FAQ | Childbirth Classes | Help After Birth

Our FAQ page is broken into four sections to answer all questions pertaining to each service.

Sections include;

  • General Questions
  • Placenta Encapsulation
  • Post-Birth Doula Support
  • Other/Miscellaneous


FAQ General

What can I expect from First Coast Doulas?

You can expect to be met by the industry’s most compassionate, professional, and non-judgemental individuals. You will not find anyone else in Jacksonville, Florida who provides the level of expertise and care that we do. We are the absolute best at what we do.


FAQ Placenta Encapsulation

What are the benefits of taking placenta capsules?

Our clients, along with thousands of other new mothers swear by placenta encapsulation. Reported benefits include: more energy, a healthy breast milk production, a faster recovery time, and less pain.

The bottom line; nothing that compares to your placenta organic or otherwise that can help you recover from birth better!

We have many blogs written on the topic of placenta encapsulation.

Where do I get placenta capsules?

You should only ever ingest placenta capsules made from your own placenta. First Coast Doulas doesn’t recommend ingesting anyone else’s capsules. Not only is is it not advisable, but it could be very dangerous to your health. Taking a friends capsules or capsules made from a donated placenta can be extremely dangerous.

With First Coast Doulas you’ll have no doubts as to whether the placenta capsules you’re consuming are your own, ever! We can guarantee this, ask us how! We are proud of our standards and to say we are the best in the business! You will never accidentally end up with someone else’s placenta capsules, EVER! With First Coast Doulas it’s not possible!

Contact us today to find out what you need to do before birth to prepare for placenta encapsulation.

I have my placenta in my freezer, I wasn’t sure what, if anything I could do with it. Can I still encapsulate?

Depends on how it was stored in the freezer and for how long it’s been in there. Contact us and let a professional help you decide!

What is a tincture and do I want one?

Tinctures, in general terms are used primarily as an alternative to medicine or as a supplement. In terms of placenta encapsulation it will be used as a supplement. A tincture is an alcohol-based derivative made from your placenta. It is ready in approximately 6 weeks from the time your placenta specialist prepares it and can last for years. LONG after your capsules are gone you’ll have the benefit of your tincture. For this reason I highly suggest getting a tincture! If you’re a recovering alcoholic we do NOT recommend a tincture.

Have any studies been done on placenta encapsulation?

There has been some smaller studies done, but most of what we have available to us is anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal information usually leads to bigger research studies. The studies we have are listed below and there’s currently another study being done.

Whether placebo effect or not if it helps a mother have a better postpartum and isn’t harmful (and it’s not when it’s prepared correctly and in the client’s home only) then why not? This service is in high demand and we are providing it in the absolute safest way possible!

“Powdered Placenta Hominis was used for 57 cases of insufficient lactation. Within 4 days, 48 women had markedly increased milk production, with the remainder following suit over the next three days.”

Bensky/Gamble. 1997. Materia Medica, Eastland Press, 549.


“All patients were given desiccated placenta prepared as previously described (C.A. II, 2492) in doses of 10 grams in a capsule 3 times a day. Only those mothers were chosen for the study whose parturition was normal and only the weights of those infants were recorded whose soul source of nourishment was mothers milk.

The growth of 177 infants was studied. The rate of growth is increased by the ingestion of placenta by the mother… the maternal ingestion of dried placenta tissue so stimulates the tissues of the infants feeding on the milk produced during this time, that unit weight is able to add on greater increments of matter, from day to day, than can unit weight of infants feeding on milk from mothers not ingesting this substance.”

Hammett, Frederick. S. 1918. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 36.
American Society of Biological Chemists, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, original press: Harvard University.


“It has been shown that the feeding of desiccated placenta to women during the first eleven days after parturition causes an increase in the protein and lactose percent of the milk… All the mothers were receiving the same diet, and to the second set 0.6mg of desiccated placenta was fed three times a day throughout the period. Certain definite differences in the progress of growth of the two sets of infants are to be observed. It is evident that the recovery from the postnatal decline in weight is hastened by the consumption of milk produced under the influence of maternally ingested placenta.”

McNeile, Lyle G. 1918. The American journal of obstetrics and diseases of women and children, 77.
W.A. Townsend & Adams, original press: University of Michigan.


“An attempt was made to increase milk secretion in mothers by administration of dried placenta per os. Of 210 controlled cases only 29 (13.8%) gave negative results; 181 women (86.2%) reacted positively to the treatment, 117 (55.7%) with good and 64 (30.5%) with very good results. It could be shown by similar experiments with a beef preparation that the effective substance in placenta is not protein. Nor does the lyofilised placenta act as a biogenic stimulator so that the good results of placenta administration cannot be explained as a form of tissue therapy per os.

