As Teen Mom fans know, Kailyn Lowry is eating her placenta following the birth of her new baby, Lincoln -- just like she planned. Please banish any images of Kailyn feasting on fresh placenta with fork and knife, though. She posted a photo of "pills" made from her placenta last week. So no gross placenta smoothies for her! I'm wondering if they've turned her into a superhero yet. I guess not -- but at least they're not making her sick. Over the weekend Kailyn tweeted, "For those wondering, I'm feeling pretty good so far taking my placenta pills. No negative side effects!"
Negative side effects? I didn't even know that was something you had to worry about if you're eating your placenta. But it is. Despite the amazing health benefits, there is a small chance you could feel ill after eating placenta.
More from The Stir: Placenta Pills Get Thumbs-Down From Doctors
The thing is, doctors don't know very much about consuming placenta aside from anecdotal evidence. (Important aside: Anecdotal evidence, e.g. "all my friends did it and can tell you it totally worked for them," does not hold water in the scientific community. Ditto for "the wisdom of centuries of motherhood." Sorry.) MUCH more research needs to be done. While the overwhelming majority of women report either positive or at least neutral results, a few have had side effects ranging from headaches to nausea.
One new mom who had pills made by a "so-called celebrity placenta processor" who combined her placenta with "cleansing herbs" says she regrets eating her placenta:
But in my case, it was a terrible idea. Shortly after my first dose of two pills, I felt jittery and weird. By the next day, after just eight placenta pills, I was in tabloid-worthy meltdown mode, a frightening phase filled with tears and rage. This lasted another couple of awful days before my husband suggested that it wasn’t postpartum mommy madness finally making its appearance, but the hormone-and-goodness-knows-what-else-filled placenta pills.
Her symptoms ended as soon as she stopped taking the pills. But was it the placenta that caused her illness, or the "cleansing herbs," or the processing itself? We just don't know, and that's the problem.
In a recent study of 189 women who consumed their placentas, 96 said they had a "positive" or "very positive" experience. But this is just one tiny study. We need research with much larger groups to show us what the most likely benefits and side-effects of consuming placenta are -- and soon. This is a practice more and more new moms are trying out ahead of the research. Doctors better catch up.
Did you know there are possible side-effects to eating your placenta?
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