A short-term lotus birth is when new parents decide ahead of time that they want to leave the umbilical cord attached to their baby and the placenta for a period of time after birth to allow the baby to receive plenty of benefits (see below) from remaining attached in this way.
Don’t mistaken a short lotus birth for a full-term lotus birth; a full lotus birth (aka umbilical non-severance) is when the umbilical cord is allowed to naturally fall off …. a short-term lotus birth is when the cord is severed 4-48 hours after birth (3-10 days).
Empirical experiences demonstrate that the longer you wait to cut the cord, the more benefits to baby. The stem cells in umbilical cords are considered so valuable that cord blood banking companies charge families thousands of dollars to save their baby’s cord blood to use for potential future ailments.
Why save precious stem cells for later when you can give your child a strong start with them now by letting them move from placenta to baby after birth? Their are many reasons to wait on clamping baby’s cord right after birth. Even more reasons to keep that cord attached to placenta (+ baby) with a ‘short term lotus birth’.
- Allow 60% of placental/cord blood (containing red blood cells, iron, stem cells, white blood cells, etc) to enter baby
- Reduce chance of infection
- Complete transfer of placenta/cord blood into baby (versus banking cord blood)
- Establish baby’s digestive tract and elimination system (part of placental function)
- Less disruption to baby’s blood volume (prevent future disease as babies’ immune systems go through huge changes at a rapid rate when first born)
- Mom and baby benefit from having all the focused placed on bonding, rather than the common focus of cutting the cord/bond
- Allow mother to encapsulate her placenta for consumption
“Just as it is a well known fact that the best place for a newborn is on mother’s belly; I propose that the best place for the placenta is right beside the baby, connected by the umbilical cord.” – Robin Lim, midwife and author of Placenta: The Forgotten Chakra
Full Lotus Birth & Placenta Encapsulation
As a certified Placenta Encapsulationist, I’ve been asked how to encapsulate AND delay cord clamping. Here’s my answer …. while a full lotus birth is a beautiful ceremony honoring connection between the placenta and baby, this will not render a placenta suitable for consumption. Placenta encapsulation can not be done after a traditional full lotus birth because this practice uses a liberal amount of salt to pack the placenta and prevent spoilage (this also speeds drying process). This much sodium is not good for the new mother to ingest in placenta form. One additional item is that in a full lotus birth, the placenta is not usually kept cold which increases risk of blood-borne pathogens.
All that said, a short version of a lotus birth can be performed and the mother can have that placenta be encapsulated for safe consumption.
Academic OB/GYN (2009). Delayed Cord Clamping Should Be Standard Practice in Obstetrics. Retrieved at http://academicobgyn.com/2009/12/03/delayed-cord-clamping-should-be-standard-practice-in-obstetrics/
Buckley, S. (2010). Lotus and Undisturbed Birth. Retrieved at http://www.lovenaturalbirth.com/sarah-buckley.html
Daily Mail Reporter (2013). The Rise of ‘Lotus Births’. Retrieved at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2307117/The-rise-lotus-births-How-mothers-leaving-babys-umbilical-cord-ATTACHED-falls-days-later.html
Gaskin, I. (2003). Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. New York, New York: Bantam Books
Lim, R. (2001). After The Baby’s Birth: A Complete Guide For Postpartum Women. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts
Lim, R. (2010). Placenta the Forgotten Chakra. Bali, Indonesia: Half Angel Press
Selander, J. (2013). Placenta Benefits.Info. Las Vegas, Nevada
May all babies be happy!