A study has recently suggested that new mothers consuming placenta pills, following childbirth, will experience little to no effect on their post-partum mood, maternal bonding or fatigue.
According to researchers from the University Of Nevada, Las Vegas, ingesting placenta capsules produced small but detectable changes in hormone concentrations that show up in a mother's circulating hormone levels.
Lead author Dr Sharon Young said while the study did not provide firm support for or against the claims about the benefits of placentophagy, it did shed light on this much-debated topic by providing the first results from a clinical trial specifically testing the impact of placenta supplements on post-partum hormones, mood, and energy.
The team analysed 12 women who took placenta capsules and 15 who took placebo pills in the weeks after giving birth.
They tested the efficacy of placenta capsules in promoting various health benefits, including stemming the onset of post-partum 'baby blues' and depression of new mothers.
The team released a study showing that consuming encapsulated placentas was not as good of a source of iron as proponents had suggested.
Senior author Daniel Benyshek suggested that both advocates and skeptics alike may point to these new results.
The researchers stated that the study provided no clear evidence of placentophagy benefits compared to a placebo. It did show that the practice is capable of influencing maternal hormone levels and that could provide some kind of therapeutic effect.
More research is needed in order to explore these effects more fully.
The research appears in the Women and Birth journal.