Would you take a pill made out of your own placenta Midwife sells babies' afterbirth back to new mothers
An independent placenta specialist is ‘harvesting’ women’s afterbirths and turning them into health-boosting capsules for new mothers.
Midwife Caroline Baddiley says demand for her service has trebled since the concept was recently shown on Channel 4’s How to be a Good Mother.
Among the benefits of new mums consuming their placenta are that it increases milk production, boosts iron and reduces the chances of post natal depression.
Caroline Baddiley, pictured after slicing the collected placenta into small parts, says consuming afterbirth increases milk production, boosts iron and reduces the chances of post natal depression
Mrs Baddiley, 62, begins to process of turning the afterbirth into a jar of pills by collecting it from the mother within hours of her giving birth.
Mrs Baddiley, a vegetarian, takes it home where she steams it in her kitchen for 20 minutes, then slices it into small parts before putting it into a food dehydrator for 12 hours.
After that she uses a coffee grinder to turn it into a fine powder which is then put into capsules using a special machine.
Mrs Baddiley, from Poole, Dorset, usually produces between 90 to 120 pills per jar, depending on the size of the placenta.
Mothers, who pay 175 for the service,
are advised to take two or three pills a day for the first four to six
weeks and then as and when after that
Mothers, who pay 175 for the service, are advised to take two or three pills a day for the first four to six weeks and then as and when after that.
Some women are saving some of their pills for the menopause, as the placenta is said to be a rich source of natural hormones.
Mrs Baddiley, who has been a midwife for 18 years, has had to pass strict food hygiene tests for her new business.
She said: 'I’ve had a steady trickle of customers but my business has trebled since the Channel 4 show two weeks ago.
'The benefits for the mother if they consume the placenta is well documented.
Baddiley takes the afterbirth home and steams it in her kitchen for 20 minutes, then slices it into
small parts before putting it into a food dehydrator for 12 hours
'Women report that it increases their milk production, reduces post natal depression, increases their sense of well-being and improves iron levels.
'Taking it in capsule form is certainly more appealing and palatable than the alternative. It takes away the yuck effect for some people.
'My customers don’t have to handle it or smell or or taste it at all. It is just a case of knocking back a pill.
She added: 'Mothers-to-be sign an agreement with me and as soon as they give birth, their husbands call me and I go and collect the placenta.
'I bring it home and cook it for 20 minutes in a steamer. It is then sliced up and put in a food dehydrator for 12 hours and then ground in a coffee grinder to a fine powder.
'I use a machine to put the powder into the capsule and they then go in a jar and are delivered by post to the mother.
'The capsules look like a herbal remedy. A large placenta will make 90 to 120 capsules.'
In the wild, mammals bite through the umbilical cord and eat the
placenta straight after the birth.
In Chinese medicine, the placenta is known as a great life force
and is highly respected in terms of its medicinal value. It is not
cooked, but usually dried.
TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall caused widespread revulsion 14 years ago when he fried a placenta with shallots and garlic for a Channel 4 programme and turned it into pate for a party to celebrate the baby’s arrival.
The placenta pill was the brainchild of American Lynnea Shrief who formed the Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network (IPEN) two years ago.
Mrs Baddiley is a practitioner for IPEN and is based in Poole.