Ingesting placenta in its many forms, post-birth, could be potentially dangerous for babies, according to health experts.


In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, they wrote about a case where a healthy newborn became ill because of her mother’s placenta. Allegedly, the mother accidentally spread a deadly blood infection to her baby while breastfeeding, after ingesting capsules made with her dehydrated placenta


Fortunately, the baby fully recovered after two visits to the hospital.


The doctors found that the source of the illness was B strep disease (or GBS). This infection can cause breathing difficulties in infants, and complications from the infection can ultimately lead to developmental disabilities and possibly even death.


People who advocate for the ingestion of placenta make the comparison that most mammals (excluding aquatic mammals like whales) eat their placentas after birth. However, there is no data to show that this benefits humans whatsoever.  



Celebrity mums like Kim Kardashian, January Jones and Alicia Silverstone have popularised the idea of ingesting placenta in the past few years, stating that it helped them with postpartum recovery.


"I heard so many stories when I was pregnant with North, of mums who never ate their placenta with their first baby and then had postpartum depression," Kardashian West tweeted.


"But then, when they took the pills with their second baby, they did not suffer from depression! So, I thought, why not try it? What do I have to lose?"


However, according to medical experts, there is no evidence that placenta provides any health benefits. Placenta also contains many pathogens which can cause salmonella. 


Deputy director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health, Dr Catherine Spong, advises new mums to avoid eating placenta.



“We have very little information available, and the studies we have do not show any benefits and do not substantiate the claims that are made,” she said.


The latest reports from ArtsTechnica have pointed out the potential dangers of placenta-eating for newborns.  


"GBS is commonly found in and on adults, but it usually doesn't cause infections. In newborns with undeveloped immune responses, however, it can wreak havoc,” a report read.


“The strain of GBS found in this case was particularly nasty; it had virulence factors that allowed it to easily slip through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream - and potentially cross the blood-brain barrier."


What are your thoughts, mums? Have you ingested your own placenta or know anybody who has? Let us know in the comments.