Your hospital will have it's own policy for the management of placentas. Hopefully it includes support, education and advocacy for women who wish to keep their placenta. You have the right to see any of the hospital's policies that affect you and your care.
If you want to keep your placenta, you should ensure that your choice is clearly documented in the Birth Plan section of your South Australian Pregnancy Record and that you discuss it with your care provider prior to going into labour.
Please be aware that if you or your baby have any of the following conditions, your care provider will likely want to send your placenta for testing. They must still ask for your consent for this to happen.
I want to encapsulate but they said they have to send my placenta to pathology...
What can you do?
Firstly they can not send your placenta for testing without your permission. The only exception to this may be if your baby has died and the coroner or police request it.
Remember you can always ask for more information before you make a decision. Some useful questions include:
As with any decision during your pregnancy, birth or postpartum you can use the B.R.A.I.N acronym
B - benefits of this procedure
R - risks of this procedure
A - alternatives to this procedure
I - intuituion/gut feeling about this procedure
N - nothing/negotiate - what will happen if we wait or do nothing, can we negotiate
If your placenta is sent to pathology, it will be unsuitable for you to encapsulate or make other remedies to consume, but you can still honour it with prints, jewellery and a burial ceremony.
All placenta encapsulation clients of Elemental Beginnings are welcome to call me and discuss their options if you've been told your placenta needs to go to pathology.
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Kelly Harper is the owner of Elemental Beginnings Doula & Placenta Services in Adelaide. She provides placenta encapsulation and doula services to families during pregnancy, birth and in their fourth trimester.