Last week the CDC reported that a baby contracted a severe infection that was traced back to the placenta pills consumed by the mom. Although rare to have this reaction, the safety of placenta pills hasn’t been established.
Benefits of consumption of the placenta are anecdotal and there has not been a study yet that shows a clinically significant benefit. Women report decreases in post partum depression, more energy and increased mood but we don’t know if this is a placebo effect.
Although this case is the first of this magnitude, processing the placenta is not a regulated or standardized process. Women considering doing so should find out as much as she can about the practices of the person she hires to do it. The placenta is a filter organ and her own health along with environmental exposures need to be considered.
Lactation associations do not recommend taking placenta pills because they potentially interfere with the hormones responsible for milk production and have been shown to decrease milk supply.