- The Washington Times - Friday, June 30, 2017

A new mother’s ingestion of her own placenta led to a bacterial infection in her newborn, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a newly published report, providing a closer look at dangers associated with holistic treatments not fully examined by scientific study.

“Placenta ingestion has recently been promoted to postpartum women for its physical and psychological benefits, although scientific evidence to support this is lacking,” the CDC wrote in its report, which was published Friday.

In this case, a new mother in Oregon had registered with a commercial company that, after she gave birth, would take her placenta and prepare it for ingestion by grinding it up and placing it in gelatin capsules of about 115-200 mg.

The company, which was only identified as “A” by the CDC, purports to clean, slice and dehydrate the placenta before grinding it up and putting it in pill form.

The mother reported taking two capsules, three times daily.

A few days after delivery, the newborn was admitted to the hospital for GBS infection, which is usually harmless in adults but can be dangerous for infants, causing fever, trouble feeding and lethargy, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Both mother and baby had tested negative for GBS at time of delivery, but two later trips to the hospital led to the diagnosis. After interviewing the mother, it was revealed about the ingestion of the commercially prepared placenta. The treating physician told the mother to stop taking the pills, which were discovered to have the same strain of bacteria sickening the infant.

The CDC notes that no standards exist for processing placenta for consumption and advises avoiding “placenta capsule ingestion.”


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