Placenta Pills Get Thumbs-Down From Doctors

Jacqueline Burt Cote All the Rage

placenta pillsNew moms eating their own placentas is nothing new, but popping placenta pills? That's right: Placenta pills, made from dried placenta and usually prepared by a doula, are the latest in earthy maternity trends. But while the concept of frying up a placenta with onions is more of a tradition (you know, in the "circle of life" sense), placenta supplements supposedly deliver myriad health benefits, from easing postpartum depression to increasing milk production to lowering blood pressure. Much like synthetic hormone prescriptions, except not synthetic (obviously), and sort of "tailor-made" for your own personal needs, presumably. Of course, it's not quite as inexpensive to consume your placenta in pill form as it would be in the raw, so to speak -- approximately $200 vs. $0.

So are the capsules worth it?

Depends on who you ask: Satisfied customers claim the pills are "amazing," but traditional doctors say they're a placebo at best and a distraction from proper medical care (particularly in the case of postpartum depression) at worst. 

Now, I had no interest in dining on my placenta after the births of my children, so maybe I'm not the best person to ask, but I'm betting that these pills, like so many other alternative/natural medicine remedies, are probably potentially helpful ... but not a guaranteed cure. So if you have the cash and you're willing to risk ponying up for a placebo, I say why not? As long as you keep your doctor posted and don't turn down medical help for serious issues, there should be minimal risk. And if you're determined to ingest placenta, pill form has got to be more palatable than pan-fried.

Would you take placenta pills?

 

Image via Debs/Flickr

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postpartum recovery, breastfeeding