The question of a hormonal influence remains open. So far it could be shown that progesterone is probably not active in increasing lactation after administration of dried placenta. This method of treating hypogalactia seems worth noting since the placenta preparation is easily obtained, has not so far been utilized and in our experience is successful in the majority of women.”

Soykova-Pachnerova E, et. al.(1954). Gynaecologia 138(6):617-627.


What hormones are found in the placenta?

Oxytocin: known as the love hormone. Decreases pain and increases bonding in mother and infant; counteracts the production of stress hormones such as Cortisol; greatly reduces postpartum bleeding; enhances the breastfeeding let-down reflex.

Prostaglandins: Regulates contractions in the uterus after birth; helps uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size. Anti-inflammatory effects.

Iron: Replenishes maternal iron stores to combat anemia, a common postpartum condition. Increases energy; decreases fatigue and depression.

Human Placental Lactogen (hPL): This hormone has lactogenic and growth-promoting properties; promotes mammary gland growth in preparation for lactation in the mother. It also regulates maternal glucose, protein, and fat levels.

Prolactin: Promotes lactation; increases milk supply; enhances the mothering instinct.

Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH): Low levels of CRH are implicated in postpartum depression. Regulation of CRH helps prevent depression.

Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF): Stimulates the production of your body’s natural opioids, including endorphins; reduces pain; increases well-being.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: Regulates the thyroid gland; boosts energy and supports recovery from stressful events.

Cortisone: Reduces inflammation and swelling; promotes healing.

Interferon: Triggers the protective defenses of the immune system to fight infection.

Hemoglobin: Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues back to the lungs.

Urokinase Inhibiting Factor and Factor XIII: Stops bleeding and enhances wound healing.

Immunogloulin G (IgG): Antibody molecules which support the immune system.

Where is the placenta encapsulation process completed at?

First Coast Doulas happily prepares your placenta capsules in the safety of your own home. Contact us for a complimentary phone consult so we can explain why! Elizabeth Luke, owner of First Coast Doulas knows that having a certified postpartum placenta specialist who is also a birth doula and post-birth family support specialist in your home after birth provides benefits that last a lifetime.

The client and her family can be as involved or as removed from the process as they see fit. Our contract explains the procedure and what is required for us to do it.

Our clients love that we are completely transparent in our process and make it convenient for them!

We have the highest standards and are proud to say that our practices follow OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard 29 CFR 1090.1030

Providing the safest encapsulation services possible requires the client, her partner, or the client’s appointed representative to transport the placenta to the her own home for encapsulation. Step by Step instructions are provided by First Coast Doulas.

What does the placenta encapsulation process involve?

The process involves reading over and filling out the contract and intake form online. Once that is done you will be emailed an invoice(s).

Once we receive your payment we will schedule a face to face meeting to deliver your transport kit and go over handling, transport, and storage. Final payment due by 32 weeks and once your final payment & forms are received your client status become marked as “on call” on our calendar .

Another option for those booking services with First Coast Doulas: Pay a portion or all of the fee by credit card. That way we are paid in full by 32 weeks and you can extend payments to your credit card company if needed. Some clients have family and friends chip in for birth, placenta, and postpartum services.

Then, once your baby and ultimately your placenta is born you contact us to let us know so we can congratulate you and set up a time that’s convenient for you for us to come and prepare your placenta for you.

We bring all of our own supplies, clean up and disinfect a small work space in your kitchen. From there we prepare and clean up everything leaving your kitchen as clean or cleaner than when we arrived. Second day, same deal!

While we are there if you have questions about your newborn or just want to talk about your birth we can do that or we can work alone while you do your thing!

Some clients leave a key for us to process and lock up so they have capsules there when they arrive back home. Other clients have chosen to be in the kitchen with us, while others just let us in and go to bed and lay down!

You can ask questions, take pics, put on some gloves and be hands on, or stay completely out of eyesight of the process altogether, we have had plenty of both!

Honestly what each family wants is different in that regard.

We’ll sit and chat about suggested consumption, proper storage, and handling of your capsules and tincture. We will also check in with you and see if there is an area where you might have questions or need some resources. Then we leave literature and we check in with you in the days and weeks to follow!

If you have any questions at all you call or email us!

Lastly, you fall in love your capsules and the experience you had with us. You tell all your friends and give them First Coast Doulas contact information so we can help them have a happy postpartum too!

What’s so special about my placenta?

Your placenta is an incredible organ, unlike any other. It’s nutrient rich and provides a boost in energy post birth. This nutrient rich organ is ingested by nearly every mammal on the planet after birth.

