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Over the last few years, a method known as lotus birthing has been gaining ample popularity and many mothers prefer this method of birthing. Lotus birth is being preferred by many as a means to allow the baby to gently transition to a life outside the womb. It is considered to being a respectful transfer for the baby instead of being cut off from the mother all of a sudden.
Lotus birth has got its name because of its resemblance to what a lotus flower would signify - unity, detachment and rebirth. There have been historical records of lotus birth taking place in Europe long back during the Middle Ages.
Read on to know more about this process, how it is different from delayed cord clamping and what are the benefits of this method.
What Is Lotus Birth?
Also known as umbilical nonseverance, lotus birth method is the practice of keeping the umbilical cord attached or uncut even post childbirth. This way the baby continues to remain attached to the placenta until the cord separates out naturally at the umbilicus, which would ideally happen at about 3 to 10 days after birth.
How Is Lotus Birthing Different From Delayed Cord Clamping?
In lotus birthing, the cord is left attached to the placenta for it to dry and separate on its own whereas, in delayed cord clamping, the cord is clamped and severed once it has stopped pumping. This ideally happens about 15 minutes after the child is born.
What Are The Benefits Of Lotus Birth?
Although there is a shortage of medical evidence as to how lotus birth is beneficial, there are still a few known facts that we can vouch for. Lotus birthing holds more of a spiritual aspect and considers the fact that the baby has a sacred relationship with the umbilical cord and the placenta. Some of the benefits of lotus birth are mentioned below:
• Umbilical nonseverance is known for its ability to not disrupt blood volume. It lets the oxygenated blood to flow back into the baby's body. This feature enables improvement of body temperature, blood circulation, immune system, red blood cell count and brain development.
• Letting the baby remain attached to the placenta reduces the risk of an infection due to an open wound. This can boost child mortality rates.
• Lotus birth babies have perfect and neat belly buttons. The umbilicus restores to good health quickly. They are completely healed and the navel skin area is perfect, although the belly button shapes may vary.
• The newborn is allowed to be transitioned smoothly from the womb to the outside world. Natural birth is allowed to take a gentle course through lotus birthing. It is effective in reducing birth trauma.
• When connected to the placenta, the baby would be required to be moved around carefully and also as less as possible. This is also what the new mother requires - minimal movement and lots of rest. Therefore, indirectly lotus birthing allows for postpartum healing as well.
Procedure Of Lotus Birth
The umbilical cord is left attached to the placenta post childbirth. The baby is allowed to be connected to the mother this way. The cord will need to be carried in a bowl or a special kind of pouch till the separation happens naturally. The cord can be disposed once the cord decomposes on its own. To ensure there is no bacterial infection due to the cord left being attached, the following steps need to be taken:
• To begin with, check if the placenta is properly intact and then level the placenta with the baby till a substance known as, Wharton's Jelly, is solid. This indicates that the blood transfusion process would be over.
• Allow the placenta to drain for 24 hours using a strainer near the baby.
• Wash the placenta using warm water. Remove all the blood clots while washing and then pat it dry.
• Place the placenta on a breathable cloth and let it air dry.
• You can use salt to enhance the drying process. A few people also choose to use dried flowers, powdered spices and essential oil.
• Ensure that the placenta is kept close to the baby; this would prevent it from tugging at the cord.
When the cord dries, it would turn brittle and automatically fall off.
How To Take Care Of The Baby After Lotus Birth?
Always keep the baby after lotus birth in a safe and hygienic place. This is because there is quite a high chance that the placenta might get infected. If the placenta gets infected, it can be passed on to the child. Therefore close check needs to be kept so that it does not turn harmful for the baby.
Also, do not let strangers touch the baby to further avoid the risk of infections.