Adele Allen, a mother of two from the United Kingdom, decided to do something a bit unconventional. During both of her pregnancies, the mother opted for natural childbirths, then decided to leave her infants connected to their placenta.
Instead of cutting the umbilical cord, Adele left it attached until it naturally fell off, which was six days for her second child. She even carried the newborn around alongside a small cooler to keep the placenta in. To control the odor, she sprinkled it with rock salt and rose petals.
Keeping the placenta in place allowed the mother to remain attached to the child for hours after the baby was born.
“This extended period of literally remaining connected ensured I could bond successfully with both my babies without any interference or unnecessary weighing, bathing or medical tests,” she wrote on her blog, according to Daily Mail.
Adele said the health benefits of this method (called a “lotus birth”) keep the baby continuously nourished by the vital nutrients and enzymes from the placenta.
However, the panel of The Doctors warned that “natural” does not always mean “healthy.” In fact, they suggested that the lotus method is merely a myth. As soon as the umbilical cord hits room-temperature air, it clamps up, immediately stopping blood flow to the baby.
Leaving the placenta can also increase the baby’s risk of infection, as it is remaining attached to an essentially dead body part. While the doctors say that they support every mother’s right to choose how to take care of her child, they also want them to know that there is a middle ground.
Fortunately, Adele’s children are happy and healthy. Still, the panel said it’s best to leave the umbilical cord on for about 30 to 60 seconds, which is more than the two seconds doctors normally leave it on for, yet not long enough for the newborn to become at risk.
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Photos: The Doctors
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