What is placentophagia?
The act of eating the placenta after childbirth is known by the name of placentophagia.
The placenta contains small amounts of oxytocin, which relieves stress and causes the muscles of the mammary cells to contract to remove milk, and prostaglandins, which stimulate the involution of the uterus.
Placentophagy is practiced by most placental mammals and is also spreading to humans, especially in Europe and the United States.
Some experts say that the placenta has no nutritional properties once it has been removed from the uterus. However, others think that it is not so unreasonable to think that eating the placenta is beneficial, since the rest of the mammals do it. There are no scientific studies to support its consumption. For this reason, attempts have been made to curb this practice.
Many women have not had prenatal care, so they may not have been tested for hepatitis or HIV either. On the other hand, the placenta can be contaminated by viruses and bacteria when it is expelled, so it can cause infections if consumed.
A ruling ensures that it may contain the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, present in the vagina of 10% of women. However, the companies that market them assure that they are safe since the placenta is frozen after birth and that the patient's history is always reviewed.