Kourtney Kardashian revealed on Instagram that she's eating her placenta in pill form. Here's what you need to know about the safety of this practice.
New mom Kourtney Kardashian, who gave birth to her third baby, son Reign Aston, in December, recently posted a photo on Instagram of two pill capsules, along with the caption: "Yummy... PLACENTA pills! No joke...I will be sad when my placenta pills run out. They are life changing! #benefits #lookitup." The image garnered a slew of comments that ranged from "yucky" to "kudos."
While most mammals do eat their placenta (scientists aren't sure why; some theorize that it may help keep away predators after birth), most moms generally do not. The practice of eating your placenta encapsulated in pill form got a fair amount of attention in 2012, when Mad Men star January Jones said that she felt the pills helped curb her postpartum depression.
There hasn't been enough research around placentaophagy (that's the official term for it) to prove the benefits (such as boosting energy, replenishing iron stores or increasing milk supply) that have been anecdotally reported, according to Science & Sensibility, a blog from Lamaze International. (The group does not recommend the practice.) And some experts raise concerns that the placenta, which acts as a filter, might actually contain environmental toxins. There's also the risk that the placenta may become contaminated during birth or while it's being prepared.
Bottom line: If you're considering eating your placenta after you give birth, talk to your health care provider to discuss the possible risks and benefits and decide what's right for you.