The entire pregnancy and birthing experience is hectic, tiresome and full of pain. It is, therefore, only fair that the one giving birth does it on her own terms. In that regard, women have come up with many different ways of delivering their babies and the latest one is called the lotus birth.
Usually, doctors cut off the umbilical cord the moment the baby is born or wait until it stops pulsing before clamping and severing it. In lotus births, however, the cord is left untouched until it dries up and finally falls off on its own.
When the baby is born, they are still attached to the placenta through the umbilical cord. The mother, therefore, has to deliver the placenta after birth which is then put in a pot or bag and left to dry off.
In the normal births, the cord is clamped seconds or minutes after birth to stop circulation then cut off. The time between birth and the clamping has been discussed for years among experts with some suggesting that the placenta should be cut between thirty and sixty seconds after birth.
In cases of special medical conditions, the clamping may be delayed for a while until the distress or problem is resolved.
According to the supporters of this method of birth, Lotus gives the baby a smoother transition from the womb environment to the outside world. It is easier to have the cord fall off than to have it cut abruptly.
Also, this way of giving birth sees the baby get some last nutrition and nourishment from the placenta before it falls off. Lotus births also reduce the injuries the baby is likely to suffer on their belly buttons during the normal clamping and cutting.
It is, however, important to note that there is no substantial research in place to support these claims. They may actually be more of myths than facts especially considering that the placenta starts dying and stops circulating immediately it is birthed. It is therefore incapable of providing the baby such nourishment after birth.
On the other hand, lotus births can be the solution for emergency births, especially when proper medical care is not available. The cord should not be cut in such cases to prevent infections and haemorrhaging. In such cases, the baby should immediate medical or midwife services should be sought.
Research on lotus births is limited and there is insufficient information available on the proper way of carrying out lotus births without exposing the baby to any possible risks. It is, however, important to remember that the placenta is a decaying organ and can easily infect the baby.
Also, the umbilical could get accidentally ripped off and injure the baby.
Conclusively, every mother is free to choose how she wants to give birth to her baby as long as the method she opts for is legal and safe. It is, however, advisable to seek the opinion of a professional such as your doctor or midwife as their experience may give you additional insight.