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.
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“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