Placenta made into capsules
Mothers are turning to a South Canterbury woman who transforms their placentas into capsules, a trend that is growing nationally.
Timaru mother of two Kirsty Ren has established her own business, "encapsulating" women's placentas after the birth of their babies for them to consume later.
Women send their placentas to Mrs Ren for her to dry, grind down to powder and put in capsules. Mrs Ren returns the capsules to their owner and sterilises the equipment for her next customer.
She works on only one placenta at a time to avoid it being returned to the wrong woman.
The initiative is one that has taken off, with Mrs Ren now employing six other people to help her meet demands in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Dunedin and Wellington. She alone has an average of four customers a month.
Mrs Ren, who moved to Timaru from Ashburton earlier this year, said demand in South Canterbury was also growing. "I didn't expect it to get as big as it got," she said of her business venture.
"I was just doing it to help a few people."
Mrs Ren found out about turning placentas into pills after the birth of her first child. She made her discovery through friends on Facebook, who were aware of the practice in America and Canada, but by then it was too late to reap the presumed benefits from her first-born. However, she was well prepared for her second pregnancy after buying a dehydrator and capsule machine.
"I joined a group of about 400 placenta ladies from all around the world and learned from them about how to do it."
She believes consuming placenta increases energy and milk supply and helps prevent post-natal depression - benefits she measures against both her pregnancies.
However, her initial reaction was "ugh" when told about mothers eating their placenta.
She said mothers who say they would do "anything" to overcome their post-natal issues are now turning to her for help.
"This is that ‘anything'."
The Timaru Herald