APPA Shining Star: Jamie Davison

Hello there! My name is Jamie Davison, owner of With Love Placenta Services, which services Central New Jersey, including Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

I spent much of my adolescence lost and looking for my place in this world. I spent my time traveling, searching for anything that spoke to my soul. It wasn’t until I saw those two little pink lines on a pregnancy test that I knew where I belonged, I knew what I was destined to do. I have always been destined to be a mother.

During my pregnancy with my daughter, I engrossed myself into all things pregnancy and birth. I couldn’t get enough. I came across placenta encapsulation about half way through my pregnancy. I had suffered depression starting in my early teen years and was, truthfully, scared out of my mind about developing postpartum depression. After researching everything I could about consuming your placenta, I figured there was no way it could harm me, so why not! My daughter was born peacefully at home in September of 2013, and the next morning my placenta was picked up and off to be encapsulated. My placenta capsules were absolutely magical. I could immediately tell if I had forgotten to take them. I truly believe my placenta capsules were the key to my easy adjustment to motherhood.

Shortly after the birth of my daughter, I became a certified Birth Doula through Birth Arts International. I was blessed to be a part of the amazing birth community that is Austin, Texas. I spent the following years learning from some of the best birth workers in the country. It wasn’t until a few years later, a cross-country move, and one more baby that I decided to focus my energy on placenta encapsulation. I needed to be within the world of birth but could not dedicate my time to holding space for birthing women, as required as a doula. Being a placenta specialist has opened a new passion within me to continue serving woman on their journey to motherhood.

We asked Jamie some questions about her experiences with APPA, here is what she told us:

Why did you choose APPA as your certifying organization?
When I decided to become a placenta encapsulator, I asked around some Facebook groups I belonged in and ultimately decided to go the cheapest route on training programs. Within one week, I quickly realized that you get what you pay for! Without hesitation, I immediately switched to APPA and was AMAZED at the difference in the program.

What did you like the most about APPA?
APPA was amazingly comprehensive. The program is incredibly detailed, yet not overwhelming. As someone who did not thrive in a school environment, I felt all the tasks were challenging, but not overly complicated where you continuously felt “stuck”. All of the mentors left me feeling supported and like they really were there to help me succeed in the program.

How has this training changed your practice or added to your knowledge?
Before APPA I had the basic knowledge on HOW TO encapsulate, but lacked a lot of the “why” when it came to certain very important situations. After taking APPA’s training, I feel completely confident in my practice, knowing that I am now using the highest safety measures in the industry.

 

Connect with Jamie at https://www.newjerseyplacenta.com or follow her on social media – https://www.facebook.com/withloveplacenta or @withloveplacenta on Instagram

 

 

APPA Shining Star: Jill Schwartz

APPA would like to introduce you to Jill Schwartz from Minnesota!

 

Jill Schwartz lives in rural Minnesota and is very excited to be the only APPA Certified Placenta Specialist in her area, serving 8 counties of the state. She has been a DONA certified birth doula since 2004 and has a true passion for helping others. Her business “Sweet Miracles Doula” has grown significantly in the past five years and she attributes that to women who are becoming better advocates for their birth wishes and finding options that are right for them. Birth is beautiful, and women are strong…Jill loves to watch women find their inner strength and wisdom while having their perfect birth, their way.

Jill loves everything about pregnancy and childbirth. She gets excited when she talks about microbiomes, vernix, delayed cord closures, the ‘Golden Hour’, oxytocin, breastfeeding…and now placentas!! While her topics get a variety of responses, she finds that most people love to learn the benefits of placentophagy. Jill offers TM and Raw Start encapsulation, placenta prints, placenta tincture and cord keepsakes.

We asked Jill a few questions about her experience with APPA:

Why did you choose APPA as your certifying organization?

When choosing a certifying organization, I knew that APPA was the right fit for me. Although it is an online course, it uses a variety of teaching techniques to suit my style of learning, and it is self-paced! The training is extensive and thorough, with high expectations of graduates…and I liked that. When I decide to do something, I like to do it right…and APPA is a highly respected program that I knew I wanted to be a part of. I am proud of my certification and feel confident that I am now providing professional, top-notch service and safe, quality products. I feel that my clients deserve the best.

