From Iceland — Placenta Debate Arises In Hospital

Placenta Debate Arises In Hospital

Published March 10, 2014

It has come to light that midwives in hospitals are often asked by mothers to be able to take their placentas home with them, although it is technically against regulations.

Vísir reports that the practice goes against hospital regulations about taking human body parts or remains from the site of a hospital. Rather, placentas are disposed of and burned on hospital premises.

However, a doula who spoke to reporters under condition of anonymity said that some mothers have wanted to take their placenta home for the purpose of eating it. To assist with this, the doula said, she has dried and powdered placenta before, and then put the powder into gel capsules, to be taken as a supplement. She says she has never accepted payment for the practice.

Sandra Sif Jónsdóttir, another doula who spoke with Vísir, contends that “I think we have a right to our own placenta,” whilst epidemiologist Haraldur Briem says he believes more research is needed on the benefits – or negative effects – of consuming placenta before hospital regulations can be changed.

For more on the subject of consuming placenta, how, and why, see Why Some Mothers Choose to Eat Their Placentas.

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