Join Date: Feb 2007
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Mom to James ( 5/2006), Claire ( 6/2008), furry kitties Calvin and Bob, and wife to Dennis.
My sister's a pathologist... she sees lots of placentas. I think standard procedure is that they get sent to pathology, placed in formalin, and they take a quick look at the sections under the microscope to check for.. I don't know what? I'll ask her. Maybe they only bother doing this if there was a concern (IUGR etc)
In any case, she said that the issue with not giving yours to you is usually (this is in her experience in Seattle) that it's already been brought down to the lab and put in the formalin, which is pretty toxic and you don't want in your house (it gives off toxic fumes too). So if you ask for it too late they can't give it to you.
As long as you let them know BEFORE the birth that you want the placenta, I don't think it's usually a problem to get it.