in brief: placenta to be taken home by mothers in oregon, US
Mothers in the American state of Oregon now have the right to take home their placenta along with their baby from the hospital.
The New Year has seen state laws come into effect to allow a mother to take their afterbirth home for consumption, burial or other rituals.
The organ – which provides oxygen and food to a foetus during gestation – is cited for its medicinal, nutritional and spiritual benefits in a number of cultures, but its place outside the delivery room is often taboo in the west.
As such, taboos were codified in Oregon statutes, which made it illegal to take a placenta until January 2014.
Portland Democrat, Alissa Keny-Guyer and Dr Melvin A. Kohn worked to improve cultural sensitivities to the placenta after Dr Kohn’s wife – a midwife – highlighted the increased number of women wanting to take the organ home.
‘There’s a lot of Caucasians who believe they should have the ability to take home the placenta,’ Ms Keny-Guyer said.
‘There are also strong Asian and Native American traditions.’
Ms Keny-Guyer introduced a bill to correct the illegality of taking home the placenta which passed unanimously in both the Oregon lower house and senate.
The law is perhaps one of the only official decrees on a mother’s right to take home the afterbirth, with the practice often unlegislated but tolerated across the rest of the country.
Oregon, renowned as a state filled with progressive ideas, is sure to see an economic boom in the number of placenta services for new mothers.