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05th Jul 2017

US experts warn against women eating their own placenta

It's been linked with a number of celebs.

Anna O'Rourke

We’ve all heard of women eating their placentas after giving birth, but is there really any health benefit to it?

It’s been associated with celebrities including Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Katherine Heigl and Alicia Silverstone, but the practice has come under scrutiny as it’s been revealed a baby in the US fell seriously ill after its mother ate her own placenta.

The newborn was admitted to hospital in Oregon suffering with breathing difficulties, according to an account in the journal of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The baby had been born full-term and healthy but began deteriorating rapidly and was eventually diagnosed with late-onset B Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS) bacteremia, a blood disease.

After an 11-day course of antibiotics, the infant was sent home, but was re-admitted five days later with another infection.

It later emerged that the child’s mother had been eating her own placenta in capsule form three times a day since shortly after giving birth and that the same strain of bacteria that had made the baby sick was in the placenta tablets.

While the company that had made the pills from the woman’s placenta said it had cleaned and dehydrated the placenta, the bacteria was able to survive in it.

The infant in this case made a recovery, but the CDC has recommended that new mothers avoid these capsules.