Placenta Eating Causes Harm Says Science

Josephine Thompson

Journalist

Do you eat the placenta after birth? Because that might harmful to you. A panel of specialists lead by an obstetrician from Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City studied how placenta is consumed - including pills and it being cooked. Their findings show that inadequately prepared placenta might still carry infections like Zika, hepatitis and HIV.

This increasingly popular trend is boosted by mothers claiming that eating placenta lessens the risk of postpartum depression as well as increasing mood and energy levels. But experts say that there are no health benefits from it. In fact, CDC announced in June that newborns can develop a form of sepsis from breast milk contaminated due to consumption placenta capsules.

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"As obstetricians, it's important to tell the truth. And the truth is it's potentially harmful and no evidence it's beneficial, so therefore, don't do it," said Dr Amos Grunebaum, lead author and obstetrician of the study published in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. "Over the last few years, we've had an increasing demand from patients who wanted to take their placenta home after delivery in order to eat it."

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He went on to say that placenta-eating "should be based on scientific information, not on wishful thinking and other thoughts that are not clearly outlined. Ethics is among the most important subjects in medicine. We need to be able to tell our patients what's right and what's wrong ... and be ready with a response based on science."

Placenta Encapsulation

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