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#1 of 81 Old 05-04-2007, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering if someone has informatin about biting the cord, instead of cutting it. I was trying to think how did the women cut the cord from their instinct, before the culture made them use scissors, or a knife or something external.

Thanks very much, our baby is coming soon and I will like to try other options.
someone told me, there is a part where the cord should be thinner, but I cannot find more info about it. I hope someone of u can help me.
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#2 of 81 Old 05-04-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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most cultures left in intact, no biting or cutting. They call this "lotus" these days and you'll find tons of information online.

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#3 of 81 Old 05-05-2007, 03:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply. I already read ablut lotus birth, but what I am trying to figure out is supposing that if they did not cut the cord like other mammals then they had to carry the placenta, which (tell me if i am wrong) will be heavy to do it, without taking the right care. So i am thinking at a moment they had to cut or eat it like the other mammals.

And also what about the other predators, the placenta will be a special smell to go near the baby. So that is why I am guessing they had to break it at some point.

What is your suggestion, it will really help me.

Thanks
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#4 of 81 Old 05-05-2007, 05:10 AM
 
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The placenta is not heavy. And it would smell pretty close to what a baby would smell like anyway.

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#5 of 81 Old 05-05-2007, 05:53 AM
 
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I know of someone who chewed through the cord. You would need to leave it a while, probably at least 1-2 days, for it to get dry enough and it would still be pretty... jerky-ish I think. Like meat jerky - tough!
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#6 of 81 Old 05-05-2007, 09:43 AM
 
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Personally I am guessing that as long as humans have been using tools they have probably been cutting the cord with something like a sharp rock. I've never heard of a culture who bites through it - but that doesnt mean they dont exist.
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#7 of 81 Old 05-05-2007, 11:40 AM
 
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Did other cultures really leave the cord intact? Seems to me they'd have cut it away w/ a sharp rock or something. The way I see it, I've got scissors in my kitchen so why not use them

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#8 of 81 Old 05-05-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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Yeah, I'm kind of skeptical of lotus being wide spread. With animals it breaks when the mama gets to her feet. I don't know why a human's couldn't be snapped as well.
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#9 of 81 Old 05-05-2007, 08:26 PM
 
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Yeah, I'm kind of skeptical of lotus being wide spread. With animals it breaks when the mama gets to her feet. I don't know why a human's couldn't be snapped as well.

we have no evidence of what cave people did but as recent as the american and canadian pioneers, it was left intact until it dried and came off on it's own.

at least, this is what I have read in REAL LIVE books so I have no convienient online sources to quote from.

bite or cut it if you wish, but the logical natural thing IMO is to leave it alone.

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#10 of 81 Old 05-06-2007, 04:31 AM
 
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FWIW, the New Zealand Maori used to cut the cord with a piece of Paua shell (blue/green Abalone)
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#11 of 81 Old 05-06-2007, 08:47 AM
 
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Dulcealegria ~ I've wondered about this too.

It makes sense to me that if you birthed outside & needed to get away fast you'd bite the cord.

My placentas are very heavy with my large babies. My last one was around 5 pounds. My cords are strong too so I don't think they'd snap.

I like the idea of biting the cord instead of cutting it.

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#12 of 81 Old 05-06-2007, 02:26 PM
 
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I think it is as natural for a human to use a tool as it is for a bird to build a nest.
primary cultures have used stone tools obsidian makes for a very fine knife- or in other places a fresh new shoot of razor grass, or bamboo, fire, most cultures have a "ritual" way to cut a cord and many are very good ideas having to do with preventing infection-- I have not read about people who have bitten the cord off but have read the stuff on line about animals biting the cord and eating the placenta--
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#13 of 81 Old 05-06-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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I think it is as natural for a human to use a tool as it is for a bird to build a nest.
primary cultures have used stone tools obsidian makes for a very fine knife- or in other places a fresh new shoot of razor grass, or bamboo, fire, most cultures have a "ritual" way to cut a cord and many are very good ideas having to do with preventing infection-- I have not read about people who have bitten the cord off but have read the stuff on line about animals biting the cord and eating the placenta--
Along with brain size, tool use is what generally what separates the higher and lower primates (with the obvious exceptions).

