British model Iskra Lawrence knew her unmedicated water birth would be painful. But what came as a surprise was the tremendous relief she felt after delivering the placenta.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Lawrence, 19, revealed in a video posted to her YouTube channel on Tuesday. “No one told me that it was like a lovely relief.”
To illustrate the point, Lawrence shared footage of herself expelling the "huge" organ that provided nutrients and oxygen to her baby.
"Oh wow, that was beautiful," the body image activist tells her midwife.
Lawrence was likely experiencing a release of pressure, according to Lisa N. Gittens-Williams, a professor in the department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
“Until you expel the placenta, there’s a sensation of something else still inside,” Gittens-Williams told TODAY Parents. She noted that the size of the placenta is related to the fetal size.
Lawrence and her boyfriend, Philip Payne, buried her placenta in their backyard garden.
“We didn’t eat it,” Payne noted. “I know some people eat it.”
That was smart move, according to Gittens-Williams.
“A placenta can carry multiple pathogens and it is expelled through the birth canal,” Gittens-Williams explained. “The vagina has multiple microorganisms in there and those are not things you would want to eat. It can be very harmful.”
Lawrence and Payne welcomed their first child at home during the coronavirus lockdown in April. The couple have chosen not to reveal the baby’s name or sex.
“Even though right now I know what gender the professionals have announced, that may not be who my child decides to be,” Lawrence wrote on Instagram in December. “And it doesn’t feel right to make a big deal about something so personal to them.”