People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Lotus Birth Bags

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Lotus Birth Bags

Alright, so I thought the placenta pills were horrible and the placenta bear revolting, but now there is something worse.

Apparently, it's a thing to carry your days old placenta around in an adorable sack. WTF, placenta lovers?? Can't you people just discard it as medical waste like the rest of us??? Actually, I don't know if this is a placenta lover thing ("The placenta is special and should be kept for all time!") or if this is just one more way to accessorize and/or decorate everything in our lives ("Oh my God, how cute! An ah-may-zing bag for our placenta, honey!!") or if this is a competimom thing:

"I gave birth in a bath tub in my living room surrounded by friends, family, neighbors, three midwives, a Druid Priest, and an astrologer, during a full moon. I delivered in complete silence except for the sounds of the musicians we'd hired to play the pan flute while using only acupuncture to control my pain."

"Yes, I did all of those things too, but then I carried Azriella's placenta for 10 days in a hand made bag we got from an old woman we met and bonded with on our cross country journey through Guatemala when I was seven months pregnant with her."

"Son of a bitch!"

Look, I get the whole waiting a few extra minutes before cutting the cord so the baby can get those last drops of cord blood, but once you reach the one hour mark, you are just carrying around a rotting organ.

And once again a Ziploc bag or a Tupperware bowl just will not do! Apparently that plastic shit makes your placenta smell and rot. Yeah, that's what's doing it. So instead, if you've got some money left over after buying your ah-dor-able birth wreath, you need to fork over some dough and get yourself a Lotus Bag.


A Lotus Bag is a gorgeous cotton-lined bag with drawstrings and usually some sort of I Am Earth Mother Hear Me Roar picture on the front like a hearty oak tree or a dove or something like that. So instead of cutting the cord, you wrap your placenta in absorbent cloths and place it in the bag. Oh, did I mention that it's a good idea to bathe your placenta in a salt bath too? It helps cut down on odor and it speeds up the drying process. Within a few days (around 3 to 10!!!) the cord will naturally detach from your baby and then you use the included herbs and salt to dry out the placenta (still in your gorj Lotus Bag) and then you save it for all eternity to pass down to family members or something like that. Just what you want to show his first girlfriend some day. "Would you like to see Gomer's dried out placenta?"


Oh, and let me just say something to those who say the placenta only smells a bit "musky." Bullshit. I got up close and personal with Gomer's placenta and let me tell you, that was one of the funkiest things I've ever smelled. And I have smelled a lot of funky things, including but not limited to: a hole in the floor where the entire female population of a university does its business, a freezer that quit working in the dead of summer loaded with beef, and a house that had a water leak that no one discovered for a week. All of those were better than the placenta!


OK, let me just wrap my head around this for a minute. I give birth to my baby. My doctor says, "Do you have your bag?" Of course! She wraps the placenta in absorbent cloths and drops it in the bag. Plop. I get home with my newborn that I'm trying to carry around and I have to sling his placenta over my shoulder everywhere I go. (Luckily, the makers of the Lotus Bag got smarter as they went along and made longer handles. The first ones were a nightmare!) Now it's time to bathe my baby. Careful, Hubs! You almost kneeled on his placenta! Baby's done, but what is that smell?? Right. The placenta. It hasn't been bathed in a day or so. Here, Hubs, hold the baby while I bathe our placenta, because I didn't want a shower today, I'd rather spend my extra 10 minutes on this shit. Meanwhile, it seems like the placenta has been hanging around a long time. What day are we on? Day seven?? I thought this was only supposed to be a three day thing. Of course, I really need to get to Target, but I can't go with my baby's cord swinging. What is that smell?? Shit, I think I need to bathe the placenta again!!


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94 comments:

  1. Okay, so I saw one of these on Etsy the other day and thought it was a sick joke. Who the hell DOES this? That is just straight up nasty. My best friend was furious when she had her first child 8 years ago and the staff left her placenta in the trash container (an open trash can) in her room for a day. She said it stunk and was gross. I can't imagine carting that mess around for a week!!

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  2. Reading this post...your BlogHer ad is about cord blood banking. Tee hee!

    So nice to have all of my placenta options in one spot. One stop placenta shopping!

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  3. I want to know who's coming up with this stuff and why do they have so much free time on their hands? And if I am a bad mommy because I didn't carry my kids placenta's around than so be it I don't want to be right!

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  4. Wait a minute, wait a minute. Is this thing still attached to the baby while you're toting it around? I just....I don't have enough WTFs.

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    1. You just read my mind. Oh, I was also thinking .... GROSS!

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  5. I swear I wrote almost the exact same blog post! I couldn't believe this thing when I had read about it either!

    http://sharingmyjennarocity.blogspot.com/2013/04/that-thing-in-that-basket-isnt-baby-you.html

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  6. Ugh! On the other hand, I used to make and sell jewelry bags using a similar pattern; there's quite possibly some money to be made here! Please excuse me while I fire up the trusty sewing machine. I need to get started before my demographic figures out how crazy this idea is.

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  7. This is just plain crazy, who does this anyway??

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  8. Ewwwwww...Ewwwwww...Ewwwww!!!

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  9. Isn't there a reason many animals eat their placenta? They don't want it laying around their dens/homes, because nature tells them that you don't leave stinky shit around the place you live, right?

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  10. Whoa whoa whoa, wait a minute. They want you to LEAVE a rotting, dead organ ATTACHED to the baby?? That CAN'T be healthy! Excuse me, I'm off to Facebook my pediatrician friend...

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  11. What the actual fuck?

