* Edit – these thoughts are just why I PERSONALLY wouldn’t choose to do this. I can only write what I know, and what I feel. If anyone has any information on the benefits to a Lotus Birth, and a link as to why it should be considered, feel free to leave it in the comments section and I will gladly edit my post to include it and have both perspectives.
Have you ever heard of a Lotus birth? This rather new parenting trend was recently brought to my attention, and my first instinct was to barf all over my keyboard as I read about it.
Before I start with MY TAKE on just how messed up I think a Lotus Birth is, let me fill you in on what it’s all about.
After a baby is born, the conventional medical thing to do is to clamp and cut the umbilical cord right after birth. Some people do a delayed cord cutting (an hour or two tops) as they wait for the cord to stop pulsing which allows the last of the cord blood to enter the baby’s blood stream. I can completely get behind that concept, and think there are great benefits to the practice of delayed cord cutting.
HOWEVER, with a Lotus birth, you don’t cut the umbilical cord at all. You leave the cord attached to the baby AND to the placenta. You bathe your placenta in a salt bath (to apparently aid in reducing the STENCH, and you can also “scent” your placenta if you wish), place the placenta into a little cotton carrying bag – design of your choosing – and bring home baby, placenta and the attached umbilical cord as a package deal. Then, you wait for the umbilical cord to naturally fall away from the baby – a process which can take anywhere from 3-10 DAYS!
So let’s start with the benefits of a Lotus Birth. Apparently babies who remain attached to their placentas after birth are more content and relaxed as the placenta is comforting to them. They can be less affected by jaundice, lose less weight, and apparently continue to get nutrients from the placenta while it dries up. (** I’ve also since been told that it is often a spiritual/cultural thing, where people believe the spirit/chi/soul of the baby is in the placenta and that if you leave all attached, the soul will be able to fully enter the baby’s body without being severed. I wasn’t aware of this, and think that is actually a pretty cool concept! Also, in these cultures the mother often goes nowhere for 40 days, and has mothers/aunts etc. help take care of her.She is simply expected to rest. Still not for me, but at least now I have been enlightened as to why it is done). All ok points, but for me the negatives outweigh the postives.
Here’s my take on this:
1) I get it. The placenta is the new “in thing” for birthing mama’s. First there were placenta pills, then placenta jewelry (yes, that’s a real thing – not on my Christmas list!), and now you get to spend a crap ton of money on a cotton bag to carry around a rotting flesh organ for up to 10 days. That’s right, days. I just don’t think I’ll ever relate to the placenta loving Mama’s. Just not my thing. These bags aren’t cheap either! Here’s one I found here on etsy, and it costs $95.55! http://www.etsy.com/shop/LotusBorn
2) If this becomes mainstream, you can be sure that some hippie granola celebrity Mom is going to have a custom designed Balenciaga placenta bag. Or Louis Vuitton. Or Prada. Prada Placenta bags. Oh the possibilities (and increased profit margins) are endless.
3) Wait a minute. If you have all of these design choices for placenta bags, and people are charging $100 bucks for a cotton sack, doesn’t the whole thing become “designer” and “mainstream”? Would that not be exactly what an au natural granola Mom would be against?
4) If you delay cutting the umbilical cord until the pulse stops, you’re not looking at more than one day (let alone a few hours). With this process, it can be 3-10 days. Could you imagine?!? “Awww can I hold the baby? She’s so adorable!” Ahhh sure you can, but you also have to drape the cord over your arm and hold this bag of decaying flesh as well. Oh don’t mind the smell, I’ll just spritz it. BARF!
5) Heaven forbid you have to go to the grocery store. How do you manage the baby, a shopping cart, and a placenta bag? It’s hard enough with just the baby! Oh, and what about the poor people who work at the store and have to check all outside bags for shoplifting? “Excuse me Ma’am, you can’t carry your own shopping bags around the store. Please use the designated shopping cart only. Do you mind if I search your bag?”. That’s going to be a shocker!
6) You thought Baby-wearing was a trend! You obviously haven’t tried PLACENTA WEARING! If feeling so close to your baby feels that good, imagine what it feels like to feel that close to a piece of your very own insides! There’s no love like self-love, baby!
7) So it’s bath time. Yay! Where do you put the placenta? Make sure you don’t get it wet. The only thing worse than the smell of slowly decaying organ in a bag, is WET AND MILDEWY slowly decaying organ in a bag. BARF, BARF, BARF! Oh and make sure you manoeuver that bag carefully. You don’t want to accidentally kneel on it when you’re bathing dear baby. SQUISH – BARF!
8) Just how often do you have to give your placenta a salt bath? Because let’s face it, as a new Mom you barely have time to bathe yourself, let alone something that’s dying in an overpriced bag.
Uggh. I could go on and on and on about how much I really am not into this idea, but I have to stop before I get even more nauseated. I’m sure there are some who will completely disagree with me, and I’m sure there are some who will send me hate mail. That’s fine, we are all entitled to our opinions, this is simply mine. That’s the wonderful thing about giving birth. You have the choice to do it your way with whatever method you feel is best for you and your baby. But no matter what you say, I’m sure as hell going to stick to doing it my way!