Eating your own placenta after giving birth has become some sort of go-to for new moms, especially after celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, and January Jones made a big deal about it. Now everyone wants to try it, even if there are no clear results indicating that eating placenta gives moms or babies any benefits.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning against eating placenta because of the side effects that it could possibly have — especially on babies. The warning came after a newborn in Portland, Oregon, fell ill with a bacteria that left doctors perplexed, considering the baby had already finished treatment for the same bacteria (GBS), which is commonly found in pregnant mothers and treated preemptively during birth and right after for both mom and baby.
Five days after the baby finished the treatment, he began developing symptoms similar to those that he had experienced before — respiratory distress and presumed sepsis.
After the baby had already been in the hospital for three days, physicians at the Portland hospital learned that the mother kept her placenta to make it into pills and had consumed them after the delivery.
The doctors immediately tested the capsules she had a company make for her — they tested positive for GBS, which means she had basically been ingesting the bacteria that had inadvertently grown in her own placenta and fed it to her child through breast milk.
The CDC believes the capsules were to blame because the placenta had not been cooked enough to kill all the bacteria in it. The mom had specifically chosen to have capsules made because she believed that to be safer than eating it as meat, which a lot of people choose to do.
While there is no scientific evidence regarding the benefits of eating placenta after giving birth, supporters of the practice have reported feeling better overall, lowering the possibility of experiencing postpartum depression, and helping with their breastfeeding journey and breast milk production.
Still, the CDC stated, “Placenta ingestion has recently been promoted to postpartum women for its physical and psychological benefits, although scientific evidence to support this is lacking. The placenta encapsulation process does not per se eradicate infectious pathogens; thus, placenta capsule ingestion should be avoided.”
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