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  12. While this grosses me out on so many levels, I have to wonder if this is standard practice elsewhere in the world (probably with less-fancy bags!) and they'd be shocked to know we don't do that. I absolutely cannot imagine carrying my baby around with a cord going into a some placenta bag (gag!!), but I guess I can see how there could be some belief that it is healthier to let it fall off naturally.

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    1. By all means, if you can find a group of people who does this regularly (besides California hippies) then, please link some info. I can't imagine this does anyone any good---probably not harmful, but really friggin' gross and stinky. If you tie the cord properly, there's no downside to cutting it (delayed or not). The placenta is no longer a functioning organ as soon as baby is out, so no point in hanging on to it. It has served its purpose.

      Oh and contrary to the beliefs of some, the placenta does not continue to transfer o2 to the baby once the baby is out and placenta is detaching/detached. If baby is not breathing at birth, baby needs medical assistance.

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    2. There are cultures who bury the placenta in their gardens or yards, for example the Hmong. When they move to the US, these practices cause a lot of distress amongst healthcare workers.

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    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_birth

      yep, lots of cultures that do this, but I think mom's are better served to consume it to help with hormones. Many cultures eat their placenta too........human ones.... not so shocking, when you remember who you are, and what natural instincts are.

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    4. Understandable, Rachel... it's a very new concept to the typical urban western person. But when you consider that the baby's placenta & cord are formed of the very same sperm & egg that made that baby, it gets a little less strange.

      In earth-based tribal culture languages the placenta was often called the "little mother" or "grandmother" because people understand that it was clearly the baby's guardian that had nourished it in the womb. Placentas were treated with great respect - and still are, in lotus birth scenarios.

      You are correct, this is a traditional Indonesian practice and the protocol in birth centers in Bali to this day. The Bumi Sehat birth center has had such fantastic outcomes with at-risk women, that CNN named it's director, Midwife Robin Lim, CNN Hero of the Year.

      I often wonder at how ultimately self-hating it is on some level for us to not recognize our primal & amazing bond with our own pulsing placentas while we were ourselves gestating. Part of ourselves was immediately severed and then treated like trash - what an impact, on a cellular level - as the placenta & cord are the baby's own cells....

      And no BAG is needed - the Balinese use a shallow open-weave basket for homebirths, and in clinic they use a woven strainer over a bowl... The cloth, however, turns out to make rather convenient pillow which is handy to rest your arm on when nursing. There are many ways to do the navel integrity thing mindfully.

      The point is, there is a big spectrum of practices, and evidence would have us question how we are harming our babies & mothers by protocols of early cord clamping and disturbed neonatal transition for body & mind...

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    5. Well said...the first reaction to this is very natural as it does look quite gross but then understanding the advantages of it, specially to the baby makes one think about it more.. thats what happened with me and i am planning to go for lotus birth for my fourth child and wish i had known about it before..if it claims to give more immunity to my child to fight infections i am ready to take any measures to do it..by the way when the baby is born it doesn't looks that cute at first sight until its cleaned properly so why such a big deal about the looks of the placenta?? Also we do carry the newborn with care then whats a big deal to take some more care for the placenta?

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  13. Oh. wow!!!!!! I,I,I am so glad I gave birth in the 80s...this knocked the breath right out of me!

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  14. This CANNOT be real?!?!?!?! Ick!!!!

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  15. I'm having trouble getting my head around this. Seems like carrying around decaying bloody tissue would be a magnet for flies, dogs, and god know what else. Brings to mind that episode of Seinfeld when Elaine is chased by a pack of dogs because she is wearing Jerry's coat, which unbeknownst to her, is full of pieces of mutton that Jerry couldn't choke down.

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  16. I laughed and gagged at the same time.

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  17. I was definitely laughing at this one! Holy crap! BTW the 3rd world mother's nibble off the umbilical cord (and often eat it... full of goodness for the mommy & newborn still... and there are people that do that here), but this has no basis even! Animals don't do this, nothing does this, unless the mother is sick or dying or something.?! What do they possibly this is good about keeping rotting something around?! And the thought of screwing around with it as well! LOL BTW Imagine the extra fun if it's not the first baby! HA

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    1. Actually, the mammals with the most shared genetics as humans (99%), the chimpanzees DO do this navel integrity thing. They do not chew through the cord. It dries and separates itself from the baby chimp on the second day. Jane Goodall reported this in the 1970s.

      The post-birth human placenta, if properly allowed to air (often with use of salt and powdered herbs to assist), does NOT rot - it dries/preserves/cures....

      There is a lot of ignorance and misperception in our culture about this. But there is a rich tradition in Indonesia - the Bumi Sehat birth center in Bali has fantastic stats on outcomes of at-risk women, and lotus birth is part of why. Traditional midwifery throughout history has utilized the placenta-cord attachment to help babies in trouble by keeping it warm (either with hot cloths or immersed in warm water) and milking it so that the child receives more vital stem cells and red blood cells...

      For more on this, there are lectures by clinic director Robin Lim on youtube (she was CNN Hero of the Year in 2011 due to her clinic amazing stats with impoverished/high-risk women).

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  18. Wow. This is... weird. We've out-momed each other so much that people are carrying their placenta around with them... that's ridiculous. What's next?? Do I even want to know what could possibly one up this?
    Naomi
    neuroticnaomi.com

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    1. Naomi, the first postpartum week (and ideally 2-3 more) is one of minimal movement, and plentiful recovery retreat. We are not talking about toting the baby around out in the world, and no woman should be doing that during the early postpartum weeks due to incredible stresses upon the nervous system and immune system. Any midwife or obstetrician will tell you that...

      So, it's not really about 'carrying around' a placenta... it's about the baby-cord-placenta unit in the proximity of the mother, often just on the bed or in a side basinette, which is very easy.

