Coleen Rooney has announced that she is eating her own placenta in the form of pills after the birth of her new baby son Kit. But is it really good for you? Here’s what the experts say
Coleen Rooney has admitted on Twitter that she is eating her own placenta in the form of pills she’s made from it.
Yesterday, footballer Wayne Rooney’s wife posted a picture on her Twitter of her Placenta Plus capsules, which have been made from Coleen’s placenta after she gave birth to new baby son Kit on Sunday.
The pills come from a Liverpool based company called Placenta Plus, where a ‘placenta encapsulation specialist’ converts a mother’s placenta in capsules. They claim that it helps ‘mothers recover from birth with the most natural remedy around’.
Eating your own placenta is now available as placenta pills, and celebrities such as Alicia Silverstone, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian have admitted they’ve done it too.
The claim is that it helps mothers recover from birth with the most natural remedy around
To have Placenta Plus convert your placenta into capsules can set you back by £200. They claim the benefits include ‘a quick healthy milk supply, prevent post-natal depression, and balances hormones’.
But what do the experts say? Healthista spoke to Dr Gabrielle Downey (gabrielledowney.co.uk), consultant gynaecologist at BMI Hospital and Sutton Medical Centre, Birmingham. Dr. Downey says: ‘placenta contains protein and iron and in fact, has a super-rich blood supply’.
In fact, placenta can help to replace the iron in your blood. ‘You lose blood at delivery and the placenta acts as a natural replacement of iron,’ says Dr Downey.
it will do no harm because anything in the placenta has already come from the mother
So are there dangers? ‘Eating placenta won’t do you any harm, because anything in the placenta has already come from the mother,’ she explains.
Is there anyone that shouldn’t eat their own placenta, then? ‘If the mother has a temperature, or fast heart rate, it could be a sign she has an infection in which case eating the placenta wouldn’t be helpful,’ advises Dr Downey. ‘If you have an infection in the membranes of the placenta it could make the infection worse.’
In fact, Dr. Downey has had many patients that have eaten their own placentas, often. ‘When I was working at Queen Charlotte’s hospital in Chelsea, London, we often had patients taking it home in a bag to fry it up and consume it.’
So what does it taste like? ‘A bit like liver.’ Hmmm, we’ll take her word for it.
it tastes like liver
But Azmina Govindji, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association (BDA) wrote in a blog post says there’s no real proof of the benefits – or the dangers. ‘There was nothing in the research that pointed to [eating your own placenta] being good for you – but there was none that confirmed it was harmful either’.
there was nothing in the research that pointed to this being good for you
Still, she does admit placenta contains important nutrients for the mum. ‘The placenta is rich in protein, vitamin B12 and iron but you can get these nutrients from red meat and liver,’ explains Govindji.
As for the science, it seems there’s no real proof that eating your own placenta has any benefits. A study published in June 2015, in the Archives of Women’s Health analysed the results of 10 previous research papers looking at the benefits of eating your own placenta and concluded that there’s no evidence showing that it will offer any benefits.
Royal College of Midwives director for midwifery Louise Silverton commented that because of the lack of evidence regarding the benefits of eating the placenta ‘there may be potential dangers in doing so and it must be the woman’s choice if she chooses to do so.’
But if you’re going down the fresh route rather than opting for pills like Coleen, be aware that it has a shelf life, says Silverton. ‘Women should be aware that like any foodstuff, placentas can go off, so care will be needed about how they are stored.
‘If a woman is intending to do this, they should discuss it with their midwife ahead of their birth so arrangements can be made to ensure she gets her placenta.’
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