The practice got its name and its popularity through a woman who observed chimps carrying around the placenta until it fell off. As a staunch believer in evolution, I personally value my connection with the primates, but I also value the small difference that separate humans from chimps.

Having said that, I also very much value one's right to do as they please with their placenta (even those who enjoy it with a side salad! ), but I would venture to say the lotus method it is a more spiritual/cultural than health-related practice. Please let it be understood that I am in no way critical of the practice -- just proposing that these days it has more spiritual meaning than anything.

Now, having said all THAT... if I were more interested in not retaining the cord and placenta, but wanted to sever it, and didn't want to use scissors, then I'd make DH bite it. I mean, he's got to have something to do, right?
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#14 of 81 Old 05-06-2007, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your contributions. I think I will try to bite it, but I will like to read something more about it. I can understand than in other cultures they started to leave it intact, but I am still trying to figure out what a cave woman made.

So lets see your thinkings,
Dulce alegria
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#15 of 81 Old 05-06-2007, 04:18 PM
 
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I know I've read in amny historical fiction-type books that women/midwives/other attendant bit the cord. I wouldn't be surprised if some people somewhere did this. I definitely like the idea and have thought about before -- mostly because I figured that's how women used to do it.

I know I know, fiction is fiction.
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#16 of 81 Old 05-06-2007, 10:50 PM
 
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a while back we had a discussion on this and I found info very different about chimps- that they sever and eat the placenta- atleast what was observed buy the folks who do animal studies
as for people in 3rd world countries , tetanus is in the top 3 causes of infant mortality -- tetanus from the cord site due exposure to waste and dirt, in one study the dried dung used for cooking and heating water was contaminating the cord site-- even though mom washed her hands it was in the environment--
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#17 of 81 Old 05-06-2007, 11:40 PM
 
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I absolutely WOULD NOT do this. It seems to me that there would be a risk to the newborn because there is bacteria in your mouth. There is a reason we use sterile scissors to cut the cord. In Africa, many babies are lost each year because they cut the cord with rocks, shells, etc. There is a movement to provide the midwives there with proper tools to decrease this senseless death. Think this one through.

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#18 of 81 Old 05-07-2007, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again for your replies. I am reconsidering since I did not thounght about bacteria getting into the cord.

What about doing it only with the hands? I am so naive,sorry if I am but that why I need your responses.
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#19 of 81 Old 05-07-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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Seriously? You're worried about the germs in the mother's own mouth? Somebody elses mouth or a sharp rock off the ground, okay. But, well, umm... okay I'm just dumbfounded by this one. You know where babies come out right? : I think harm in this scenario is incredibly unlikely. I understand that for a birth worker, sterility is important, but she's not birthing any baby but her own, and I guarantee she won't wear gloves to catch either! I'm having trouble seeing how the third world countries arguments are relevant to this situation, Beth, simply because the whole environment those women are birthing in is extremely unsanitary, as I believe was mentioned in a pp.


Dulce, your thinking on this seems pretty clear and reasonable to me in the context of a UC mindset. Part of the UC movement is questioning and discovering the actual physiological requirements of birth, as opposed to societal requirements. I think this is an interesting discussion regarding where that line belongs. I find it important to observe what other mammals and more primitive cultures do, since we are so far removed from our instinctual past.
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#20 of 81 Old 05-07-2007, 10:36 PM
 
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Well, I don't know about all of you, but I intend to just cut it and get on with loving my new baby. I don't want to spend ay extra time chewing, sawing, burning, bundling, salting or whatever, and instead use that time to bond with and get to know my newborn. That's all that will be on my mind, not how to sever the cord. There's my 2 cents.

However, I concur that biting through a *still pulsing* cord would pose big infection risks. However, we're not talking about biting a pulsing cord right?
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#21 of 81 Old 05-07-2007, 10:43 PM
 
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Seriously? You're worried about the germs in the mother's own mouth? Somebody elses mouth or a sharp rock off the ground, okay. But, well, umm... okay I'm just dumbfounded by this one. You know where babies come out right? : I think harm in this scenario is incredibly unlikely. I understand that for a birth worker, sterility is important, but she's not birthing any baby but her own, and I guarantee she won't wear gloves to catch either! I'm having trouble seeing how the third world countries arguments are relevant to this situation, Beth, simply because the whole environment those women are birthing in is extremely unsanitary, as I believe was mentioned in a pp.


Dulce, your thinking on this seems pretty clear and reasonable to me in the context of a UC mindset. Part of the UC movement is questioning and discovering the actual physiological requirements of birth, as opposed to societal requirements. I think this is an interesting discussion regarding where that line belongs. I find it important to observe what other mammals and more primitive cultures do, since we are so far removed from our instinctual past.
Sorry, but I find your reasoning here bizarre. Why would the mother's mouth be different than someone else's mouth? Mouths are mouths.

I am not talking about birthing the baby in a "sterile environment" or being abnormally germ-a-phobic. There is a huge difference between comparing the birth canal that a baby passes through with a mouth severing the umbilical cord. In the latter, an infection is possible because the umbilical cord connects directly to their blood supply.

I really am indifferent about people's reasons for UC. I think its fantastic that we all have choices about how we birth our children. But undoubtably SOME research has to come into play here. In the 1800s, thousands of babies died from umbilical infections. This was decreased dramatically when it was recognized that hand washing, hygiene, etc. is important. And that was in the Western world, not a third world country. It appears that it had little to do with the environment, and more to do with dirty implements, hands, etc. coming in contact with the cord.

On the one hand, you are laughing at me for suggesting that some precautions be taken, yet you say the problem in Africa is "the whole environment those women are birthing in is extremely unsanitary."

So which is it? Is sanitation important or not?

Which is why I suggest this mother takes that into account and uses some sterile scissors to severe a blood pathway to her newborn. I fail to see how this is taking away any of the experience of birth for her.

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#22 of 81 Old 05-08-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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Seriously? You're worried about the germs in the mother's own mouth? I'm just dumbfounded by this one. You know where babies come out right? I'm having trouble seeing how the third world countries arguments are relevant to this situation, Beth, simply because the whole environment those women are birthing in is extremely unsanitary, as I believe was mentioned in a pp.
We all know the baby comes into a dirty environment. But the dirt doesn't have a direct route in except in a "broken" cord. Third world countries are very relevant here as they're "dirty" cutting of the cord is causing infection.

Hence the reason babies' cords must be tied off or clamped securely before cutting. ANY bacteria on the tool, in the hands or in the mouth may or possibly WILL flush straight into the babies system through that cut cord the second it's cut.

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#23 of 81 Old 05-08-2007, 01:12 AM
 
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The human mouth is supposed to have more bacteria then a dogs. I've read up to 500 different types of bacteria. I'd research it a little before you decide how or if to sever your baby's cord this way.

It's a good point that I hadn't thought about until it was brought up.

