Eating placenta is the newest alternative practice.
So far, women have been consuming it raw in smoothies or taking it in the form of pills as there were some theories that eating placenta is healthy and prevents postpartum depression. This sounds weird, but many women were curious to find out the health benefits of eating the placenta. However, it turns out that this practice is not healthy at all. Experts have concluded that the supposed health benefits of eating placenta are overly exaggerated and not supported by evidence. Moreover, eating placenta puts your child’s at risk.
This alternative maternity trend has become very popular. According to a study, taking placenta pills doesn’t improve mothers’ mood, breast milk production, mother-infant bonding, and energy levels. The placenta is an organ which develops in the mother’s uterus during pregnancy which supplies the fetus with nutrition and oxygen and discards its waste. One explanation is that the nutrients that have passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy persist in the placenta. So, the theory goes that eating the placenta raw enables the mother to recover from childbirth.
To investigate this matter, a group of researchers monitored the behavior of 27 new mothers who were given placenta pills. The other group of 15 new moms were given placebo pills. The researchers focused on analyzing their mood, mother-baby bonding, and energy levels. They didn’t show significant improvement in any of these categories. Although, researchers noticed small changes in hormone concentrations.
Advocates emphasize the fact that humans, besides underwater animals, are the only mammals that don’t eat their placentas. This is true, but animals have different enzymes, gut bacteria, nutritional needs, pregnancies and deliveries, physiology, and different behaviors, so it doesn’t mean that we should do the same. Professors of Perinatal and Obstetric Pathology explain that there are many things that animals do, and we don’t do.
To conclude, this issue needs further analysis. For now, experts don’t recommend this practice. Moreover, the pills cost $200, so taking these things into consideration, you might skip following this trend.