frozen.
  • Sanitation: I have current Bloodborne Pathogen and Food Handling Certifications (can be furnished upon request). I follow current EPA and OSHA guidelines for cleaning and sanitation.
  • Extensive research has not been done on placenta encapsulation. While the anecdotal evidence is astounding, there has not been any research on the benefits or risks of placenta consumption.
  • Side effects are unknown. Some women have reported jitteriness or headaches. If this occurs, please contact me immediately so we can discuss how to adjust your dosage. If more serious side effects occur, please stop taking your capsules immediately. Call me to discuss how we can adjust your dosage (if possible).

Herbs

Your capsules will contain pure placenta. You may decide to enhance your placenta preparation with the use of certain foods or herbs. Additions during steaming will not be dried and powdered into the finished capsules, but the placenta will be infused with them during the steaming process. By selecting herb(s), you acknowledge you have researched the enhancements and assume responsibility for consuming them.

Disclaimers

  • Denessa Hicks is not a licensed medical professional and is not able to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any health condition. Services and fees are for the preparation and encapsulation of the placenta, not for the sale of the pills. No specific benefits or effects are guaranteed. Any benefits will vary from person to person. Some of the ascribed benefits of placenta consumption are supported by research; however these benefits have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It is your responsibility to determine whether using placenta preparations may be of benefit to you.
  • This service has not been evaluated by the FDA. Denessa Hicks makes no medical treatment claims. Services provided are not clinical, pharmaceutical, or intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. Families who choose to utilize these services take full responsibility for their own health and product usage.
  • Always speak to your care provider regarding any questions about your health, safety and wellbeing. Placenta services are not meant to be a replacement for medical advice or prescription medicines. If you are experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression, low milk supply, or other medical concerns you must speak to your midwife or doctor.

Waiver of Liability

  • Placenta Encapsulation is not intended to prevent or treat any physical or mental diseases, ailments, or symptoms and choosing to consume the placenta are for your own personal beliefs, whether it be spiritual or cultural.
  • The placenta will be handled and encapsulated according to OSHA and EPA sterilization techniques, and will be cleaned, steamed (TCM method only), dehydrated, and put into pill form in a sanitary and sterile work space. Upon receiving placenta capsules or other placenta products, you waive any and all rights to hold Denessa Hicks responsible for any undesired effect of consuming the capsules.
  • Denessa Hicks will not responsible or liable for any transport mishap that is beyond control (ex: car accident). The placenta will be prepared in Denessa Hicks’s workspace and returned to you as soon as it is finished. Preparation usually takes 2 days.
  • Denessa Hicks will not be held liable for what happens to the placenta capsules and products after they have been dropped off including but not limited to, any other persons ingesting the placenta.