"Lotus Birth" is a very pretty, innocent sounding name for this latest childbirth trend that has nothing to do with yoga, and even less to do with flowers. Its other name, however, sheds a little more light, and little more fear: "umbilical nonseverance", or carrying around your placenta in a bowl until the umbilical cord detaches from the baby naturally.
Carry what now?
The New York Post talked to natural-birth advocate Mary Ceallaigh from Austin, Texas, and she explained the benefit of a 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.
All right, fair enough, I guess, but she goes on to say that it promotes bonding by eliminating that allegedly stressful conundrum about who's going to cut the cord, which makes me question if she's encountered THAT many women who have THAT many people around them while giving birth that it's THAT confusing as to who's going to cut the cord.
Doctor or Dad -- I'm not seeing how this could possibly be such a distracting decision that it's harmful to mother-baby bonding.
ANYWAY. You wanna know if carrying around your placenta in a bowl is smelly, don't you. It is, slash, it isn't. Apparently, it only starts to give off a musty odor around day two, but by day three, the thing usually detaches.
But, if you're in a more humid environment (the examples given in the article were Bali or, you know, an Australian rain forest), the cord could stay attached for 10 days.
A week carrying around a bloody organ on the outside of my body while simultaneously figuring out how to carry around a newborn? That's not for me.
What about you?
Photo via jonny.hunter/Flickr