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.
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?