“Please don’t eat your placenta.”

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Please don’t eat your placenta—Katherine Martinko, Treehugger

There is no scientific evidence that eating one’s placenta is beneficial, but the government is more worried about the lack of regulation when it comes to processing.

Please don’t eat your placenta. This is the message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issued a statement on June 30 urging new mothers to forego the practice of sending their placentas away for dehydration and encapsulation, and then eating them.

Eating one’s placenta has grown in popularity in recent years, as many women believe that ingesting the nutrients stored in the placenta can restore maternal energy, help with milk production, and offset post-partum depression. The rationale seems to be that other mammals do it (such as deer, I was told while pregnant), so why not humans? Kim Kardashian’s endorsement in 2015 likely helped, too.

While scientists point out that there are no proven benefits to eating one’s placenta, the CDC’s biggest concern seems to be the fact that placenta-processing is completely unregulated. (They did not comment on eating it fresh and raw, something that midwife friend of mine once witnessed.)

A safer approach would be to eat a well-balanced diet in the post-partum period, and to seek social support as much as possible in order to satisfy those needs that eating a placenta is believed by some to support.