Holy COW, my friends! It has been a LONG time since I have posted. WOW! Summer is FLYING by. I promise I will be posting more often from now on. I just didn’t realize how much FUN I was going to have this summer. 🙂
I think I’ve posted enough on my personal opinions on placenta encapsulation. If you have yet to read them, you can read more at my PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION page. The article below seems well enough. The BIG debate, I guess, over letting parents take their placenta from the hospital to home for encapsulation.
I must say something about this word “let.” Now the word “let” implies that someone else has control or authority over you or your person and has the ability to make decisions for you by “letting” you have or do something.
The word “let” reminds me of my kids. Will I “let” them do something or will I not? I think the saddest part about the word “let” is YOUR personal POWER is extended to someone else and you are told how you can or can’t be and what decisions you can or can’t follow through with.
Its strange to me. Really, really strange. That in ANY WAY we’d let ANY ONE tell us what we can or can’t do….tell us what we can or can’t have….in regards to our pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum care. Because in MY world its MY baby and MY body! Nothing more….nothing less.
So, I’m not quite sure why Mama’s and Daddy’s aren’t saying VERY kindly and with the respect to their medical care provider….”We’ve just had our baby and we’re going home now AND we’re going to go ahead and take our placenta.” You know, that thing….that was attached to Mom and baby for 9 months and is literally made FROM the tissues of the mother which ULTIMATELY and in EVERY way makes it HERS.
Please tell me if I’m just UP in then night here. But its strange to me we’d just “let” someone tell us whether we can or can’t take home our own body tissue. I see no difference between you taking your placenta home and you taking your baby home. Both are COVERED in bacteria and could potentially carry disease and pass it onto you AND both came out of YOUR body and are CREATED by YOU! Which in reality really means they are BOTH a non threat on your health. IMO!
Anyway….this article stimulated some emotions within me. I’m just kind of sick of all the bull CRAP that is pulled on Moms, babies and families. The lies and myths that are spread that men and women, inevitably, believe.
A few weeks ago, I went to Seven Peaks, a local water park here in our area. Upon arriving, I noticed at the entrance 3 security guards searching people’s bags BEFORE they entered the park. I was AGHAST! Seriously SHOCKED! All of a sudden I felt like I was at the airport. And let me tell you… I HATE the airport. You might as well just strip me down and search me with the amount of my personal privacy and freedom that is taken away.
The whole experience ended up being pretty traumatic for me. I proceeded to hassle the security guard about searching my purse. He told me we couldn’t bring food into the park so we took the food back to our car. When we arrived back at the entrance, the security guard told me he had to search my bag again because I walked about. I proceeded to tell him he’d better search hard because I had stashed a gun in my purse when I went back out to my car. Ya, to say the least, he wasn’t happy with that reply.
I was then shown to another security guard who requested I don’t make threats about guns. I said to him…”What your doing is a TOTAL invasion of privacy?” He went on to tell me that NO ONE liked it and it was a MUST if I wanted to enter the park. I realized later that the ONLY reason they were even searching people’s bags was to make sure they didn’t have food. RIDICULOUS!!!
But truthfully, the saddest part about the WHOLE experience was all the people, lined up in droves, to get their bags searched. NO ONE but ME said anything about their bags being searched. Dozens of grown adult men and women consenting to “let” someone search their bags all in the name of not making a mess they don’t want to hire someone to clean up in their park.
This experience reminds me of the placenta removal debate. I mean at what point do couples just stand up and say…”Hey thanks for the help with our birth but we’re going home now AND we’re taking our placenta.” Seriously people! It scares me with where our world is at, that we’ve convinced ourselves that someone else has THAT much control over us. CRAZY!
Ok, I’m done ranting now. Read the article below and let me know what you think. I sure wish that, at some time in the VERY near future, Moms and Dads will take back their responsibility in pregnancy and birth and be clear with their care providers about what they want and why they want it. And the their care provider will HEAR the need and respond in kindness and understanding.
Placenta encapsulation can be a REAL need for some women who have found relief from postpartum depression or even needed an increase in breast milk. To have someone else dictate or decide the parameters around how, when and where you can deal with your placenta, seems just wrong in pretty much every way to me. But who am I? Just a no body who feels passionate about babies and personal growth and empowerment for families.
In Peace, Rachel
Oh, BTW….if you don’t have to even have to deal with a hospital or whether or not you can keep your placenta, go ahead and choose a HOME BIRTH! Your placenta will be given to you….no questions asked!
P.S. If there is anyone out there who’d like to put together a petition with me for Seven Peaks in regards to their bag searching policy, I would LOVE your help. Truth be told, if they don’t change their policy, I will not be taking my family there again. That’s how strongly I feel about their IDIOTIC policy! _________________________________________________________________
Some moms want the tissue; some hospitals’ policies force delay.
