Doctors Warn That The Placenta-Eating Trend Among New Moms May Put Babies’ Lives In Danger

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Senior Editor of Branded Content at Wild Sky Media. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Woman's World. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law & Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

There’s a motherhood trend all over the internet — and especially among celebrities — that has caused a stir among parents: eating the placenta.

After giving birth to a beautiful baby, mama isn’t done with the hard work: she also has to deliver the placenta.

In the past, you would pretty much forget the placenta once it was out. In recent years, though, saving your afterbirth in one form or another has become a major trend.

Some people choose to save the placenta and eat it. People online share videos, tips, and recipes for consuming the placenta. Others send it out to be dehydrated and ground into pills.

People claim that there are many benefits to eating placentas, including physical and psychological benefits for postpartum women. However, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to back these claims.

And now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning that eating your placenta could actually be very dangerous for your baby.

Thumbnail Photo: Wikimedia / KellyPhD // Instagram / @nurturu_mama

WARNING: Some readers may find the following content upsetting. If you do not wish to see images of afterbirth, please click back to the LittleThings homepage.

newborn baby

Immediately after a baby is born, they are cleaned up by the doctor, weighed, and measured.

But Mom’s hard work isn’t done. She still has to go through the final stage of delivery: the afterbirth.

human placenta

After the baby is out of the womb, it’s time for mom to deliver the placenta, which is the organ that protects, supports, and provides nutrients to the baby while they’re in utero.

Some parents decide to save this organ in order to consume it later.

placenta smoothie

People eat placenta raw, cooked, in smoothies, and in capsule form. The idea is that consuming the placenta gives mom and baby necessary nutrients and helps ease postpartum recovery. However, there’s not much evidence to back up this claim.

Now, there’s a very good reason to skip the placenta smoothie completely.

A baby in Oregon recently got very sick after her mother ingested placenta capsules days after she gave birth.

placenta capsules

The CDC explains that not only does eating placenta have no proven health benefits, it may also be dangerous for your baby.

When the baby in this case was born, she had a severe bacterial infection. Five days after she was discharged, the infant was admitted back to the hospital for “irritability.”

It wasn’t until the mom revealed she had been taking placenta pills that the doctors realized what was wrong with her baby.

placenta human

The pills, which weren’t properly sterilized, caused Mom to reinfect her infant with the same bacteria that caused trouble at birth.

Luckily, the child ended up being fine after doctors gave her antibiotics. However, the situation could have ended very differently.

The CDC explained in their report that there are no standards for processing placenta for consumption, which means that there are no safety regulations.

placenta pills

The process of encapsulating placenta doesn’t necessarily get rid of all infectious pathogens, the CDC explains, so moms should avoid eating placenta pills.

Additionally, although there are recipes online for eating placenta, there aren’t standards for how to prepare it safely and properly.

The health benefits of placental ingestion are not proven, and there are multiple health risks.

Placenta consumption might be the latest trend in all-natural parenting, but the risks definitely outweigh the rewards.

Bottom line: it’s safer for everyone if you don’t eat your placenta.

smoothie placenta

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