What did you like the most about APPA?
Without a doubt, the thing that I liked best about APPA is the mentor program! Absolutely amazing. Not only do the mentors help motivate you and hold you accountable for the goals that you set yourself (not theirs), but they really do care about your success. I remember the first email from my mentor; she asked, “How can I best help you succeed?” I felt like a bit of a ‘non-trad’ without much experience with online classes, but the mentors are always available to answer questions! Their experience and knowledge of the modules was very helpful whenever I needed help.

How has this training changed your practice or added to your knowledge?
Originally, I wanted to become a certified placenta specialist so I could offer the service to my doula clients. During my training and through word of mouth, I quickly found that this would become a business of its own. People were contacting me and inquiring about my services before I was even ready. I am thrilled to now offer placenta services to clients in 8 rural counties in Minnesota!!

You can learn more about Jill at her website: www.sweetmiraclesdoula.weebly.com 

Or visit her facebook page: Sweet Miracles Doula

 

APPA Shining Star: Heather Meyer

We’d like you to meet long-time APPA Certified Encapsulator Heather Meyer!

Heather has been providing 5-star placenta encapsulation in the Philadelphia area for over 5 years. She has had the privilege of encapsulating over 600 placentas. Heather started out as independently trained but when APPA came on the scene they offered everything she was looking for in an organization!

Learn more about Heather’s practice www.placentaencapsulationservices.com

 

 

APPA Shining Star: Bronwyn Arnold-Briggs

Meet Bronwyn Arnold-Briggs from Brisbane, Australia!

Bronwyn is a certified birth & postpartum doula, HypnoBirthing Practitioner (Mongan Method), professional birth and motherhood photographer and placenta encapsulation, specialist. Bron is fully certified and insured and practices to the highest standards and holds current bloodborne pathogen and safe food handling certificates.
Bronwyn services all areas of the Sunshine Coast and areas of north Brisbane in Queensland Australia.

Why did Bronwyn choose to train and certify through APPA?

I was recommended to this course by a fellow encapsulation specialist and knew this was the highest standard of education. I wanted to ensure I had the best training and support behind me when I added this service to my business.

What she liked most about the APPA program:

I loved how thorough the materials were, that our tasks helped up with marketing/business materials. I loved the amazing support given by my mentors and how generous and supportive the student Facebook group is.

How her APPA training changed her practice or enhanced her knowledge:

This was my first training in PE – but I feel I can properly explain the reasons why someone would choose to support their postpartum with placenta products.

Bronwyn says this about her experience with APPA:

I found this course challenging and enjoyable at the same time – a really great balance of tasks. I would definitely recommend this course to others!

Bron serves the following areas:  Sunshine Coast – Noosa, Coolum, Peregian, Eumundi, Doonan, Yandina, Nambour, Maroochydore, Kawana, Buderim, Caloundra
Caboolture & Gympie Hospitals (with travel fee)
North Brisbane (with travel fee)

 

Get

Learn more about Bron at her website:   www.kindredbirth.com.au

Or connect with her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kindredbirth/

Shining Star: Anne Ferguson, APPAC

Anne Ferguson has been encapsulating placentas since 2011 and has been an APPAC since 2015. She has worked with well over 800 families as a birth and postpartum doula, childbirth educator (Hypnobabies childbirth hypnosis classes) and Placenta Arts Specialist.

Her interest in placenta encapsulation started in 2009 with the birth of her second child. She asked family members to encapsulate for her and loved the experience. When the capsules were gone, life with two young kids definitely got harder to manage! As someone with a history of depression (pre-kids), she knows how challenging mood disorders can be and is passionate about helping families have the best possible postpartum period.

