Many famous mothers are fans of taking placental pills to help facilitate their recovery. However, the science is not clear about the benefits and risks.
More mothers than ever are asking their doctors to save the placenta after the delivery of their baby.
Why? Well, they want to consume it.
The placenta, also known as postpartum, is a marvel of anatomical design.
It connects the mother to a growing fetus, which acts as a conduit for oxygen, food, nutrients, hormones and more.
It even eliminates the waste that the fetus creates.
When the baby is delivered, the placenta is also administered, then a round, flat 1-pound organ.
In most hospitals and delivery rooms, the placenta is discarded, you can never think again.
However, more and more, mothers want to eat or take the organ as a supplement, believing that it can improve mood, increase energy levels, recover more quickly from pregnancy and much more.
And they are not alone.
Famous mothers like Chrissy Teigen, the Kardashian sisters and January Jones have talked about the consumption of their own placenta and the benefits they think they experienced as a result.
Teigen, in a recent interview with CBS on Sunday morning, said that eating her placenta was not out of place in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband John Legend and their two children, Luna of 2 years and Luna of 4 months. Thousands of age
She joked that they “roast it here.”
Teigen gives credit to the organ for helping her avoid postpartum depression, something she has talked about openly about her struggle after the couple’s daughter was born in 2016.
But before you imagine serving a scorched placenta with a good chianti and one side of the yeast rolls, it is important to understand how placentas are processed and consumed.
How placenta capsules are made
When you deliver your placenta, you can ask the hospital to hold the organ and send it to “placenta arts specialists,” people who clean, cut and dehydrate the organ before crushing it and putting it in pills.
You can also consume a raw, roasted or cooked placenta. Some will mix it with the shakes or dehydrate it like spasms.
The supplement, however, remains the most common preparation.
Currently, there are no official standards for placental processing for consumption.
Many centers suggest that people who place placentas heat them to more than 130 ° F (54 ° C) for more than 2 hours to kill the bacteria. No regulatory agency supervises these production centers.
If not handled properly, the placenta can cause illness, as in the case of an Oregon mother and her baby.
In 2017, the CDC issued a statement in which they warned mothers and doctors against placental use after they learned about and studied the case of a baby who became ill shortly after birth.
The mother, days after giving birth to her baby, began taking capsules that contained her placenta that had been cleansed and dehydrated.
A few days after leaving the hospital, she returned with a sick baby. The baby tested positive for sepsis due to group B streptococcus (GBS), a bacterium that is found in the human body but can cause infections and serious illness in newborns.
After administering antibiotics for sepsis, the baby was released and sent home. A few days after that, the infant was admitted to another hospital and again tested positive for this unusual form of sepsis.
The doctors tried the mother’s placental pills and found the bacteria in the pills. They also discovered that the bacteria in the two positive results of the child’s tests and the pills were made from almost identical strains.
The doctors could not rule out that the infection had come from other members of the family, but the almost identical strains were enough for the researchers to suspect that the placenta pills were the guilty party.
In its statement, the CDC said: “Placental intake has been recently promoted to postpartum women because of its physical and psychological benefits, although there is no scientific evidence to support this.”
In addition, the placenta may come into contact with bacteria that put the baby at increased risk of disease.
“When the placenta passes after the baby through the birth canal, it will also come into contact with these pathogens that remain in the recto-vaginal area. “Eating this contaminated placental tissue could expose the woman and her baby to these invasive pathogens,” CDC and infectious disease expert Dr. Genevieve Buser told reporter Motherly.
The CDC statement concluded: “The process of encapsulating the placenta does not eradicate infectious pathogens; therefore, ingestion of the placenta capsule should be avoided. ”
What the research says
This practice remains largely unconventional, even unrecognized, among many hospitals in the United States and doctors’ offices.
In fact, in a report by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, more than half of obstetricians and gynecologists say they do not know enough about the risks and benefits of placentation (the practice of placenta eating).
In addition, 60 percent of those doctors said they were not sure they were in favor.
Earlier this year, a study published in the journal Birth made the CDC verdict against placenta consumption again the center of attention.
The findings suggest that the practice is not unsafe, as long as the placenta is managed properly. In fact, the study of more than 23,000 birth records found that there is no increased risk of neonatal admissions, hospitalizations or infant deaths in babies born to mothers who ingest their placenta.
However, at the same time, another study from the same research group concluded that there was no difference in health reports between mothers who took placental supplements and those who took a placebo.
However, this study did not analyze the impact of childhood placentation on mood disorders such as postpartum depression.
More research is needed to understand if there is any possible benefit to this practice.
“I did my midwifery training in New Zealand, which internationally is considered to have the best maternal health care system in the world,” said Kathy Fray, best-selling author of motherhood, senior midwife and international maternity consultant. “In New Zealand, [placental use is] quite common and it is considered very normal for a woman to have her placenta dry and encap