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

Say What!? 43

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

delivery, motherhood, natural parenting


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nonmember avatar blh

You think eating your placenta is perfectly normal but visiting the morgue is unnacceptable??

Stacey. Stacey.

After I gave birth my midwife held up the placenta to make sure it all came out and offered it to me right there. I kindly declined. I think people wanting their placenta is stranger than going to the morgue to get it.

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

Ya'll do what you think is right, but I just cannot wrap my mind around this practice. However, I do believe if that's what you choose to do then it shouldnt be such a hub-bub..

nonmember avatar Cynthia

I know a lot of people who've kept their placenta's and taken them home to plant them under a special tree on their property for their kids. I completely understand the want to have it dried and made into pills as well! It's so healthy for the mother!

nonmember avatar Dani

I don't think I could eat one, it seems like it would have the same texture as a liver, and I hate the texture of liver.

Aislynn Locklear

The people that refuse to accept placenta supplementation after birth are the ones who are loading up on Zoloft and other antidepressants to treat their PPD, which have actually been proven to contribute to developmental problems in baby's brain. Think about using what your body has already given you, and get past this uptight American squeamishness.

miche... micheledo

I can't imagine eating my placenta.  However, if someone wanted to dry it out and put it in pill form for me, I would certainly be willing to try that.  :)  I have heard of people burying it too.  It doesn't make sense that the hospital would charge for you to get something that belongs to you.  I'm glad they are changing their policy for the moms who do want their placenta.

Desir... Desireesmom2011

Pesonaly I wouldn't do it. But I don't think anyone should judge antouther mother on wanting to do this. Humans used to do it a long time ago because it was our animal instinct. Some animals still do it. Its good for you, People just think its wrong cause we evolved into mindless idiots that cant have our own choises. Once upon a time breastfeeding was completely acceptible in public now its not cause we are told its not. Clothes didnt always exsist but now we wear cloths because we are told its unacceptable not to. and theres many more examples that I'm not going to list because this comment is long enough as it is. Just think before you speak.

Bonnie Bruns Williams

I wouldn't eat my placenta, just seems icky to me.  However, to each their own and a placenta is a woman's own organ! Why should hospitals charge women a fee, make them pay for something that already belongs to them??!! Absurd!

mande... manderspanders

This is just wrong on so many levels...

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