In Order to Eat Her Placenta, She Had to Go to Court

Jordan Thiering 'grew my baby, grew my placenta,' but Mississippi has rules
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2016 7:37 AM CDT
In Order to Eat Her Placenta, She Had to Go to Court
There may be legal issues involved with eating the placenta.   (Shutterstock)

There are the routine entries of the pregnancy to-do list: Buy and safely install the car seat. Set up the crib. Stock a drawer with tiny onesies. But on Jordan Thiering's list, this odd item: Go to court to secure her right to her placenta. The Mississippi woman had determined she wanted to eat the placenta that was sustaining her unborn son after his birth. It's an age-old practice called placentophagy that WebMD points out is practiced in the animal kingdom and among tribal women—and a trendier set, with the Atlantic noting that celebs like Kourtney Kardashian and January Jones have extolled the practice. And while a 2015 analysis of 10 studies on the subject found it provided no "protection against postpartum depression" and had no positive effect on lactation, energy, or maternal bonding, Thiering didn't care.

"If it does nothing, it does nothing, but it's the whole perspective of being able to kind of have what I want, rightfully so," she tells the Clarion-Ledger. But when the Brandon woman told her doctor about her plan to encapsulate the organ, which typically weighs about a pound by the baby's birth, her doctor suggested she check with the hospital. It gave her some surprising news—she needed a court order. A memo provided to the newspaper by state epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs explains the state's view: that no hospital "may release non-infectious medical waste (including placental tissue) without there first having been obtained by a court order ... which will assure proper disposal by the release." Her petition was granted by the court on May 17, and her attorney hopes Thiering has "paved the way" for other women. (The placenta may have saved this boy's life.)

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