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Posted July 8, 2017

CDC Warns Against Placenta Pills After Infant Becomes Sick

An infant in Oregon whose mother began taking capsules of dried placenta three days after giving birth was diagnosed with late-onset group B Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS) bacteremia, a strep infection which was linked to the placenta pill, according to a recently published report from the CDC. The infant developed signs of respiratory distress soon after birth, and was hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit and treated with antibiotics for eleven days before being released. Dried placenta in the capsules was found to be contaminated with GBS bacteria, which the doctor concluded were then passed from the mother to the infant.

The practice of consuming capsules containing dried placenta after the birth of a baby has increased in popularity over the last few years and is often promoted as remedy to increase milk production and energy, and stave off post-partum depression in new mothers. Mothers can request the release of their placenta after giving birth to companies which dry and encapsulate it for consumption.

However, the CDC report pointed out that there are no existing standards for processing placenta for consumption, and its suspected that the placenta was not heated sufficiently to kill the GBS bacteria. It warned there is a lack of scientific evidence to support any physical or psychological benefits from taking placenta capsules and advised it be avoided. 

To read the CDC report, use the link below.