What is your training and experience?
I am a Certified Placenta Services Provider through APPA. The industry's most rigorous and respected training entity and certifying body. #APPA Standard is the Gold Standard in placenta training!
I am a Certified Food Handler with ServSafe - a nationally recognized food safety program.
I hold an Internationally recognized Certificate in OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Safety created specifically for Placenta Service Providers.
I have been offering safe and professional placenta encapsulation services in Duluth MN since 2009. I have processed over 700 placentas for families throughout the Northland. If you know someone who has tried this - its most likely they were my client!
My previous Placenta Services training was with Placenta Benefits Info (PBi).
Before I trained to be a doula, I worked in restaurants and have been trained in safe food preparation since 1992. I also have worked in health care clinics and labs requiring OSHA training for communicable disease and blood borne pathogens annually since 2006.
What are the benefits of placenta encapsulation?
My clients report benefits that include mood stabilization, increased energy, increased milk supply, faster postpartum healing, increased bonding and increased coping skills.
A recent study from the University of Nevada - Las Vegas, published in the Journal of Ecology of Food & Nutrition reported that 95% of women had a "positive or very positive" experience with placenta encapsulation and would do it again on subsequent pregnancies.
Is this safe?
Yes. Safety is my number one priority. I have invested hundreds of hours into my training. I take great precautions to ensure the safety of my clients including pick-up as soon as possible after your birth so that the food safety can be controlled in my workspace, leaving nothing to chance. I have strict protocols about possible infections in mother and baby that would prevent me from being able to safely encapsulate your placenta for you. In most cases, because it is your placenta there are no known risks with you consuming it. I will only prepare your placenta for you - I do not accept donor placentas and I do not process for any reason other than your postpartum well-being. My processing standards are strictly adhered to and have been diligently reviewed by my colleagues and peers and have been approved by APPA's rigorous review board. I have had local health professionals review my sanitation protocols. My high-level sanitation protocol is available for you to review by emailing me at jesse@TheFirstPlaceOnEarth.com
Are there any risks?
There are a few, and my practices are designed to minimize every one of them! Obviously, food safety must be addressed; you will receive clear instructions about the care and handling of your placenta in your confirmation process. Clients are instructed to call me as soon as possible after the birth to arrange pick-up. If immediate pick-up is not an option you will be given clear and easy to follow instructions for keeping your placenta safe. Generally, health conditions in the mother are not considered client risks. I practice Universal Precautions with each placenta and therefore do not screen for client medical conditions.
Who cannot have their placenta encapsulated?
If your placenta has been taken to the hospital lab or pathology for any reason, it is unsuitable for processing and encapsulation.
If your placenta was not stored according to my instructions for food safety then I am unable to process it for you.
If you have a uterine infection called chorioamnionitis, your placenta is considered unsafe for encapsulation.
What if I am GBS+?
Mothers who have tested + for Group B Strep are treated with antibiotics during labor, greatly diminishing the bacterial load. Mothers who host GBS in their systems typically do so with very few symptoms at all. If you were unable to receive antibiotics in labor for some reason we can simply use the Traditional Method of processing which steams the placenta before dehydrating - killing any surface bacteria on the placenta. There is a vast difference between a Group B Strep infection and testing positive for Group B in pregnancy(colonization). APPA has a fantastic resource here for folks who have concerns about the safety of GBS and encapsulation.
What if I am planning to use an epidural for pain management?
The medications used for anesthesia for an epidural or a cesarean surgery are processed by your body very quickly - which is why they need to be administered continuously through an IV drip. It is widely understood that there is no issue with using pain management and still having your placenta encapsulated.
What else do you put in your capsules?
Nothing. It is very important that your capsules contain your safely processed placenta only. If there are additional supplements you would like to take I recommend taking them separately, that way if you have a reaction to anything you are taking, the rest of your placenta is not wasted.
How do I know I am getting MY placenta?
I have very strict protocols in my practice. Every client item is labeled. I rarely have more than one placenta in my possession at a time and utilize separate work stations for each placenta in that instance. Some families request that I do the processing in their home to eliminate their concerns and I am happy to accommodate that request. I take every element of your safety and your concerns seriously.
How do you prevent cross-contamination?
I use high-level sanitation practices. I use primarily single-use equipment to prevent opportunities for cross-contamination at each step of the processing. The disinfectants and sanitation chemicals I use are the same ones used in hospitals and labs. My practice is in compliance with OSHA standards for blood borne pathogen safety and I am sanitizing each reusable item twice between clients. Reusable items include the dehydrator itself, the grinder and the capsule machine. All of my equipment is commercial grade and is chosen for its ability to be properly cleaned and sanitized.
