Placenta-Eating Moms Shouldn't Be Sent to the Morgue

placenta in bagIf January Jones can eat her placenta, why can't we!? Oh celebs. They really are just like us. Well, the crunchy moms amongst us who want to take placenta pills. But a little known (and very morbid) fact about this placenta eating business is that moms have to visit the morgue in order to acquire their nutrient-rich afterbirth.

Yes, imagine that. Congrats on your new baby! Bask in new motherhood! Come on down to where we have dead bodies so you can get your organ which supplied life to your baby. Kind of strange, don't you think? The morgue visit, not the placenta eating. (Or maybe you think both are bonkers.)


Now this isn't the case for all hospitals, but it is for NYU Langone Medical Center. Currently moms have to find a funeral director and pay upwards of $100 to head to the morgue to retrieve what they considered "medical waste." Great hospital -- it's where I gave birth and it's very "Baby Friendly" and helped me immensely with breastfeeding my twins. But their placenta policy is just wrong.

A petition started and soon the placenta hand-off will now become a direct transaction. Placenta into the tupperware and mommy gets it right after birth. Afterbirth right after birth. Victory! The fine details are being worked out but it makes total sense. What doesn't make any sense is to have to pay for something that is yours. I mean ... what if you accidentally chopped off your pinky while dicing up some garlic. Would you have to pay for that pinky once you get to the hospital along with the cost of them sewing it back on?

Whether or not you would ever cook your placenta up in a sauce or dry it out and make it into pills, the fact is that the placenta is a part of you. If mama wants it, she should be able to have it without any big fuss (or monetary involvement). It's simple. The placenta came into the hospital with mom before baby was born, the placenta should be able to leave the hospital with mom and baby after.

I'm glad NYU is changing their policy. Let's hope that any other hospital that hoards or gives any mother trouble taking home her afterbirth changes their policy as well.

Did you have any issues getting your placenta? What do you think of this practice?

Image via Nico Nelson/Flickr

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