Your pregnancy is one of the most beautiful journeys that you’ll embark on, and of course, you’d want everything to be planned perfectly. When you browse or read about pregnancy, delivery, and post-partum, you might have come across the term “lotus birth”.
You must be wondering what is a lotus birth?
Simply put, many websites and magazines claim that lotus birth is a healthier alternative to cord clamping right after birth, and is more natural to the newborn baby. However, it’s worth doing some research and speaking with your doctor beforehand, as the practice hasn’t been proven to be beneficial and might endanger your baby’s health.
This article answers all your questions about lotus birth — from what is a lotus birth to what is the purpose of a lotus birth?
What Is A Lotus Birth?
Lotus birth, also known as umbilical non-severance, occurs when the umbilical cord is kept entirely intact, remains attached to a newborn to the placenta until the cord detaches from the belly button on its own. This usually takes three to ten days, and until then the umbilical cord and placenta stay linked to the newborn until then.
It’s frequently wrapped in cloth or stored in a bag or bowl. Some parents sprinkle herbs on the placenta while it’s still attached to help preserve it (and to mask any odors) and wrap it in gauze for easier transfer and holding of the infant.
Lotus Birth: The Process
You now know what is a lotus birth. Now let us take a look at the process of lotus birth.
After birth, lotus childbirth entails merely letting the placenta and umbilical cord alone. Because hospitals may refuse to leave a placenta and umbilical cord untouched owing to infection risks, it’s usually done in combination with home deliveries.
Common practices prescribed after lotus birth include:
- To help it dry out quicker and cover the scent, some women clean the placenta and cure it with salt, herbs, or essential oils.
- Draping the placenta in a towel or blanket to absorb moisture and transport it with the infant.
These methods have not been shown to protect the placenta or minimize infection risk.
The cord and placenta will ultimately dry out and fall off, much like a standard severed umbilical cord remnant, generally within a few days to a week or longer after birth.
Which Is Better: Lotus Birth Or Delayed Cord Clamping?
Now that we know what is a lotus birth, we must understand the other methods of cord clamping as well.
Delayed cord clamping differs from lotus delivery and is currently the standard procedure across the world. Clamping the umbilical cord to halt blood flow and then cutting the cord to separate the infant from the placenta is a normal procedure in hospitals and during home births.
In a lotus delivery, the umbilical cord and placenta spontaneously separate from the infant, which can take anywhere from three to ten days or longer.
Recommended Method Of Cord Removal
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that cord clamping be postponed until the infant is put on the parent and examined.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends clamping and cutting the cord 30-60 seconds after birth.
Benefits Of Delayed Cord Clamping
Why have these reputed organizations considered delayed cord clamping as a recommended method of cord removal? Let’s look at the benefits of delayed cord clamping over lotus birth:
- Increase hematocrit levels that are higher (the ratio of red blood cells to the total volume of blood)
- Better transitional circulation after delivery
- Increase iron levels
- Minimize the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis
- Reduce the need for blood transfusions
- Red blood cell formation is improved
- Reduce intraventricular hemorrhage
Benefits Of A Lotus Birth
But if delayed cord clamping has so many benefits, you must be wondering what is the purpose of a lotus birth?
Some individuals prefer a lotus birth because they consider the placenta to be the baby’s property. Believers in this approach consider the placenta to be an extension of the infant that should detach on its own.
Here are some of the benefits of a lotus birth:
- A less intrusive journey from the womb to the world for the infant
- Increased blood flow and placental nutrition
- Injury to the belly button is less likely to occur
- A spiritual rite honoring the infant and placenta’s combined life
If you’re having an unexpected delivery and need to wait for medical care, a lotus birth might be beneficial or even required. If you deliver during a storm and can’t get to the hospital soon away, for instance, keeping the placenta linked to the infant may lower your risk of problems while you wait for aid. This is due to the danger of bleeding and infection if the cord is cut oneself.
First, try phoning your local emergency services to talk with someone who is qualified to assist you if you’re in an event of an emergency.
Is A Lotus Birth Safe?
We’ve answered the question: what is the purpose of a lotus birth. But you might be wondering whether or not it is safe for you.
There is no strong research evaluating the advantages of lotus births, and the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists do not support the practice.
The placenta contains blood, and when the umbilical cord stops pulsing, circulation stops, and the organ becomes dead tissue that can become infected and spread to the infant.
Bacteria may thrive in rotting and dead tissue, which is why it’s usually discarded. This can put a baby in danger of omphalitis, an infection in the region surrounding the umbilical cord. These infections can be deadly, resulting in septic shock or death.
A Few Considerations After Lotus Birth
The baby and placenta are still connected via the umbilical cord after a lotus delivery. So, your postpartum journey and infant care will differ significantly from those of traditional birth. Here are a few considerations for taking care of the placenta as well as your little one, after delivery:
Taking Care Of The Placenta
- Within 5 to 30 minutes after the infant is born, the placenta will appear
- To capture and carry the placenta, you’ll need a sterile environment
- Do not try to cut the umbilical cord by yourself. The placenta will dry out and rot over time, and the cord will finally slide off your baby’s abdomen. If you wish to cut the umbilical cord before it falls off, make an appointment with your baby’s pediatrician.
- As the blood lies stagnant, the placenta will most likely have an odor. To help it dry out faster and cover the scent, some women clean the placenta and cure it with salt, herbs, or essential oils.
Taking Care Of Your Little One
- After your kid is delivered, you can hold them immediately
- Dress your infant in comfy, flowy clothes that that opens in the front
- While you want to keep your kid clean, we don’t know if giving your infant a bath with a lotus birth is safe or not. While you wait for the placenta to detach, take sponge showers.
- Even if the placenta is connected, you must still put your kid in a car seat whenever you’re driving
Seeking Medical Help
Even though lotus birth isn’t a very common cord clamping method, a lot of parents choose to opt for lotus birth. However, you must keep in mind that there are a few considerations to make sure that they’re okay with it.
Keep an eye out for indications of infection as well. Seek medical help right away if you’re suffering from:
- Pus, or fluid-filled bump close to the umbilical cord
- Blood or a foggy, bad-smelling discharge from the cord or navel region
- Red, heated, or puffy skin close to the cord
- Grumpiness, tiredness, or difficulty eating
- A temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
what is a Lotus Birth Final Words:
Lotus birth refers to the practice of not removing the umbilical cord after a baby is born and instead of leaving the placenta connected until it falls off on its own. It is said to be a soothing routine for the newborn. However, there is no evidence to back up any advantages, and there is a significant risk of infection and damage to the infant.
If you’re thinking of having a lotus birth, take into account that it’s not an approved or scientific-proof procedure, and it comes with risks including infection. Delayed cord clamping, on the other hand, is backed by research and has a long list of health advantages. Cord clamping with a delay might be an option to examine.