More Brighton and Hove mums choosing to leave placenta attached to baby

The Argus: Matt and Adele Allen with their son Ulysses, who was left attached to his placenta until it fell away Matt and Adele Allen with their son Ulysses, who was left attached to his placenta until it fell away

Mothers are choosing to let nature take its course and leave their baby’s placenta attached after birth.

Rather than cutting the umbilical cord, scores of parents in Brighton and Hove are opting for the practice known as lotus birth.

According to midwives, the approach is becoming “relatively widespread” in the city, where the home birth rate is among the highest in the country.

It can take up to 10 days for the placenta to fall away – and mothers must carry around the matter with their infant while they wait for it to drop off.

Former yoga teacher Adele Allen, who had her son Ulysses by unassisted lotus birth at home, said it “just made sense” not to cut the cord.

She said: “The popular belief is that it’s bad for mum and baby – but it really isn’t.

“After the placenta came out, we kept it in a bag next to the bed, still attached to Ulysses. We wrapped it in a cloth and we washed it every day.

“We didn’t rub it with spices or anything though, so by the end it didn’t smell too good. But after five days of lying in bed together it just came away naturally. It was lovely.”

Emotional bond

Supporters of Lotus birth claim babies develop an emotional bond to the placenta which should not be severed too early.

They also say leaving the cord intact lessens the chance of infection and improves the newborn’s circulation.

Mrs Allen, 29, said the decision to go for a lotus birth two years ago had been “both spiritual and physical”.

She said: “It created a lot of negativity from family – but to me it just made sense.

“Our whole parental philosophy is about letting Ulysses let go only when he wants to. He still sleeps in our bed, for example. It’s a child-centred approach.

“It also keeps relatives from snatching the baby from you too soon, which I find intrusive.”

Bury placenta

Husband Matt, 30, also a yoga teacher, said the couple had treated the placenta “almost like Ulysses’ twin”.

He said: “If you have a boy you are supposed to bury the placenta to the right side of the house to represent masculinity. If it’s a girl it should go to the left side of the house.

“Sadly we were living in a block of flats at the time so we just threw it off the end of the pier.”

Brighton and Hove has one of the highest home birth rates in the country, with up to 10% of babies being born at home.

Sally Cropper, a Brighton-based doula who helps mothers during child- birth, said Lotus births were becoming “relatively widespread” in the city.

Relaxed NHS

She said: “I come across it a lot. There are lots of spiritually minded people in Brighton and there’s a lot of diversity in the way people approach things.

"The NHS here is generally more relaxed towards it than in other parts of the country.

“More people are choosing to do things in a natural way, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.”

A spokesperson for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust said: “We would always support the mother's choice around her birth and we would have no objection to the woman choosing a lotus birth, provided there is no risk to her or the baby.”

Comments (20)

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3:30pm Wed 8 May 13

Hoarder12345444 says...

Do people actually eat it? Or was that just Tom Cruise?
Do people actually eat it? Or was that just Tom Cruise? Hoarder12345444

3:52pm Wed 8 May 13

RAS Putin says...

Somebody should tell cats. They remove the placentas straight away.
Somebody should tell cats. They remove the placentas straight away. RAS Putin

4:07pm Wed 8 May 13

Hovegeek says...

Is that from the front or back of the house? Don't want to get left/right mixed up
Is that from the front or back of the house? Don't want to get left/right mixed up Hovegeek

4:12pm Wed 8 May 13

Crystal Ball says...

Hoarder12345444 wrote:
Do people actually eat it? Or was that just Tom Cruise?
Has someone eaten Tom Cruise?
[quote][p][bold]Hoarder12345444[/bold] wrote: Do people actually eat it? Or was that just Tom Cruise?[/p][/quote]Has someone eaten Tom Cruise? Crystal Ball

4:25pm Wed 8 May 13

njm1976 says...

Crystal Ball wrote:
Hoarder12345444 wrote:
Do people actually eat it? Or was that just Tom Cruise?
Has someone eaten Tom Cruise?
Good one!
[quote][p][bold]Crystal Ball[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hoarder12345444[/bold] wrote: Do people actually eat it? Or was that just Tom Cruise?[/p][/quote]Has someone eaten Tom Cruise?[/p][/quote]Good one! njm1976

4:27pm Wed 8 May 13

njm1976 says...

