In recent years, there’s been a growing trend among many mothers choosing to eat their placenta after birth. According to some, eating the stuff that once nourished their babies can have significant benefits, like helping aid against postpartum depression. Many mothers, and even celebrities like MadMen’s January Jones and both Kim and Khloe Kardashian, have jumped on the eating your placenta bandwagon. Some drink it down in a shake, others have it encapsulated (because let’s face it—that stuff cannot taste good). But can it all be totally harmless? According to the CDC, though, eating placenta pills could make your baby sick.

But How?

In the CDC’s most recent publication of their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, scientists warned that the process of encapsulating the placenta runs the risk of becoming contaminated, and thus causing breastfed babies to become ill as a result. The warning comes after one case in Oregon found an infant was admitted multiple times to the hospital after being infected with Group B step. Frightening much? You bet.

The baby (who was born sans any complications) was taken to the NICU due to respiratory stress and found to be positive for GBS. They were treated for 11 days with antibiotics and sent home. But less than a week later, the infant was back in the hospital due to irritability. This time, it seems the mother revealed she had requested her placenta for encapsulation and was taking the pills three times a day. That’s when doctors asked her to stop. And once they studied the capsules, sure enough, they found the culprit that was keeping the baby sick.

The good thing is that this story has a happy ending. The infant was given another round of antibiotics and finally sent home. But sadly, this could have gone another way. What if the mother hadn’t taken her child to the hospital in time? Serious group B strep infections can cause pneumonia and even sepsis, both of which can be deadly.

The Verdict

So basically, it’s like this. The CDC states that currently, there are, “no standards for processing placenta for consumption.” This means that even though you might not get sick, there’s always a chance someone could. And there’s nothing to really prevent it from happening, except maybe sticking to eating a home-cooked casserole over placenta.

(Image: Pixabay / dictionarydeshea)