Jason Biggs ate his wife’s placenta for no good reason, experts say.
A growing number of mothers have recently been choosing to ingest their own placentas – either dried, ground and encapsulated, or in smoothie – after giving birth. The practice has been the subject of widespread controversy.
In June 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning that linked a mother’s consumption of the placenta to her baby’s infection.
Many still contend that the practice has health benefits for mothers. But experts on both sides say that eating the placenta has, at best, no benefits for men.
Jason Biggs and his wife Jenny Mollen announced via Instagram that they both planned to eat her placenta after their second child, Lazlo was born on Monday. The CDC has warned against the practice, and there are no reported benefits to it for men
Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and January Jones swear that their placenta pills give them energy and boost their moods. Girls actress Gaby Hoffman told People her recipe for a raw placenta smoothie.
Now, celebrity dads may be jumping on the bandwagon too.
Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen announced that they were both planning to eat her placenta as soon as they got home with their newborn son, Lazlo, on Monday. Biggs said he was ‘excited to try it,’ through Mollen’s Instagram.
‘Eating is not really accurate for most people,’ says Certified Practicing Midwife (CPM) Claudia Booker. ‘It’s often an inflammatory term.’
There’s absolutely no value for a dad to placenta medicine…I don’t know what dads are doing with placentas
Claudia Booker, midwife, placenta capsule-maker
Booker has been doing ‘placenta medicine’ for more than 10 years. She says that most of her clients ingest the placenta in capsule form, though rare exceptions eat it raw, in a smoothie.
She says that eating the placenta encourages a mother’s body to produce red blood cells, prolactin – a hormone involved in breast milk production – and other hormones that will help a woman stave off the ‘baby blues.’
‘We in America started to ingest our own placentas because there are people that have the idea that it basically helps you return to your body after going through the deep experience of having your baby.’
Placenta ingestion, Booker claims, helps to ‘modify the decline in certain hormones, so a person doesn’t experience a huge drop in hormones, and [instead] add more of what we consider the baby boost.’
On the other hand, ‘there’s absolutely no value for a dad to placenta medicine,’ she says, ‘absolutely none.’
‘I don’t know what dads are doing with placentas, I don’t know any dad that’s ever ingested it.’
While there are plenty of articles, personal accounts, arguments and recipes for ingesting the placenta, the CDC noted somberly that scientific evidence for the benefits of the practice is ‘lacking’ in a June 2017 morbidity and mortality report.
Mollen’s Instagram account posted a picture of Biggs waiting for the delivery of his second son, Lazlo. He reportedly also said of eating placenta that he was ‘excited to try it’
The warning came as part of a report exploring a case in which a baby that was treated for a sepsis-causing blood infection immediately after birth in Oregon was treated, discharged and then readmitted to the hospital days later for the same infection.
The infection was caused by a bacteria, called Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS), that colonizes in a few places in the human body, including the vagina. It exists in the human body without causing problems, but it can cause life-threatening blood infections in newborns.
The baby had taken a complete course of treatment for GBS, and the mother’s breast milk tested negative for the bacteria. Then, she told her doctor about her placenta pills.
The pills were tested, and found to contain an identical strain of GBS. The CDC concluded that the mother’s ingestion of the pills allowed the bacteria to be transferred to her baby, likely through her skin.
Jenny Mollen and Jason Biggs walked the red carpet for Animal Haven’s 50th Anniversary Party in June 2017, months before the birth of their second child, Lazlo, on Monday
There are no standards or regulations for methods to prepare placenta pills, much less how new parents decide to ingest them at home.
Booker says that for mothers, ‘because it’s ingested immediately after coming out of body, I don’t think there are any additional risks. Any bacteria in the placenta is already in your system.’
But, ‘your placenta capsules would probably be of no benefit for anybody but you,’ she says.
‘Since men don’t make prolactin any way…I don’t quite no where to start.’
‘Men do have estrogen, but not in the levels that we do, so I don’t know what value it would be to ingest placenta capsules not made just for a woman, but for each particular woman,’ the midwife says.
Dr Genevieve Buser, lead author on the CDC’s study on the link between GBS and placenta pills told Daily Mail Online via email that ‘there is no research on benefits [of placenta ingestion for men].’
‘Potential drawbacks can only be hypothesized, e.g., the risks of consuming human tissue.’