When I delivered my last child I can remember my doctor asking my husband if he would like to see the placenta and gesturing towards a metal surgical bowl and my husband was all “No, that’s OK! I don’t need to see it!” and he went back to asking me if I wanted him to go pick me up a milkshake.
We were not placenta people.
Not that there is anything wrong with natural childbirth placenta people, because hey, this organ nurtured your child for 9 plus months and now some mommies are bonding even longer with their placentas because they have decided to keep them around a lot longer. By leaving the umbilical cord attached to their child and carrying around the placenta like a handbag until the umbilical cord falls off “naturally.” This hot new trend is called “Lotus Birth” and it is brought to us by the hot NY Post who interviewed a midwife who says keeping the umbilical cord attached is a “beautiful thing.”
Q: What are the best reasons to practice Lotus Birth?
There’s no wound created at the umbilical site, which lessens the chance of infection.
It allows a complete transfer of placental/cord blood into the baby at a time when the baby needs that nourishment the most. Babies’ immune systems are going through huge changes at a very rapid rate when they’re first born. Not disrupting the baby’s blood volume at that time helps prevent future disease.
The mother and baby benefit from having all the focused placed on bonding, rather than the common focus of “who’s going to cut the cord, cut the bond?” Invading the natural process when there’s a healthy mother and baby is likely to cause harm in some way seen or unseen.
The respect of all of what a woman conceives, not just part of it.
For me I think my biggest concern would be how I was going to deal with the placenta attached while nursing or bottle feeding a new baby. I don’t know about you guys but when I was breastfeeding I needed a ton of stuff, a cold beverage, my glasses, some magazines, a snack, all of that plus carrying the baby and a placenta around seems like a lot of work. Plus, I would be concerned that the placenta would start reeking like death but according to the article, this should not be a concern.
While the placenta remains attached, it’s kept in a nice cloth, and the cord is wrapped in silk or cotton ribbon. Babies are left on a safe surface or with a caregiver while the mother goes to the restroom. For cuddling and nursing, the placenta pillow is kept near the mother and baby.
If the placenta has air circulating around it like through cloth, there’s no odor for the first day. There’s a slight musky smell the second and third day.
After the cord breaks, some mothers like to keep the wrapped placenta in a special place in their bedroom, and if it has not had a salt or herbal treatment and its cloth isn’t changed, it will start to smell gamey, indeed. But the kind of terrible, stinky, decayed smell that some fear is a non-issue when proper procedures are followed. The only time that sort of thing happens is if the placenta is wrapped in a plastic wrap or sealed in a tupperware container— that is a whole other situation, and not a good one, as the placenta will rot before it dries.
Awwww, a placenta pillow! I’m pretty sure some crafty Etsy seller is already creating placenta pillows as we speak (I wonder if there are Twilight themed placenta pillows yet?) Where do YOU keep your wrapped placenta in your bedroom? Do you keep it on your dresser next to a vase of flowers and the latest issue of Vogue or do you keep it in a tupperware container? So many choices!
UPDATED WITH AMAZING CHUCKLES THE PLACENTA ART BY READER ANNE CORDELIA
This may be the best drawing I have ever seen. Thank you Anne!