      When the mother needs to go to another room, she just makes sure that the baby is in a good spot on the bed with no pillows or blankets near their head. Babies do not turn over for 4-6 weeks, and newborns crawl at turtle speed, so, no danger there. Usually when new mamas want to bathe, they ask someone to be at the baby's side so they don't fret during their shower.

      As the cord generally dries and separates by day 3 or 4, it's not holding a woman back or anything, she is lounging, feeding, and cuddling with baby.

      As far as "out-moming" goes - currently clinical lotus birth is most heavily practiced for at-risk mothers and babies. It's the de rigeur protocol in Balinese birth centers, and in Australian hospitals the measurable and evidence-based results for premature, twin, and cesarean born children have been such that hospitals are starting to incorporate formal protocols that will make it easier for any woman's child to have a navel-integrity experience.

      This assumption of 'out-moming' is really pretty chauvanistic or self-sabotaging... lotus birth mothers are just doing their best with what they have learned, often as a very private affair so that they don't even mention it to many people in their lives - due to such potential response as yours, or due to the emotional stress of dealing with people who get primally triggered just from hearing the word placenta or seeing blood...

      Birth is fluid & kinda messy, that's a fact that shouldn't be a shocker to any woman. What should be shocking is that 80-160mL of precious stem-cell rich placenta blood is clamped out before the newborn is able to receive it, in typical clinical care.

      If our clinical protocols were updated so that both full neonatal placenta nourishment was received and one-hour of undisturbed bonding was able to take place before any unecessary medical procedures (evidence has been proven that this is essential for optimal breastfeeding) we would be a healthier, and probably happier people. Just waiting one-hour before clamping the cord and cutting it would be enormously beneficial. This, also, is an informed choice legal option for women. NOW's 1999 Resolution to Expand the Definition of Reproductive Rights to Include the Midwifery Model of Care is relevant to this as well. :)

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    2. Thankfully someone else out there who is speaking some sense and has knowledge and not just dismissing it because it is different. Unfortunately anybody giving evidence about the positive side of this practice will be classed as a 'Californian Hippy' and dismissed because of course hippies are crazy.

      Not sure if the mothers who have had their babies brought to life by massaging the still attached placentas would think it was so 'gross' and stupid.

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  19. What is with all the placenta trends lately? I am about to graduate from nursing school, and I hope to work in labor and delivery someday. This is what I have to look forward to.

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  20. what in the sam hell? Who in the world thinks of this crap. Just got a brainstorm, I will develop and market a bag to hold all of my toenail clipping. You will be able to buy yours at the local farmer's market.

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  21. Im so glad "bathe the placenta again" was at the end because that is where I lost it.

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  22. You know that really cute picture EVERYONE takes of the baby being loaded into the carseat for the first trip home. I'm now trying to picture this with a full cord poking through the onesie and going over the carseat to a bag.

    Damn it. People are going to post this shit on facebook. The first picture of this I see on facebook and I'm done, out!

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  23. That bag is really cute, but I would never put a bloody, rotten organ in it. I was more than happy for mine to be detached from my kid and thrown away and carted out of my room.

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  24. Thank you I just peed while laughing myself silly.Warnings please. And a Depends. Your blog has reached the point where you need a Depends warning. Thank you

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  25. I'm with Crazy Mama: what the actual fuck? What the is wrong with people? It's only a matter of time before they come up with some cutsie-ass means of toting around your baby's first crap or vomit. How is this remotely healthy for your baby to have some rotting thing attached to him or her? Gross gross gross!

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  26. Dear everyone who posted comments above:

    You are all freaking hilarious!

    Thanks for a good blog and some good conversation. This made my night!

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  27. I... just... I'm so glad I'm not having a baby any time soon. There's just so much ridiculous crap to sift through. If a friend ever suggested this to me it would be the end of her. Be forewarned, friends!

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  28. I'm just pissed that I didn't think of the lotus bag first! I could be sitting pretty in my McMansion that I bought with the funds I made profiting from the gullible, I mean nurturing, in tune mothers in the world.

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  29. Also, I clicked on the placenta bear link in the article and when I got to the page, a pop up box came up that said, "Five fun things to do with your baby's placenta". Which was a total relief because I could only think of two really fun things, one kind of sick thing, and 23 disturbing and will require therapy after things.

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  30. Imagine having twins and having to cart around two of these nasty things. What the hell is wrong with people?!

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  31. Thanks - if I didn't already know the world had gone nutty, this confirms it. The bear? bleck! Eww!

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  32. I WAS EATING MY LUNCH whilst reading this! Egg Mayo sandwich...didn't enjoy it as much as I would have if I wasn't being grossed out...When I had my two boys the midwife looked at me like I had two heads when I wanted to SEE the placenta! imagine if I'd asked her to pop it in a floral shoulder bag...'oh and leave it attached to the baby there's a dear!'???

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    1. As a midwifery assistant I was blown away the first time I got to actually see and examine a placenta. They are quite complex - like nothing you've every seen before (except maybe your own placenta a really long time ago...). The umbilical cord's veins and artery weave into the placenta like roots of a tree trunk.

      Definitely the source of the Tree of Life myth that Joseph Campbell reported as one of the world's 20 Universal Myths that exist in every language, every tribe on the earth. Considering that the placenta is called the "little mother" or "first grandmother" in these languages, one could say that earth-based culture had more understanding of the significance of the placenta than many a modern hipster.

