There are only two reasons why your placenta can NOT be encapsulated.
If mom has a temperature/ infection PRIOR to birth it is assumed that the placenta is infected as well. (Please note that if mom or baby have a temperature/infection AFTER birth the placenta is still safe to encapsulate.) It is our policy not to encapsulate a potentially infectious placenta, however, you can still take you placenta home and make placenta prints, dry the umbilical cord as a keepsake, and even plant the placenta as suggested here.
If the placenta is TESTED in Pathology for ANY reason it is no longer safe to encapsulate as the placenta is likely treated with Formalin/Formaldehyde.
"Formaldehyde is highly toxic to all animals, regardless of method of intake."
You can read more about these dangerous chemicals at the Wikipedia link above.
In some situations the hospital staff may ask that the placenta be "held" or even "looked at" in Pathology. Even if your nurse and doctor assure you that the placenta will not be treated with chemicals in Pathology having it "held" or "looked at" in Pathology is NOT ideal and strongly discouraged. We can NOT vouch for the cleanliness of hospital Pathology. We do not know if hospital pathology is sanitized and we do not know if your placenta is in fact being stored properly. If you choose to have the placenta stored in Pathology it is at your own risk.
We DO encourage you to bring your own cooler for storage OR ask for a basin of ice so that the placenta can remain chilled in your room until we arrive for placenta pick up and preparation begins.
These situations are RARE and can be discussed further on a case by case basis.
Photo by Fruit of the Womb client placenta pick-up 12/2013