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"Third party"

Pregnant woman wins the right to keep her own placenta

By WITW Staff on June 1, 2016

A pregnant woman in Mississippi was met with quite a surprise when she was told by her doctor that to keep her placenta after giving birth she would first need to obtain a court order granting her the right to do so. Why? In Mississippi, an old law that’s evidently on the books considers the mother a “third party” to her placenta, and state medical officials there view the placenta as “medical waste.”

With all that Jordan Thiering and her husband, Doug, have to prepare for ahead of the birth of their first child, legal proceedings were, unsurprisingly, not part of the birth plan, and Thiering simply couldn’t wrap her mind around the logic of the law. “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? Well, of course not,” she told a local newspaper. “So, then why am I the third party to my own body part? It just doesn’t seem to make sense,” she said.

Even a lawyer that she’d contacted had never heard of an expectant mother being required to obtain a court order to keep her placenta. Thiering intended to keep her placenta and consume it later for the postpartum health benefits some believe it provides. Though there is little scientific proof to back up the claims, some believe consuming the placenta can increase a new mom’s energy level and milk production, and works as an antidote to postpartum depression. Thiering was planning to have her placenta made into capsules resembling multivitamins, but the pesky and seemingly antiquated law threatened to get in the way. With the help of her lawyer, Thiering, at about 33 weeks pregnant, appeared in court and plead her case before a judge in early May. More than two weeks later, the judge granted her the order.

“I grew my baby, I grew my placenta,” Thiering said. “There should be no one that can tell me what I can or can’t do with it.” Happy mama will now equal happy baby.

Read the full story at USA Today.