Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Our goal is to answer your questions and support you during your pregnancy, birth, and parenting journey. Below are several 'frequently asked questions' you may have about our childbirth education courses, doula support, and placenta encapsulation services. Please feel free to contact us with additional questions!


What Is Birth Boot Camp?

Birth Boot Camp is a modern, evidenced-based childbirth curriculum for couples that want to have an amazing pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding experience. Birth Boot Camp courses present the most current facts, information, and resources from midwives, doulas, lactation consultants, chiropractors, and a community of pregnancy, birth, and parenting experts.

What Childbirth Education Classes Do You Offer?

We teach a variety of Birth Boot Camp Childbirth education classes and workshops. Our classes are designed for mothers, couples, and families that want to be prepared and confident heading into birth and parenting. We offer a comprehensive 10-week training program for couples, a six week course for couples planning a hospital birth, the birth at home preparation series, a homebirth express childbirth education program, a labor comfort measures workshop, birth and postpartum planning seminars, a birth refresher class, a pregnancy nutrition and exercise course, and a workshop all about caring for your newborn. Our Birth Boot Camp classes have moved. Please visit our Sister Site Cleveland Natural Birth for course options for full course outlines!

What Is A Postpartum Doula?

A postpartum doula is a trained parenting, newborn, and postnatal support professional.  A postpartum doula provides education and support to the entire family during the newborn period. She has a wealth of experience regarding postpartum adjustment, including normal newborn behavior, infant sleep, postnatal recovery, and breastfeeding. Your doula will provide you with non-medical, evidenced-based information, so you can feel confident in making best decisions for your family.

What Is The Difference Between A Postpartum Doula, A Baby Nurse, And A Night Nurse?

A baby nurse is an older term to describe a professional dedicated to caring for a newborn baby.  A night nurse is another antiquated term, referring to a dedicated infant support professional that cares for a newborn through the overnight hours. A postpartum doula is the preferred, modern term for these services. Our postpartum doula professionals can provide family-centered support during your transition to parenthood, as well as providing more focused infant care.  The terms night nurse and baby nurse, are confusing, because these professionals are not usually providing medical services, like a medically trained nurse. We always use the term postpartum doula to describe this type of care. Your postpartum doula can support your family in a variety of roles, with day and overnight infant support services.

What Exactly Is Placenta Encapsulation?

Placenta Encapsulation (PE) is the process of turning your placenta into capsules that can be taken as a supplement. PE is type of placentophagy, defined as eating your own placenta after the birth of your baby.

How Does The Encapsulation Process Work?

Placenta encapsulation is a two-day process, involving several steps, that takes place in your home. First, we inspect, clean, and steam your placenta. Then it is sliced thin and dehydrated overnight. On day two, we grind your placenta into a fine powder and place into capsules.

Why Should I Chose Placenta Encapsulation?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been using placenta as a remedy for 1400 years. The many hormones and nutrients found in your placenta can help you heal, and find optimal balance, during the postpartum transition period. Choosing to encapsulate your placenta may help:

  • Balance Hormones
  • Support Lactation & Enhance Milk Supply
  • Replenish Iron, Minerals, & Vitamins
  • Mitigate Postpartum Bleeding
  • Provide Natural Pain Relief
  • Ease 'Baby Blues'
  • Decrease Severity of Postpartum Mood Disorders
  • Boost Energy

What Cities And Communities Do You Serve?

We provide placenta encapsulation services to families living in Greater Cleveland, Akron/Canton, and most towns in Northeast Ohio, including areas in the following counties: Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Portage, Summit, Medina, Stark, Wayne, Ashland, Lorain, Erie, and Huron. We are honored to provide families with postpartum doula support in and around Greater Cleveland, including the following communities: Pepper Pike, Beachwood, Solon, Chagrin Falls, Hunting Valley, Gates Mills, Mayfield Village, Willoughby, University Heights, Independence, Seven Hills, Strongsville, Parma, Westlake, Rocky River, and Avon Lake. Our Birth Boot Camp - Natural Childbirth Education Courses take place in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, and Lake Counties, or in the comfort of your own home.

How Many Pills Will My Placenta Make?

Each placenta is different, but the placenta encapsulation process yields around 80-120 pills for most clients.

