By Mark Salamon, November 1, 2017
A new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology is warning women that the practice of eating your placenta after giving birth may have dangerous health consequences. (1) This raises the obvious question, “they eat what after giving birth?”
Yes, that’s right. Apparently this is a common practice in the ancient, exotic culture of upper class American Women. Many of these women are schooled in the art of placenta-eating by their doulas, which is an equally exotic term for a “non-medical birth support professional”. A good doula can even advise women on the most popular ways to eat their placenta, which can be “raw, cooked, roasted, dehydrated, steamed and dehydrated in capsule form, or in smoothies or other drinks”.
Once you decide how you like your placenta, your doula can steer you toward one of numerous companies that can prepare your placenta for consumption for about $400, although most also offer cheaper options that can cut that cost all the way down to $200. (I assume that this bargain basement option involves them just handing you back your raw placenta cut up in bite size pieces.)
Dr. Amos Grunebaum, an obstetrician/gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and author of the study stated that they found no evidence of any health benefits of placenta-eating, and in fact potential dangers of the practice were uncovered. One of the functions of the placenta is to filter harmful toxins out of the blood before they reach the fetus. In June the CDC reported a case of a newborn who developed recurrent group B Streptococcus sepsis from breast feeding after the mother ingested placenta capsules containing Streptococcus. The CDC stated that a placenta can also harbor HIV, hepatitis, Zika, and other viruses.
So I seriously recommend that all you placenta-eaters out there stop. I apologize if I am crapping on your party just as you were about to chug down a delicious placenta smoothie. There is another, safer option for those of you who just can’t bear to throw out used reproductive parts. You could follow the lead of Tracy Kiss, a British blogger, who also suffered from the same compulsive urge to recycle everything in the universe, including a wad of excess tissue on her vagina that was getting irritated and forming a cyst. She underwent a procedure called a labiaplasty to reduce the size of her labia, and instead of throwing that perfectly good vaginal tissue in the trash where it would probably sit for millions of years in a landfill somewhere, she turned it into a piece of jewelry. That’s right, she preserved the tissue in a jar for several months before sprinkling it with glitter and covering it with resin to form a pendant which she proudly wears on a necklace. (2)
This technique could easily be applied to placentas. In fact, a single placenta could probably be converted into a designer serving bowl which could be handed down to the baby years later as a wedding gift.
Come to think of it, I think I might try to learn how to do this. That’ll be 400 bucks please.