Adoption: Answering Common Questions

November is National Adoption Month, which is a topic near and dear to my heart, as I was adopted at just 9 weeks old from the Milwaukee area. Growing up I actually had a lot of friends who were also adopted.  Believe it or not, we were often asked the same common questions and I thought I would share those in hopes of bringing awareness throughout the month to many of our readers.

What are the different types of adoption?

There are actually three different forms of adoptions!

Open Adoption:This is where your family may have access to the biological families information or even remain in contact with them.

Closed Adoption: In this case, records are sealed about personal information on the biological family. Once you reach adulthood you can do a records request to see if the biological family would be interested in meeting. Sometimes this information is available and sometimes it’s not. In my case my request was denied, but I was able to get a ton of paperwork about my biological family and medical history. That was informative, but what was most significant and even more special were the papers my parents filled out as they waited for my adoption to be finalized, what they did with me, my milestones, things I never knew existed on paper.

Domestic vs International- Simply means were you born in the USA or adopted from overseas?

Was it difficult to family trees or family related school projects and activities?

Sometimes yes, and others no. My family was my family. I tailored all of my presentations to my family. My grandpa was of syrian descent and my grandmother german. I knew I was german and hungarian, but that’s about it.  When you don’t have the information it’s hard to go off of, but I did my best with the info at hand.

And of course, my friends always wanted to know…

Do we really have two birthdays?

Sorta! We celebrate our birthdays and also my “gotcha day” growing up. I called this my special birthday, but others call it a Gotcha Day. Gotcha Day is the day we came home with our parents.

How do you explain adoption to children?

My mother always said it best. “You grew in my heart not my belly.” My outlook on being adopted is different then others may feel. I’m a firm believer that I was meant to be with my family and just needed a way to get there. So, yes, I grew in my mothers heart.

What local support is out there for children who are adopted?

The Post Adoption Resource Center of Brown County is a great place to start! 

Also having playdates with other children and classmates who were adopted as well was probably the most beneficial part to me as a child.

So on this national adoption month do you know someone who’s adopting, was adopting or has adopted? Reach out, let them know you are glad they are in your lives!

So the all important question,

How do we, as doulas, support adoption?

Before Baby: We are available before baby is welcomed as Antepartum Support Doulas. We can help create an amazing space in the home of the family adopting the newest addition by setting up furniture, the nursery and helping you talk through feelings and emotions. We can also provide support to the biological mother or surrogate by talking through or going with her to doctor appointments and supporting her emotionally.

Throughout Labor: We support the biological mother or surrogate on her journey to birth in whatever capacity she may need, whether that’s physically or emotionally.

Once Baby Is Born And The Postpartum Period : We help with the transition when parents bring home baby with the use of postpartum care. Working with them to set up a routine or settle into their new parenting roles. We can also aide in the support of the biological mother or surrogate once home helping them with self care for healing both physically and emotionally. We can assist with general recovery, lactation support to either stop or pump, an ear to listen, and our extensive list of referrals. We have even encapsulated for a surrogate who was planning on pumping for the baby.

If you would like to hear more about the support doulas can provide during the adoption process I would be more than happy to answer questions! Feel free to contact us at

Top 10 Questions to Ask When Looking to Encapsulate Your Placenta

Top 10 Questions to Ask When Looking to Encapsulate Your Placenta


IMG_2034Placentas! It’s becoming more mainstream to encapsulate your placenta. The word has gotten out about the benefits and how women are loving their postpartum recovery these days. So you want to jump on the encapsulation train -where do you start and who even does it?


Here are some questions you should be asking your encapsulator. This blog isn’t about convincing you to encapsulate, it’s about finding the right person to do it. I’m here to equip you with the questions you need to ask and the cheat sheet to make sure you are getting the best professional service you can.

Top 10 Questions to Ask When Looking to Encapsulate Your Placenta

Top Ten Questions to Ask Any Placenta Specialist:

  • Who are you trained through?
  • Can I see your current Blood Borne Pathogens Certificate?
  • What is your process?
  • Where do you encapsulate?
  • What do you add to the placenta powder?
  • What type of capsules do you use?
  • How long does the process take?
  • What is your safety/sanitizing protocol?
  • How many capsules should I expect?
  • What are my other options beyond pills?




  • Who are you trained through?


      • Make sure it’s reputable organization with an IN PERSON training, meaning a real placenta was used and it was hands on 2 day training, vs just online. Ask to see their certificate, or if they are stillIMG_0666 certifying, ask to see their manual as proof! (The photo is from our Green Bay In-Person training held Aug 2015)
      • Green Bay Doulas are certified Postpartum Placenta Specialists trained through ProDoula


  • Can I see your current Blood Borne Pathogens Certificate?


      • Anyone who touches your placenta needs to have this, if they don’t ….RUN! This means they will follow OSHA standards of properly handling your placenta, and know how to properly sanitize and discard soiled items.  


  • What is your process?


      • Day 1: Clean placenta, steam with lemon and ginger root, cut and put on dehydrator, leave for 18-24 hours.
      • Day 2: Take placenta and turn into powder and fill pills


  • Where do you encapsulate?


      • Placentas should only be prepared in the home of the person who birthed it. This way you are in control of the placenta, you know in fact without a doubt it is your placenta you are consuming.
      • If this is not possible, or is not offered in your area, ask to personally see their area where they encapsulate. Where will your placenta be stored? Next to their family veggies? Is their house clean? Is the area easily cleared of pets, children? Since they are preparing something for consumption in their own kitchen then delivering it to you, each state has laws on if they also need a food handler’s license or caterer’s license? Do you feel confident, this person will properly handle your placenta, return your placenta to you and that it indeed is not someone else’s? If you can’t, then keep looking.


