A New Mom Turned Her Placenta Into Chocolate Truffles. But Is That Safe?
A new mom from Georgia recently turned her placenta into chocolate truffles, and unsurprisingly, the Internet has some thoughts about it.
Kiley Whitworth, 23, gave birth to son Samuel earlier this week, and she enlisted a doula soon after to help turn her placenta into a chocolate dessert, reported the Daily Mail. Whitworth shared a video of the process on her Facebook page, which is also documented in the Daily Mail's video below (warning: it's graphic).
The process involves steaming and dehydrating the organ, which is then turned into a fine powder that's mixed with crushed Oreos. Like we said, not for the faint of heart.
The final result? "Yummy!" Whitworth said while taking a bite of the truffle in her snap.
The new mom's photos have polarized the Internet, with some commenters on her Facebook video writing that it's "gross," while others are saying it's a "natural" tradition with benefits.
Whitworth certainly isn't the first to eat her placenta, although it's more common for new moms who decide to make it a meal to consume it in pill form or blended in a smoothie. The practice has celeb fans, too, including A-listers like Kim Kardashian, January Jones, Alicia Silverstone, and Transparent actress Gaby Hoffman.
Why does the placenta have such a healthy rep? The placenta develops during pregnancy to deliver nutrients to the fetus through the umbilical cord, and proponents believe the nutrient- and hormone-rich organ can help boost a new mother's milk supply, increase energy, and even ward off postpartum depression.
Anecdotally, many moms have said that eating the placenta aided their recovery post-childbirth. After son Saint was born, for example, Kardashian wrote in a post on her website that she had "great results" from taking pills made out of her placenta and "felt so energized and didn't have any signs of depression."
Many experts caution against the practice, however. Health's contributing medical editor Dr. Raj previously told us that the process of steaming and dehydrating the organ most likely destroys any good-for-you hormones. And while scientific research on the subject is minimal, a recent review in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found no evidence that ingesting the placenta can lead to any body benefits.
There are risk to consider, too. Although it's unlikely, eating placenta could cause an infection, especially if it isn't handled correctly after childbirth. Take this case report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last summer: A baby developed a Streptococcus infection after the mother took placenta pills that tested positive for the bacteria, then passed the infection to the child.