In a Lotus delivery, the umbilical cord is left connected to the baby after birth until it dries and separates naturally. Its name came after Clair Lotus who saw that chimpanzees did not separate the placenta from the newborn. This technique is thought to have existed historically and is rising in popularity on TikTok. But is it beneficial? What are the drawbacks?
This technique has no benefits that would be proved by scientific research.
According to research, Lotus birth is associated with a higher risk of infection.
Delayed cord clamping is preferred by the medical community.
Lotus delivery process
There is no specific way to preserve the placenta that is medically recommended, therefore people do it differently.
Typically, the placenta is cleaned after birth. Some parents opt to leave the placenta open to the air while others prepare it with salt, herbs, or essential oils and retain it in a placenta bag or material that absorbs moisture.
Depending on how wet the placenta is, some people repeat the cleaning and salting process to decrease the moisture.
Advantages of Lotus birth
Due to a lack of scientific research on this topic, there are no clear medical benefits of keeping the placenta attached to the baby.
Some mothers express their preference for Lotus birth because they want to have a natural birth and postnatal care. In their opinion, the Lotus birth helps the newborn to bond and attach to their mother, and become part of a family. Some say that the placenta belongs to the infant and is not a medical byproduct. Some women emphasize the spirituality of the practice as its main advantage.
Some people think that Lotus births can boost the amount of blood and nutrition the placenta gives to the infant. However, since the placenta does not get blood from the mother after it is delivered, it cannot offer any advantages.
Dangers related to Lotus birth
There is insufficient scientific evidence to promote umbilical cord non-severance as a safe technique.
The placenta might potentially get infected, which would then possibly spread to the baby.
According to research, Lotus birth can be linked to omphalitis (inflammation of the belly button), urinary tract infections, endocarditis (inflammation of the inner lining of the heart), neonatal hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), and even sepsis. Nevertheless, further research is required to confirm these associations.
It has been proven that delaying cord clamping has the following benefits:
- Boosts the circulation and levels of hemoglobin in the baby.
- Reduce the chance that preterm babies may develop anemia and require blood transfusions.
- Improves iron reserves during the first months of life.
- Lowers the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis and intraventricular hemorrhage in premature infants.
- Slightly increases the risk of jaundice due to elevated levels of bilirubin.
To sum up, Lotus birth has no medically proven benefits for the baby and is associated with a higher chance of infection. Delayed cord clamping is recommended by the medical community. Ask your doctor or midwife for their opinions and expertise with the procedure if you are still considering having a Lotus birth.