By Peggy O’Farrell, Staff Writer 12:16 AM Sunday, June 24, 2012
A Dayton birthing center is part of a national debate over mothers’ rights to retrieve certain tissues after giving birth.
A policy instituted earlier this year at Miami Valley Hospital’s Berry Birthing Center requires families to wait 72 hours before they can take home the placenta from babies born at the center.
Mothers and some health practitioners say the new policy denies women access to their own and their babies’ body parts. Some women use the placenta in cultural practices or for dietary supplements.
“It belongs to the moms, and the hospital doesn’t have any right to keep it,” said Denise Easthon, a Dayton nurse-midwife and doula, or birthing coach. “It’s the moms’, and they should be able to walk out of the hospital with it.”
Hospital officials say the waiting period is necessary in case pathologists need to conduct tests on the tissue to answer questions about the babies’ or mothers’ health. The new policy was implemented at the request of the hospital’s pathology department, said Beth Tabor-Cruea, nurse manager of the Family Beginnings program and the birthing center.
The debate over whether mothers are entitled to the tissue is becoming more common nationally as more women utilize placenta encapsulation, the practice of making supplements from placental tissue. The placenta connects the developing fetus to its mother’s uterine wall and allows it to receive nutrients, breathe and eliminate waste via the mother’s blood supply.
Placental tissue is rich in hormones and other substances believed to alleviate postpartum depression, bleeding, fatigue and mood imbalances. Some women choose to have the tissue dehydrated and made into capsules or tinctures, which they ingest.
On average, about 30 babies a month are delivered through the birthing center. Families request the placenta “about once or twice a week,” Tabor-Cruea said.
“We’ve always had a few requests for it, like one or two a year,” she said. “But in the last year, we’ve seen an increase in patients requesting to take their placentas home for various reasons.”
Jessica Blizzard will deliver her third child in November at Miami Valley’s birthing center. Blizzard, who lives in Riverside, asked for the placenta after her second child’s birth last year and was given it immediately. She had planned to have it encapsulated, though ultimately, she didn’t.
This time, she worries the new policy will prevent her from having capsules made: Most sources recommend having them made within 48 hours of delivery. “It wasn’t an issue before with my second child. But now it is an issue. I don’t understand it,” Blizzard said.
Nancy Thickel, a spokeswoman for Miami Valley Hospital, said the pathology department will freeze the placenta if families request it, and the tissue should still be usable for encapsulation. There’s another change Blizzard doesn’t like: Hospital staffers want to know why families want the placenta. She doesn’t think it’s anyone’s business.
But the placenta, like any tissue, could breed bacteria if it isn’t handled properly, said Tabor-Cruea, and the hospital’s legal department requires them to ask how they plan to use it. “The legal department has drafted a consent form for families since we’re allowing human tissue to leave the hospital,” she said. “Part of the process is asking how they plan to use it.”
Kettering Health Network doesn’t have a policy on giving families the placenta, though it has policies on how the tissue is handled and stored if it has to go to pathology for testing, said Miriam Cartmell, administrative director of women’s and children’s services at Kettering Medical Center.
“It’s not addressed one way or another,” she said. “It’s been about 20 years since I had somebody ask for it, so it’s not common. I believe we would work with the patient if they wanted it, unless the lab needed it. The clinical request would override the family’s request, or maybe we could return it to the patient after the testing.”
Catholic Health Partners’ policy would be to give the placenta to families on request, said Mike Boehmer, a spokesman for the network, but no one’s ever made the request.
While states regulate disposal of medical waste, few have laws addressing if families are entitled to healthy placental tissue for use in cultural ceremonies or for encapsulation, said Pamela Laufer-Ukeles, an associate professor at the University of Dayton’s School of Law.
Ohio law doesn’t address the issue, she said. Indiana prohibits hospitals from giving families the tissue, but Hawaii allows it once the tissue is examined for signs of disease or defect.
New York recently changed its law; until 2010, placental tissue was treated as human remains and had to be retrieved from hospitals by a funeral director, who then gave it to families. Now, hospitals can give healthy placenta tissue directly to families.
But some families still have to fight for it, said Grace Rice, program manager for Choices in Childbirth in New York City. “It’s kind of on a hospital-by-hospital basis, and even within hospitals, it depends on who your doctor is, who your nurse is, who your midwife is,” she said.
Much of the debate centers on whether individuals have property rights to their own organs and tissues, Laufer-Ukeles said. It’s a gray area, she said. In 1990, a California court ruled that a patient who sued a hospital for the return of cancerous tissue had no property interest in the tissue, which was used for research.
“But on the other hand, you do have property interests in some body parts,” she said. “Sperm and eggs can be sold. Blood and other organs can be donated. We do think of our bodies as belonging to us.” Families routinely ask for their babies’ cord blood to be banked, she pointed out.
And if placental tissue is considered human remains, families have a right to those remains, she said. Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7457 or peggy.o’farrell@ coxinc.com.