Meet Sarah Kristiansand Owner Of Placentials

Meet Sarah Kristiansand Owner Of Placentials

Sarah is a placenta encapsulation specialist, mother and health care worker. Living in Victoria BC, Sarah is a passionate placenta advocate! After her two birth experiences and suffering from post partum depression, she was determined to do whatever she could to avoid it the second time around. The results of her placenta encapsulation made her a true believer in the benefits of placenta! 

BG: What are the things that make your business unique and sustainable?

Sarah: I think the fact that I do this at all is pretty unique! I'm passionate about helping mothers have healthy recoveries after birth. My history with post partum depression puts me in a great position to perform this service for other women. I feel very privileged and honored to do placenta work.

As for sustainability - I promote local economy by supporting local brick and mortar stores. I want social sustainability so I enjoy supporting independent and woman-owned business. It would save time and money to order off the internet but I much prefer keeping my money in my community. I'm also careful in choosing my packaging. My glass jars are beautiful and reusable. While I process placentas I set everything up as efficiently as possible to avoid waste. I try to be mindful of what I can and can't touch with my gloves, what I need and when so I can waste as little as possible.

BG: How did your business get started and when?

Sarah: Placentials was founded by Bryena Chapman in 2010, following the birth of her own child. Her name is well-known in the birth community and she has gained the respect of birth professionals in the Capital region and beyond. In 2013 she relocated to Calgary and expanded her business to southern Alberta. My Midwife knew that I needed to meet Bryena so she gave me her phone number. I then called and we met, hit it off immediately and I began to learn how to become a placenta encapsulation specialist. Breyna and I then teamed up and she passed on the Victoria business to me, I am so grateful. 

BG: How were you introduced to Placenta Encapsulation?

Sarah: My midwife in my first pregnancy mentioned it to me but back then I was too squeamish to consider the process. 

BG: What do I need to take with me to my birthing location in order to be prepared for the encapsulation process?

Sarah: When you pack your hospital bag, or if  your having your birth at home be sure to have a cooler set aside. It's one less thing to worry about when labor starts.

BG: What is proper placenta care & handling for encapsulation?

Sarah: The most important thing is to keep it clean and cold. The midwife or doctor will inspect it and then put it in a bag for you. Put the bagged placenta on ice in a small cooler and call me.

BG: Will the hospital release my placenta to me? Yes. Just let your midwife or doctor know in advance.

BG: What if they want to take my placenta to pathology?

Sarah: Unfortunately I cannot encapsulate a placenta taken to pathology. I find here in Victoria they are usually willing to take a small piece of your placenta and release the rest. If they must take it to pathology you can still ask for it afterwards - but not to consume. Some families like to bury the placenta in a special place or under a tree.

BG: What if I am induced/have a medicated birth/have a cesarean section? Can I still encapsulate my placenta?

Sarah: Yes you can.

BG: What if I am opting for delayed cord clamping? Can I still encapsulate my placenta?

Sarah: Absolutely 

BG: What if I am opting for cord blood banking/donation? Can I still encapsulate my placenta?

Sarah: Yes you can - just make your wishes well known ahead of time.

What if I am option for tissue banking? Can I still encapsulate my placenta?

Sarah: As far as I know placental tissue donation is usually the entire placenta. If they accept partial donations it's certainly still possible to encapsulate as long the placenta was still handled in a food-safe manner.

BG: What if I give birth prematurely?

Sarah: You can still encapsulate - but your placenta may be small and you may not get as many pills.

BG: Where do you pick up?

Sarah: I pick up from either the hospital or my client's home.

BG: How soon after I text you will you pick up?

Sarah: Usually within 3-4 hours if during the day. If I am at work or it is late at night  it may take longer.

BG: What if you are on vacation or it is a holiday?

Sarah:  I rarely leave town but if I do I arrange backup.

BG: How/when will I receive the finished capsules?

Sarah: Within 24-48 hours of birth usually.

BG: How long can a placenta be stored in the freezer before encapsulation?

Sarah: Until menopause! Placenta capsules have been used to help menopausal symptoms with great success.

BG: What if I am a vegetarian?

Sarah: Ultimately it's what you feel comfortable with. Placenta capsules are ethical. No life was taken, nothing was mistreated. I use vegetarian capsules.

BG: Are herbs included in the finished capsules?

Sarah: No, although lemon and ginger are used in the steaming process the final product is 100% placenta.

BG: Does Placenta Encapulation help with Post Partum Depression?

Sarah: This is a great question. It can, yes. I know my placenta capsules helped me immensely and many of my clients say the same. Sometimes it's not enough though and you can still get post partum depression despite taking your pills. I strongly advise people to seek help if they suspect PPD.

BG: How do I know I will not receive someone else's placenta?

Sarah: I work with one placenta at a time. If I have one drying in the dehydrator when I get a new one I will put the second one in a different dehydrator. Both dehydrators, prints, coolers and packaging are clearly labeled. It's rare that I need both dehydrators but when I do I am sure to let both clients know and receive their consent. If I didn't have consent I would keep the second one in it's cooler until I delivered the first.

BG: What type of supplies are used and how are they sterilized?

Sarah: I use glass and stainless steel where possible. My encapsulation machine is plastic but no blades touch it. Everything I use must also come fully apart so it can be properly cleaned and sanitized.
I sanitize my equipment with a 10 minute submersion in 10% bleach solution. I sanitize my work surfaces with 20% bleach solution. This follows Health Canada and OSHA standards for blood borne pathogens.

How many capsules will I receive?

Sarah:  It really depends on the size of your placenta! The average placenta makes about 150 capsules but I've had small ones only yield 90 and large one yield 227!

How should I take my placenta capsules?

Sarah: We say start with 2 caps 3 times a day and adjust as needed. Often women will need more if they are feeling really emotional.

BG: How long should I take my placenta capsules for?

Sarah: Until you feel great! If you feel happy and balanced - wonderful! Stash them in the freezer for later.

BG: When should I not take my placenta capsules?

Sarah: If you have a fever or infection it's best not to take them until it heals or resolves. It won't harm you but it may make you feel worse. You can resume taking them once you feel better.

BG: How should I store my placenta capsules?

Sarah: You can store them on the counter for the first few weeks as long as the humidity  isn't too high. After that it's a good idea to freeze them in a more airtight container.  The sticker peels off easily and you can re-purpose the pretty glass jar.

BG: What is your goal for your business?

Sarah: My goal is to help women have a happy and healthy post partum. I want placenta encapsulation to become so commonplace that no one bats an eye and far fewer women experience post partum depression.

Thank you so much for this great opportunity to spread placenta awareness!


The following are post-partum depression support services, available through a referral from your midwife, doctor or public health nurse:

Maternity Social Worker, Victoria General Hospital - Phone: (250) 370-8175

Postpartum Support Counselor, Queen Alexandra - Phone: (250) 721-6751
Traci McGee, Registered Clinical Counselor - Website: or Phone: (250) 885-6760