Danielle Kinney, 32, took part in last night’s How to Lose Weight Well and has since received messages from more than 200 people from over the UK and Ireland.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Danielle. “I hadn’t told anyone I was going on the programme and yet the minute it started screening at 8pm, I got messages on Instagram and by text from friends who couldn’t believe I was on the telly – and then hundreds of emails from people interested in having it done.
Danielle, who has been nominated for a Women in Business award, explained to doctor and presenter Xand van Tulleken how she created the pills from women’s afterbirth and even demonstrated the process with a sheep’s liver ‘which smelled revolting’.
But she said the response had been incredible with more and more women wanting to take advantage of the process offered by her company, Placenta Plus.
And she added: “Far from it something a minority of women do. In the not-too-distant future, as people see the benefits, it is going to become the norm.”
The mum-of-three, who lives in St Helens, turned to placenta pills after suffering from crippling post natal depression and, unable to find somewhere close to home to create them for her, decided to learn how to do it herself, and set up her own business.
She became her own first customer 18 months ago when she gave birth to her third baby, Harry, and has since gone on to create them for others including footballers’ wives Coleen Rooney and, more recently, Jamie Vardie’s wife, Rebekah.
The process involves putting the placenta on ice in a cooler box as soon as possible after a woman has given birth, transporting it to a sterile area, cleaning it, checking it for abnormalities then cutting it into fine slices with a sharp knife.
“It’s then put into a dehydration machine for 15 hours, dried out and ground down into a powder, then put into capsules,” said Danielle.
There is still scepticism surrounding the capsules, but Danielle says it’s simply a way of returning the body’s natural hormones: “In pregnancy an awful lot of hormones go into the placenta and our bodies don’t understand we’re going to lose that and not get it back. That’s when post natal depression can set in, along with low energy levels and anaemia.
"Taking the placenta capsules helps your body get itself balanced again and they also have a lot of beauty benefits too because after a woman’s had a baby her skin, hair and nails take a bashing.”
And she added that they also help with weightloss after birth: “How often do we hear women saying they can’t get rid of baby weight? The placenta contains the hormone thyroxine which helps the baby grow but it is thyroxine which stabilises the thyroid which affects and controls our weight.
“Once a baby is born we struggle to get the balance back so the placenta pills can help to do that. It helps to balance our hormone levels again so we can control the weight and it helps the uterus to contract back. I had a wash-board stomach again two weeks after having Harry and, of course, no post natal depression which had driven me to the brink of suicide after my second daughter, Tess, was born!”
Danielle, who now creates placenta face cream too, said it was great that so many people were now taking the process seriously which the programme showed but, while she was delighted to spread the message and make more people aware, watching it prompted a little sadness too.
“I filmed it in April last year when we had just discovered my sister, Joanne, who we lost in November, had been given six months to live because of breast cancer. So much of it went in a blur – although Xand was lovely and helped me, talking to me about training in Liverpool and how he loved the city and its people.
“But it was Joanne who really encouraged me to do the programme and to get Placenta Plus up and running, so it was also a fantastic tribute to her and her encouragement. I’d like to think that she would have been so proud of me now, with all that I’ve achieved.”