A lot of rumblings about placentas on the internet this week. Earlier, right here on Being Pregnant, Ceridwen posted a story about how a Student Was Expelled For a Facebook Picture of a Placenta. Today I read a story in the New York Post about how a Manhattan couple is getting a court order to keep the placenta from the birth of their first child who is due any day now.
You mean, they have to sue to keep something that is currently inside the mother’s body? Something her body made? Yep.
Apparently, and I didn’t know this, a placenta (which is the organ that envelops a fetus and connects it to its mother’s blood supply) is considered medical waste and is discarded. Some states, including, apparently, New York, try to regulate what you can do with a placenta and may even prohibit you from taking it home. Which I think is a damn shame because you know what else a placenta has? Stem cells. A lot of stem cells. In fact, there are far more stem cells in placentas than in umbilical cord blood, and they can be safely extracted for transplantation or research.
Should medical research involving the use of human stem cells be permitted? That’s a long-running debate that I’m not interested in having here. But shouldn’t I be able to keep my own placenta if I want to? Hell, I should be able to microwave it and eat it with a little salt and butter if that’s my thing. Maybe whip up a quick placenta jelly? Whatever. IT’S MY PLACENTA.
A quick search around the internet shows people advising others to commit all sorts of hanky panky in order to sneak out of the hospital with their placentas. Check out this thread from a message board. Who knew there was such an uproar about placentas? I kind of want to keep mine now, just because it’s mine. And also, this recipe for Placenta Spaghetti Bolognaise sounds pretty good, no?
Photo credit: Mads Toft Frisentette/GettyImages