      In the very least, super delayed cord clamping (one hour after birth) is what women need to be receiving as the standard of evidence -based woman-centered care for critical undistrurbed bonding & breastfeeding support. And the assistance of a doula or midwife to take care of rinsing the severed placenta and patting it dry, followed by thick-wrapping it in cloth and putting it to store in the fridge/freezer so it can be planted sometime, or so that it can be later dried in the indigenous medicine way, for those who want to be able to give their child the small rock-like petrified placenta to hold on occasion, when they tell them again about the day they were born...

      The point is to find whatever unity and beauty you can and to not let unecessary or mindless medical or midwifery practice or stupid bags or smart bags interfere with the intelligence of natural design as manifested in the human newborn and mother-child bond.

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    2. Anonymous15:11

      seriously? you would suggest giving your kid a freeze dried placenta? what's next, are we going to keep their first bowel movement too? wow - imagine the possibilities for babie's first scrapbook.

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  33. Gag! Just Gag! Ew!

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  34. So, I guess Birth Hoarding is a thing now? As if it wasn't enough to eat or bury the freakin' thing. Isn't the BABY a good enough memento?

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  35. I just can not even believe it. You have to be some special kind of crazy... But hey, at leave the baby will know from early on that they were born to a nutcase.

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  36. A "Thanks" to you, Ms Jenn. I am en route to my maiden voyage into motherhood and your blog has guided me and given me a realistic heads up on the ridiculousness that is becoming a mother in todays society. I am so glad that now when people are asking me if I am doing all these things, I have a knowledge of what they are and can say with confidence, "NO, I'm not that shade of crazy". I like to think your blog offers the same opinions I myself would give to someone else if I had done the research.

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  37. hahahaha.. funny post ! One lotus bag for me please :)

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  38. Ms. Jenn, I just want to say that you cracked me up. And yes, if a baby's placenta isn't rinsed or properly wiped off that YES it can smell - the maternal fluids and blood clots will indeed start to rot rather than preserve or cure, just like native american buffalo jerky, except that the placenta is made of the same cells/sperm/egg that the baby is made of, so is not a different animal...

    Proper practice, in traditional midwifery and in clinical lotus births involves an initial rinsing or quick immersion into a bowl of warm water then wrapping it up in a towel for a awhile so that the excess water is absorbed - and then, and ONLY then proceeding with setting it into a drying tray or in cloths.

    There is a huge difference between rotting and preserving, and a properly cared for placenta does not have any bad smell! However, if it is not attended to properly due to not mindfully preparing it, such as when a single mother doesn't have help, or when the midwife or doula has to rush to another birth - there could be a bit of musk that starts, in which case it needs to be rinsed and prepared again.

    Aside from all that - in the very least, waiting to clamp the cord for a minimum of one hour postpartum (considered THE critical hour for undisturbed bonding & establishment of breastfeeding neuroemotional chemistry) is not only good for public health, it's humanitarian protocol reform that women deserve to have in clinical settings. Though full navel integrity practice is too far a stretch for many, it's definitely a feminist women's health informed choice issue to question the current unecessary medical interventions upon the newborn within its most delicate & sensitive bonding time. The compelling work of lotus birth educator & Midwife Robin Lim in her Balinese birth center which earned her CNN's 2011 Hero of the Year award is also deserving of attention of women in the west. I think we can use the whole lotus birth subject as something that gives us a new view of the baby's body (and reminds us of the woman-centered view of the primacy of undisturbed birth & bonding support).

    Women, and humanity in general, would benefit from being a little wild and questioning the medically unecessary and practitioner-centered protocol of conventional cord clamping during the primary neonatal hour rather than squabbling about people's handbags or placenta bags or, and don't even get me started, Vera Bradley quilted ensemble bags, lol.

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    1. I love your factual and objective replies to all the comments above. I also appreciate that you have a sense of humor and understand where a lot of the commenters are coming from. Thanks for taking the time to educate everyone on this practice. It is evident to me that you are a very kind and patient person, and the women who have you at their deliveries are truly lucky.

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    2. Ditto to what she said

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  39. Mare, thank you for your articulate attempt at educating these women on the facts about Lotus Birth.
    To the blogger/ranting harpy and everyone else who chimed in with your fascinating and ever so insightful commentary:
    Thank you for all the research and thought you put into your blathering here. You're obviously professional Journalists, Sociologists, Anthropologists, and Perfect Parents whom have never felt the need to follow your hearts despite being labeled "Nuts, needing to be special, crunchy, openminded, etc."
    You have obviously made up your minds and refuse to be confused by any facts. Instead of bashing weirdos who choose different birth scenarios after making an educated choice, perhaps you might write about and comment on something more relevant to what is effecting Infant and Maternal Health world wide., access to reproductive health care choices and mortality rates.
    "People I want to punch in the throat". Nice... I wonder if it ever occurred to any of you on this page that you may resemble that clever moniker yourselves?
    The attitudes here stink and make me want to gag.

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    1. And yet, not only did you read the blog post, but the commentary as well. Were you lacking something to look down your nose on this week?
      Why are you allowed to offer your opinion but none of the rest of us are? If "The attitudes here stink and make me want to gag.", how do you think the rest of us feel about the holier than thou bull that YOU just handed down?

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    2. Yes, I read the blog post and commentary. I typically do when interested in a subject.
      No, I was not searching for something to bash. That was clearly already being well managed by you ladies. As too was the looking down your nose situation being expertly handled.. You are obviously allowed your opinions as they are so eloquently stated in unison. I happened to be the first not to agree and not to like them.
      Your defensive response to my opinion of this post, blog and the attitudes presented just tells me that you can dish it out but can't take it.
      Again I would ask you to research this or any subject before joining into the mob rules mentality. This is a bash blog. Does anyone here question their attraction to it?
      I am holier than none. I react to what I read and don't hold back. No apologies.
      If you read through the posts, you will recognize the stink and gag comment I lifted from a particularly immature response. We're you expecting soft and fluffy from anyone on a blog entitled People I Want To Punch In The Throat? Please! Toughen up sister!

