Placenta is a biological organ that connects the fetus in the womb of a mother to the wall of the uterine for nutrient uptake, waste elimination and thermo-regulation. Once the baby is born, the placenta sheds and is thrown away by the medical staff or buried as per the ritual of the family. But nowadays, a strange trend is evolving fast in the European Countries. The eating of placenta pills is becoming increasingly popular among new mums. Eating placenta is of course not a new thing in the West, several moms in the past have done this, but the trend has gained immense popularity in the recent years after some Hollywood celebrities ate their own placenta and announced about it on their social media pages.
The popular celebrity moms who in the recent years celebrated the benefits of eating their own placenta include Kim Kardashian, Alicia Silverstone, Kourtney Kardashian, Samantha Bee, Padma Lakashmi and Mad Men’s January Jones. The list also includes the names of Jennifer Lopez, Gaby Hoffman Holly Madison, Kim Zolciak, and Kailyn Lowri who all ate their own placenta.
A question that must be confronting your mind is why these people consumed their own placenta when it is thought to be a highly contaminating thing. Actually, the idea develops from the concept that human placenta is jam-packed with vitamins, proteins, iron, hormones and other nutrients. And most mothers think that mother loses proteins and hormones post-birth. They tend to think that to recover the lost nutrients, proteins and hormones etc., eating their own placenta will replenish their lost stores.
And the encapsulation makes it palatable and easy to consume than directly eating the meat. And when role model celebrities do something, the diehard fans think well, if they're doing it then it must be a good thing.
This seems the main reason why these celebrities have been highlighting that it has countless benefits for the mother.
For example, Social media celebrity and ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ star Kim Kardashian posted a blog on December 14, 2014, in which the celebrity disclosed that she is eating her own placenta after the birth of her second child, Saint West. She even went on sharing a photo of her supplements on her website.
Following the footprints of her elder sister, one more member of Kardashian clan, Kourtney Kardashian touted its benefits when she recently disclosed that she is taking a life to change placenta pills.
Though many doctors suggest women against consuming their placenta, some celebrity moms still think eating placenta is safe and beneficial. Most of these celebrity moms tend to believe that it reduces after-birth pains, boosts the energy level of the mother and balances hormones in the body.
They believe eating the placenta helps in getting rid of postpartum stress, boosts energy, and supplies nutrients, proteins and hormones to the mother.
Here are a few names from that unending list of the celebrities who turned out to be placenta eaters in the recent years:
1. January Jones: Madmen TV series fame January Jones is a fervent supporter of eating own placenta. After the birth of her son Xander, she followed a strict diet of placenta along with teas and vitamins. The actress believes that ingesting her own placenta helped her beat the baby blues.
2. Mayim Bialik: The Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik who plays nerdy Amy Farrah Fowler character in the serial also ate her own placenta. The actress defended her decision saying that except humans, the Placenta is consumed by all other mammals. And owing to its rich protein and iron - content, it helps the mother recuperate after giving birth.
3. Alicia Silverstone: This American Actress cum activist mum thoroughly enjoyed placenta pills after the birth of her son Bear. The actress while supporting her decision of consuming own placenta said she became very unhappy when her happy pills gone because they had really helped her.
4. Tamera and Tia Mowry: The identical twin sisters, Tamera and Tia Mowry who feature in shows like Sister or Tia & Tamera and Sister documented their placenta eating experience live on TV. Tamera gave Tia a cocktail drink which had placenta dissolved in it. Initially, she showed some hesitance but eventually ended up liking it.
5. Kourtney Kardashian: The eldest daughter of the Kardashian Clan, Kourtney Kardashian turned into a placenta eater after the birth of her third baby, Reign in the year 2014. This famous American Television personality posted a picture on Instagram while eating placenta pills.
6. Kim Kardashian: Following in her elder sister's footsteps, Kim Kardashian also ate placenta capsules after the birth of her son Saint West: She also posted a picture on Instagram with the strong caption recommending it for anyone looking to consider it.
Are there really Any Benefits of Eating Placenta
Though there is no scientific evidence of the benefits of eating the placenta, these Celebrity moms still have been supporting the practice of eating placenta highlighting that it has countless benefits for the mother.
The proponents of placentophagy, the process of eating own placenta have been claiming that it helps in treating the postpartum depression, increases energy and improves lactation in nursing mothers. But a new review of studies has revealed that eating of human placenta carries risks not just for the mother but the breastfeeding baby as well.
A study published in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the month of August 2017 revealed that there is no medical benefit of eating placenta by a nursing mother.
A senior study author has warned ladies that there are potential risks and no benefits at all of eating their own placenta. The risks range from viral and bacterial infection to both mother and baby to the risk of ingesting toxins and hormones.
According to the many health experts, the toxins accumulate in the placenta during pregnancy. An even the grilling, freezing or encapsulating placenta pills don’t end the risks.
Moreover, the research also revealed that people who endorse this practice have actually financial motivations and they just try to take advantage of the situation just to make good money out of it.
Some of the major risks of consuming human placenta are as given below:
The actual trend of eating human placenta post birth started only in the US in the late 1960s. The trend of eating human placentas in the United States is revealed by the enormous number of tales of the mothers who consumed their own processed placentas.
Though there is evidence present that Chinese people in the past have used human placenta in traditional medicines to treat kidney, liver and many other ailments, it is not clear how and when moms in the US started believing that they should also consume placenta for curing their post-birth complications such as anemia and depression.
A general perception is that the concept evolved from the Chinese practice of using a postpartum organ in traditional medicines. In the recent years, the trend of eating placenta has skyrocketed owing to the public announcement of certain Hollywood celebrities that they ate their own placenta to boost their energy and treat postpartum anemia and depression.