A report released by the Centre for Disease Control has described the horrifying case study.
The baby was born happy and healthy but caused serious worry when its health began to rapidly decline in the weeks following birth, reports the Washington Post.
In hospital the baby was diagnosed with treptococcus agalactiae bacteremia (GBS), a deadly blood infection. Luckily, after an 11-day course of antibiotics the little one began to recover.
Not long after being released, however, the baby succumbed to the infection again - and the cause was finally discovered.
The baby’s mum had been taking capsules filled with the dried and powdered remains of her placenta.
Consuming the placenta has become an increasingly common practice among mums. Celebs like January Jones and Kim Kardashian West have done it, citing such benefits as the prevention of post part depression, increase breastmilk production, ‘level-off’ hormones, ease insomnia, and raise energy levels.
There is no clinical evidence to support these health claims, and in the case of this mum, it was incredibly dangerous.
Researchers from the CDC tested the capsules and confirmed the presence of GBS, which was being transmitted to the baby through mum’s breastmilk. She had been taking two capsules, three times a day.
The capsules were prepared by a private company, which the CDC warns had no standard practice for safe consumption.
‘The placenta encapsulation process does not per se eradicate infectious pathogens; thus, placenta capsule ingestion should be avoided’ the report states.