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  40. And I thought carrying around 2 tiny silicone sombrero-shaped nipple shields in binky holders was annoying. At lease they didn't have a pulse. *barf*

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    1. "A pulse, barff"... Outstanding!
      Kim Let Me Start By Saying that I am an expert in Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Body just gave me the best shout out I could have ever asked for!

      Please take the time to read the opinions and responses of the other side. You may learn something new. Don't be afraid. It won't hurt.

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  41. I have to "ditto" Rogue Soul's comments here. These comments are immature at best and mean spirited at worst. I would suggest that the owner (and followers of) a blog titled "People I Want to Punch in the Throat" might consider that Lotus Birth is the least of their problems- Perhaps a shift in focus on anger management would be a proactive replacement?

    All that said, I have compassion for these women, who reveal in their comments their fear of, and disdain for, their bodies' natural physiological processes. The disdain for Lotus Birth communicated here has no rational basis: even if it were as horrible as they have described it (which it is not), so few women and infants in this country actually experience it. So why the reactivity?

    I believe the answer lies in the practices that AREN’T being talked about here - exorbitant use of Pitocin which puts babies into distress (perhaps a cause of increased ADHD and other childhood mental health problems), dangerously high cesarean rates, and dangerously low breastfeeding rates (linked to diabetes, obesity, allergies etc.), babies being propped instead of held (mental health again), women being forced back to work too early, atrocious child care systems, NO SUPPORT of value for women and children in those moments when they are most vulnerable - THESE are just some of the real dangers facing women and babies this very moment. And yet there is silence by these women about these very real threats. Why?

    I would venture to that many of these women having been on the receiving end of the traumatic failings of our Maternal Child Health system, and our culture as a whole. And that, part of adapting to experiences that were very difficult, or felt wrong on some deep level, has been to internalize the system- to normalize it, so they can feel normal again. The alternative would be quite frightening. The alternative would be to recognize that women and babies (perhaps themselves and their babies) are being hurt by an abusive medical system that presents itself as “safe” and “normal”. When you are jailed by internalized oppression, one reaction might be to want to "punch" people who are breaking free from that imprisonment "in the throat".

    So, while offended by the snarky comments I have read here, I have compassion for these women, because they reveal in their comments that they operate out of a kind of imprisonment- their life choices barred by arbitrary (and potentially dangerous) notions of "normal". This kind of colonized thinking is wholly cultural and has nothing to do with what is actually healthy, natural... or normal. Anyone who has studied the history of women, or birth in America or who reads the maternal child health statistics in this country knows that.

    But I would suggest to these women, rather than spewing your disdain onto things you know nothing about, follow your anger inward to discover the places inside of you that are constrained by trauma, fear, judgment, and misinformation about your bodies, your sense of womanhood, motherhood etc. Perhaps Lotus Birth isn't what will free you, but there must be something that will. And consider that sisterhood in support, not mockery, will bring you (and the world) more healing and solace than this kind of vitriolic discourse ever will.

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    1. You're being incredibly condescending, and honestly offensive. Sure, some of these replies are overly snarky and innapropriate, but you're no better. How a woman chooses to go about giving birth is her decision, and I fully support educating women on their options, but what she ultimately decides is for no one to judge. And make no mistake - you are judging other women with this comment. So, your kid has some mental health issues? Well, maybe you should have given birth in a hospital/immediately cut the umbilical cord/whatever! You're wrongly blaming and shaming mothers for their child's condition, which outside some extreme circumstances (abuse, etc) is beyond their control - not to mention, it's gut wrenching enough to see your child suffer without being guilted about his or her suffering. And let me make this very clear: you, like any other woman, have ever right to give birth the way that is right for you, no matter how kooky I or anyone else think that way is, but your way is by no means the only right way, and the way you talk about how once other mothers "come around" to doing it your way is unbelievably condescending. You preach non-judgementality, but take a good look at yourself before throwing any stones.

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  42. Yeah, the ignorance, self-loathing and let me say it again just plain ignorance on this thread is saddening. It's fine to disagree with things, reject them, and have strong opinions - we all need to know why we do these things though. If you don't even know why you have a violent reaction to something your job is to figure that out, not to wallow in self-imposed isolation with others who have violent reactions to things they know nothing about. People used to have these kinds of reactions to women voting, to African Americans and white people using the same plates and silverware, to premarital sex - do you seriously want to be lumped into the same group as other reactionaries? I'll tell you from the outside looking in it's not doing anything for you.

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    1. Good God, I can't believe you just compared people on the internet saying that something is kooky and ridiculous to the oppression of women and minorities. No one is fucking oppressing anyone for their birthing practices. And let me reiterate: THIS IS THE INTERNET. We are all strangers, and this is the kind of discussion that happens among anonymous, invisible people on the internet.

      Get a grip.

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  43. I'm with the hippies, except I prefer my placenta with fava beans and a nice chianti. I know I'm still recovering from 'rhoid surgery, but I'm fairly certain that my last bowel movement also had a pulse. I can't believe I flushed it. I should've tossed it into my Vera Bradley bag and bee-bopped out the door.