Anne believes strongly in a multi-faceted approach to a happy postpartum. In addition to utilizing one’s placenta, Anne believes families need a positive and supported birth experience and tons of support in the postpartum period with breastfeeding, household chores, meals, and just people to vent to when things are tough! U.S. culture has such unrealistic expectations about what life looks like when a new baby arrives and Anne hopes to change that one family at a time through education and support.

In her free time, Anne enjoys spending time with her two grade-school-aged boys who keep her busy with sports and activities! They’ve grown up with birth, breastfeeding, and placentas all around and are used to mom saying “I need to run and pick up a placenta” even if it’s on the way to hockey practice.

Anne’s company,  Bywater Birth, LLC, covers all of the Twin Cities Metro areas. Anne reports, “Since joining APPA my practice has continued to grow by leaps and bounds every year.”

We asked Anne why she chose to renew her certification with APPA. Here’s what she said.

“The founders of APPA were so supportive when I was first learning how to encapsulate and we were all just professionals networking and supporting each other online. When APPA was founded I knew I needed to be a part of this organization and didn’t waste any time doing so! I was the second graduate. 🙂

I chose to renew because I often hear scary stories of other people not using proper protocols and techniques. I worry about safety so I want to stay up on all the latest and greatest information to make sure we are always practicing safely. Everyone has always been so great to work with!”

How has your affiliation and certification with APPA benefitted you and your practice?

“APPA challenges me to continually improve my process and consider better ways to doing this work. Being part of APPA also provides so much support if I do every have questions about running a business that provides this service.”

Anne’s advice to anyone considering becoming a Placenta Services Provider-

“My advice would be to join APPA and get certified. It’s an intensive program but it is extremely worth it. Running a business is no joke and in order to be successful it’s important to put in the time and effort to really succeed.”

Thanks, Anne! We are so grateful for your membership and so proud of all your accomplishments. Keep up the great work with all you do to serve and support new and growing families. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.

 

To Learn more about Anne and her practice, be sure to visit her website-  Bywater Birth,  or on Facebook- www.facebook.com/bywaterbirth

 

Shining Star: Tiffany Wyatt, APPAC

Tiffany Wyatt, APPAC As a full-time, freelance graphic designer of 15 years and natural-minded mom of two, Tiffany Clark Wyatt encapsulated for her second postpartum to help with energy levels and anxiety. After experiencing real results, she then encapsulated for a close friend’s second postpartum who suffered from severe PPD with her first. The results were life-changing for them both and Tiffany became a true believer in the benefits of placenta encapsulation. She is co-owner/co-manager of MotherBirth, an incredible group of birth service providers in southern Louisiana.
After four years and 300+ encapsulations, Tiffany continues to keep her knowledge base at the highest level available by maintaining her certifications with the Association of Placenta Preparations Arts (APPA), Louisiana Food Handlers, and Bloodborne Pathogen.

“The education and mentoring I received and continue to receive within the APPA community allow me to be competent and confident in my standards for safety, current practices, and in the complex art of preparations for my fellow mommas.”

Tiffany practices in Lafayette, LA and serves Lafayette to Lake Charles and everywhere in between.

Tiffany began encapsulating in 2013 as a mentor trained placenta specialist, then certified with APPA the summer of 2014. She has since been asked to be a co-owner and co-manager of MotherBirth. They have now tripled the size of their group and client base. MotherBirth is determined to provide the safest placenta preparation services by certifying each of their providers through APPA. Five of which are working through the course now.

Why did Tiffany choose to renew her certification with APPA?

“I choose to maintain my certification with APPA because of the level of accountability with a professionally-based, international board. Also, the knowledge and respect provided for the professional placenta service providers in the flexibility they are able to choose to practice with the safest standards in the industry.”

How has your affiliation and certification certified through APPA benefitted you and your practice?

“There have been a handful of occasions where I needed to consult other professionals on a particular case in order to confidently move forward in those situations. Certified APPACs were there to brainstorm the situation and I know I made the best choices for each of my clients with the support of my association.
APPA keeps us up-to-date with any studies or articles published allowing me to continue to be a sort of placenta knowledge resource for my birth community.” Way to step up to the plate as an expert in your field!

