During an interview on Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy Podcast last month, Twilight actress Nikki Reed revealed that her husband, The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder, drunkenly threw away all of her birth control pills — and that that was the moment they knew they were ready to have kids.
While Reed has since defended the moment as "a funny interview between married people," their story incited controversy from many who see it as an invasion of her privacy and violation of trust. Reproductive coercion like this, many people pointed out, is a form of abuse.
Placenta pills are made from the organ expelled from a pregnant person's body after they give birth, which provides oxygen and nutrients to a fetus. The placenta is dried, ground up, and put into capsules that the new parent then takes daily for about three months — Reed just reached the end of her placenta supply, and as her face shows, she's not psyched.
The process of consuming placenta after giving birth has become more popular in recent years, thanks to high profile celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Blac Chyna touting its ability to help stave off postpartum depression and increase breastmilk production. The general consensus from health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though, is: Please don't do this.
Although many people have defended Reed's decision to eat her placenta in the comments on her post, some commenters have encouraged others not to follow in the star's footsteps. They point to a 2016 CDC case study in which a baby's bacterial infection was linked to his mom's placenta pills.
"Of course everyone has the right to make their own choices and if it does have a positive effect even if placebo, great. BUT there is a reason why these things need to be critically analyzed and not just accepted with little clinical evidence," one person wrote. "I'm studying in medical school and while I strongly support patients' rights in their decisions, it's also important to illuminate the lack of evidence behind certain natural remedies... All I'm asking is for people to have a critical eye and it doesn't help when celebrities endorse things without proper research."
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about kids right now or not, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
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