One of the most common sights after delivering a baby in a regular hospital is a doctor severing the umbilical cord. This way, the placenta is detached from the baby's body and the remaining part of the umbilical cord gets tied into a knot. This knot will dry out and fall off very soon after the birth, but it requires daily cleaning in order to prevent infections.
Lotus birth is a concept that changes the course of the typical postpartum umbilical cord treatment.
The lotus birth is an alternative to regular labor during which the placenta and the umbilical cord are left alongside the baby after the birth. Instead of severing the umbilical cord, the midwife (most often after a homebirth) will leave the baby along with its umbilical cord and placenta.
Although lotus birth lacks evidence-based info to support alleged benefits for the baby, it is rooted in ancient medicinal practices of Asian and African civilization. Traces of lotus birth have been found in the historical record of these societies.
In the era before the reliable maternity care that exists today, people sometimes left the placenta along with the baby to prevent infections from having an open wound. As one can imagine, the people of ancient societies couldn't provide sterile surroundings for a newborn, nor vaccination to protect him from the disease. In some cases, they'd choose to leave the umbilical cord non-severed so that the baby wouldn't have an open wound on his body.
As the medicine progressed, this practice was abandoned.
The majority of claims of lotus birth benefits relate to the metaphysical concept of preserving the wholesomeness of the baby at birth. However, it is better to stick with evidence based medicine (EBM). Here are a couple of other alleged lotus birth benefits:
Helps baby to adapt to the world outside of the womb
It is believed that the benefits of lotus birth are also psychological. As the baby comes into the world, it experiences what many psychologists claim to be a trauma. It leaves a completely safe, balanced environment in which her needs are always met, to come into the world that shocks with light and noises, and where the baby experiences the pain and sensation of hunger for the first time. Lotus birth is said to ease the transition for the baby, as it remains attached to its umbilical cord, with which he spent months touching and playing.
Other alleged benefits include better blood circulation for the baby as it receives the remaining of the blood from the umbilical cord. There are also benefits from absorbing the stem cells that are found inside the cord.
Here are some other lotus birth pros and cons.
No need for cleaning and maintenance of the belly button.
- Reduction of psychological shock to the baby.
- Absorption of extra blood into the newborn’s body.
- Low mobility for the mother and the baby.
- Increased risks from infection.
- Daily placenta cleaning and maintenance.