All those mothers who are planning to force themselves into eating their own placenta just because they read somewhere that it would have positive effects on their health, can take a step back from doing it.
Many cultures consider the placenta healthy and have been encouraging mothers to eat it for a long time. There are even some famous people, such as Kourtney Kardashian, who have done it, believing it would have incredible benefits on their body. It even has a name, it is called placentophagy and it is extremely popular.
These supposed benefits include a lower risk of postpartum depression and insomnia, better energy, healthier breastfeeding, with larger quantities of breast milk and a better leveling of hormones in your body
Nevertheless, there are no scientific studies out there to prove the benefits of eating the placenta, so you might reconsider doing it after you’ve given birth.
A new study, which may come as relief for all those mothers who have been reluctant to do it and felt they were missing out on some positive effects, shows that eating your placenta is likely to do both you and your baby harm rather than good.
“There are a lot of subjective reports from women who perceived benefits, but there has not been any systematic research investigating the benefits or the risk of placenta ingestion,” said one of the authors of the study, Crystal Clark, who is assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral at University Feinberg School of Medicine in USA.
The researchers looked into 10 large-scale studies that analyzed the effects of placentophagy on both the mother and the baby.
The lead study author, Cynthia Coyle said that ingesting the placenta might expose the mother and the baby to unwanted risks, as the placenta acts as a filter that shields the fetus from the ingestion of pollutants and toxins.
Given the fact that there is no current regulation regarding the use of placenta that could give information about its usage and storage, women are basically unaware of what they are eating.
Their advice for women is to refrain from making decisions based on pieces of news scattered all around the media and talk to their doctors instead. They can adopt a healthy diet and still have all the advertised benefits of the placenta, without having to eat something that was not necessarily meant for human consumption.
The results of the research were published in the journal Archives of Women’s Mental Health.
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