Doctors have warned that a new birth trend that involves leaving the umbilical cord attached to a newborn could have hidden dangers for babies.
During a ‘lotus birth’, otherwise known as umbilical non-severance, the umbilical cord is left attached to the placenta until it falls off on its own. It’s heralded by some as a more “natural” option that eases a baby’s transition from the womb to the world.
Some argue that leaving the baby attached to the placenta for as long as possible can also give the child an extra supply of nutrients and stem cells. Advocates of the birthing method also believe cutting the umbilical cord puts unnecessary stress on a newborn.
After the birth, the cord and placenta are placed in a container which is carried around with the infant, until it falls away naturally up to ten days later.
But experts are warning against the trend, saying it can lead to bacteria and infection, putting newborns at risk.
LISTEN: On Mamamia Out Loud, Jessie Stephens shares why giving birth is her biggest fear. Post continues…
“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,” a spokesperson from The British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said.
“The placenta is particularly prone to infection as it contains blood. Within a short time after birth, once the umbilical cord has stopped pulsating, the placenta has no circulation and is essentially dead tissue.
The tree of life… This amazing photograph by @ilzeferreirafotografia of newborn with placenta still attached. The forgotten chakra, the placenta has been keeping baby living and growing for the last 9 months. The cruelty of immediate clamping, cutting and forcibly removing this life giving organ from the mother and baby is sad and detrimental to baby’s physical and emotional health. #gentlebirth #lotusbirth
“If women do opt for umbilical non-severance, the RCOG strongly recommends that their babies be monitored carefully for any signs of infection.”
But the woman known as “Twitter’s resident gynecologist” and an an OB/GYN from California, Dr. Jennifer Gunter, has harsher words for those who want to undergo the practice.
“Why anyone with an understanding of modern microbiology would promote leaving a newborn attached to dead, decomposing tissue that could be a [source of] infection is beyond me,” she told ATTN:.
#EzRepost @only_one_takeya with @ezrepostapp @Regrann from @frobabies – Lotus Birth: Lotus birth (or umbilical nonseverance) 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. Here are 7 reasons why you might consider lotus birth: Your baby receives all of the placental blood as the umbilical cord is left Promotes a time of rest and peace allowing new parents and their baby to adjust Mother and baby stay together, enhancing the bonding process. Mothers are more likely to rest and recover from birth as they are encouraged to stay with their babies as much as possible. Babies are less likely to be disturbed by being “passed around” as visitors are more likely to be like-minded about lotus birth. Babies are observed by their parents to be calmer and more peaceful than those who have their cords cut immediately after birth. The process and practice honours the connection the baby has had with the placenta that has nourished her for nine months and values the transition stage between womb and world. ????#Frobabies #babyFever #melanin #maternity #expecting #babybump #pregnant #newborn #organic #breastfeed #momsofinstagram #mommyblogger #bestoftheday #photooftheday #blacklOve #mommylife #bumppositive #survivor #momlife #queen #goddess #lotusbirth #blackpregnancy#fromomchronicles #treeoflife – #regrann
She said that because the placenta is “dead tissue”, it is actually unable to convey the nutrients to a baby the way lotus birth enthusiasts say.
“Bacteria grows very quickly in dead tissue and stagnant blood,” she said.
“Historically, [the placenta] has been discarded. I think if it had benefit, that wouldn’t have become the norm.”