If You Decide To Have A Lotus Birth, You’ll Need A Double Stroller For Your Baby And Your Placenta Bowl

Natural Childbirth Placenta 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!



This may be the best drawing I have ever seen. Thank you Anne!

(photo: Wikicommons)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shelly-Lloyd/826469442 Shelly Lloyd

    I’m sure I’m going to get some flack for this; but dude, that is freaky.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Oh, no, keeping a rotting organ around for almost 2 weeks is definitely freaky. About the only way to make it freakier is to name it.
      From what I read, you get the same benefits with delayed cord cutting – like, 20 minutes or less, or until the cord stops pulsing. And no Chuckles the Placenta hanging around for days.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter


    • TngldBlue

      Right, like I’m going to tote around Chuckles for weeks because there may or may not be bonding interference during the two seconds it took for someone to cut the cord. What’s next, meconium facials? Mucus plug appetizers? I just made myself sick.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      I thought you could just draw a stick figure placenta :(

    • Anne Cordelia

      Fear not; I am currently slaving away on my Paint cartoon of Chuckles the Placenta.

    • Tea

      You beat me to it, I was totally sketching one too XD

    • Anne Cordelia

      I emailed him to you! Since you always make us chuckle (heh), I thought I’d return the favor!

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Amazing, please see above. I want a Chuckles T shirt

  • kablewi

    I think I’m laughing….

    • jsterling93

      I think I’m gagging

  • Lauren

    I am all for natural and mom’s doing whatever they want to do! For me, this would not happen. I made my own baby food, breast fed for a long time and was very all natural. But I don’t know if I could stomach this. But if another mother feels like this is her path, then good for her.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      I agree, but it seems like a LOT of work.

  • radicalhw

    Admit it, this is a belated April Fool’s joke.

  • Cee

    There is nothing natural about keeping the placenta that long. Name an animal that does this! I mean, I recall going to the county fair and seeing a cow give birth and eat the placenta immediately after it spilled onto the floor. *eyeroll* Humans…

    • Zoe

      I was thinking the same thing. Every other mammal on the planet knows to get rid of the placenta ASAP. True, mostly it’s so that predators won’t be attracted to the smell, but you cannot convince me that keeping it attached to the baby for days is healthy. It starts to break down very quickly, and I’d be worried about my baby being tethered to what is essentially a rotting, dead organ – especially in summer! I just don’t see any kind of benefit.

      Eh, to each their own I guess.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.mcgrath.75 Rebecca McGrath

      I second your statement. All I could think of was when my dog had puppies. She ate her own placenta right away then ate all the puppies poop for awhile. No thank you. Give me modern day birthing any day.

  • Elyse

    I always laugh at the idea that “natural” is always good. You know what else is natural? Tumors, hemorrhages, animals eating their young,bacterial infections, etc.

  • Callie

    I’m all for mothers making whatever choices they think are best for their birth experience and baby, but…yuck. If someone was keeping any other organ in a napkin and hiding it in their bedroom, we’d see it for what it was: seriously disturbing.

  • http://twitter.com/carinnjade Carinn Jade

    They did this in that (otherwise awful) Paul Rudd/Jennifer Aniston movie. It’s a two person job!!

    • AS

      haha I forgot about that, I thought it brought up a vague memory for me.

  • Tea

    A part of my brain says I shouldn’t judge, another part says that it sounds like a major bio-hazard toting an internal organ around everywhere. I’d also be scared that it would somehow start decomposing early while still attached to the child.

  • whiteroses

    This is utterly insane. There is no reason whatsoever for a child to stay attached to the placenta once it’s out of the womb. Once it’s out of the mother’s body, there’s no supportive value for the newborn.

  • MeLuRe

    Ummm, if animals can chew their cords, “severing the bond,” and are okay with it, so am I (minus the chewing). This whole lotus birth thing seems like a completely UNnatural and bizarre human variation on birth. But, hey, to each his own!

    • AS

      ha! Maybe that will be the new trend. Placenta chewing.

    • Gangle

      I think they already do that… shortly followed by swallowing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.mcgrath.75 Rebecca McGrath

      And that’s gross too. Yep I’m judging.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iwill.findu.90 Iwill Findu

    I think this made me vomit in my mouth a little.

  • AS

    Oh my dear god, “placenta pillow”.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Placenta pillow is the name of our new band

  • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

    Ugh!!! My cat just had kittens and she chewed their umbilical cords and ate the placenta. Maybe we should just go for the TRULY all natural birth and do that?!

    I’m sorry, but this is disgusting. First of all, my son and I bonded JUST FINE sans rotting organ on a pillow in my room.

    And secondly…. Well… Excuse me while I go vomit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shelly-Lloyd/826469442 Shelly Lloyd

    Why oh why did I get curious and googled “placenta pillow”? What has been read can not be unread….

  • Annie

    Natural is immediately gnawing off the cord and then either eating the placenta or throwing it at whatever sabre-toothed animal is currently giving chase as a diversionary tactic.

    There is nowhere in time during which this is a sensible thing to do. Just more deluded woo from uncertified “midwives” looking to make a bottom line.

    Seriously, name me just one of these ridiculous new trends that use such low, unscientifically found fear tactics (“infection! missed nutrients! an irreparably broken bond!”) without offering services or products for sale in the same breath.

  • Anne Cordelia

    Whoops! I see that Chuckles unfortunately doesn’t know how to spell “says.” However, since he’s a rotting organ, I think we can cut him a little slack on this one! ;)

  • EmmaFromÉire

    Sweet woodworking jesus that’s horrendous. Imagine being a relative of that person, visiting to see the baby for the first time? Or being shown hospital pictures! ”Well, here’s little Jack, and here’s his placenta right next to him!”

  • AP

    How does one go outside the home after a lotus birth? Because if I saw someone just kicking back in Starbucks with their placenta on a table, I would rightly demand the manager boot them out.

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