Put Down the Placenta! New Government Warning Against Placenta Consumption
Among the many “new mom trends” is placenta consumption (eating your placenta) after delivery. It was once an unusual and barely heard of practice. But it has become common knowledge thanks to stars like January Jones and Kim Kardashian who consumed their placentas after giving birth.
Some women send their placenta off to be made into pills while others choose to eat their placenta raw, make it into a shake, or cook it in a recipe. There are even cookbooks available to help you make the best of your placenta-eating experience.
Even if it is the latest celebrity fad, why would anyone want to eat their placenta? Some moms believe that placenta consumption can help with postpartum depression, reduce bleeding, aid in milk production, level-off hormones more quickly, and reduce insomnia and fatigue. Even if you are not convinced eating your placenta will help, you may think it can't hurt.
However, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention want moms to know that not only is there no scientific evidence backing any of these claims, but that consuming your placenta can hurt. The warning comes after an infant in Oregon contracted a serious illness, Group B Strep, twice after its mother consumed pills made out of her placenta. Although some companies that prepare placentas for consumption claim to have strict safety standards, no standards exist for preparing a placenta for consumption.
If you are considering placenta consumption but are uncertain about the risks and benefits, be sure to bring your questions to your OB and your child's future pediatrician. In the future, more research may be done to definitively establish whether placental consumption helps, hurts, or does nothing at all. Standards may also be put into place to ensure that any consumption is safe. But, until then, proceed with caution, educate yourself, and always talk to your doctors.