menu

Eating your placenta offers no health benefits, new research shows

Eating your placenta offers no health benefits, new research shows June 5, 2015

8570833723_8d274ea89b_z

The practice of consuming your placenta, after birth, is a hot new trend in parenting right now, especially after Kim Kardashian endorsed the practice. But new research has shown that it does not have any medical or health benefits to the mother or the child.

According to Discovery News:

A review of 10 previously published studies showed no “human or animal data to support the common claims that eating the placenta — either raw, cooked or encapsulated — offers protection against postpartum depression, reduces post-delivery pain, boosts energy, helps with lactation, promotes skin elasticity, enhances maternal bonding or replenishes iron in the body,” said the study by experts at Northwestern University.

A review of 10 previously published studies showed no “human or animal data to support the common claims that eating the placenta — either raw, cooked or encapsulated — offers protection against postpartum depression, reduces post-delivery pain, boosts energy, helps with lactation, promotes skin elasticity, enhances maternal bonding or replenishes iron in the body,” said the study by experts at Northwestern University.

Now, the study did say they found no risks associated with the practice, but moms are often spending money to have their placenta prepared for them under the guise that it will benefit not only them, but the baby they are breastfeeding. The fact is, it is just a waste of time and money as encapsulation cab range from about $200 to $350.

“The popularity has spiked in the last few years,” said co-author Crystal Clark, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“Our sense is that people aren’t making this decision based on science or talking with physicians. Some women are making this based on media reports, blogs and websites.”

While they found no real risks as part of this study, Tara Haelle writing for NPR says:

Raw consumption poses the most obvious risks if bacteria are present, but other theoretical risks of any method include possible contamination with parasites or concentrations of toxic substances, such as different metals, that build up in the tissue. After all, one of the placenta’s jobs is to act as a barrier that protects the fetus from such substances in the womb.

Haelle also points out that an even more serious risk could be that women suffering from postpartum depression could rely on the pills and not seek other therapies that they may need.

It can be admirable for moms to want to do the best they can for themselves and their children, but simply following trends or taking medical advice from celebrity endorsed practices is not the best way to go about this. Instead, moms would be better served to discuss these things with their doctors and medical professionals and rely on evidence-based practices that show real benefits for mom and baby.

(Image: Tatiana Vdb / Flickr / Creative Commons 2.0)

"Tom Hughes --- Gee, you're clearly quite intelligent. I bet you're in Mensa. The MAJORITY ..."

Clarification on the now viral Wisconsin ..."
"Source in the Constitution?Again, you have not replied to my argument about any "except for" ..."

Donald Trump vowed to destroy the ..."
"Tom, I gave explicit instances when getting ID and registering to vote might be difficult. ..."

Clarification on the now viral Wisconsin ..."
"You do realise that the only person we've seen throw the word nazi around is ..."

The Danthropology blog is moving on

Browse Our Archives