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Mississippi Moms Finally Win Right to Own Their Placentas

Photograph by Facebook

One determined Mississippi mom has helped change a state law that restricted the rights of pregnant women. Not long ago, anyone who gave birth in that state could not take home her own placenta.

When Jordan Thiering was prepping for her delivery date, she was told that the hospital would not be able to preserve her placenta because the Mississippi Department of Health defined it as medical waste. In order to keep it, Thiering would need a court order.

"For a bunch of men in suits to tell women what they can or cannot do with their bodies is just not right," Thiering told NBC News. "Having to get a court order to get something you grew in your own body beside your baby is just crazy."

Thiering challenged the policy in court and won. "The judge didn't even have anything to say," she recalled. "He looked at my petition, asked the representative from the hospital if he was OK with this, signed it, and we were good to go."

To her, that placenta was a critical part of early motherhood. She believes that the blood-rich organ contains nutrients that can help ease postpartum depression and improve breast milk production.

Though there is very little scientific research to back up those claims, Thiering is not alone. In recent years, a growing number of women—including such celebrities as Kim Kardashian and January Jones—have touted the benefits. In most cases, the placenta is dried, turned into a powder and put into easy-to-swallow capsules or blended into smoothies.

Shortly after giving birth to son Roman on June 17, Thiering learned that her case led to a change in the law for every woman. Now hospitals and doctors can develop their own policies for releasing the placenta, according to a health department spokesperson.

"It's a very good feeling,” Thiering shared with NBC News after her victory. “A lot of women in Mississippi were having these issues the same time I was. So everybody is very excited now that the policy has been changed."

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