The Conspicuous Absence of Placenta Consumption in Human Postpartum Females: The Fire Hypothesis

@article{Young2012TheCA,
  title={The Conspicuous Absence of Placenta Consumption in Human Postpartum Females: The Fire Hypothesis},
  author={Sharon M Young and D. Benyshek and P. Li{\'e}nard},
  journal={Ecology of Food and Nutrition},
  year={2012},
  volume={51},
  pages={198 - 217}
}
The absence of human placentophagy, the maternal consumption of the afterbirth, is puzzling given its ubiquity and probable adaptive value in other mammals. We propose that human fire use may have led to placentophagy avoidance in our species. In our environment of evolutionary adaptedness, gravid women would likely have been regularly exposed to smoke and ash, which is known to contain harmful substances. Because the placenta filters some toxicants which then accumulate there across pregnancy… Expand
Placentophagia in Humans and Nonhuman Mammals: Causes and Consequences
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 theExpand
Consumption of Maternal Placenta in Humans and Nonhuman Mammals: Beneficial and Adverse Effects
TLDR
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. Expand
Differences in placentophagia in relation to reproductive status in the California mouse (Peromyscus californicus).
TLDR
It is suggested that propensity to eat placenta increases with maternal/birthing experience in females, and with paternal experience and/or cohabitation with a pregnant female in males. Expand
Human placentophagy: a review
TLDR
It is found that there is no scientific evidence of any clinical benefit of placentophagy among humans, and no placental nutrients and hormones are retained in sufficient amounts after placenta encapsulation to be potentially helpful to the mother postpartum. Expand
Consumption of the Placenta in the Postpartum Period.
  • E. Hayes
  • Medicine
  • Journal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing : JOGNN
  • 2016
TLDR
Postpartum women are consuming their placentas to achieve claimed health benefits, including improved mood, energy, and lactation, and women's health care providers should be aware of this practice to help women make informed decisions. Expand
Placenta –Worth Trying? Human Maternal Placentophagia: Possible Benefit and Potential Risks Mutterkuchen – mal versuchen? Humane maternale Plazentophagie: möglicher Nutzen und potenzielle Risiken
The use of placenta preparations as an individual puerperal remedy can be traced back to historical, traditional practices in Western and Asian medicine. To evaluate the ingestion of processedExpand
Placentophagy: therapeutic miracle or myth?
TLDR
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. Expand
Comparative primate obstetrics: Observations of 15 diurnal births in wild gelada monkeys (Theropithecus gelada) and their implications for understanding human and nonhuman primate birth evolution.
TLDR
The results suggest that prior maternal experience may contribute to greater competence or efficiency during the birth process, and face presentations appear to be the norm for geladas. Expand
Placenta – Worth Trying? Human Maternal Placentophagy: Possible Benefit and Potential Risks
TLDR
The use of placenta preparations as an individual puerperal remedy can be traced back to historical, traditional practices in Western and Asian medicine and the potential risks and benefit of such a practice are discussed. Expand
Fire in the Plio-Pleistocene: the functions of hominin fire use, and the mechanistic, developmental and evolutionary consequences.
TLDR
Fire used for cooking could have extended the range of foods hominins were able to consume, and reduced digestion costs, and may have contributed to the expansion of the hominin brain and facial anatomy, influenced by a higher quality cooked diet. Expand
...
1
2
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 143 REFERENCES
In Search of Human Placentophagy: A Cross-Cultural Survey of Human Placenta Consumption, Disposal Practices, and Cultural Beliefs
TLDR
A cross-cultural survey of 179 human societies regarding the consumption, treatment, and disposal of human placenta, in addition to accompanying cultural beliefs and perceptions about the organ, raises interesting questions about its ubiquitous presence among nearly all other mammals. Expand
Placentophagia: A biobehavioral enigma (or De gustibus non disputandum est)
  • Mark B. Kristal
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
  • 1980
TLDR
Consequences of the behavior are considered, such as the possibility of beneficial effects on maternal behavior or reproductive competence, on protection against predators, and on immunological protection afforded either the mother or the young. Expand
Deal in the womb: fetal opiates, parent-offspring conflict, and the future of midwifery.
TLDR
Whatever the molecular mechanism of fetal manipulation is, widespread and intense medical care affects the present and future evolution of mother-foetus conflict in the human species (and also in domestic animals) to increase 'fetal aggressiveness' and thus technology-dependency of reproduction. Expand
The birth of a wild mountain gorilla (Gorilla gorilla beringei)
TLDR
The mother, a multiparous female, gave no observable indication that birth was imminent, and delivered her infant quickly and easily, and by two hours postpartum had established ventro-ventral contact and, possibly, nursing. Expand
Yellow baboon labor and parturition at the Tana River National Primate Reserve, Kenya
TLDR
A review of the literature on feral births suggests that selection may have favored both the timing and the location of births. Expand
Reproduction in female South American camelids: A review and clinical observations☆
TLDR
The follicular wave patterns in non-mated and mated females, mechanisms of ovulation and corpus luteum development as well as fertilisation and pregnancy, and endocrinology of follicle growth, pregnancy, parturition and the post-partum period are described. Expand
Parturition in Wild Gorillas: Behaviour of Mothers, Neonates, and Others
TLDR
Two gorilla births observed in the wild are described, with several similarities between the two parturitions, and the importance of housing females and their neonates with conspecifics is stressed, related to the captive management of gorillas in zoos. Expand
Observation of parturition in the Mexican mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) on the Island of Agaltepec, Veracruz State, Mexico.
We observed a birth in a group of Mexican mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) living under semi-free-ranging conditions on Agaltepec Island, Catemaco, Veracruz, Mexico. Although we could notExpand
Notes on pregnancy, delivery, and infant survival in captive squirrel monkeys
TLDR
Observations of sexual behavior suggest a gestation period of 24 to 26 weeks which confirms former estimations and attempts to provide the monkeys with sufficient protein and to eliminate accidents are discussed. Expand
Parturition and perinatal behaviour in captive cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus)
TLDR
One primipara rejected her second-born infant, but all other parents showed competent parental behaviour from birth onwards; the results are compared to data from other primates, and their relevance to the successful breeding of this species is discussed. Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...