Is this a new practice?

Mothers in various cultures, have ingested their placentas for thousands of years. Ingesting the placenta is especially popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Placenta encapsulation is a holistic way said to improve the new mother’s well-being after birthing. Each placenta is unique because it was made for your baby and you, by you!!

What if I have a cesarean birth, can I still encapsulate?

Yes, absolutely! In fact recovering after a cesarean birth can often times be much harder on the mother and her support people at home. In addition breastmilk typically takes a little longer to come in. Placenta capsules can help with healing, healthy production, and energy. There are very few reasons why you can not encapsulate and experience the benefits of placenta encapsulation. We go over those in our contract.

How many capsules will my placenta yield?

Every placenta is different in size and substance, therefore, the number of capsules you receive will vary. The average range of capsules is approximately 75-200. This is an average range and really depends on a number of things. Some things that determine number of capsules is the size and weight of your placenta, if any was removed and sent off for testing, the size of the capsules that are used, and if you choose to purchase other options like tinctures.

If I get antibiotics in labor for GBS+ in labor can I still encapsulate?

Yes, if antibiotics were given as a preventative measure in labor that alone is not a reason to pass on encapsulation.

Will the hospital let me keep my placenta?

Most hospitals local to the Jacksonville, Florida area are familiar with patients keeping their placenta for consumption. We encourage our clients to talk about this with their providers and make their wishes known before birth when possible.

We provide our clients with transport kits complete with labels, tags, and literature.

So, does placenta encapsulation stink?

Nope! Placenta encapsulation doesn’t stink. Placentas, because they are an organ that contain blood, does have a slight earthy smell, but it doesn’t stink and has never been described as stinking during any part of the process.

What do I do after delivering my placenta?

If you didn’t plan ahead for placenta encapsulation, but you decided at the last minute you would like to do placenta encapsulation. Your placenta needs to be labelled with your information, stored in a container or double bagged and cooled within 3 hours. Do not allow your placenta to be taken to pathology. Give us a call at (904) 479-6131 or email us at info@firstcoastdoulas.com as soon as possible.

But I’m vegan, can I still encapsulate my placenta?

Here are words from  vegan women who have chosen placenta encapsulation:

“I’m a vegan, but I’m a biologist so I know that even herbivores typically ingest their placentas. The practice may be to help avoid notice from predators, but it also makes biological sense that this organ that the body put so much energy into growing would provide much needed nourishment to the mother postpartum. Logically, ingestion made sense to me and I didn’t want to see my placenta wasted. Did the placenta even out my hormones and help with the transition to motherhood? I can’t say for sure, but I think it did. In the end it didn’t bother me and I know that it certainly didn’t hurt! I’m due with baby number two in six weeks and I’m planning to ingest the placenta again.”
~Shared with permission Nova Birth

“I am vegan because the harming of animals is against my beliefs, since no animals (or people) were harmed I chose to encapsulated and it was great.”

“I consumed my placenta because it “is meat of life, not of death” and it “came about” in the creation of life.”


placenta encapsulation jax, fl

FAQ About Post-Birth Family Support Specialist

In a few words, what is a post-birth doula?

That’s a fancy way to say someone who is experienced in providing essential help in the first several weeks at home after birth! In effect, a post-birth doula is a good listener, parent-helper, tidy-upper-er, and baby soother, with the expertise only an experienced professional can offer!

Are post-birth doulas only for people who want to live an organic/natural or hippy lifestyle?

Heck no! First Coast Doulas supports all families.  We know that every  family has unique needs and parenting presents with its own set of challenges, joys, and circumstances.  First Coast Doulas supports every client who chooses to bring us onto their team, hippy, conventional, or otherwise!

Jax Birth Classes | Top Must Haves for Expecting Parents in 2017

FAQ About Other/Misc.

Does First Coast Doulas facilitate any events or meet-ups?

Yes!  FC Doulas understands that expectant, new, and veteran parents benefit from a strong community.

Family First Support Group is a gathering for moms to share their birth, adoption, and mothering beginnings. Breastfeeding babies and babies in arms welcome!

We have a couple of surprises in the works, so stay tuned!

How about any support groups?

Yes, we created and moderate Jacksonville Pregnancy and Parenting

Does First Coast Doulas do discounts or accept payment plans?

Discounts? No, we’re already super affordable! Payment options? Yes!

We fully understand that while what we provide is valuable, families may need to budget for this service. For that reason we offer customizable payment options if you need that.

Another option for those booking services with First Coast Doulas: Pay a portion or all of the fee by credit card. That way you can extend payments a little longer through your credit card company. Some clients have family and friends chip in for services. Contact us if you would like more information.