Mothers Who Eat a Newborn’s Placenta May or May Not Benefit [Q&A]

New mothers who eat their babies’ placentas soon after childbirth are part of a growing fad. Web sites offer recipes and services, such as turning the placenta into a pill, to make the experience more palatable. Proponents claim the practice, known asplacentophagy, increases their energy and can even ward off postpartum depression. Although the placenta is packed with nutrients and hormones that help the baby develop and survive in the womb, it can also harbor potentially harmful bacteria and waste products. To date no scientific studies have documented the benefits or risks that may come from eating the placenta. …

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This article originally appeared on Scientific American‘s website on April 2, 2015. 

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