Lotus birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut after childbirth so that the baby is left attached to the 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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