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Study: Mothers Can Eat Placenta After Birth, No Risk To Newborns

CORVALLIS, OR (CBS Local) - A new report has given mothers the green light to eat their own placenta after giving birth. According to the largest study ever carried out on the subject, researchers say there are no risks to the newborn if their parent chooses to ingest the nutrient-filled organ.

The Details:

  • A study says mothers eating their placenta after birth will not put their baby at risk when breastfeeding
  • The CDC recently warned against women eating their placenta
  • Researchers claim eating the placenta can relieve postpartum depression

Researchers at Oregon State University, UNLV, and UC Davis have concluded that women who consume placenta, usually in pill form after delivery, were not increasing the risk of infection while breastfeeding their child. The study also claims that ingesting the placenta may help relieve postpartum depression in women.

"This research, based on a large sample of consumers, gives us a better understanding of why women are consuming placenta after birth and the effects of that consumption on newborns," study co-author Melissa Cheyney said in a press release.

The researchers reviewed over 23,000 birth records and are pushing back against warnings from the CDC. The organization examined one mother who passed on a strep infection to her child while taking placenta pills.

"Our findings were surprising given the recent guidelines recommending against placenta consumption as well as the known risks of consuming uncooked or undercooked meat," UNLV's Daniel Benyshek added. "These new findings give us little reason to caution against human maternal placentophagy out of fear of health risks to the baby."

While the new study claims the chemicals and nutrients found in placenta won't harm a newborn, other scientists say ingesting placenta does little for the health of the mother. UNLV researcher Sharon Young found placenta pills delivered as much iron to a new mother's body as a dummy pill, according to KVAL.

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