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  44. Oh man, I LOVE being ignorant. I have NO IDEA what it is like to research or learn things, or know what this big peachy-pink mass holding my head up is. What?? Huh - oh, my daughter just told me it was my "body." And she also just mentioned that I am on "the internet" reading a "humorous satire post" in which someone shares her own "opinions" that those who don't enjoy can simply "ignore" or "unfollow."
    And of course I really believe a placenta has a pulse. And teeth. And reads National Geographic Magazine while on the toilet, until the cord naturally releases from its 4-limbed conjoined twin.
    Obviously.
    PS
    I love anger. It feels so good. I hate everyone and everything and seethe a red red rage (not as purple as a placenta, but still pretty awesome) all the time. I also wear magenta shoes while kicking baby seals as I print off images of that 1980s "Hang in There" kitten poster, then slooooooowwwwlllyyyy put them through the paper shredder on an hourly basis. Bad kitty!
    PPS
    I also never gave birth naturally, I am not a vegetarian, never recycle, don't understand what "pain" is, hate organic anything, refuse to speak to my children because they like plastic toys, think women shouldn't vote (really, I mean ICK), and really REALLY enjoy when people assume I hate myself. That is THE BEST. Mmmmmmm...self-loathing. Delicious.
    PPPS
    Humor is so annoying. Blech. I'd rather carry a slowly-shriveling placenta around in my thatched purse than hold a sense a humor in my heart.

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    1. I guess if anyone on here was actually funny that would be true. But y'all sound like a bunch of brats who grew up spending all your free time at Forever 21 bitching about the thugs you want to marry. Is your humor low brow or no brow?

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    2. My humor is more uni-brow.

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  45. Um...Gross. I've been hearing about this alot lately.

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  46. I didn't even see my placenta when it came out and I can barely get it together to wash my baby's pacifier when it falls on the floor so I think we all know what side of this thing I am on.

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  47. I'm noticing a real pattern in the NCB movement of big claims with maybe one possibly two obscure references with a bunch of mumbo jumbo attached. We live in clean houses people,infection is not an issue.If you had a home birth your baby is not a cesarean or preemie so that is a non-issue. Quantum fields, the way lord Vishnu was supposed to be born and the wiki references section tells me basically that this is a piece of traditional religion that a few western hippies liked so they took because of a twisted mildly racist belief that brown people are magical and white people need to learn how-to "paint with all the colors of the wind and dance with wolves" because we have moved away from "great mother earth". Take a deep breath and realize that you don't have to celebrate every single birth ceremony throughout the world. Some native people including myself are both mildly offended and laughing at you.

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  48. Not Caucasian, did not have a lotus birth, and not trying to adopt any culture or tell others how to be, think or live. I do believe that bashing others for making a choice that harms none and fits into their own personal belief system without really looking at why they chose to do so is crass.
    I've worked in Infant And Maternal Health and have seen the harsh realities that most privileged Western women cannot imagine. Let the "Woo Woo" people believe they are doing their best possible to bring their baby into the world peacefully. Even if it seems offensive to you, worthless as a bag of shit, and garbage that should be thrown away. It is not. In two thirds of this world it's the baby that is treated thusly.
    Choices are exclusively yours.

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  49. Lizza_Clark: Using your words I'd say take a deep breath and realize that that you see things as you are - if you're laughing at dramatically better survival rates of premature babies and at-risk babies (a common issue for native american women's health, often related to diabetes) well, where's the humanity in that?

    One of the key educators on lotus birth, yoga master & midwife Jeannine Parvati (and the intrepid first author on prenatal yoga in the western world, 1945-2005 RIP), was in fact a bicultural woman, her father was native american, raised on the Rez.

    Dominator culture, and male-bodied mechanical views of female processes have long been called out by the women's health movement in the U.S. NOW's 1999 Resolution to Expand the Definition of Reproductive Rights to Include the Midwifery Model of Care furthered the possibility of empowering birth & postpartum choices that are informed. I guess you haven't noticed that the leading voice on "lotus birth" is Robin Lim, who has presented many times at north American midwifery conferences. And the most hip conjunction of knowledge & art is a lotus birth education video by an African American woman (and she is vocalist Hebrew Mama of the Zap Mama group). Here's the link to her Mother One productions video: http://youtu.be/h_Gvwd8vvM8

    All birth is ceremony, the question is: are we focusing on what has Heart, and Meaning? All human babies are taught by example, are we questioning what we are teaching by our common rituals of interrupted bonding, neonatal separation, strangers giving primary care to newborns, and all the common postpartum maternal ambivalent bonding and unpleasant/unsuccessful breastfeeding?

    I think the whole lotus birth thing, whether done in the hospital post-cesarean or with twins (both cases have been successfully practiced in Australian hospitals with such noticeable health benefits that that the doctors involved are now happy to serve other women who request it) - or at home in a backyard tipi with your midwife in the front house just in case she's needed (no harm, some women orgasm better that way) or at a birth center after a lovely water birth - is about recovering that focus, on Heart. And Meaning.

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    1. My background is public health specifically to help native women in my state and I'm working toward my CNM. I'm very aware of the problems native women have with obesity, diabetes,teen pregnancy or worse alcohol or heaven help us meth. Most of these women are barely healthy enough for a functional pregnancy let alone a home birth by the time they get to the rural clinics. I understand that some hospitals in Australia have success with this practice but to use it in healthy births long after the cord has stopped transferring anything is judging by these bags or herbs a luxury that seems to have more basis in religion.That's not a bad thing but please quit beating the dead horse of 'some Australian hospitals and Robin Lim'. Your correct though that in most cases it is best for mothers and babies to just put the baby on the mother's chest with a warm blanket and let them be for a bit unless the baby needs resuscitation. All birth has some ceremony attached and it is good but it's not to start adopting everybodies culture willy nilly without any of the beliefs or meaning attached.

