This is the danger doctors want new mums to know about placenta pills 8 months ago

This is the danger doctors want new mums to know about placenta pills

It has been hailed by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, January Jones and Alicia Silverstone for helping ward off postpartum depression, ease insomnia, boost energy levels and even stimulate breast milk production.

And now more and more women are following suit by ingesting their placenta after giving birth.

However, science has always warned there is little evidence to support these claims – and now doctors are getting involved in the matter too, warning there could be some actual dangers involved in consuming your placenta after the baby is delivered.

Last year, a newborn in the US was diagnosed with a strep infection that was making it hard for the infant to breathe. The baby was given antibiotics to treat the infection, but ended up in the hospital soon after, testing positive for strep again.

In their attempts to find a cause for why this happened, doctors discovered that the baby’s mother was taking dried placenta capsules and they then instructed her to stop taking them. Tests that were carried out on the tablets proved their suspicions were correct when the capsules tested positive for strep.

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According to a report published recently by the CDC, a mother’s consumption of "contaminated placenta capsules might have elevated maternal GBS intestinal and skin colonization, facilitating transfer to the infant." GBS refers to group B Streptococcus agalactiae bacteremia, the bacteria that infected the infant.

As more and more new mums everywhere, including here in Ireland, are opting to ingest her placenta after birth, many doctors now, certainly in the light of this case, feel like there needs to be more information provided about the risks that could be associated with doing this.

In this case, experts suspect the placenta was not heated to a temperature that was high enough to kill dangerous pathogens, but the bottom line is that placenta encapsulation has become big business in the last few years, also here on our shores, but there is still little to no regulations and currently no regulatory body to oversee whether or not safety standards are being met.

Did YOU opt to ingest your placenta after birth? We would love to hear from women who did, and how you found the experience. Drop me an e-mail at Trine.Jensen@Herfamily.ie