Many mothers out there tout the amazing health benefits of eating their placentas after giving birth, but they probably aren’t aware that it can also make their babies sick.
According to the CDC, an infant tested postive for a group B streptococcus infection last September not long after he was born. The bacterium can make anyone ill, but it affects newborns much more severely, potentially causing sepsis, pneumonia, and sometimes even meningitis.
While babies are most often infected by their mothers passing it on during labor and birth, experts don’t believe that’s what happened in this case…
…because after the baby boy was fully treated and released, he came back to the hospital five days later with the same infection. Doctors thought it might be the mother’s breast milk, but it tested negative. That’s when they realized she’d been taking placenta pills every day.
One method of eating placenta is to dehydrate it, then grind it up and pour the powder into capsules. When the mother’s dried placenta was sent to the CDC, it not only came back positive for the bacterium, but it was almost identical to the samples taken from the sick baby.
The doctors can’t say with complete certainty that the pills were to blame, as the baby could’ve been infected by another person close to him, but they do believe that’s the case. People at the CDC also think that whoever prepared the placenta didn’t heat it at high enough temperatures to kill the bacteria.