Purpose: Placentophagy (maternal consumption of the placenta) has become increasingly prevalent in the past decade among women seeking to promote health and healing during the postpartum period. The purpose of this study was to assess patient and provider familiarity with and attitudes toward placentophagy, as well as patients' willingness to try placentophagy. Methods: Two cross-sectional surveys with questions regarding placentophagy practice were distributed to healthcare providers and patients. The provider survey was distributed via email listservers to international perinatal professional organizations and to obstetrics and gynecology, nurse midwifery, family medicine, and psychiatry departments at three urban hospitals. Patient surveys were administered in person at an urban hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Results: Approximately two thirds (66%; n = 100) of patients and most (89%; n = 161) of providers were familiar with placentophagy. Patients with a history of a self-reported mental health disorder were more likely to be willing to consider placentophagy and to believe that healthcare providers should discuss it with their patients. Conclusions: Most providers and patients have heard of placentophagy but are unsure of its benefits and/or risks. Further research examining the potential therapeutic efficacy and/or risks of placentophagy is needed.
- mental health
- women's health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine