Posts Tagged ‘ Jaundice ’

Lotus Birth: Crazy Fad or the Most Natural of Births?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

WARNING: You might not want to read this if you just ate! I was fascinated in an I- can’t-look-away-from-the-horrific-traffic-accident sort of way by a piece on xoJane written by a woman who had a lotus birth.

What the heck is a lotus birth, you ask (as did I)? It’s when the umbilical cord isn’t cut after childbirth so that the baby is left attached to his or her placenta until the cord naturally falls off—which could take up to a week.

To put this in perspective, most umbilical cords are usually clamped and cut within the first few minutes of a baby’s life as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of maternal hemorrhaging. Recent studies have shown that delaying clamping for at least a minute significantly improves iron and hemoglobin levels in newborns and does not increase the risks to mothers. The World Health Organization believes you can wait even longer, and recommends clamping and cutting the umbilical cord between one and three minutes after birth because of the iron benefits passed onto the baby (but beware that delaying clamping can sometimes cause the baby to develop jaundice, caused by either liver trouble or an excessive loss of blood cells).

There are no findings that the lotus birth improves the health of a baby since the placenta stops pumping oxygen, iron and stem cells to the infant after approximately five minutes. In fact, many physicians believe a lotus birth could cause infections if the umbilical cord isn’t properly cared for and watched closely since it’s basically dead tissue full of blood—a breeding ground for bacteria. Despite that, lotus births are becoming more and more popular.

According to moms who are doing this, there are two main perks. 1) The placenta is said to be a comfort to the newborn, since it has been in the womb with the baby throughout the pregnancy. 2) It helps the immediate bond formed between mother and child since the child needs to be kept close because the umbilical cord and placenta are still attached.

Depending on your point of view, this may be the most insane thing you’ll ever read, or you might think it’s the most natural, beautiful way to look at childbirth. I tend to lean towards this being a teensy bit nuts! Not to mention really unsterile (even though the mom says she went through painstaking measures to “wash and wrap the placenta everyday to keep it clean,” even placing it in a waterproof pouch.

Often lotus births go hand-in-hand with unassisted births, where the moms choose not to have a midwife or doctor present during the child’s birth—just her partner. Though I find that to be a romantic idea, just you and the one you love bringing this baby you two created into this world all by yourselves, I would be too paranoid something would go terribly wrong that I’d never even consider that as an option.

One might say I’m being too squeamish about childbirth (maybe!), and that a woman’s body knows what it’s doing—it’s like turning on cruise control in a car! But I don’t see any lotus births in my future. Ever!

TELL US: Would you give unassisted lotus birth a try? 

Image of mom and baby courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Worried About Having an “Ugly” Baby? Confess!

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

UltrasoundKevin Jonas’ wife Danielle (both of E!’s Married to Jonas fame) proudly Tweeted her baby’s sonogram, pointing out, “Look at that cute nose!!!” Lucky her, because not all moms-to-be come away from their sonogram appointments feeling that way. I know I didn’t!

Danielle’s sweet tweet took me back to when I got my first ultrasound. I was so excited to get a glimpse of my little one. My husband and I were holding hands the entire time, completely ecstatic. The technician walked us through the process, pointing out the body parts: “Here’s the heart. See it beating? Here’s an arm, a foot, the head. Now let’s zoom in on the face.” When she did, I nearly fell off of the exam table!

My son’s face (of course, at that point I didn’t know whether I was having a boy or girl—it was too early to tell) was pressed up against my uterine wall. It was smushed and lumpy. I hate to say it (forgive me Logan!), but he looked way more creepy than cute! Think: Scream mask + Leatherface = horrifying, nightmare-inducing baby!

I felt awful and guilty for even thinking it. Shouldn’t a mom think her baby is cute no matter what?! But a few days later I was talking to a friend and telling her I had my first ultrasound, and she bluntly asked, “Did your baby look weird?” I let out a huge, “Yeeees!” and a sense of relief came over me. There, I said it!

It turns out that I’m not the only mother to ever think that her kid wasn’t darling via sonogram. In fact, not all moms think their babies are adorable once they’re born either (and that’s ok). Just to prepare you, not all babies are picture-perfect right out of the gate. They can come out looking really red, or even yellow, since it’s common for newborns to have a touch of jaundice. Some are born with acne, or their entire bodies are covered in thick hair called lanugo, which is especially common if your baby is born early. (We affectionately referred to Logan as Wolf Boy for the first few weeks because his back, upper arms and even his butt were furry, and his eyebrows morphed into his hairline and sideburns).

But within a few weeks (ok, months for some), the awkward phase disappears and you have the precious baby you’ve dreamed about—the perfect mixture of you and your honey.

TELL US: Did your sonogram scare you? Are you worried just a little that you’ll have an “ugly” baby?

Image via Danielle Jonas’ Instagram.

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