New Moms: CDC Warns Against Placenta Consumption

A growing trend among new mothers can be potentially dangerous according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Whether raw, cooked or in pill form, some new moms believe that major health benefits can be gained through consuming their placenta after childbirth. Proponents say that it increases milk production, energy and helps to prevent postpartum depression. Some celebrities have even joined in the practice adding to its popularity.

The CDC has issued a warning that cites the case of a woman in Oregon that has passed a dangerous infection on to her infant. The CDC did not name the mother in the report or the company she used to process the organ.

The mother had registered with a company that will pick up the placenta after birth, dehydrate and encapsulate it for consumption. She began taking the pills soon after the birth of her baby who was treated for group B Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS), an infection that can be deadly in the respiratory system of newborns. The infant recovered and five days later was admitted to the hospital after testing positive for GBS once again. The CDC did note that the infection could have been passed to the baby by other family members although placenta samples provided by the mother did test positive for GBS.

The CDC wants to stress to mothers that there are no standards to process the organ for safe consumption. They believe that the company used by the Oregon woman encapsulated the placenta before heating it long enough to kill off potentially dangerous bacteria. Doctors have warned against the practice, citing that there is no proof of advantages to consuming the placenta. The CDC suggests that new mothers avoid ingesting placenta capsules due to the inefficiency of the encapsulation process to eradicate infectious pathogens.