A mother-of-two who drank her placenta after birth has quit her job to kick start her new placenta smoothie business.
Nikki Welling, 34, from Thetford, Norwich, quit her job as an actress to help new mothers feel ‘energised’ by collecting their placenta and blending it into a smoothie or capsule.
Nikki suffered with post-natal depression with her first-born Jensen, six, and was desperate to feel good when she discovered she was pregnant for a second time with Hudson, four, in 2014.
She was willing to give anything a go to avoid ‘baby blues’ even if it meant drinking her own placenta.
Nikki Welling, 34, from Thetford, Norwich, quit her job as a commercial actress to help new mothers feel ‘energised’ by collecting their placenta and blending it into a smoothie or capsule. Pictured: Nikki drinking her placenta after the birth of her second son
Nikki, pictured with her second son Hudson after his birth four years ago, said that drinking her placenta helped her feel energised and on ‘cloud nine’
One of the smoothies made from a placenta. Nikki explained that a walnut-sized portion of the placenta is blended with mixed berries, organic banana and spring water to create a delicious smoothie
Nikki loved the concoction of mixed berries and placenta so much she decided to make a living out of it.
She said: ‘I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that my birth recovery was unbelievable thanks to consuming my placenta. I had opted for placenta smoothies and capsules.
‘After my first smoothie my milk came in within 30-60 minutes and I felt energised.
‘A placenta is jam packed with hormones, including the corticotropin-releasing hormone which is linked to stress reduction.
‘I felt like it was putting life back into me and it gave me a much-needed boost following a C-section.
‘I felt exactly how you should feel after a baby – on cloud nine.
‘When you are pregnant, you visualise a happy you with your new born and nobody prepares you or educates you on how you might feel.
Nikki said drinking her placenta helped her feeling more energised and helped with her milk production after the birth of her son Hudson
The placenta can also be put in a grinder and made into capsules (pictured) that mothers will ingest in the days after birth
‘After Jensen, I had post-natal depression and I was desperate to feel good the second time around.
‘Placenta encapsulation made complete sense to me and I wasn’t grossed out at all by it.
‘I felt on top of the world even though I had a Caesarean and a 14-month-old baby to care for, I knew I had to spread the word and offer other mothers the opportunity to feel good after a baby.’
Nikki carrying the bag she uses to collect the placenta. She said she absolutely loves her job, after starting her own business in 2018
Nikki launched ‘Cherished Placentas’ in 2018 and spends her days travelling between East Anglia and London to collect placentas and returning it in a smoothie or capsule form.
She said: ‘I absolutely love my job, if you had told me ten years ago I would be doing this I would have never believed you.
‘I am on call 24/7 as the mothers ring me as soon as they have given birth and I head over to collect – I’ve had to get up at 2am before.
The mother feeding her first born Jensen six years ago. Nikki explained she suffered from post-natal depression with Jensen and did everything to avoid it after her second pregnancy
‘But I don’t mind because I know it will help the mother recover.
‘Once I have collected it in a chiller container, I go back to the unit to rinse and prepare it before cutting it into slides and leaving it to dehydrate.
‘After a few hours, the placenta is either put into a grinder and then made into capsules or a walnut portion is blended with mixed berries, organic banana and spring water to create a delicious smoothie.
‘NO BENEFIT’ TO EATING PLACENTA, SAY EXPERTS
The placenta is an organ attached to the lining of your womb during pregnancy.
It connects the mother and the baby in the uterus and delivers oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to it. It also takes away the waste that the baby makes.
After the baby is born, the placenta is also delivered through a few more contractions.
The consumption of placenta, called placentophagy, is an old practice that has been observed in several cultures. More recently, celebrities like Kim Kardashian-West and January Jones made headlines for consuming their placenta after giving birth.
It is claimed that ingesting the placenta reduces chances of postpartum depression and increases the quality of breast milk.
It’s been observed that dogs who eat their placentas had reduced labour pain and bonded with their puppies, however, such effect were not tested in women.
However, scientists say there are no benefits to new mothers eating their placentas, and it could actually do harm.
Consuming the placenta has become increasingly popular among new mothers because of claimed benefits such as a lower risk of getting postpartum depression, and increased mood and energy levels.
Health experts led by an obstetrician from New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City said the risks of eating a placenta could outweigh any potential benefits.
They analysed dozens of studies about placenta consumption and now advise obstetricians to discourage their patients from eating the placenta in any form, according to the study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
‘As obstetricians, it’s important to tell the truth,’ said Dr Amos Grunebaum, lead author and obstetrician. ‘And the truth is it’s potentially harmful and no evidence it’s beneficial, so therefore, don’t do it.’
‘Over the last few years, we’ve had an increasing demand from patients who wanted to take their placenta home after delivery in order to eat it.’
The experts feared eating the organ could spread bacterial or viral infections.
‘Many women opt for both and their feedback is always incredible.
‘The reviews keep me focused and it is so rewarding to know I have helped prevent baby blues, PND and sped up the recovery for mothers.
‘When I return with the product, most mothers invite me in for a snuggle with their baby which is a massive perk of the job.
‘I have found my calling and I can’t stress enough about the benefits of placenta encapsulation.’
Proud Nikki with her two sons Jensen, six, (left) and Hudson, four, right. The mother-of-two said her clients’ feedback is ‘always incredible’
The entrepreneur claims that there are incredible benefits to consuming your placenta after birth, but there’s no conclusive evidence from medical experts
Husband Danny, 47, Nikki, two-year old Jensen and newborn Hudson in hospital after the mother-of-two delivered her second child four years ago