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J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2019 Sep;41(9):1330-1337. doi: 10.1016/j.jogc.2019.02.004. Epub 2019 May 2.

A Matched Cohort Study of Postpartum Placentophagy in Women With a History of Mood Disorders: No Evidence for Impact on Mood, Energy, Vitamin B12 Levels, or Lactation.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC; Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.
2
Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.
3
Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC; Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. Electronic address: jehannine.austin@ubc.ca.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Although empirical studies investigating its effects are scarce, postpartum placentophagy is increasing in popularity because of purported benefits on mood, energy, lactation, and overall nutrition. Therefore, this study sought to test the hypotheses that women who consumed their placenta (placentophagy exposed [PE]) would have (1) fewer depressive symptoms, (2) more energy, (3) higher vitamin B12 levels, and (4) less pharmaceutical lactation support during the postpartum than women who did not consume their placenta (non-placentophagy exposed [NE]).

METHODS:

Using data from a large, longitudinal study of gene × environment effects involving perinatal women with a history of mood disorders, the study investigators identified a PE cohort and matched them 4:1 (by psychiatric diagnosis, psychotropic medication use, supplementation, income, and age) with an NE cohort from the same dataset. The study investigated differences between the PE and NE cohorts with respect to scores on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and Sleep-Wake Activity Inventory, vitamin B12 levels, and the use of pharmaceutical lactation support (Canadian Taskforce Classification II-2).

RESULTS:

The sample of 138 women (28 in the PE cohort, matched to 110 in the NE cohort) provided 80% power at α = 0.0125 to detect an effect of moderate magnitude (which can be used to approximate an effect of clinically significant magnitude).There were no differences in Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scaleor Sleep-Wake Activity Inventory scales (P = 0.28 and P = 0.39, respectively), vitamin B12 levels (P = 0.68), or domperidone use (P = 1) between the PE and NE cohorts.

CONCLUSION:

These data provide no support for the idea that postpartum placentophagy improves mood, energy, lactation, or plasma vitamin B12 levels in women with a history of mood disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Placentophagy; lactation; placenta; postpartum depression; postpartum energy; vitamin B(12)

PMID:
31056278
DOI:
10.1016/j.jogc.2019.02.004

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