“Sadly we were living in a block of flats at the time so we just threw it off the end of the pier.”

...why not. plenty of other strange things floating in our coastal waters. Would be better to be known for our washed up placenta's than our needles and rubbers. Could even keep the gulls away from my chips.
“Sadly we were living in a block of flats at the time so we just threw it off the end of the pier.” ...why not. plenty of other strange things floating in our coastal waters. Would be better to be known for our washed up placenta's than our needles and rubbers. Could even keep the gulls away from my chips. njm1976

4:58pm Wed 8 May 13

Ashles says...

Oh dear lord the depressing middle-class desire to be trendy with childbirth...

If they really want to be that natural perhaps they should try giving birth naked in a field. And if anything goes wrong, no reaching for that mobile...

Anyway how is this "natural"? Even animals know not to keep the placenta attached. It has fulfilled its biological function and by any interpretation of "natural" should be discarded.

But I'm guessing science or what is really biologically natural doesn't play a large feature in Adele and Matt's lives.
Oh dear lord the depressing middle-class desire to be trendy with childbirth... If they really want to be that natural perhaps they should try giving birth naked in a field. And if anything goes wrong, no reaching for that mobile... Anyway how is this "natural"? Even animals know not to keep the placenta attached. It has fulfilled its biological function and by any interpretation of "natural" should be discarded. But I'm guessing science or what is really biologically natural doesn't play a large feature in Adele and Matt's lives. Ashles

5:18pm Wed 8 May 13

Lightbulb48 says...

Is this...? This isn't...? What? This is the script for a sitcom, yes?

"If you have a boy you are supposed to bury the placenta to the right side of the house to represent masculinity. If it’s a girl it should go to the left side of the house. Sadly we were living in a block of flats at the time so we just threw it off the end of the pier.”

Starring Miranda Hart and Graham Norton?
Is this...? This isn't...? What? This is the script for a sitcom, yes? "If you have a boy you are supposed to bury the placenta to the right side of the house to represent masculinity. If it’s a girl it should go to the left side of the house. Sadly we were living in a block of flats at the time so we just threw it off the end of the pier.” Starring Miranda Hart and Graham Norton? Lightbulb48

5:26pm Wed 8 May 13

Ihopenoonehasthisusername says...

njm1976 wrote:
“Sadly we were living in a block of flats at the time so we just threw it off the end of the pier.”

...why not. plenty of other strange things floating in our coastal waters. Would be better to be known for our washed up placenta's than our needles and rubbers. Could even keep the gulls away from my chips.
You just made my day, thanks for that.
[quote][p][bold]njm1976[/bold] wrote: “Sadly we were living in a block of flats at the time so we just threw it off the end of the pier.” ...why not. plenty of other strange things floating in our coastal waters. Would be better to be known for our washed up placenta's than our needles and rubbers. Could even keep the gulls away from my chips.[/p][/quote]You just made my day, thanks for that. Ihopenoonehasthisusername

5:41pm Wed 8 May 13

KarenT says...

Oh dear, only in Brighton (I hope!) Imagine sleeping next to that slimy thing for five days. I should put hubby in a bag too I think. I tried throwing him off the pier but he just came back.
Oh dear, only in Brighton (I hope!) Imagine sleeping next to that slimy thing for five days. I should put hubby in a bag too I think. I tried throwing him off the pier but he just came back. KarenT

8:44pm Wed 8 May 13

Maxwell's Ghost says...

My wife is a nurse and tells me it's far more alturistic to donate the umbilical and placenta to harvest the stem cells to help save other lives.
My wife is a nurse and tells me it's far more alturistic to donate the umbilical and placenta to harvest the stem cells to help save other lives. Maxwell's Ghost

6:43am Thu 9 May 13

eadie12345 says...

