Oh No, Not You Again: Checking in with ‘Lotus Birth’ Mom Three Years Later

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“Natural” sounds like a great idea in theory, but if you take it too far you just wind up running through the woods naked like Jodie Foster in Nell. Somehow, that seems to be the parenting goal of two U.K. parents who are advocating an “all-natural” approach they call “off-grid parenting,” but their child-rearing philosophy has even the crunchiest of hippies seeing red.

According to Click On Detroit, Adele and Matt Allen make their parenting philosophy sound completely normal when they talk about it.

“Off-grid is moving towards self sustainability and being a bit more free range and less institutionalized,” Adele said.

That all sounds pretty good, but if it’s setting off alarm bells in your head, that is for good reason, because Adele and Matt’s kids have never been to see a doctor, do not go to school, and have not been vaccinated. Adele is still breastfeeding both five-year-old Ulysses and her one-year-old daughter, Ostara, and she tells The Daily Mail that she had completely intervention-free births for both children, at home with just her husband around for company.

Adele says she even had “Lotus Births,” which is where the placenta is not detached from the newborn baby. It is just carried around in a bag full of salt and rose petals until it falls off on its own.

Wait, hold up. “Lotus Birth?” We know these parents! It’s Lotus Birth Mom! Adele Allen is the mother who wrote for XO Jane about leaving the placenta attached to her baby for six days, and the whole parenting blog world wrote about it for days and days back in 2013!


This is so great! We so rarely get to check in on the “I had a baby while skydiving” people several years later to see how their kids are turning out. (We are very lucky. For self-described “Off-Grid Parents,” Adele and Matt seem to spend a lot of time talking about their parenting on the Internet.)

Now with a five-year-old and a one-year-old, Adele and Matt say they don’t need modern medicine, because they don’t trust it.

“I don’t really see that there’s any need other than using breastfeeding to supplement them,” Adele said. “I don’t see any need to inject any foreign substance directly into the blood stream. That’s not how children will come into the contact with a germ naturally anyway, be it in the mouth or another way.”

“If you use plants and herbs you target the bad without attacking the good bacteria as well.If I had something serious like cancer, I would definitely take the natural path. I whole-heartedly have faith in it now and I’ve experienced enough of it to know that is the way forward.”

There’s something so privileged about this fetishization of “natural” treatments over medicine. It’s pretty easy for a healthy person with access to top-tier medical treatments to say, “Oh no, I would cure cancer with oils. Doctors are unnatural.” I don’t want vaccinations or doctors messing with me. Everything should just be natural, like it was for the poor, rural woman who had to carve her baby out of her own abdomen with a kitchen knife because she didn’t have medical assistance.

They do not intend to subject the children to formal education, and say they want the kids to learn to read “as a consequence of just being out in the world.”

“Ostara really likes to play with woodlice and in the mud. In the park, there’s a big herb patch and she likes to pick and eat the mint leaves. Already at this young age she is thinking about what she can pick from nature and eat,” Adele says.  “Our ultimate ambition is to move towards self-sustainability. We’re looking at Central America; somewhere we can get a big plot of land and grow food. Have the space for freedom and access to wildlife in it’s natural state.”

Wildlife in its natural state is one thing, but the Allens are also going to need one heck of a high-speed Internet connection if they’re going to keep writing on the Internet about how pink eye is caused by not wanting to see.