Human Maternal Placentophagy: A Survey of Self-Reported Motivations and Experiences Associated with Placenta Consumption

  title={Human Maternal Placentophagy: A Survey of Self-Reported Motivations and Experiences Associated with Placenta Consumption},
  author={Jodi Selander and Allison Cantor and Sharon M Young and Daniel C. Benyshek},
  journal={Ecology of Food and Nutrition},
  pages={115 - 93}
Maternal placentophagy, although widespread among mammals, is conspicuously absent among humans cross-culturally. Recently, however, advocates for the practice have claimed it provides human postpartum benefits. Despite increasing awareness about placentophagy, no systematic research has investigated the motivations or perceived effects of practitioners. We surveyed 189 females who had ingested their placenta and found the majority of these women reported perceived positive benefits and… 
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The present review explores research examining the effects of placentophagy in animals and humans and presents the theoretical assumptions behind placentaphagy and its effects and implications for future research are discussed.
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The health benefits and risks of placentophagy require further investigation of the retained contents of raw, cooked, and encapsulated placenta and its effects on the postpartum woman.
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The majority of women consumed their placentas in uncooked/encapsulated form and hoping to avoid postpartum depression, although no evidence currently exists to support this strategy.
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It is argued that placentophagy is practiced as a resistance to medicalisation as an assertion of control by the mother, whilst simultaneously being a medicalised phenomenon itself.
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There are still questions to be resolved, and more studies are needed to confirm or reject the data generated so far about placentophagia in humans and nonhuman mammals, and the way the placenta is prepared alters its components, and thus the desired effects.
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Afterbirth ingestion by nonhuman mammalian mothers has a number of benefits: (1) increasing the interaction between the mother and infant; (2) potentiating pregnancy-mediated analgesia in the
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This method of treating hypogalactia seems worth noting since the placenta preparation is easily obtained, has not so far been utilized and in the authors' experience is successful in the majority of women.
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