Tiffany’s advice to anyone considering becoming a Placenta Services Provider-

1. Strive to be an expert at what you chose to do by learning as much as you’re able and never stop.
2. Get to know the birth community in the area you wish to practice and create meaningful relationships.
3. Respect prospective clients and the industry by only practicing the safest protocols and proper equipment.

 

Tiffany serves Lafayette to Lake Charles, Louisiana and everywhere in between.

To Learn more about Tiffany and her practice be sure to visit her website- www.motherbirthla.com, on Facebook- www.facebook.com/motherbirth, or on instagram- @motherbirthla. Thank you, Tiffany, for your continued loyalty and dedication to excellence. APPA is lucky to have you.

APPAC Shining Star: Jesse Dykhuis

Jesse Dykhuis, APPACAPPA Certified Placenta Arts Specialist Jesse Dykhuis Duluth, MN

Jesse Dykhuis, APPAC is the first graduate of the APPA certification program. She lives and works in Duluth, MN and has been offering safe professional placenta encapsulation since 2009. Her business The First Place on Earth in Duluth, MN has served over 800 families. Jesse offers both raw start (Holistic) and steamed start (Traditional) method processing as well as placenta prints, placenta salves, placenta smoothies and placenta tinctures. The First Place on Earth offers both full service and express options to meet the service needs and budgets of most families.

Jesse first began offering safe professional placenta encapsulation in 2009 and has served over 800 Northland area families.

Not only is Jsse APPA’s first graduate, but also among the first to renew her APPAC credential. When asked why she chose to renew, this is what she had to say, “Certification matters to me. Being aligned with APPA means I will always have the best and most up to date information and the highest level of training and professional standard in our industry.” She states, “Even as an “old timer” I learned a lot in this program and raised the standards of my own practice.” Jesse is obviously an industry leader and well seasoned professional. We asked Jesse if she had any advice for folks interested in becoming a placenta preparation specialist. She said, “APPA. Hold yourself to the highest standard – it matters to your clients.”

Thank you, Jesse, for being part of the APPA Family. You are an asset to our industry. We wish you continued success and prosperity in your placenta services practice.

To learn more about Jesse’s practice visit her website at- www.thefirstplaceonearth.com

or visit her on facebook at- https://www.facebook.com/thefirstplaceonearth/The First Place on Earth

APPA Placenta Training Celebrates Their 3rd Anniversary!

APPA Birthday

I think we’ve lost our minds!

We’re giving away our full placenta training course to one lucky winner. APPA course giveaway

Enter to win on our Facebook page

Wait!

That’s not all we have in store for you. During the month of July, we are giving away a free copy of Placenta: The Gift of Life  By Cornelia Enning to every single new student.

APPA Free Book

AND!!!!

If you sign up using the single payment option we’ll take off $25! APPA discount

Group B Strep and Placenta Encapsulation Safety

Group B Strep and Placenta Encapsulation Safety

Group B Strep in the PlacentaThe CDC released a case study on a newborn who had a recurrent GBS infection after the mother had her placenta encapsulated. It has left a lot of people asking…

Can my placenta capsules make my baby sick?

The short answer is: probably not. A well-trained placenta arts specialist will make sure that your placenta is prepared safely for consumption, unfortunately, it seems that this specialist may not have done so. The placenta and the birth should have been assessed to see if it was fit for consumption and then the placenta should have been properly prepared. A maternal or infant infection at or immediately after delivery indicates that an active infection was present. The mother should have been counseled against encapsulation initially. The second major issue, in this case, is that proper food safety protocols may not have been followed. This likely led to the capsules containing GBS bacteria and potentially causing reinfection.

We know that proper steaming and dehydration temperatures will drastically reduce microbial counts thanks to research from Jena University, so even in the case of GBS colonization (not infection), we can confidently say that properly prepared placenta capsules will be safe for consumption.

