Keeping Newborns Tied to the Placenta Is Now a Thing (And It Really Doesn't Even Smell)

This emerging birth practice has you bringing home more than just your baby

We predicted more midwife births in 2013, but here's one trend we didn't see coming: Lotus Birth.

Cutting the umbilical cord after a baby's born is an iconic birth tradition, often reserved for the nervous new dad. But an emerging natural birth trend has new parents leaving the cord alone altogether…and carrying it (and the attached placenta) around until the cord falls off on its own.

It's called Lotus Birth, according to The Daily Mail, or umbilical non-severance, and some natural birth experts say it's best for the baby. A 2010 study found waiting a few minutes until the cord stop pulsing to cut it allows vital stem cells to reach the baby. Lotus birth takes that idea a step further, removing any possibility of prematurely interrupting the transfer of cord blood. The cord usually separates from the baby around day 3, but can take as long as 10 days. 

It sounds great for baby, awkward for mom. Getting used to holding a new baby is hard enough, but this brings a whole new meaning to cord management. Also, how do you care for placenta so it doesn't, well, start to stink? According to an interview with midwife Mary Ceallaigh via Fox News, the placenta can keep for a few days if it's wrapped in cloth and treated with salt or herbs, though if it isn't it can start to smell "gamey." Ceallaigh says lotus birth is safe, since there's no wound created from cutting the cord, and about 5 percent of her patients are doing it.

Not covered in the interview is where to carry the placenta when you have to bring your newborn to the pediatrician. Do you keep it in your purse? And we thought our bag was a mess!

Read more:
The Biggest Parenting Trends of 2013
New Moms Are Eating Their Baby's Placenta: Natural or Not, We Think We're Going to Throw Up
14 Things No One Told Us About Labor

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