A baby in Oregon became ill with an infection resulting from GBS in September 2016. The baby
was treated with medication and then became ill a second time. Perplexed, the doctors looked
for a cause. The mother was GBS negative, so outside sources were considered. After
discovering that she encapsulated her placenta, the doctors tested her capsules. They found
the capsules to be positive with GBS bacterium. So how did the baby become ill? Here is what you need to know…
The CDC Report
As you may know, the CDC put out a report on placenta encapsulation and Group B Strep on
June 30, 2017. The report can be read here. In this report, the baby became ill and blood
cultures revealed the baby tested positive for penicillin-sensitive, clindamycin-intermediate GBS.
The infant was discharged and returned home after being treated for 11 days. Five days later,
the infant became sick for a second time, and a second blood culture revealed the same results.
Baby was then successfully treated for a second time.
The mother tested negative for Group B Strep at 37 weeks of pregnancy. After it was revealed
that she consumed her placenta, her pills were tested, and were found to be positive for Group
B Strep. Despite this, the mother’s breast milk tested negative. So how did the baby contract
Group B Strep?
A recent article issued by Global News (here) states that:
"The CDC concedes there’s no way of knowing that the placenta pills were the definitive culprit
in sparking the baby’s illness (even if GBS showed in samples from the pills). Family members
could have colonized the baby with Group B Strep.
The CDC also suggests that in the encapsulation process, the placenta may not have been
cooked for long enough to destroy any germs or bacteria.
Heating at 54C (130F) for 121 minutes is required to reduce Salmonella bacterial counts…In
this case, heating for sufficient time at a temperature adequate to decrease GBS bacterial
counts might not have been reached' the report reads"
If the mother was GBS negative and her breast milk tested GBS negative, it seems far more
likely that, unless the baby consumed the pills directly, colonized family members passed on
infection unknowingly. As for a second occurrence of infection taking place, it is possible that
the first treatment did not entirely eradicate the infection.
If I am GBS positive can I encapsulate?
The answer is YES! A thoroughly trained specialist will ensure that your placenta is safely
prepared for consumption. A well-trained specialist should have both a Blood Borne Pathogen
Certification and a Food Handlers License under FDA guidelines. The specialist will ensure that
the placenta reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Unfortunately, that particular
encapsulation specialist had a broad range of heating temperatures, which spanned from 115-
160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here at Eternal Blossom Birth & Beyond, we are trained through the International Placenta and
Postpartum Association (IPPA). Our current process is to steam the placenta before
dehydrating and processing. The internal temperature will reach 160 degrees for the entire
duration (which is 18 hrs, min), which is the minimum temperature according to the
food and safety processes and will ensure that GBS is eliminated. We take great pride in the
preparation of each and every placenta and we seek to maintain the highest standard of quality
and excellence with every client we serve.
We properly sanitize our work space and equipment in strict adherence to NC Food and Safety
sanitizing guidelines. All equipment used (with the exception of the dehydrator, steaming pot
and capsule machine) is disposable. This helps to minimize contamination from outside sources. As much as we love vinegar, essential oils and household cleaners, they just don’t cut
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. We want you to feel 100% confident in
your choice to encapsulate with us. Our processes, space and techniques are open to you.
Signed - Your Specialists at Eternal Blossom Birth and Beyond
Staci Campbell & Brooke Widener
Still want more information?
Here is the APPA’s article, which is full of great information.