The mode of the recurrence, in this case, is speculated to be due to the placenta capsules, however, it is impossible to know if that is the case. GBS infections do have a low incidence of recurrence in infants (0.4% to 0.9%). This recurrence has been speculated to be due to exposure to colonized family members or colonized mucous membranes.

In short, this is a case to take seriously, but it is a single case.

So what’s the long answer?

Some of you may be interested in more details. In this section, we are able to go into more detail about the CDC case study and then a review of some of the studies and research that would indicate that GBS colonization is not a contraindication for placenta encapsulation.

The CDC report was a case study of a newborn who experienced a recurrent GBS infection (1). In this case, the maternal GBS culture taken at 37 weeks was negative, showing no maternal colonization. Shortly after the birth the newborn showed signs of infection and tested positive for GBS. The baby was hospitalized for at least 11 days and was treated with antibiotics. Five days after the newborn’s release from the hospital, the baby again presented with GBS symptoms and tested positive for the same strain of GBS. At this time it was discovered that the placenta had been released and encapsulated. The mother had been taking the capsules from three days postpartum. The capsules were tested and found to contain the same GBS strain that had infected the newborn. The mother’s breastmilk was tested and did not contain GBS and thus was ruled out as a potential source of reinfection. The baby was treated and was again released from the hospital after antibiotic therapy.

Professional placenta encapsulators and birthing families must take this case very seriously. There are many parts of this case that are very concerning. While this is a single case and not a study, it would be unwise for us to ignore the important information that we can learn here.

First and foremost, due to the immediate onset of newborn infection, this placenta should not have been encapsulated. Maternal or fetal infection at or immediately following the time of delivery is an absolute contraindication to encapsulation. It is unsafe to encapsulate in these cases. The encapsulation specialist had a responsibility to verify with the client that an infection was not present.

The method of preparation is largely unknown; the encapsulator’s website was reported to state that the temperature of dehydration was between 115° F and 160° F. We have no knowledge if proper food safety protocols, universal precautions, or proper handling took place. If the placenta was dehydrated at 115° it would absolutely be unsafe for human consumption and the temperature would not be high enough to kill GBS or other known pathogens.

GBS is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus agalactiae. GBS will survive in a dry environment for months, so dehydration alone is not adequate for reduction of GBS bacteria. GBS is sensitive (meaning it will start to die) after being exposed to moist heat at a temperature that is at least 55° C (131° F) for 30 minutes(2). Based on the information we have, we can speculate that this placenta could have been inadequately prepared, leading to the presence of GBS in the finished product.

Recurrence rates of GBS have been studied at least twice; in one study the reinfection rate was found to be 0.9% and the other study showed a rate of 0.4% reinfection (3). We do not know the mode of reinfection in this case, but we do know that it did occur. Reinfection of GBS has previously speculated to occur due to colonization of mucous membranes (4). In this particular case, it is speculated that the reinfection occurred from the placenta capsules that were contaminated with GBS. The capsules could have caused the mother to continue to be colonized. As the CDC article indicates, another mode of reinfection could have been from colonized family members. In this case, it is reasonable to assume the baby was already immunocompromised due to the primary infection of GBS. It is also reasonable to speculate if the primary infection was sufficiently treated to eradication. While it is possible that the capsules could have contributed to reinfection, it is not possible to rule out reinfection from another mode, or prolonged primary infection.

In their article, the CDC states “The placenta encapsulation process does not, per se, eradicate infectious pathogens; thus, placenta capsule ingestion should be avoided”. We do have a rebuttal to this statement. Preliminary data that was released by Dr. Sophia Johnson from Jena University in Germany found that in properly prepared placenta capsules, there were no unsafe organisms found (5). The steaming and dehydration process was found to drastically reduce microbial counts. In addition to microbial testing, the study also looked at potential toxins, such as heavy metals, and also found that the levels were all well below acceptable limits. We hope that this initial research spurs further funding to continue to look into the safety of placenta encapsulation. **Edit 7/15/17** Placentas that were from mothers that tested positive for GBS colonization were not included in this testing. So while we are encouraged that the testing showed a great reduction of harmful organisms, this study can not confirm eradication of GBS bacteria. **

The CDC points out that no standards exist for placenta encapsulation. This is true, however, APPA holds their graduates to the highest standards and protocols are extensively board reviewed to ensure safe practice. If you are a current APPAC and are practicing using your board reviewed protocol you can rest assured that you are practicing at the highest level of safety. APPA strives to set those standards and train professional placenta arts specialists.