  • What do you add to the placenta powder?


      • Placentas should be steamed with lemon and ginger root in the water, but nothing should be added IMG_2034to the pills, no essential oils, no fenugreek, NOTHING! Just your placenta.


  • What type of capsules do you use?


      • Non-colored veggie size 00 should be the response, if they don’t know… walk away. Some capsules can contain gelatin which is a meat byproduct, and so not good for those who are vegetarian or vegan or don’t eat red meat. They should not be colored or flavored as it is just adding more chemicals/dyes to the pills, we want to keep them as authentic as your placenta!
  • How long does the process take?
    • Once the placenta is in view, about 24 hours, 2 hours for 2 consecutive days as dehydrating takes up most of that 24 hour time period. Again another perk of in home encapsulation you know when it will be finished.
    • If it takes more than 24-36 hours for you to get your placenta completed…start asking questions.


  • What is your safety/sanitizing protocol?


      • OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030. including but not limited to proper protection for encapsulator such as shoe covers, apron, gloves, hairnet, eye wear, mask. All
        equipment gets washed in a hot soapy mixture then sanitized with a proper 1:10 bleach ratio then air dried.


  • How many capsules should I expect?


      • Each placenta is very different but you can expect 80-200 pills and are usually consumed in the first 6-10 weeks postpartum, don’t hoard your pills, USE them!


  • What are my other options beyond pills?


    • We don’t recommend raw smoothies because surface bacteria is a good possibility when choosing this route, but you can put the powder into a smoothy once
    • Salves can also be made from the powder, and are used on everything from bumps, bites and scrapes and scars, especially cesarean scars, but not intended for nipples or perineum area.
    • Tinctures, are a way to extend the life of your placenta pills, as 1-3 drops equal a pill. Think of a placenta extract ….this can last for a few years even! So if you love how your pills make you feel, or have a past history of postpartum depression- get a tincture as well.

I’m hopeful that this information will lead you to the right placenta specialist for your needs. At Green Bay Doulas we have three Postpartum Placenta Specialist’s ready to assist you and answer any other questions that might come up. If you’d like to know more about our process and procedures please feel free to contact us at or (920) 246-0200 anytime!


Authored by: Emily Jacobson

Not All Placentas Are Equal

Not all (2)

Have you thought about or actually encapsulated your placenta? Not all placentas are created equal and in the same regards, same goes for the practices of the encapsulators.

Did you know you can become certified in placenta encapsulation? What does that mean? A standard of care for that organization. Here at Green Bay Doulas there are three, yes THREE Postpartum Placenta Specialists who cover a large portion of Wisconsin. Marinette and south to Sheboygan, and Wasuau across to the tip of Door County.

We chose to certify with ProDoula and here is the process we took to become certified.

  • Intensive 2 day in person workshop with a trainer.
  • Readings
  • Intensive open book test
  • 3 placentas processed in person with documentation
  • Hold a bloodborne pathogens certification
  • References and Evaluations from our clients

Oh, and one more thing, you transport your placenta home and we come to you!

I’ll say it again, we do not transport placentas, and encapsulation is done in your home!

Wait, What? Yes, we provide you with a transportation cooler, (it’s pretty cool actually) give you all the instructions you need and meet you at home when it’s convenient for you.

What if placentas gross you out and you don’t want to see it? We meet you at your comfort level. That could mean we process it while mother is still at the hospital, or hanging out in a different part of the house, or if you want to watch, some even get on some gloves and check out this amazing organ you grew and observe how we do what we do!

Why in the client’s home? It’s a standard that goes above and beyond what is done in our profession. Things we can guarantee by doing it this way:

  • It’s indeed your placenta
  • It’s not in my fridge in my personal house, around my children or household pets
  • It’s done with the utmost respect.
  • You have a postpartum expert in your home for any questions you may have about encapsulation or newborn care, because, hey, things come up!
  • It’s quick, 2 days consecutive days for about 2 hours each day.

As someone who did encapsulate in their home for 2 years I can tell you this is much easier on myself and my family, dealing with someone else’s blood, and a red bio hazard bag in the family fridge are not fun conversation points for guests in our home or toddlers for that fact. Now I’m not bashing those encapsulists who choose to do it in their own homes, I set a standard of professionalism before I even knew what that was. My husband would see our spotless kitchen and say “ I know what you’re doing tonight”, but not everyone is that professional.

When looking into ProDoula’s Placenta encapsulation standard I was naive to think that everyone gets their own placenta back, that it’s properly transported and cared for, that a kitchen and encapsulation area is properly sanitized and clean, that children and animals stay out of the area when processing, that it’s returned within 24-36 hours after pickup, and that clients didn’t want the interaction of being in their home. I was wrong, and I’m sorry to those who weren’t able to experience the education and companionship component that goes along with encapsulating in our clients home.

Some things are just worth the investment, you get what you pay for. Paying someone a living wage to support their ongoing education expenses, supply costs and family expenses are just a few reasons why you should hire a professional for anything you do. It means they are an expert in their area of knowledge and know their stuff!

Green Bay Doulas is happy to sit and talk with you about our services in a complimentary meeting in the comfort of your own home, we look forward to hearing from you.

If you would like your own plush placenta, I Heart Guts is the best! 

Written by: Emily Jacobson