CDC Warns Against Placenta Pills After Infant Gets Infected

First Posted: Jul 07, 2017 06:07 AM EDT

Eating placenta to get a slew of health benefits has become a trend for new moms over the past few years. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that new moms should not ride on the bandwagon.

Chicago Tribune noted that the practice of eating placenta after giving birth has become trendy for some mothers, believing that it helps with postpartum depression, breast milk production and stable energy levels. The process has taken off in the last decade after it has been touted by celebrity moms. However, in a new report, a group of doctors and health officials say that placenta pills, which have become as popular, appear to have caused an infant's illness in Portland, Oregon.

According to Today, the baby developed group B Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS), which is an infection that can cause fatal respiratory problems in infants. The newborn was treated for the infection and recovered but was treated again a few days later for the same disease. The infant's mother confirmed to have registered with a company to pick up and encapsulate her placenta after her child was born.

Researchers said that moms should avoid taking these pills, noting that making placenta capsules has not been regulated by the DFA and that there is no guarantee that they are safe and free of germs. While the CDC noted other family members could have passed along the GPS to the baby, testing showed that GBS is present in the placenta samples that the mother provided herself. This means that the placenta may not have been heated long enough to kill off dangerous bacteria before the company encapsulated it.

Doctors warned that there has been no proof of the advantages brought about by consuming placenta, whether cooked, raw or encapsulated. "The placenta encapsulation process does not per se eradicate infectious pathogens; thus, placenta capsule ingestion should be avoided," the CDC said.

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