CDC Warns Against New Moms Eating Their Placenta

CDC Warns Against New Moms Eating Their Placenta

Health officials are warning new moms about the potential dangers of taking pills made from their placenta, after an Oregon infant's infection was tied to the practice.

Trendy among some mothers, the practice of eating the placenta after giving birth is believed by some to help with postpartum depression, breast milk production and energy levels. It's taken off in the last decade, touted by some celebrity moms and promoted on the internet. Now tens of thousands of U.S. moms do it, according to a rough estimate by researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

But in an unusual report published Thursday, a group of doctors and health officials say the capsules appear to have caused an infant's illness in Portland, Oregon, last fall. The authors said moms should avoid taking them, noting that the making of placenta capsules is not regulated and there's no guarantee they are free of harmful germs.

The researchers include some lab scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A CDC spokeswoman said the agency hasn't taken a formal position on placenta pills, and that the warning was the authors' conclusion.

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