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What did you do with your placenta?

Posted Sep 19 2010 8:30am
What did you do, if anything, with your placenta after your birth(s)?

My first two, I didn't do anything other than ask to see it after the births. With my third child, I told my midwife that I wanted to take it home with me from the hospital. She was surprised by my request, but said she would look into the rules and regulations regarding taking the placenta home, since it's considered biohazardous waste.

After an interesting visit by a hospital representative, who asked my directly what I was planning to do with the placenta (is it really their business? It was something that came out of MY body, so I felt like I owned it still). Anyhow, to avoid fighting with the hospital system, I told them that I was planning to make prints with the placenta and some paint at home, and then we were going to bury the placenta in her grandmother's backyard and probably plant a tree on top of it.

After a little bit of time, the person came back with a release form for me to sign. They also told me that since it was a biohazard, it would need to be soaked in formaldehyde for 72 hours to kill off all organisms. Then they would rinse the formaldehyde off and put it in a labeled container for me to come back to the hospital to pick it up.

So, that's what we did.

Needless to say, by that time, the poor placenta was looking quite sad, and smelling something awful from the formaldehyde (blech!), so I quickly slapped some red paint on it (yes, red....irony anyone? Drain the blood out, then paint in blood red? hehehe) and using gloves, I made four prints with it. The prints are actually pretty cool. They look like heart shaped trees from the placenta and cord. We then buried it on our daughter's grandparents property, after saying a few words of thanks for nourishing our baby for nine months.

Of course, you know this is leading up to a good post. I sure wish I could post details, but there was a situation regarding a placenta and who has the rights to it. Needless to say, the situation was made into such a big deal, when it really shouldn't have.

My opinion? You want your placenta, take it. What happens to it after I put it in the trash in your room..............well, what I don't see, I don't know about. Wink wink.

The hospital stance? It's a biohazard, and must be disposed of in the red biohazard trash, where it will later be incinerated. If you leave the hospital property with it, you are breaking a law. You will be arrested.

(Gag......I hate working for "the man" in situations like this.)

More of my opinion: like any other part of your body, it originated with you, and if you want to keep it, it's your right. Who am I to say that you may not keep a part of you?

If the placenta is a biohazard, then the baby is too, right? Well, at least until the baby is thoroughly sanitized and cleaned. How sanitary is using baby bath on a biohazard? Not very effective, I would imagine. So, if that placenta is a biohazard, so is the baby! (Tongue in cheek, you understand, right?)

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