Placenta encapsulation takes on average about 2.5 hours to process by hand from start to finish (not counting the time it dehydrates, about 6-8 hours. Or counting the cleanup and sanitizing time, about an hour). The first hour of hands on time is spent cleaning, examining and preparing the placenta to be dehydrated. Then it dehyrates for several hours and is followed by about an hour or so of getting the dehdrated placenta parts ground into a powder and then placed in capsules.
It takes a good amount of concentration to make certain that everything is done properly but I usually enjoy listening to music while I work. Lately I have put more thought into this than previous placenta processing. I have almost taken in a bit of an emotion approach to the selection of my music while I work on a placenta.
I really believe that handling the placenta is somewhat ceremonious. I think that the placenta is such a phenominal contrubuter to the life and prosperity of the baby; I hold reverance for it's role in pregnancy and of course am an avid supporter of the benefits of placenta encapsulation for the postpartum period.
It seems as though the time that I have it in my hands, there is a meaningful transition occuring between it use in serving baby to it's use in serving mother. The responsibility is meaningful to me, and has me contemplating quite often the respect I have and awareness of the entire process. I also have to much of my auditory experience attached to memories, like so many of us do. I enjoy tying in the two elements in the work that I do.
I was at a birth as a doula a couple years ago where after the baby was born the parents sang acapella to their sweet new boy the lyrics of "Home" by Simon & Garfunkel. My heart just about exploded in that moment. When I went home to process their plancenta for them I just absolutely HAD to listen to it and the rest of my childhood favorites from Simon & Garfunkel.
At the homebirth of my second cousin this last December, we had played Adele's new album, "25" many times while waiting for baby to arrive and the songs became the soundtrack of the experience. I listening to it again while doing her placenta and think of them fondly as I hear the familiar songs again months later.
Sometimes I am feeling particularly upbeat and celebratory and a good Motown or 80s mix does the job. Sometimes I am wanting to bring calmness and grounding to the encapsulation experience and take the energy level down a notch with some soothing Zee Avi or Sara Bareilles. Sometimes I have no idea what I am wanting and let my IheartRadio app take care of it for me with quiet nature sounds or the Billboard Top 40 playlist.
No matter the tunes that end up playing, it has become a fun and fond part of my ritual to find the music that sets the mood for the placenta processing. After reflecting on this so heavily today I am almost wondering if I should let my clients pick what music I listen to while I work on their placenta. Or if I should label their products, "produced lovingly to the sounds of ______". I am chuckling outloud just saying it out loud here, but it's not the craziest idea ever, right?
Tiffany Alblinger is an experienced doula and placenta encapsulation specialist who has been writing helpful articles on women's health and birth issues for several years. She serves all of San Diego, but provides the quickest placenta encapsulation service to the Carlsbad, Oceanside, Encinitas, San Marcos and Poway areas.