Placentophagy: eating the placenta, a dangerous practice for you and your baby

And yes everything exists. You may have never heard of this practice, but it does exist. See even, it has “good press” in certain circles which have an excessive and distorted view of “nature”. but it is not without risk. Eating your placenta after delivery (placentophagy) can be dangerous for you and your baby.

This practice comes from some alternative currents who claim that the placenta can prevent postpartum depression, reduce postpartum bleeding, improve mood, energy and milk production, and provide important micronutrients, such as iron. . But there is no evidence that eating the placenta has any health benefits.

Placenta: raw, cooked, boiled, dried or in smoothies

The placenta is a complex organ that nourishes the growing fetus. It does this by exchanging nutrients and oxygen and filtering waste through the umbilical cord. The most common preparation of the placenta is by steaming and dehydrating the placenta or by processing the raw placenta. Some women have also been known to eat the placenta raw, cooked, or in smoothies or liquid extracts.

Dangerous for mother and baby

These preparations do not completely destroy infectious bacteria and viruses that the placenta may contain. There is an obvious first caveat against the consumption of placentals due to a risk of contamination. In particular, one case has been documented of a newborn who developed group B strep (group B streptococcus) after the mother took placental pills containing group B streptococcus and breastfed her newborn. The mother’s breast milk was infected with the bacteria she contracted after eating her infected placenta. Group B streptococcus can cause serious illness in newborns.

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Placentophagy can be harmful to you and your baby. But you can of course look for ways to promote your health after childbirth. Talk to your doctor, midwife, mother, best friend and other new moms about proven, risk-free solutions.


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