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Think Out Loud

Taking Your Placenta Home

Pete Springer/OPB

Oregon lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it legal for hospitals to release a woman’s placenta after birth. As we’ve discussed on this show in the past, women have all kinds of reasons for wanting to take their placentas home with them.

When the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland), began working on the legislation, she knew many hospitals had different policies to address requests from women to take their placentas with them. What she and hospital administrators didn’t realize was that under current Oregon law, it’s actually illegal to allow someone to take home a placenta.

Keny-Guyer’s bill would require the Oregon Health Authority to create specific rules to govern the release of a placenta, including who could actually take possession of it and what specific conditions would prevent a hospital from allowing its release.

Did you give birth in a hospital? Did you ask to take your placenta home? What happened? Do you work in a hospital? How do you handle requests from women who want to take their placentas with them?

health hospital legislature public health births placenta 2013 session

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