Mothers and birthing people who are seeking out placenta encapsulation should be encouraged to find properly trained encapsulation specialists. Specialists should be trained, not only in the physical encapsulation process but bloodborne pathogens and food safety. Unfortunately, some people offering this service have trained themselves by reading a blog or watching a YouTube video. This is not sufficient training. If you are looking to hire someone to encapsulate your placenta, please ask about their training, if they follow food safety protocols and temperatures, and how they are sanitizing their equipment.

GBS is a bacteria that lives on everyone’s skin and especially thrives in mucous membranes. Colonization does not mean that a mother has an active GBS infection. A positive result from a GBS test means that there is an abundance of GBS bacteria in the vaginal canal; this may lead to a newborn infection if the baby is also colonized during the birth process. Most babies that are exposed to GBS are healthy and do not become infected. However, when newborn infection does occur it can be dangerous and should be taken very seriously.

It is APPA’s goal to make sure that GBS or any pathogen, is not spread through placenta capsules. We are confident that our placenta arts specialists are trained in methods and procedures that will not allow the spread of infection. It is extremely sad that this newborn and family had to endure both GBS infection and reinfection. GBS is terrifying and the weeks in the hospital had to have been a difficult start for their family. Our best wishes go out to the family, and we hope that their journey has become more joyous and pleasant.

If you are looking for a placenta arts specialist who has a fantastic training and a focus on safety, check out the APPA directory.

If you are interested in becoming a placenta arts specialist, it is highly recommended you operate under safe protocols within the bounds of food safety and proper bloodborne pathogen training. Of course, we think APPA is the best and can prepare you to operate safely. If you have any questions about our training or safety protocols, please reach out to us. Let’s make sure you are operating in a way that protects your clients and their babies from potentially life-threatening infections.

1.Buser GL, Mató S, Zhang AY, Metcalf BJ, Beall B, Thomas AR. Notes from the Field: Late-Onset Infant Group B Streptococcus Infection Associated with Maternal Consumption of Capsules Containing Dehydrated Placenta — Oregon, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:677–678. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6625a4.

2.Streptococcus agalactia E, Pathogen Safety Data Sheet, Public Health Agency of Canada. April

30, 2012. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/streptococcus-agalactiae-eng.php

3.Schuchat A. Epidemiology of Group B Streptococcal Disease in the United States: Shifting Paradigms. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. July 1998vol. 11 no. 3 497-513

4.Cunningham R. Recurrent group B streptococcal disease in infants: a possible explanation. Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Aug;31(2):627. Pubmed PMID: 10987746

5.Johnson, S. A scientific approach to placenta remedies: What hormones are found in placenta tissue? Preliminary Research Results. April 11, 2017. https://experiment.com/u/DKKnUQ

Graduate Spotlight: Kristen Wiertalla

I am a mom on a mission. I juggle my 15-month-old son, three dogs, two cats, backyard chickens, beekeeping, and gardening all while making a career for myself! I live a crunchy minimalist lifestyle, am an avid breastfeeding advocate, enjoy weight lifting, hiking, and DIY projects. I follow a Buddhist philosophy, and I have a zest for life but a strong passion for helping others. That is why I chose this particular profession. I get to combine my artsy side with my main drive in life, creating my perfect career! How many people can say the love what they do? I’m one of the lucky few! Making a difference in people’s lives is very important to me. I am proud to be an integral part of the birth community in my area.

Kristen serves Denver, Colorado and surrounding areas. Visit Kristen’s website to learn more about her services at https://thetranscendentplacenta.com