Some mothers and chefs swear by the nutritional properties of the placenta.
Now parents are being offered the chance to benefit from its vitamin and mineral content in pill form.
For £175 (NZ$245), midwife Caroline Baddiley will collect a new mother's placenta within a few hours of a baby being born. She then cooks it in a steamer, dehydrates it, and grinds the result into a powder which can be easily ingested by swallowing a capsule.
Some of the benefits of consuming placenta are said to include enhanced breast milk production and a reduction in the risk of post-natal depression.
Baddiley's personal service results in delivery of up to 120 capsules.
"The placenta is a rich source of hormones and chemicals and it's thought that by preserving it, some of those factors can go back to the mother," Baddiley said.
The benefits of consuming the placenta are well documented.
"Taking it in capsule form is certainly more appealing and palatable than the alternative. My customers don't have to handle it or smell or taste it at all."
Baddiley, a vegetarian from Poole in Dorset, had to pass strict food hygiene tests for her new business. After her work featured on a recent television documentary, inquiries have trebled.
TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall caused controversy 14 years ago when he fried a placenta with shallots and garlic and turned it into pate.
The placenta pill was the brainchild of American Lynnea Shrief who formed the Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network two years ago.
- DAILY MAIL