Lotus Birth - Umbilical Non-Severance

Posted on 12 April 2013

Until today when I read this parenting article on What To Expect , I had never heard of this odd birth ritual which apparently has become one of the latest trends for some new parents.  It's called Lotus Birth and apparently many new parents are opting to not cut the umbilical cord from their child, leaving it to dry up and fall off naturally.  Ewe...is my first thought but hey everyone is entitled to their own opinions right, and that's just mine, however many parents would not agree with me and to that I say, to each his own...right? The New York Post recently interviewed Mary Ceallaigh, a midwife from Austin, Texas, about this growing trend.  Ceallaigh describes it as a way for parents to "respect all of what a woman conceives, not just part of it." Following a baby's birth, the umbilical cord is left attached and the placenta is stored in a container or wrapped in cloth until it detaches naturally. The cord usually dries up and falls off by the third day after birth, Ceallaigh says. But in especially humid areas, the process can take over ten days and begin to smell musty after just one day. Again, I say...ewe. One of the benefits according to Ceallaigh, is that by skipping the cord cutting ceremony, the new mom is immediately able to bond with her new baby. She also states that by choosing umbilical non-severance, you have less chance of infection at the umbilical site for baby and it could possibly help baby's immune system and blood cell development because baby would receive the full benefit of complete blood transfer from the cord and placenta.  Apparently, it's common practice in other parts of the world as well.  (Notice I underlined the word "could" above, meaning this is not a proven fact at this point. I'm sorry but this way out there extreme kind of thinking falls in the same category for me as not immunizing my child which is a whole other subject for which I don't agree nor understand either...just sayin'...again my opinion.) Doctors and experts at  the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists warn that without active blood circulation, the cord and placenta are essentially dead tissue that will rot. Since the placenta contains blood, it is prone to infection that can spread to the baby. I'm all for bonding with my baby but like the author, Nicole Stevens of the article I read this morning, I would rather opt for delayed cord clamping allowing my husband and I  time to bond with our baby immediately after birth for a few minutes before having the cord clipped vs carrying around some smelly organ for a week or more.  What do you think of this growing ritual?  Had you ever heard of it until today?  Would you consider it and why or why not?  Leave us a comment and share your thoughts!

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