While many women in the United States decide to eat their placentas after giving birth in the hopes of increasing energy and milk production, one new mom had to first go to court in order to prove that her afterbirth actually belonged to her.
Before giving birth to her first child, Jordan Thiering discussed encapsulating her placenta with her doctor but later decided that she'd prefer to put it in a smoothie. After researching the potential health benefits, the Mississippi mom-to-be was set with her plan but learned that she'd have to first fight for access to her own placenta in court if she wanted to move forward. "I'm thinking, 'What? For my own body part? Why do I need a court order?'" she told USA Today.
According to the Mississippi Department of Health, Jordan is a "third party" to her placenta and would need to bring a court order to the hospital if she wanted to be allowed to take it home. "I grew my baby, I grew my placenta. There should be no one that can tell me what I can or can't do with it," she said. "'If I give birth to my baby and then I give birth to my placenta, do you own my baby, too? Do I have a third party to my own child?"
In a memo explaining River Oaks Hospital's policy, state epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs classified a placenta as medical waste. "No hospital or other facility may release non-infectious medical waste (including placental tissue) without there first having been obtained by a court order, or other judicial mandate, which will assure proper disposal by the release," a hospital statement said, according to the Clarion-Ledger.
At 33 weeks pregnant, Jordan petitioned the court and won the right to bring home her placenta. "It's my choice and I think that all women really need be educated, knowing that their birth is their choice," Jordan added. "It's your body part and no matter what women want to do with it, it's their right to have it."