Where Does The Encapsulation Process Take Place?

We encapsulate your placenta in your home, ONLY. We feel that this is the most transparent method, that is in accordance with the Ohio Department(s) of Health and Agriculture regulations. Alayna Spratley, of The Nurturing Root has completed both food safety and bloodborne pathogens certifications ensuring we operate within Ohio Food Laws' protocols. While Alayna is in your home, you will also see that she practices in accordance with OSHA and EPA Federal guidelines and uses procedures that meet the EPA guidelines for laboratories that deal with bloodborne pathogens and medical waste.

What Are Some of The Nutrients And Hormones In My Placenta?

Your Placenta, the origin of life, is a source abundant in essential hormones and nutrients. Just some of the beneficial compounds include:

  • Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) Stress relieving hormone.
  • Human Placental Lactogen (hPL) Regulates maternal insulin, protein, and fat levels; promotes breast tissue growth.
  • Oxytocin Decreases pain; controls uterine contractions; enhances 'letdown' reflex; counteracts stress hormones.
  • Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF) Stimulates the production of your body’s natural opioids, reducing pain.
  • Prolactin (PRL) Promotes lactation and increases milk supply.
    Interferon Signaling protein that stimulates the immune system to help fight infections.
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Regulates metabolism and energy and supports recovery from stressful events.
  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG) Type of antibody that protects against infections and enhances immune system response.
  • Fibrin Stabilizing Factor (XIII) Enzyme that stops bleeding and promotes wound healing.
  • Vitamin B-6 Vitamin that supports metabolism and nervous system function.
  • Hemoglobin (Hb or Hgb) An iron-rich protein that carries oxygen throughout the body.

What Experiences Are Mothers Reporting With Placenta Encapsulation?

In a study, published in 2013, by two University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) researchers, 189 women were surveyed about their personal experiences and motivations regarding placenta consumption. The majority of survey respondents were from the United States, white non-hispanic, married, college-educated, and middle-class. Most of the women in the survey engaged in placentophagy one time. The participants chose the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) preparation, which involves steaming and dehydrating the placenta. Over 96% of survey participants reported a positive or very positive experience, with 98% of participants saying they would consume their placenta again. The top reported positive effects of placenta consumption included: improved mood, increased energy, and enhanced lactation. The top reported negative effects were all mild and included unpleasant burping and unappealing taste or smell.

This survey is just the first published results in larger and ongoing studies by the UNLV Placentophagy Research Team.

Is Placenta Encapsulation Just A Passing Trend?

Placenta has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to promote healing for over 1400 years. So, no; it is not trendy nor is it a ‘fad’. Placenta encapsulation is definitely experiencing a revival, though. Ohio mothers are looking for natural remedies to help them have a more peaceful postpartum period.

I Am Vegetarian/Vegan. Can I Still Encapsulate My Placenta?

Absolutely! Placenta consumption is ethical and in observance with vegetarian and vegan philosophies. You are able to consent to the process, (animals are not) and no creature is harmed or killed. We also use 100% vegan capsules to make your pills.

Is Consuming My Placenta Considered Cannibalism?

No, it is not! Cannibalism is the act of eating another human's flesh or organs. Eating your own placenta is actually called placentophagy. Consider, for reference, babies drinking breastmilk. Placentophagy and breastfeeding are similarly nuanced exceptions to cannibalism.

I Didn’t Have A ‘Natural” Birth. Can I Encapsulate My Placenta If…

I had an epidural?...YES
I had a surgical birth?...YES
I was given Pitocin?...YES
I took antibiotics in labor?...YES
My baby was premature?...YES
I had twins?...YES
My placenta was frozen?...YES

Under What Circumstances Should I NOT Encapsulate?

There are very few reasons placenta encapsulation would be contraindicated.
You should NOT encapsulate your placenta if...

It was NOT kept in a cooler on ice or in the refrigerator.
You had a uterine or placental infection.
It was sent to pathology for testing AND it was treated with chemicals.

How Do I Care For My Placenta?

Treat your placenta as perishable food. If baby is born at home, place your placenta in a container with a lid and refrigerate. If you are at a birthing center or hospital, put your placenta inside two zip-top freezer bags. Keep in a cooler with plenty of ice. Bring it home and refrigerate asap.