Got Placenta?

According to this MSNBC article, some people claim that a woman can reduce postpartum blues by eating her own placenta.

Placentophagy, as it’s called, grabbed headlines this summer after a judge ordered a Las Vegas hospital to give a new mom her uterine lining, which the woman planned to dry, grind up and ingest. She . . . had heard that ingesting the placenta was a natural way to ward off the baby blues — those overwhelmed, weepy feelings that 80 percent of moms develop after giving birth.

New moms who swear by the benefits of consuming their placenta point out that it’s a common practice among mammals — and after all, women are mammals, too. But no studies have examined health benefits of human placentophagy, says Dr. Diana Dell, an assistant professor in ob-gyn and psychology at Duke University.

“There’s certainly no data,” Dell says. “And, truthfully, the only place there may be data is in veterinary journals.”

And from the Las Vegas Sun in July 2007 describing the referenced case:

The hospital had refused to give the uterine lining to Swanson following the April 12 Caesarian birth of her daughter, with officials calling it contaminated biohazardous waste. The organ is currently frozen.

The judge ordered the hospital not to destroy the placenta and ordered that it be turned over to Swanson within two weeks.

I suppose you could do a double-blind experiment to test all this, assuming you’re testing it in capsule form. It would be trickier if, following a comment referenced in the MSNBC article, you cook the placenta into a lasagne recipe.

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1 Response

  1. baby girl says:

    I dont know if dont think I ever would eating the placenta.

    But I’m curious to hear if it really true.