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  50. Mare, The Rogue Soul and apancake and any others I may have missed who cannot see past their own judgemental views to appreciate this blog for what it truly is: you guys need to lighten up. Being judgemental of our own need to punch people in the throat puts you in the same boat as us. Judgement is judgement, regardless of whether you are in love with your placenta or not.

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  51. I too am glad that "bathe placenta again" was at the end, cause I lost it there also!
    LOL!! Funny humor blog, that I chose to subscribe to!!
    <3 Devan

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  52. I'm hoping to drop a few lbs, so whenever I get hungry I'll just pop over here and read this post again. Appetite fucking suppressed.

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  53. It's what happens AFTER you give birth that determines the health and well being of your child. Go ahead. Eat all the placenta you want - it's care and nurturing, love and kindness, that make a child grow into a good human being.

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  54. Yes, I have been judgemental, you are absolutely right. This is a blog space and from time to time you should expect dialog and opposing opinions, otherwise, keep it private and closed to members who want to all laugh together. I was interested in the topic, read the comments and took offence at the attitudes and the fact that one patient woman who tried kindly to share some information was ignored and called some of you out on it. So what? You're all big girls. If you can dish, be prepared to take some back.
    I am an advocate for choice in every realm of women's reproductive health. Worked tirelessly to allow Midwives the right to practice in the US, have a degree in Health And Human Services, and donated time and Midwifery care to impoverished families.
    I personally wouldn't chose a lotus birth, or consume my placenta, but can be open to those who choose to, for whatever reason.
    I was triggered by your responses, and responded in kind. No apologies. Despite how I may appear on this one topic, I certainly do not feel saintly or holier than anyone. My hard assed, big mouthed, in your face, not PC ways make a lot of people want to punch me in the throat. Or worse.
    I'm done in here ladies. Feel free to have the last word, call me judgemental, no fun, give me that collective punch.

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  55. I once read in a book that some women actually cook and eat the placenta, and that it's OK for vegetarians to do so, because it is "the only meat you don't have to kill". None for me, thanks. I gave up placenta for Lent.

    Your blog is hilarious, and the title is perfect. Come by and see me at Home In Douglas.

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  56. I was interested in why someone would leave a decomposing organ attached to a child, so I read the information on the lotus birth site. The site gives absolutely no scientific or anecdotal reasons as to why leaving a dead organ attached to a child would have health benefits. There is a complete absence of logic in their argument.

    Most people are disgusted because it is a rotting organ. Once the cord stops pumping, it is dead. To be viable, all organs need blood circulation. Even if you preserve it, it is dead.

    All of the benefits listed for leaving said dead organ attached until the cord rots and falls off are achieved via other practices. In other words, the supposed benefits listed have nothing to do with the dead organ that can not transfer additional nutrients to the child because, once again, it is dead and rotting.

    The health outcomes of babies who have a lotus birth are due to the loving care that an individual who would lug around a dead organ just in case it is beneficial for the child gives. Women who give birth in hospitals that practice this most probably have great health outcomes because the hospital does not participate in the unnatural practices of westernized birthing that are commonplace today.

    To say that a lotus birth is natural doesn't make sense. To be natural, it has to occur in nature. Since no other species of animals does this, you cannot say that this is natural.

    Finally, my 15 month old child is a happy, healthy, energetic, loving and extremely social little man who has never even had the sniffles. I had a home birth, the cord was not cut until it stopped pulsing, I still breastfeed and I have little man on a non-dairy vegetarian diet that includes daily green smoothies (all practices I adopted based on extensive research on best practices that have both scientific and anecdotal research to back them up). Maybe his great health outcome is because of the specific efforts I make. Maybe it is simply because I love him enough to make the efforts, and he knows it.

    Either way, I did not have to leave a dead organ attached to him to achieve radiant health.

    And I did see my placenta. It looked disgusting. There is a reason why most people find internal organs disgusting (because they belong inside a person, not outside)...

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  57. I was interested in why someone would leave a decomposing organ attached to a child, so I read the information on the lotus birth site. The site gives absolutely no scientific or anecdotal reasons as to why leaving a dead organ attached to a child would have health benefits. There is a complete absence of logic in their argument.

    Most people are disgusted because it is a rotting organ. Once the cord stops pumping, it is dead. To be viable, all organs need blood circulation. Even if you preserve it, it is dead.

    All of the benefits listed for leaving said dead organ attached until the cord rots and falls off are achieved via other practices. In other words, the supposed benefits listed have nothing to do with the dead organ that can not transfer additional nutrients to the child because, once again, it is dead and rotting.

    The health outcomes of babies who have a lotus birth are due to the loving care that an individual who would lug around a dead organ just in case it is beneficial for the child gives. Women who give birth in hospitals that practice this most probably have great health outcomes because the hospital does not participate in the unnatural practices of westernized birthing that are commonplace today.

    To say that a lotus birth is natural doesn't make sense. To be natural, it has to occur in nature. Since no other species of animals does this, you cannot say that this is natural.

    Finally, my 15 month old child is a happy, healthy, energetic, loving and extremely social little man who has never even had the sniffles. I had a home birth, the cord was not cut until it stopped pulsing, I still breastfeed and I have little man on a non-dairy vegetarian diet that includes daily green smoothies (all practices I adopted based on extensive research on best practices that have both scientific and anecdotal research to back them up). Maybe his great health outcome is because of the specific efforts I make. Maybe it is simply because I love him enough to make the efforts, and he knows it.

    Either way, I did not have to leave a dead organ attached to him to achieve radiant health.

    And I did see my placenta. It looked disgusting. There is a reason why most people find internal organs disgusting (because they belong inside a person, not outside)...

