QUESTION: is the placenta the mom’s or the baby’s? I feel like it is the baby’s. For this post, I tried to keep the language general and refer to it simply as “the” or “a” placenta.
A Placenta is a remarkable organ; it is the only organ the body disposes of, after its purpose is served, and another grown when needed.
Perhaps because of its miraculousness, mothers and cultures have used the placenta for many things. American women who choose to keep the placenta; either bury it and plant something special over it, encapsulate it, or ingest it (raw and cooked!).
Virginia has no law or regulation concerning what happens to a placenta after birth, but hospitals (Virginia Hospital Center, I know) will tell mothers there is a law restricting them from taking it home.
Hospitals are allowed to classify the organ as medical waste and a biohazard, but moms can still take steps to get it.
1- Ask and tell everyone that you want it! Nurses, your OB, the OB who is present at birth. Tell everyone you want it and ask them to put it in your file.
2- Put it in your birth plan.
3- Bring a large zipper bags with you to bring it home in. One less reason they have for saying no. Also, bring a cooler if you can, for the same reason.
4- Bring many copies of a signed release and waiver with you, and ask it to be put into your file.
Here is a sample from Placenta Baby: