Category Archives: Placentas

Journey to birth Coco Milou – an epic masterpiece … stunning!

This is absolutely gorgeous … thank you to Jane McCrae Photography for her beautiful fusion of photos & video to create something so magical … some gorgeous honouring elements … be prepared to cry … and the baby was born in the caul … how auspicious …


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Lotus Births

Lotus Births: Waiting til baby’s umbilical cord falls off

An increasing number of women are choosing to leave their newborn baby’s umbilical cord attached, in an all-natural trend called Lotus Birth.

Lotus Birth, or umbilical nonseverance, means the mother waits for the cord to detach from her baby naturally – rather than cutting it off near the stomach after childbirth.

It can take up to 10 days for the placenta and umbilical chord to fall away.

Read more from this mainstreamy article frm the Daily Mail:

On “Care of the Placenta” from

• When the baby is born, leave the umbilical cord intact. If the cord is around the baby’s neck, simply lift it over.

• Wait for the natural delivery of the placenta. Do not use oxytocin – this forces too much too soon into the infant and compromises the placenta delivery.

• When the placenta delivers, place it into a receiving bowl beside the mother.

• Wait for full transfusion of the umbilical blood into the baby before handling the placenta.

• Gently wash the placenta with warm water and pat dry.

• Place the placenta into a sieve or colander for 24hrs to allow drainage.

• Wrap the placenta in absorbent material, a nappy or cloth and put in into a placenta bag. The covering is changed daily or more often if seepage occurs. Alternatively, the placenta may be laid on a bed of sea salt (which is changed daily) and liberally covered with salt.

• The baby is held and fed as the mother wishes.

• The baby is clothed loosely.

• The baby can be bathed as usual – keep the placenta with it.

• Keep movement to a minimum.

Photo by Lotus Birth advocate and Midwife educator Mary Ceallaigh via TheDailyMail

Midwives, doulas, mammas and other birth-y wise women: Would you please share your comments, stories and resources about Lotus Births here?

☾ Katharine Krueger ~ Occupy Menstruation
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Ageing of the Placenta


  1. Professor Harold Fox.

It is widely believed that during the relatively short duration of a normal pregnancy the placenta progressively ages and is, at term, on the verge of a decline into morphological and physiological senescence.1-3 This belief is based on the apparent convergence of clinical, structural, and functional data, all of which have been taken, rather uncritically, as supporting this concept of the placenta as an aging organ with, all too often, no distinction being made between time related changes and true aging changes. I will review some of these concepts and consider whether the placenta truly undergoes an aging process. For the purposes of this review an aging change is considered to be one which is intrinsic, detrimental, and progressive and which results in an irreversible loss of functional capacity, an impaired ability to maintain homeostasis, and decreased ability to repair damage.

Postdates – fact from fiction


Is there evidence behind this practice to support the routine induction of pregnancies that go beyond 40-41 weeks? What are the usual assumptions and beliefs surrounding this?

• There is a higher risk of the baby being born still
• The placenta will stop functioning
• There will be a decrease in amniotic fluid
• The baby will grow too large


The first things to really look at are the definitions of the two key words with the pregnancy that goes past 40 weeks. Postdates, and Postmaturity. But is it accurate to start with these terms at 40 weeks?

• Postdates – Defined as a pregnancy that goes beyond 42 weeks, based on LMP. The problem with this is that it’s not the same for every woman. Due dates are calculated depending on LMP, but does not usually take into account a woman who has shorter or longer than 28 day cycles. The pregnancy wheel that is commonly used by doctors and midwives, is based on 28 day cycles. If you have a longer cycle, days will need to be added to your EDD ( Estimated Due Date ). This is rarely done however, and women who have longer cycles are held to the same due date estimation as women with shorter cycles. So on paper, you might be 42 weeks according to the estimated due date, when in actuality you would only be 41 weeks. A more accurate way of dating pregnancy is by solidly known conception dates.

• Postmaturity – Postmaturity, or Postmaturity Syndrome (PMS) can only be diagnosed after delivery and is defined as a postdates pregnancy accompanied with a combination of the following newborn assessments:

a) No lanugo ( fine body hair )
b) Long nails
c) Abundant hair on head
d) Calcified fetal skull
e) Hanging or wrinkled skin, with the appearance of weight loss
f) Dehydrated
g) Peeling skin

Postmaturity Syndrome also only affects less than 10% of pregnancies that go beyond 43 weeks. The vast majority of pregnant women do not go beyond 42 weeks with correct dates. Some studies show that less than 3% of women go beyond 43 weeks. So if the risk of postmaturity is less than 10% of pregnancies that go beyond 43 weeks, and the percentage of women who go beyond 43 weeks is less than 3% – how big of a risk is it really?


When did 40 weeks become the magical number?

The interesting part in the discussion of postdates, postmaturity, and all that it involves, is the thought that 40 weeks is some sort of magical number. In the past, there was a general “due month”. Women were given an estimation of when they would deliver, based on the known fact that normal gestation is anywhere from 37 to 42 weeks. So when did 40 weeks become this magical number that women fret over and worry once they go beyond it? It has always been that 40 weeks is the general time frame when babies were “due”. But it wasn’t until a study by McClure-Brown came out with date collected from 1958, that showed the perinatal mortality rate doubled from 40 weeks to 42 weeks – from 10/1000 to 20/1000. So it might be logical to assume that inducing labor before 42 weeks would cut back the risk of stillbirth, correct?

The problem is, this study is inaccurate and too old to continue to be of use. Modern obstetrics contradicts the findings in the study published in 1963. And yet, the findings continue to be cited. If we accepted the outcomes in the McClure study, we would also have to accept a 10/1000 mortality rate at 40 weeks! And we know that is not correct. We know that in the 1950s, the majority of women were put under general anesthesia, or twilight sleep, and forceps were commonly used.


What if the baby grows too large?

First, who defines “too large”? What is “too large” for one woman, might be the next woman’s smallest baby size. The most important thing to remember is that there is no fool proof way of knowing whether or not your body can naturally birth a baby of whatever size, until you have tried. Ultrasound has a 20% error rate in either direction, and many women have allowed an induction after being told that their baby would be nearly 10 pounds, only to give birth to an 8 pound baby. And, there is no reason for a woman to doubt her ability to birth a 10 pound baby unless she tries. I, for one, never would have believed that I could have birthed my nearly 11 pound baby, especially because I was told that I could not safely birth my 8 ½ pound baby that I was scared into a cesarean with. You never know until you give it a full chance.

Women are often told that a baby will gain approximately a ½ pound per week in the end of pregnancy. However, this is simply an approximation. Once again, this is NOT the same for every woman, or for every baby.



• A pregnancy is NOT “Postdates” until after 42 weeks.
• The risk of stillbirth is nearly a flat line between 38 weeks and 43.
• Amniotic fluid is dependent on maternal hydration, in the absence of congenital abnormalities.
• A baby’s weight virtually plateaus after 40 weeks.

Some things to think about :
• If I am not “overdue” until after 42 weeks, should I allow testing or intervention before this point?
• If NSTs come with very high false-positive rates, is it a test worth submitting to?
• If my baby will not put on much weight within a 3 week period, is it logical to worry about my baby being “too large” within a probable 2 week period?


Please, please always do your own research. Question what you are told – and go study the subject – regardless of whether your OB, midwife, family member or friends are the ones giving you the information. Make informed decisions, and take charge of your prenatal care!