Placenta pills cause newborn’s bacterial infection, reports say

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Though it promises a wealth of benefits for moms post-pregnancy, placenta pills also pose certain risks, like this recent case. Read on to know more.

The practice of placental consumption has been around for centuries and the many benefits it promises isn’t really groundbreaking news.

For years, it’s been turned into pills through steaming, grinding, and dehydration. Some moms even drink the placenta right after giving birth. It’s also believed to ease the symptoms of menopause.

Though further scientific research is needed to support the good effects of placental consumption, tradition shows that many moms have found it effective. The placenta is packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. When ingested, it’s believed to ease the effects of postpartum depression, boost breast milk quality and production, and reduce pain postpartum.

Despite these great promised benefits, moms should also be careful when ingesting placenta. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a woman had allegedly passed on a bacterial infection to her baby. She had been taking the freeze-dried placenta pills three days after giving birth. After her baby had shown signs of respiratory difficulties, she was brought to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). It was there that they confirmed the baby, who was born perfectly healthy, had been stricken with a Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS) bacterial infection.

The baby’s mother had been infected by the bacteria after taking placenta pills

photo: Flickr

After they tested the placenta pills the baby’s mom had taken, they confirmed that it was the cause of the infection. But they were careful not to discount other possible causes, like transmission from other family members.

She was put on an 11-day antibiotics regimen and discharged. But less than a week later, she was brought back to the hospital after the infection recurred, says LiveScience, and placed on another round of treatment.

The baby’s mom had also been infected.

Reports speculate that there had been inconsistencies in the encapsulation process, which possibly couldn’t fully kill harmful bacteria. Harmful bacteria as well as other substances like selenium can be found in placenta.

Cynthia Coyle, a clinical psychologist from Northwestern University in Chicago, emphasized to Live Science that “there are no human studies that show a benefit to eating the placenta.”

READ: The Joy of Placenta – Bon appétit!

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