placentophagy

(redirected from Placentophagia)
Eating of the placenta after giving birth
Comparative zoology Most placental mammals, including herbivores, have eaten their own placentas, including Insectivora, Rodentia, Chiroptera, Lagomorpha, Carnivora, Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, and Primates.
The benefit is attributed to a poorly characterised substance called Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF), which is allegedly found in placenta and amniotic fluid and said to modifiy endogenous opioid activity, and reduce post-partum pain
Ethnomedicine The practice of eating the placenta post delivery. While it is not a common practice, a fringe group of advocates claim it reduces post-partum depression and improves nutrition.

placentophagy

Ethnomedicine The practice of eating the placenta post delivery. Cf Cannibalism, Pica.
References in periodicals archive ?
Alternative birthing practices, such as water births, placentophagia, and lotus births, are making news and gaining popularity.
Proponents of placentophagia claim health benefits of this practice, including improved mood and energy, and increased breast milk production.
Other women claim placentophagia (eating placenta) will put off post-natal depression.
Mark Kristal, PhD, professor of psychology and neuroscience at UB, directs the graduate program in behavioural neuroscience, and has studied placentophagia for more than 40 years.
He stated ingested afterbirth may contain components that ameliorate these problems, but although there have been many anecdotal claims made for human placentophagia, the issue has not been tested empirically.
My own studies found no evidence of the routine practice of placentophagia in other cultures, findings supported by a recent extensive study by anthropologists at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
"The more challenging anthropological question is," he said, 'Why don't humans engage in placentophagia as a biological imperative as so many other mammals apparently do?' because we clearly do not do this as a matter of course today and apparently never have.