Back off, Brooklyn doulas and Kourtney Kardashian — eating your placenta could harm your baby.
Moms who eat their placenta could pass along life threatening diseases they carry thanks to eating the organ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned.
That’s because there are currently no standards for placenta consumption. And the organ may not be heated up enough to kill off harmful bacteria before it’s eaten.
The CDC recently released a case study of a mother whose infant developed group B Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS), an infection that causes respiratory problems, particularly in babies with sensitive immune systems. The baby caught GBS after the mom ate her dehydrated placenta in the form of two capsules taken three times daily, and most likely passed the infection along to her child through skin contact.
The report could not rule out other members of the family passing GBS along to the baby, but tests revealed GBS in the placenta samples the mother provided.
The case study said that the company the mom used to encapsulate her placenta after birth asks about preexisting infections, but not about intra- or postpartum infections. So GBS could have contaminated the placenta during or immediately post birth.
Due to a lack of standardization, the CDC warns that placenta consumption should be avoided.
Those who support placenta-eating claim that the organ — which connects a fetus to the uterine wall so the unborn child can get food, oxygen, vitamins, and other nutrients its mom’s bloodstream — could give moms a post-pregnancy boost because it’s full of vitamins and minerals. Some even say eating a placenta can prevent postpartum depression and increase breast milk.
The trend has become increasingly popular in western cultures in recent years.
Most hospitals dispose of placentas as biohazardous waste, so the organ is requested by moms ahead of time, shipped off to a processing company that dehydrates it, grinds it up, and encapsulates it.
Celebs like Kourtney and Kim Kardashian, Katherine Heigl, January Jones and Alicia Silverstone have all admitted to ingesting their placenta one way or another. The most common method appears to be ground up pills, but some women receive it raw and prepare it like meat (frozen, then cooked) or blend the frozen pieces into a smoothies.
Kim Zolciak of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” not only drank her placenta in a smoothie, she made her husband drink some too.