he eldest Kardashian sister, 44, who welcomed her new son Rocky with her Blink-182 star husband Travis Barker, 48, in November, has revealed via an Instagram story that she is taking pills made from her placenta. The reality TV star shared a post with her 224 million Instagram followers of her perfectly manicured hand holding grey pills which have encapsulated the star's placenta after giving birth.
The placenta pill company claims that they are a game changer in battling post-partum depression. On her story, Kourtney wrote a list of reasons she is choosing to take the pills. She listed various vitamins found in the placenta and their benefits for the body including iron to "combat anemia" and "increase energy", as well as phosphorus which she claims "aids digestion, hormone balance, cell repair, and nutrient utilisation".
The mother-of-four, who took similar pills in her past pregnancies, also listed hormones found in the pills like estrogen and progesterone which she said "contribute to mammary gland development" i.e. to help lactation for breast-feeding, prolactin which she wrote "increases milk supply and enhances the motherly instinct", as well as oxytocin which she said "counteracts the production of stress hormones like cortisol" and "greatly reduces postpartum bleeding".
The Lemme brand owner went on to tell fans that her placenta pills help to "regulate the thyroid gland", "trigger the protective defences of the immune system to fight infection", and "enhance healing" after giving birth.
Though the Poosh creator listed many health benefits to taking placenta pills, they aren't for every mother. The US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning around placenta pills following a case where a newborn baby developed group B streptococcus after the mother took placenta pills containing group B strep and breastfed her newborn.
There is debate around whether placenta pills are safe. It has been said that if not properly stored, placenta pills can harbour dangerous bacteria. Research has also shown that consumption of the placenta can expose the mother to environmental toxins that accumulate in the placenta during pregnancy, even if the pills are prepared in a safe manner.
Dr Sarah Jenkins exclusively tells us why we should be wary of placenta pills. "On review of the literature about the benefits of consuming your placenta- Human Placentophagy, there is no evidence to say this practice is beneficial," Dr Sarah says. "In the UK we screen all pregnant women for strep B and treat both newborns and women in hospital with IV antibiotics immediately after birth, as we consider this a very severe infection which is known to kill if not treated postpartum."
The doctor continues: "We have no evidence to say this practice of placenta pills is safe or effective, it has not been studied in comparison with anything else, e.g. a placebo or a multivitamin. The process of making the placenta pills is completely unregulated."
Opting to take a placenta pill runs in the Kardashian family. Kourtney's younger sister Kim, 43, also chose to take similar pills after her second child Saint, now seven, saying at the time: "I can't go wrong with taking a pill made of my own hormones — made by me, for me. I started researching and read about so many moms who felt this same way and said the overall healing process was much easier."
It is not just the Kardashians consuming their placentas in pill form. Clueless star Alicia Silverstone called them her "happy pills" on Live! With Kelly and Michael, whilst model Chrissy Teigen who is married to The Voice coach John Legend has said it's totally normal in Los Angeles and even joked with CBS News' Rita Braver saying: "They grill it here…You can try some of mine after."
Kourtney is no stranger to a controversial move when it comes to motherhood. She has been open about her choice to apply an attachment parenting style (that is, maintaining physical and emotional closeness to your child) as she feels it helps her bond with her children. This even includes allowing her children to sleep in her bed.
Whilst the new mother has given the method rave reviews, some have said that it can cause an overly dependent child and a stressed parent. Sister Kim has said she opts for a different approach with her four children, and reflected on Kourtney's approach saying on Hulu's The Kardashians: "I feel that way, but with a little bit of tough love in there too, and a little bit of frazzled, '[expletive]! What the [expletive] is going on?! Get the [expletive] over here!’ energy also."