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  58. 1. This is ridiculous, Everyone is screaming and cursing about a traditional Indonesian practice. Congrats you have proven yourselves intolerant of another culture.
    2. You are a reading a blog titled "People I want to punch in the throat" and as soon as one person stops screaming "ew fucking ew" and "gag gross" and begins speaking intelligently everyone starts to cry "Wahhh you're being condescending and looking down your nose and judging" STFU!!!!! Everyone else is judging, the other ladies are MOSTLY trying to educate and enlighten!
    3.It's obvious these ladies are educated and actually KNOW about this topic! Don't get all bent out of shape because you're speaking only your initial reaction and were too ignorant to educate yourselves. IT'S CALLED GOOGLE PEOPLE! Take 3 minutes out of your life and realize the difference between intelligence and education!
    4. The whole point of the lotus birth is let the BABY'S BODY ABSORB THE REMAINING CORD BLOOD. If you attached a hose to a spicket and put a sponge at the end of the hose, then turn off the spicket and let the hose drain the sponge still absorbs the water. Same general idea, baby absorbs blood left in the cord through the blood vessels.
    5. stop bitching and cursing and banding together then getting all butt hurt when someone tells you the reality behind the situation, and you realize you sounded like an ass. Or getting bent out of shape because you've been made to look like a judgmental, crass fool.
    6. Lets not forget, the cord is attached tot he placenta and your baby, you have to cut the cord somewhere. No matter what you do, a PIECE OF THAT CORD IS STILL ATTACHED. Y'know what that means? YOU'RE STILL CARRYING AROUND A PIECE OF "A ROTTING ORGAN" ANYWAY! SO, LITTLE PIECE OR BIG PIECE, WE'RE ALL DOING IT IF WE HAVE KIDS! SHUT UP GET OVER IT AND PUT ON YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES!
    P.S. For any comments I receive, I'm 8 months pregnant, a mother of a 3 year old, an LMT and CMT and an RN student. I'm not even going to care or read said comments. But for those of you who will feel the need to reply, know this, you just wasted your energy and, while somewhere there is someone you want to punch in the throat, some where is someone who wants to give you a serious cunt punt. Kind of like " no matter how hot she is, someone, some where, is tired of her shit"

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  59. I bought this bag to carry my snorkeling gear on a trip to the Mayan Riviera. Everything fits perfectly, even my fins and with room to spare for a few other items. Even with all that, the bag is small enough to carry easily as a small backpack. I purchased at http://www.apparelnbags.com/alternative/index.htm

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  60. You people are so ignorant..

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  61. "Yes, I did all of those things too, but then I carried Azriella's placenta for 10 days in a hand made bag we got from an old woman we met and bonded with on our cross country journey through Guatemala when I was seven months pregnant with her." customized carrier bags

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  62. While I know this sounds gross and would be hard to do (I think), instead of saving the placenta and carrying it around-wait for a little while before having it cut because the baby would still get the nutrients from the placenta. I helped deliver my nephew because the midwife was 45 minutes away. We did leave the cord attached for the reason of giving the baby the extra nutrients. She didn't later carry it around but has an extra freezer that its in. I have 3 kids myself and I wanted to save the cord blood for the purpose of the stem cells which couldve helped save their lives one day but I didn't because to house that was expensive. I'm super open minded and while I think that's odd, to each their own. Your blog made me laugh on more than a couple occasions but I don't want to participate in something I don't know about. In all honesty it probably is more natural but when it starts to deteriorate than Id think its time. I get trying to preserve it though. My sister inlaw did deliver both her daughters in her living room in water.. by a midwife until #3.. and I delivered him on her bed. There is something to be trying to be calm. She didn't scream pushing her son out and maybe some of you will learn from this. We live in a world of sheeple. Namaste.

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  63. I'm not just saying this to make you feel better, I literally had some vomit come up in my throat when I looked at the Placenta Bear. I am currently nauseous and light headed from the experience. I can't strip the thought and visual from my head. Thanks. Happy Halloween to me because that is the scariest shit I will ever see.

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  64. Honestly, what effect does a family's choice to lotus birth have on you? Do you feel like such a piece of crap that you have to drag other people's beliefs and practices through the mud? Grow up and stop being a bully.

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  65. I can't believe how uneducated modern "civilized" American women are. Maybe some of us should put down our gossip magazines and shallow reality tv shows and learn something about other cultures and a time other than our own. SMH!

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  66. You are a complete moron..a product of programmed close-minded western culture, full of judgement and hate. Those who do a lotus birth do it for very beautiful, spiritual reasons, a lot more thought goes into it then the normal hospital birth where the cord is cut immediately and the child sits in a nursery in a plastic box after being born. Normal is not always good. You sound like a typical 'normal' person who shuns everything they do not know...Normal is not good.

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  67. I'm really late to the game but when I was pregnant with my first I asked the dr about delaying cutting the cord. I wasn't planning to carry the placenta around but wondered of waiting a couple minutes to cut is beneficial to the baby. I was surprised to hear that he recommended cutting immediately. He said there is no medical proof that the extra cord blood benefits newborn babies and that in some rare cases the extra blood can actually overwhelm the baby's very young kidneys. He said serious kidney problems are rare but if there are no known benefits, why risk it? Btw, he was willing to wait to cut the cord if I opted for it, just wanted me to be informed. I think it's important to remember that while many of us want to so things more "naturally", 500 years ago when everything was natural infant and maternal death rates were significantly higher than they are now. There's definitely a place for modern medicine and medical research. In all of the long comments above supporting this, I saw a couple links that lead to sites that also support it, but no actual medical research or statistical data.

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