"we treated it (the placenta) like his twin"? clearly needs to see a head doctor.
totally agree with maxwell,my neice is a mid-wife that deals with genetic problems
in pregnat women,true the stem cells can save lives.and allowing the child to still sleep in their bed! thats making a rod for thier own back.
"we treated it (the placenta) like his twin"? clearly needs to see a head doctor. totally agree with maxwell,my neice is a mid-wife that deals with genetic problems in pregnat women,true the stem cells can save lives.and allowing the child to still sleep in their bed! thats making a rod for thier own back. eadie12345

6:54am Thu 9 May 13

Maxwell's Ghost says...

I hope this lad doesn't end up like some of the young men I work with whose mothers never cut the umbilical cord and end up unable to function emotionally and developmentally as a man.
It's time dad stepped up as this story seems to say more about the mums needs than the kids.
Maybe fostering children would help fill her need to nurture small ones.
I hope this lad doesn't end up like some of the young men I work with whose mothers never cut the umbilical cord and end up unable to function emotionally and developmentally as a man. It's time dad stepped up as this story seems to say more about the mums needs than the kids. Maybe fostering children would help fill her need to nurture small ones. Maxwell's Ghost

12:19pm Thu 9 May 13

Valerie Paynter says...

Fascinating....

But...

The placenta is a life-support thing that by 12 weeks is there to nurture the bambino and deal with 'stuff'. It seems to me that when the job is done (except when births are premature or the poor mite is aborted, etc.), we are born.

The womb is a sterile environment and the outside world is not. I think on balance that keeping it until it drops off is actually against nature, otherwise, why even cut the umbilical cord?
Fascinating.... But... The placenta is a life-support thing that by 12 weeks is there to nurture the bambino and deal with 'stuff'. It seems to me that when the job is done (except when births are premature or the poor mite is aborted, etc.), we are born. The womb is a sterile environment and the outside world is not. I think on balance that keeping it until it drops off is actually against nature, otherwise, why even cut the umbilical cord? Valerie Paynter

3:37pm Thu 9 May 13

Ashles says...

I don't know why we are even discussing this sensibly.

They called their son "Ulysses".
Being kept attached to the placenta is really only the start of his problems.
I don't know why we are even discussing this sensibly. They called their son "Ulysses". Being kept attached to the placenta is really only the start of his problems. Ashles

3:52pm Thu 9 May 13

thevoiceoftruth says...

Poor kid. Ridiculous name and embarrassing parents who compare a placenta to being his twin and then lob it off the end of the pier. I feel faintly sick.
Poor kid. Ridiculous name and embarrassing parents who compare a placenta to being his twin and then lob it off the end of the pier. I feel faintly sick. thevoiceoftruth

3:57pm Thu 9 May 13

whereisthe...? says...

"Plan for MORE MENTAL 'MOTHERS' in Brighton and Hove scuppered due to overload ALREADY - scientists say 'is already full to breaking point with loony infantile attention seeking women...."
"Plan for MORE MENTAL 'MOTHERS' in Brighton and Hove scuppered due to overload ALREADY - scientists say 'is already full to breaking point with loony infantile attention seeking women...." whereisthe...?

8:05am Fri 10 May 13

Binnybanny says...

What a pair of yoghurt weaving nutters!!

I think Matt & Adele's parents buried the children and raised the afterbirth instead!
What a pair of yoghurt weaving nutters!! I think Matt & Adele's parents buried the children and raised the afterbirth instead! Binnybanny

11:58am Fri 10 May 13

moose10 says...

not only have you got to look out for turds now when you go swimming in brighton, now you have to look out for the odd placenta floating past.
not only have you got to look out for turds now when you go swimming in brighton, now you have to look out for the odd placenta floating past. moose10

1:57pm Fri 10 May 13

wendy-uk says...

“It also keeps relatives from snatching the baby from you too soon, which I find intrusive.”

What a bizarre comment (and I'm glad I'm not one of her relatives). What with that, keeping a piece of dead flesh attached to their child for 5 days and making the poor thing sleep in bed with them, I wonder if the child protection services should be involved!
“It also keeps relatives from snatching the baby from you too soon, which I find intrusive.” What a bizarre comment (and I'm glad I'm not one of her relatives). What with that, keeping a piece of dead flesh attached to their child for 5 days and making the poor thing sleep in bed with them, I wonder if the child protection services should be involved! wendy-uk

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