OPINION: Five reasons you do not need to eat placenta
FOR years I've been baffled as to why anyone would want to eat their own placenta.
The act of giving birth should be celebrated with something more grand, like your very own chocolate cake, not a piece of medical waste.
Now as news comes to light that a baby was given a strep infection from their mother's dried placenta capsules, I know it's finally time for me to speak out against a practice that seems to be at best having a placebo effect on new mothers or at worst, potentially harbouring dangerous bacteria that could be passed on to vulnerable newborns.
Here are the top five reasons you do not need to consume placenta.
5. Evidence is lacking that there is any health benefits in consuming placenta, either for mothers or babies.
There is no solid medical evidence that placenta helps with nourishment or with post natal depression.
A few small studies have connected placenta-eating with increased milk supply - that might be the only tangible benefit.
Trust your doctor. Just because Kim Kardashian and January Jones ate their placentas doesn't mean you have to.
4. It has been assumed that animals eat their placenta for nourishment.
There is some debate over that, but regardless, humans have many other forms of nourishment and humans in the western world are already pretty well nourished.
If you're worried about your iron levels, having iron tablets, steak, orange juice, broccoli or strawberries is usually more helpful than munching on placenta. And tastier.
3. Evidence suggests that rather than eating their placenta for nourishment, many animals eat their afterbirth to keep predators away,
When was the last time you saw a hyena or a tiger in a hospital?
You do not need to eat your placenta because animals do it.
Many animals also use their tongues to clean their offspring's waste and bums, are you going to do that too?
2. It can be harmful for new mothers to wait to see if eating their placenta really will keep the baby blues away.
All mums are encouraged to talks to their doctor if battling post-partum depression.
It may be that therapy or anti-depressants are needed.
1. Number one has to be the possibility you could make yourself or your baby really sick by using these tablets. It would be one thing if there were proven benefits - everything in life some with some risk after all.
But to risk ingesting dangerous bacteria for something that has no proven health benefits? It's just not worth it.