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Consumption of the Placenta in the Postpartum Period

      Abstract

      Postpartum women are consuming their placentas to achieve claimed health benefits, including improved mood, energy, and lactation. Strong scientific evidence to substantiate these claims is lacking. Self-reported benefits from some women include improved mood and lactation; animal models suggest there may be an analgesic effect. Possible risks include infection, thromboembolism from estrogens in placental tissue, and accumulation of environmental toxins. Women’s health care providers should be aware of this practice to help women make informed decisions.

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      Biography

      Emily Hart Hayes, DNP, CNM, WHNP, is a midwife fellow at BirthCare HealthCare Midwifery and Women's Health Faculty Practice, University of Utah College of Nursing, Salt Lake City, UT.