If you're smuggling your placenta out of the hospital, you're doing it wrong

Sep 2, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. ET
Image: Monkey Business Images Ltd/Monkey Business/360/Getty Images

Eating placenta is the hot new parenting craze passed on by Earth Mother celebrities, but Baylor University Medical Center doctors are not on board. To bypass this hospital policy, moms are doing whatever it takes to get their placenta home for a yummy snack — including smuggling it out of the hospital in a cooler.

One anonymous mother describes exactly how Operation Placenta Grab went down. Just after giving birth, this new mom and her husband packed her fresh placenta up in a cooler and planned to sneak it out of the hospital. She said, “We were petrified that they were going to realize that we had it.”

Why all the secrecy, placenta-loving mom? Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas is a popular mom-friendly hospital with a number of amenities, including comfortable baths, large rooms and iPod docking stations. The facility also has a natural-birth friendly reputation, save for one important fact. You can’t take your placenta home with you and eat it later. No dine-and-dash.

I am positive that there are plenty of people reading this who are wondering, “Why?” and not, “How?” The reason many new moms want to get down on some good placenta eating is because it is believed to be part of the natural birth experience, at least according to this anonymous mom. This mother, a self-described Republican with a powerful career who does not identify with natural birth stereotypes, believes that placenta munching could help ease postpartum depression.

So, your body, your choice. You’d think that taking home your placenta from the hospital in a doggie bag would be no big deal. But this anonymous mother soon realized that Baylor’s hospital policy stood in her way. The hospital was unyielding in the fact that they did not want new moms sipping on refreshing placenta smoothies after birth.

I personally had two natural births but was never tempted to nibble on my placenta. I do support any woman’s interpretation of childbirth, including the eating of the placenta for some potential benefits. But, and this is a big BUT, if you find yourself smuggling your placenta home from the hospital in a cooler, you need to rethink your plans. If your hospital feels so strongly about placenta-eating that you are forced to abduct an organ, find another post-labor snack.

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