Full publication by Melissa Cole, IBCLC can be found HERE
Given the reality that there is little research when it comes to human placenta preparation and consumption, the ethical and legal issues around this topic must be explored further as well. Animal research has certainly shown that there are very real benefits for nonhuman mammalian placentophagy, especially when it comes to pain relief during/after labor and optimizing maternal– infant bonding (Apari & Rozsa, 2006; Kristal, 1980; Kristal et al., 2012). In addition, limited human research has shown some benefits, such as improved infant weight gain, increased supply in some cases, and overall maternal satisfaction with the practice. The possibilities for potential human applications regarding placenta ingestion certainly warrant a call for research. Although placenta medicine is still viewed as an obscure, fringe practice by many, some mothers are embracing it. As demand for this practice increases, researchers and healthcare professionals alike will have to invest more time and resources into studying human placentophagy so that we can better understand the clinical applications and risks versus benefits of this practice.