Benefits of a Short Term Lotus Birth
A short-term lotus birth is the practice of leaving an umbilical cord attached to both baby and placenta for a period of time following birth.
Many people mistaken a short lotus birth for a full-term lotus birth. A full lotus birth, also known as umbilical non-severance, allows the cord to naturally fall off (3-10 days), whereas a short-term lotus birth severs cord within 4 – 48 hours after birth.
Empirical experiences demonstrate the longer you wait to cut the cord, the more benefits baby receives. In fact, 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 the strongest possible entrance into the world by allowing them to migrate into baby at birth
Their are many reasons why it can be beneficial to not clamp a newborn’s cord seconds after birth. Keeping the umbilical cord intact to the placenta and baby for an extended period of time offers many benefits listed below.
- 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
Lotus Birth and Placenta Encapsulation
As a certified Placenta Encapsulationist, I am often asked by expectant parents how they can encapsulate the placenta AND delay their baby’s cord clamping. While a full lotus birth is a beautiful ceremony honoring connection between placenta and baby it does not always render a placenta suitable for consumption.
Placenta encapsulation can not be done after a traditional full lotus birth as this practice uses liberal amounts of salt to pack the placenta to prevent spoilage and speed the drying process. Adding that much sodium into the capsules is not going to be good for a new mother’s system. Additionally, the placenta is not typically kept cold during a full lotus birth; increasing the risk of blood-borne pathogens.
All said, a short version of a lotus birth can be performed while still gaining the benefits of encapsulating a placenta for 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
- Rachana, S. (2012). Lotus Birth. Retrieved at http://www.bellawitch.com/lotus_birth.htm
- Selander, J. (2013). Placenta Benefits.Info. Las Vegas, Nevada