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#24 of 81 Old 05-08-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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stone tools are not necessarily a problem- if you have a freshly chipped obsidian knife- it is going to be clean-- obsidian scalpels are used medically because of the fine lines they can cut and less inflammation - and you can boil an igneous rock- it can take heat fine--
do I think that a mouth has bacteria in it yep, and do I want to colonize my baby's cord stump with that flora - not for me , but I think that some people probably have good oral flora -- in the Foxfire books there are people who could breath into a baby's mouth and clear up thrush- so I think that their mouth flora is going to be fine-
my comments on tetanus have more to do with range of what can happen with cords-- in the places where they cut the cords "long" the stump is more susceptible to becoming infected with tetanus-- and tetanus as a problem has been greatly reduced even in the last 10 years- it can be prevented to some degree with topical antibacterial agents or atleast that is what the recent studies are saying- the push for the longest time has been toward vaccinating moms- because a mom will pass on immunity to her newborn--
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I just can't figure out exactly what a mom with good hygeine and nutrition in a clean environment would be passing on through a limp, dead cord, possibly one that had even been tied off first. This is what I had envisioned, but maybe that's too big of an assumption. Of course I believe sanitation in general to be a valid issue. I'm just having trouble seeing this in particular to be overwhelmingly dangerous.
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Sorry, but I find your reasoning here bizarre. Why would the mother's mouth be different than someone else's mouth? Mouths are mouths.
There's not a difference between the mother's bacteria, and other people's when it comes to the babies exposure? Why do birthing attendants wear gloves? Wash their hands? It's not to limit exposure to foreign bacteria? I'm not trying to be antagonistic. I'm trying to figure out what I'm missing. I was planning on either lotus birth or cutting the cord with sterile scissors myself, and I'm not really encouraging anyone to bite or considering biting the cord myself. I would however like to continue the dialogue regarding the cave woman concept and how much of that adds to the safety/validity/empowerment/whatever aspects of uc and what takes away from it.

There's no studies on this that I can find anthropological, or scientific. And I've witnessed argument among midwives as to whether even the cord you tie with has to be sterilised. Some think it incredibly important, and some find it ridiculous.
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stone tools are not necessarily a problem- if you have a freshly chipped obsidian knife- it is going to be clean-- obsidian scalpels are used medically because of the fine lines they can cut and less inflammation - and you can boil an igneous rock- it can take heat fine--
That's pretty cool, but in the absence of obsidian, are there other clean options? Are traditional cultures still using these methods? I'm just curious.

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do I think that a mouth has bacteria in it yep, and do I want to colonize my baby's cord stump with that flora - not for me , but I think that some people probably have good oral flora -- in the Foxfire books there are people who could breath into a baby's mouth and clear up thrush- so I think that their mouth flora is going to be fine-
Ha! I do get that. I don't think my oral flora is nice enough to clear up thrush, myself.

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my comments on tetanus have more to do with range of what can happen with cords-- in the places where they cut the cords "long" the stump is more susceptible to becoming infected with tetanus-- and tetanus as a problem has been greatly reduced even in the last 10 years- it can be prevented to some degree with topical antibacterial agents or atleast that is what the recent studies are saying- the push for the longest time has been toward vaccinating moms- because a mom will pass on immunity to her newborn--
I apologize for taking your words out of context. However my point was that there are indeed other factors in play in the societies Beth mentioned. We're not just talking about one time contact of the stump with an unsanitary object in Africa or wherever else this is an issue. We're talking about prolonged exposure in unsanitary conditions with people just beginning to figure out what is involved and what will help.

I just think it was a bit unwarranted to jump to the conclusion that biting the cord = horrible infection risk without bringing in any other factors, such as when or how it is done.

With that in mind I have questions for Dulce. Were you considering tying it off first? I think it would be hard to bite it close to the baby. Would you leave it however long you bit it? or bite as a sort of ritual moment, and then tie and cut closer to baby later on?

I still find the concern about infection here overblown, but I could be wrong. I would love to see something more concrete that might change my mind.
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#26 of 81 Old 05-08-2007, 09:27 AM
 
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Colonizing the newborn with helpful bacteria is one of the primary events that occur after birth Beth. That is done in many ways ~ through the poop (& traces of poop) that are present in the anus during birth, through the sucking on bacteria laden nipples, and through the mouth with kissing the newborn. The newborn baby is essentially sterile inside, and these healthy forms of newborn colonization are appropriate for infant health & survival. I see no real difference in the bacteria that may be transmitted in biting the cord vs just kissing the babe on the mouth. Which I do frequently.

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#27 of 81 Old 05-08-2007, 10:11 AM
 
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I see no real difference in the bacteria that may be transmitted in biting the cord vs just kissing the babe on the mouth. Which I do frequently.
The former could enter directly into the bloodstream, the latter faces the barriers of the immune system.

It's why some people (for cardiac reasons) need antibiotics when undergoing dental work ... any bloodletting could allow oral bacteria into the bloodstream, where it doesn't have time to encounter the immune responses faced by other methods of entry.

It is an interesting subject, but again, I'm wondering the root reason of why the OP is ruminating over this.
Someone mentioned getting in touch with our instinctual ancestry (if I am taking it out of context I deeply apologize) but I feel like birthing the baby in your own dark quiet corner and then putting the child to your breast is as beautifully instictive as it gets. Are you wondering what you'd do if you were detached from civilization, far removed from the modern medical world? I still venture to say the cord would be one of the last things on your mind in that case. You'd probably leave it all intact.
On the other hand, unless you've got wireless internet connection deep in a dark misty forest (in which case, I'm jealous! ) then you have the advantages of the "modern medical world" which envelopes everything from sterile scissors to clamps to simple string -- any device that would restrict vascular access to the baby's side of things. (My husband is comfortable having his shoelace and his pocketknife on hand - I want a pretty pink ribbon!)

From my existentialist perspective, it would be more productive to evaluate the reasons why you ponder this question, rather than the incidentals and the mechanics of it.

I also want to mention that it is wonderful to have so many strong-minded women sharing their opinions in this place! I learn something new everyday from all of you!
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#28 of 81 Old 05-08-2007, 12:54 PM
 
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I see no real difference in the bacteria that may be transmitted in biting the cord vs just kissing the babe on the mouth. Which I do frequently.
First of all, what Aunt G said is true and what I was trying to say before. There is a huge difference between direct bloodstream contact and going through the skin. If anyone has read VACCINATIONS: A Thoughtful Parents Guide by Aviva Jill Romm, there is a great explanation of how the immune system works. There are different immunoglobulins that are put into play when things come through the skin vs. bypassing this directly to the bloodstream. Which is why vaccines don't work in the same way as natural immunity. And why people who create vaccines are trying more closely to emulate the natural way by creating vaccines that work through the skin and mucous membranes(like FluMist and the old oral polio vaccine) rather than go with injections. But you don't want to get me started on vaccines As far as I'm concerned, my baby's bloodstream will be protected from artificial toxins directly entering it from crap laded vaccines or from crap from my mouth. It is not natural in my eyes to put dirt, junk, mercury, formaldehyde, etc. into a baby's bloodstream.

I don't mean to insult anyone, but I really don't understand why this ritual is so important. I understand getting back to nature. Or doing something from your culture. But trying to get information about what animals do, seems counterintuitive to me. My dog can eat rotten meat and poop and not get sick. My dog is different than me in many ways.

Mamaintheforest mentioned colonization from the anus during birth. However, the OP certainly should not rub the stump of the umbilical cord on her anus. This is a perfect example of how the skin barrier works completely differently than direct contact with the blood.

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#29 of 81 Old 05-08-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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However, the OP certainly should not rub the stump of the umbilical cord on her anus. This is a perfect example of how the skin barrier works completely differently than direct contact with the blood.
Gross! : I would never think anyone would do such a thing.

I guess if I was worried about something entering the bloodstream of the newborn through the cord, I would be worried about the antimicrobial agents commonly used in hospitals just as much. (iodine, triple dye, alcohol, Silver sulphadiazine, chlorhexidine, etc...as well as even things used in home birthing such as goldenseal, gentian violet, etc.)

I don't think that the cord should be colonized with bacteria, (like the baby's gut) I'm just saying that the rigorous anti microbial efforts are a bit over the top. And I'm saying that in my opinion, I wouldn't be uncomfortable with biting the cord.

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#30 of 81 Old 05-08-2007, 01:14 PM
 
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I don't mean to insult anyone, but I really don't understand why this ritual is so important. I understand getting back to nature.
We're not saying it's so important. We're just having a discussion about it.

Greenlee's Forest *intentional jewelry* a secret Journal locket!
Me My Blog Mama to 7 babes & four spirit babies
mama in the forest is offline  
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