“Ni tamu sana!” – Woman narrates cooking and eating Aunt’s placenta after birth

A woman named Baby mofo caused a stir on Twitter recently when she shared an unconventional culinary experience. She openly admitted to cooking and consuming her aunt’s placenta after she gave birth, even going so far as to post pictures of the placenta before and after it was cooked. Encouraging her followers to try this new delicacy, she claimed that it was both delicious and highly nutritious.

Unsurprisingly, this revelation sparked a mixed response among netizens. Some acknowledged that eating the placenta is a practice that exists, while others considered it taboo and repulsive. The Twitter reactions ranged from disbelief and disgust to humorous remarks and even pleas for divine intervention.

The question arises: is consuming one’s placenta a good idea? Proponents argue that doing so can improve sleep, aid in weight loss, enhance breast milk production, and promote a positive mood. However, no Kenyan woman has publicly come forward to validate these claims or cite any other benefits from consuming placenta.

The trend of mothers consuming their placentas has given rise to new businesses. For instance, Kathryn Beale, a British woman, spearheaded a venture specializing in blending fresh placenta into high-quality smoothies and producing ground versions encapsulated in capsules.

However, a study published in the Archives of Women’s Mental Health in June of this year revealed that eating placenta after birth does not prevent depression or increase energy levels in new mothers. While the placenta does contain protein and fats, these nutrients can also be obtained through a healthy diet.

Dr. Elly Odongo, the former chairperson of the Kenya Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society (KOGS), expressed his belief that the practice of consuming placentas is more rooted in cultural beliefs than scientific evidence. Some communities request to take their placentas home, driven by superstitions that associate ownership of the placenta with family continuity.

Dr. Odongo explains that the placenta’s primary function is to sustain the pregnancy until the baby is born after nine months. It produces various hormones, including estrogen, which suppresses the production of prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production. In other words, the placenta actually works against milk production, contradicting the claim that consuming it can increase milk supply.

Regarding postnatal depression, Dr. Odongo states that there is no scientific evidence to support or refute the notion that the placenta offers any remedies. He considers it speculative, although he acknowledges the potential for future scientific discoveries. Currently, anyone consuming placenta would be doing so for reasons unknown to medical science.