Woman sues for right to keep and eat her placenta - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Woman sues for right to keep and eat her placenta

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

Keeping the placenta after birth is a growing trend among pregnant women.

But a pregnant Rankin County woman had to fight in court to keep her placenta and she won.

Jordan Thiering is due to have her first baby boy, named Roman, any day now. But during a recent doctor's visit, she says she was pretty shocked to find out she couldn't keep what she calls her baby's lifeline.

"If I can bring my baby home I should have every right to bring my placenta home with me," said Theiring.

The placenta is the organ that surrounds the fetus in the womb and allows for the exchange of nutrients, blood, and waste with the mother. 

Thiering says the Department of Health's Rules and Regulations requires expectant mothers to go through some legal steps before packing it up and leaving the hospital.

"When they told me I needed a court order, I said let me check on that, that doesn't seem right."

Feeling helpless, she reached out to an online support group and met attorney Jacqueline Hammack, who helped her win the case in about a month.

"We had to assure the judge that bringing it home wouldn't put any public health issues into play," said Hammack.

"This placenta gave life to my baby and that's the main reason," said Thiering. "Whether people think it is gross or weird. It doesn't affect them, it affects me." 

Now that she won the right to her own placenta, after delivering baby Roman, Thiering plans to eat it to because she says it's very nutritious. She says hopefully it will give her more energy, iron and help remove the baby blues after giving birth.

"It is not like it just comes out of me and I start eating it," she said. "But they encapsulate it. So that means they dehydrate it, grind it up and put it in capsules just like a multivitamin." 

Placental encapsulation is a centuries old practice of ingesting the placenta after it has been steamed, dehydrated, ground, and placed into pills. According to the American Pregnancy Association, it is believed to impart numerous health benefits, although there is little research available to either support or oppose the tradition

Among possible benefits are:

  • Increased release of the hormone oxytocin, which helps the uterus return to normal size and encourages bonding with the infant
  • Increase in CRH, a stress-reducing hormone
  • Decrease in post-partum depression levels
  • Restoration of iron levels in the blood
  • Increase in milk production

The expecting mom and her attorney now want to help more women in the same situation.

"I hope more women learn about their birth rights and kind of start paving the way for women's rights and open the Department of Health's eyes that it's a big deal."

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