Lotus birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut after childbirth so that the baby is left attached to his/her placenta until the cord naturally separates at the umbilicus, usually a few days after birth. Lotus births are rare in Western culture.
There is no evidence that there are any benefits for the health of the baby with lotus birth. A spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has stated, "If left for a period of time after the birth, there is a risk of infection in the placenta which can consequently spread to the baby. The placenta is particularly prone to infection as it contains blood. At the post-delivery stage, it has no circulation and is essentially dead tissue," and the RCOG strongly recommends that any baby that undergoes lotus birthing be monitored closely for infection.
- Walsh, Denis Patrick (2007). Evidence-based care for normal labour and birth: a guide for midwives. New York: Routledge. p. 133. ISBN 0-415-41890-9.
- "RCOG statement on umbilical non-severance or "lotus birth"". Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
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