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That "Thing" in That Basket Isn't a Baby, You Know That, Right?

I have had the most horrible case of writer's block lately! With that said, I saw this article on Babycenter and I just had to write something about it.
So, we've heard of the trend of eating the placenta after birth. We've heard of the trend of putting them in pill form to get the nutrients. But this? This to me, is just the craziest of them all.
As a group of beings on this planet, I've never seen any other mammal who evolves to get to a certain place, then de-evolves on purpose, to be more "natural." I am sure I am seriously about to put my foot in my mouth, I am sure there are (some) people out there that I might offend with my "closed-mindedness" on this topic. But this is just, well, ridiculous to me.
Basically, after the placenta comes out, instead of cutting the cord and detaching it from the baby, you leave the placenta on, they salt it to help with the decomp process, add rosemary (I am guessing for the smell?), then put it in a basket with a bow, so it's nice and crafty for you to carry around with your baby until it falls off naturally, 3 - 10 days later.
Yep. You JUST read that.
The thought is that in "nature" other mammals either eat the placenta after birth (scientist believe the moms do this in the wild so as to remove evidence of babies from predators, so why we feel the need to do it is insane to me) and other animals don't remove the placenta, it just falls off when it is supposed to. I am guessing the reason this happens in the wild is because animals don't have the opposable thumbs necessary to use a pair of scissors. I would venture a guess that if animals were intelligent and could evolve to the point of human beings, they wouldn't be carrying around those things around by choice, either.
Why do we, as humans, disregard technology and modern medicine and the advances we've made over thousands of years, thinking that it's against our nature, and go back to wanting to live in caves? I understand the thought process, somewhat, but I think we as humans take it a step too far. I am convinced that the very reason moms do these kinds of crazy shenanagans is so that they can either A) Look better than other moms, because they are doing the "best possible thing for their child" or B) Just to see what all they can do and how far people will go to be "open-minded" and "accepting" of their choices. Either way, we've been having babies for thousands of years and for some reason, every other human being on the face of the planet has decided it is not necessary for the placenta to remain attached until it falls off "naturally," so why do these moms think they need to change it now? I know, to be different, daring, and "to break with oppressive traditions that injure and harm our babies."
I've just about had enough with these nutcases. I am sorry, but how disgusted would you be going over to a friend's house to hold and cuddle their newborn, just to find that "thing" in a basket right next to them? And how disgusting is it that the cord is just dangling there, collecting dust, food particles, and God only knows what else? Just makes me sick.
What do you think of this?


teacherjanet said…
I run in a group of pretty "crunchy" moms and have even known a few to encapsulate their placenta and take it but have not yet had any of them do this. Well, that I know of anyway. HA! I don't think we have always evovled and hate modern medicine in many aspects especially childbirth but this is a bit nuts bc it seems that even before modern medicine we had tools to cut the cord.
I love "crunchy." That's hiliarious!
Shaon said…
Another thought I just had is the possibility of tearing. You have to be careful about the nub that is left usually, so having that whole thing and the possibility of snagging and pulling or for instance with one of my children we had to work the umbilical cord off and it bled a little etc. Just so many more things that can go wrong from leaving it attached in my opinion, with zero that I can think of benefits. Not to mention, then what? What do they do with them after they fall off?
Tai Carson said…
Blogging expert on the evolutionary practices of mammals, particularly humans, Runs With Crunchies and Sharon who worked the cord out and it bled a little;
Thank you for all the research and thought you put into your blathering here. You're obviously professional Journalists, Sociologists, Anthripologists, 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.
apancake said…
I have to agree with tai - this is one of the most exquisite examples of blathering I have ever seen. Why critique something before doing ANY research on it? Your Google key broken, or you just like showing off your provincial thinking? There is no point tearing something apart if you don't know what it even is. Maybe you like Glenn Beck, and Rush - they do this for a living. But they're better at it - more colorful and creative.
Vive Le Sage Bebe said…

As we know from social psychology, the first reaction to anything outside our habitual POV is one of automatic rejection, as sort of a self-defense mechanism. So, it's OK that you are having your reaction (though maybe unwise to publish it so prematurely, considering how little you know and how little time you've devoted to public health, informed choice, and inter-disciplinary women's health studies).

Anyhoo... in case you missed it, as your research seems quite cursory - the mammals who share the most genetic material (99%) with humans are chimpanzees - and they do not sever the cord. Nor do they mutilate the genitals of girls or boys via circumcision. They are, however, monagamous & community collaborators. The 1% that's different is really different - after all, they are animals. But scientists consider them highly intelligent, and conscious to some degree. Chimps, being the "most" evolved primates and also happening to practice undisturbed bonding, are perhaps a provocation to question current western medical neonatal practice.

If you could help ensure that your sweet grandchildren have the chance to be not just "normal" but "full capacity" due to undisturbed bonding, maximum placental infusion of stem cells at the time it is needed the most, and a solid physiological & psychological foundation for child development, wouldn't you?
I am very sorry you all feel as though this is blathering. I did research this particular scenario and it has been proven by many doctors and scientists that humans carrying around their placentas is not only unnatural but unnecessary. And I do believe that it is very strange that we, as humans, come to accept certain evolutionary facts and then, thousands of years later, after trillions of humans have inhabited the earth, that we've really had it all wrong the entire time. I think our society has come to the point of outdoing one another with things "of nature," especially as parents, which can be proven time and time again, when parents push the maternal envelope to the point of ridiculousness. I think this is one of those times. I can understand a great many things when it comes to how parents raise their kids, but this is not only unnatural as humans, but it just begs to be an unsanitary and unsafe practice. I could not imagine a world that we live in which millions of newborns are attached to their placentas and the strange world that would be. I see no scientfic evidence to support this practice as valuable, and have yet to come across any articles that have convinced me otherwise.

However, thank you for reading my blog!

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