This is an article from PlacentaBenefits.info. This directly link to the article can be found here. It is very important for the placenta to be in the best possible condition for encapsulation. This allows the placenta capsules to have the most positive effect for the mother.
Placenta Care for Successful Encapsulation by Jodi Selander
As quickly as possible after the birth, the placenta should be placed into a food-grade container, sealed tightly and refrigerated. A glass, ceramic or earthenware bowl is best if you will be birthing at home. Pyrex style containers come with tight-sealing covers, or it can be sealed with cling wrap. Disposable entree-sized containers will also work if you do not wish to save the dish. If you are birthing in a hospital, the hospital will put the placenta in its own packaging, which generally includes a covered plastic container and/or biohazard bags.
The hospital should accommodate your wishes and put the placenta into the refrigerator for you as quickly as possible after the birth. It is always best to be prepared for unexpected scenarios, so bring a cooler to the hospital with you. Hospital staff can be distracted with a variety of duties, and refrigerating your placenta may not be their highest priority. Within the first hour or so after the birth, fill the cooler with ice, and put the placenta inside. They will have some sort of receptacle for the placenta, and you can just set the bowl or container in the cooler on top of the ice. It will keep it chilled until hospital staff has time to package it and put into the refrigerator. The cooler will be handy for the ride home as well.
Placenta encapsulation can not be done after a traditional lotus birth. A lotus birth is when the placenta is left attached to the baby until it detaches on its own, generally after several days. In lotus birth, it is common to salt or otherwise help the placenta dry out more quickly. While lotus birth is a beautiful ceremony honoring the connection between placenta and baby, it renders the placenta unsuitable for consumption.
If lotus birth is important to you, you can perform a modified version and still encapsulate the placenta. The placenta could stay connected to the baby for up to three or four hours. This would give the baby a gentle transition to the world, and the placenta would still be fit for consumption after this amount of time. Do not exceed four hours before separating the placenta and refrigerating it.
The encapsulation process should begin within 24-48 hours of the birth. The placenta will generally be suitable for consumption for 7 days (refrigerated the entire time), but the resulting capsules will not be as potent as when the encapsulation process begins within the first 24 hours of birth. They will still contain the iron and other vitamins and minerals that the postpartum woman will find helpful to her recovery.
If it is not possible to start the process within the first 48 hours of birth, the placenta should be promptly frozen. Double-bag the placenta in gallon-sized zip lock freezer bags. The placenta must be completely thawed before encapsulation, which will take at least 24 hours in the refrigerator.