EATING YOUR BABY’S PLACENTA: A HOLLYWOOD TREND OR MADNESS
Ever since Kim Kardashian dried up her child’s placenta and ate it in the form of capsules, more and more people started talking about eating the placenta. This is far from new and unusual. Most animals eat the placenta after birth, and in many cultures it is subject to various rituals.
According to ancient Chinese medicine, eating the placenta was the perfect way to celebrate the child’s birth. It was believed that it helps to cope with postpartum depression, fatigue and promotes recovery. Ancient doctors noticed that women lose a lot of blood during childbirth and that this lowered the amount of breast milk. In order to stimulate lactation, it was recommended to eat the placenta. And the most interesting of all is that placenta was also thought to cure infertility.
WHAT IS THE PLACENTA?
The placenta is a temporary organ. It begins to form between the 8th and 13th gestational week. Through it the fetus obtains the necessary nutrients from the mother and disposes of metabolic waste products. All this happens without direct contact between the mother’s and the fetus’s blood. The placenta is responsible for the production of certain hormones. One of these is progesterone, which is extremely important for a normal pregnancy.
SHOULD YOU EAT PLACENTA?
People who believe in eating the placenta support Chinese medicine’s claims on the subject. If you google it, you will even find placenta cookbooks. According to scientists, however, this obsession is just a placebo. Nutrients in the placenta can be obtained through a healthy diet. Opioids found in it, which help with the pain, are sensitive to high temperatures and are easily destroyed. Do not forget that outside of your body, the placenta is the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive in.
CAN I TAKE MY BABY’S PLACENTA HOME?
In Bulgaria the law does not allow it. The placenta is a biomedical waste which is disposed of in a highly strict manner. What is worth keeping is the baby’s umbilical cord. It is rich in stem cells that can be extracted, frozen and used when needed.
We live in a world where it is important for one to be talked about. That’s why when you read that your favourite celebrity did something odd, consider the possibility of being just a marketing trick.