Police in Mississauga, Ontario are relieved that the bloody afterbirth a dog-walker discovered in a public park was not a sign that someone had a medical emergency — but they’d still prefer it not happen again, The Canadian Press reported.
It began Monday when a man was walking his dog in a local park, CityNews reported. The dog veered off the trail and began sniffing at something, and that’s when the dog’s walker discovered a bloody placenta, forceps and medical wrap lying on the ground, according to the paper.
Police began searching for whomever the placenta may have come from, thinking someone was in medical distress, CP24 reported. Then 27-year-old Das Gupta’s mother called and said “your placenta is all over the news,” according to the station.
The mom quickly realized there had been a misunderstanding, and called police to explain what happened, CTV reported.
She had not given birth that day, but instead had saved her placenta from a year ago and had finally decided to return the afterbirth to nature in a “holistic” ritual, according to the station.
“I wanted to do something really natural with it,” she said, according to CP24. “I didn’t just want to throw it in the garbage and the compost bin was not really a better choice. I wanted to do something really beautiful and serene and just put something natural back in nature.”
Police, who had been searching the park with drones and dogs, checked in with the woman’s midwife, who confirmed the story, the Toronto Star reported.
“They treated me with so much respect when (we) got to the station. They didn’t treat me like a weirdo or all the things that I feared that was going to happen, none of that happened,” Gupta said, according to Global News. “I was honestly really moved. I’ve never had so many people worried about me. Combing forests for me. I was actually brought to tears.”
The placenta, which provides nutrients to a developing baby, is sometimes dried and eaten after birth, with some advocates saying it improves milk production and reduces pain, according to the Washington Post. The Centers for Disease Control have warned against the practice because doctors have not determined any benefit, and say it could even be harmful.
Gupta said she had frozen hers for too long and that she thought the nutrients would be better for the Earth, CP24 reported.
Police did not charge her with any crime — but said it wasn’t a good idea for anyone to do what Gupta did.
“We recommend not disposing afterbirth in public parks or areas exactly where animals are walking or anyone could pick this up or even misunderstand why it’s there,” Constable Sarah Patte said, according to the Canadian Press. “It can definitely be misunderstood that someone was hurt, then police became involved and there were a lot of resources being utilized unnecessarily.”