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Placentophagy among women planning community births in the United States: Frequency, rationale, and associated neonatal outcomes

During this break out session, Cheyney will begin with a comparative overview of mammalian placentophagy and the body of evolutionary theory that has been proposed to explain the why of this immediate postpartum behavior. The emphasis here will be on non-human primates. During the introductory section, we will also describe cross-cultural behaviors and theories that have been proposed to explain why placentophagy is so much less common among humans relative to other mammals. We will complete the first section of this presentation with a review of the work being done on placentophagy in the United States at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Next, presenters will describe key findings from the MANA Stats Placentophagy Descriptive Study. This will include a discussion of: 1) Who consumes?: Regional patterns of consumption; 2) Why consume?: Primary reasons for consuming; and 3) How consumed?: Methods of preparation. Following this sneak preview of pre-publication findings, we will provide an overview of the most recent work on the placentophagy and postpartum depression (PPD) prevention hypothesis. Here will we describe the research design for the exciting new Placentophagy and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) MANA Stats Research Module. This section will include a review of the challenges and benefits of participating in this study module as reported by current MANA Stats contributors, along with a look at some preliminary findings. We will conclude this break-out session with time for group discussion about future directions for this project and a Q&A.

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