Human maternal placentophagy: a survey of self-reported motivations and experiences associated with placenta consumption

Ecol Food Nutr. 2013;52(2):93-115. doi: 10.1080/03670244.2012.719356.


Maternal placentophagy, although widespread among mammals, is conspicuously absent among humans cross-culturally. Recently, however, advocates for the practice have claimed it provides human postpartum benefits. Despite increasing awareness about placentophagy, no systematic research has investigated the motivations or perceived effects of practitioners. We surveyed 189 females who had ingested their placenta and found the majority of these women reported perceived positive benefits and indicated they would engage in placentophagy again after subsequent births. Further research is necessary to determine if the described benefits extend beyond those of placebo effects, or are skewed by the nature of the studied sample.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Data Collection
  • Eating*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Motivation*
  • Placenta*
  • Postnatal Care
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Pregnancy
  • Self Report