Lotus; Flower or New Birthing Process?


  • Sara Johnson


Although rare, some modern moms are choosing to participate in a lotus birth. Lotus birth, or umbilical nonseverance, is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut after the birth of a baby. Participates in lotus birth leave the placenta and cord attached to the newborn until they dry up and naturally fall off. The current standard medical practice is to cut the cord within the first few seconds after delivery, and it usually takes between 3-10 days after birth for the cord to completely detach from the naval. The women who participate in lotus birth usually treat the placenta with special herbs and salts, and create a pouch to carry the placenta in alongside the baby. Lotus birth owes its modern resurgence in America to a woman named Clair Lotus Day who began to question birthing practices in the early 1970s after learning that certain primates do not sever the umbilical cords of their young. Proponents of lotus birth cite several benefits of this practice, including: improved circulation in the newborn, less risk of infection, overall faster healing of the naval, reduced birth trauma for the neonate, and improved post-partum healing for the mother. However, some medical professionals proclaim that the risks of lotus birth greatly outweigh the benefits. A few scientists have identified a slight correlation between lotus birth and life-threatening conditions for the newborn like sepsis, idiopathic hepatitis, and increased incidence of jaundice. Unfortunately, there is very limited research published in the literature on this subject.