What research is available about placentas?
This site has some great information about the research as it exists now. The University of Las Vegas - Nevada is undertaking the first double-blind placebo study on human placentophagy right now. We look forward to sharing those results when they are published.
What does the FDA think about all this?
The FDA has not released a statement about placenta encapsulation. Placenta capsules have not been approved by the FDA for postpartum wellness, not have they been banned or regulated by any authority. A placenta services provider should be able to describe the reported benefits her clients' experience but is not able to assess, diagnose or treat any conditions.
What does it taste/smell like?
When raw, the placenta has a fresh salty scent - like the ocean and sometimes that metallic scent of blood. When processing the dehydrating placenta has a mild cooked meat odor. The capsules don't typically have a smell or taste to them. Some squeamish clients request an opaque fruit scented capsule.
What are my payment options?
When you register you will receive an invoice which can be paid in advance using PayPal. You may also choose to pay at the time of service using cash, check (made out to Jesse Dykhuis) or a credit/debit card. If you have chosen a Duluth Placenta Express package you must pay your $50 deposit at the time of registration. Deposits are not refundable - they cover the cost of transport and storage kits and shipping.
I live outside of Duluth. What are my options for professional placenta encapsulation?
I often travel throughout Northern Wisconsin, the Range Cities and the Lakes area for clients who desire professional encapsulation services from a company they trust. There are additional fees for out-of-service are requests and special arrangements for delivery of your capsules depending on your location. If you live much farther away from Duluth please contact me using my inquiry form and I will help you find a reputable provider in your area. My professional network is extensive.
Can you give me more information about the difference between the processing methods you offer?
Absolutely! Choosing a processing method is confusing for many clients new to the idea of placenta encapsulation.
Over the last almost 8 years over 90% of my clients have chosen the Holistic Method and it remains my recommended choice in most circumstances.
The biggest method difference it how the placenta is processed before dehydration. In the Holistic Method, the placenta is simply sliced thinly and dehydrated thoroughly. In the TCM Method, the placenta is steamed before slicing and dehydrating.
The Holistic Method is based on the principles of "less is more" and acknowledges that we cook our foods in part to destroy bacteria and hormones that may be present. In the case of placenta encapsulation, we actually want to preserve the hormones present as they are the agents that afford the benefits you have likely heard clients report. When we look to other mammals to understand the biological imperative present in consuming the placenta for postpartum wellness - we do not see any processing at all before consumption. Obviously, very few humans are likely to consume the placenta completely raw and this Holistic method offers the least amount of processing that is considered safe from a food safety perspective. Many clients choose a smoothie in conjunction with their capsules so they have access to the powerful benefits of their placenta in the immediate postpartum while they are waiting for professional processing to be completed. It is very likely that if you have heard a friend, relative or co-worker talk about placenta encapsulation they have used this method - as it is by FAR the most popular method requested.
The TCM/Traditional Method borrows heavily from Traditional Chinese Medicine which has used placenta in a variety of ways for centuries. The placenta is gently steamed over water that contains fresh lemon, fresh ginger, and a dried red chile. According to TCM, a newly postpartum mother is "cold" and need "warming" properties. Because the placenta is steamed and the chile is included, it is considered a warming remedy. I suggest TCM preparation to clients who have struggled with anxiety/panic also. Many moms who take Holistic Method capsules report lots of extra energy - this could be caused in part by the adrenaline present in a mother's system at the time the placenta detaches from the uterus, and therefore present in the placenta. Mothers with no anxiety love this benefit, but women who have struggled with anxiety have sometimes reported that that "energizing" effect feels like anxiety. I describe it like too many cups of coffee. That is not to say that the Traditional Method is any less powerful, in fact, it is more potent in some ways and while it produces fewer capsules overall - the dosing is fewer capsules, so is a quantitative wash. If there is a lot of meconium present with the placenta and I cannot get it cleaned to my satisfaction I may recommend a mom choose Traditional processing as the steaming helps clean the placenta. If I have any concerns about how the placenta was stored before I take possession of it - I will insist on Traditional Method. Most women who choose Traditional processing are under the care of a Doctor of Oriental Medicine or Canadian Osteopaths - both practitioner types strongly prefer the Traditional Method.
Please, know that while one method or the other will tend to be an obvious choice for most clients - I will verify your choice when I come to pick you placenta up and you can change your mind right up until that time!