This couple opted for lotus birth and decided to leave the umbilical cord on their baby | Health - Hindustan Times
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This couple opted for lotus birth and decided to leave the umbilical cord on their baby

Hindustan Times, Mumbai | By
Jan 30, 2018 11:18 AM IST

Texas-based Nick and Vanessa Fisher, who recently gave birth to their son, Ashton, decided to not cut the umbilical cord. As part of lotus birth, the cord is left attached to the placenta till it breaks away naturally.

When new parents Nick and Vanessa Fisher decided to have a baby, they knew they wanted a completely natural birth at their home – without any drugs or medicines. When they finally had baby Ashton, they decided to leave the umbilical cord on their new baby by opting for lotus birth.

For lotus birth, parents keep the umbilical cord attached to the baby until it breaks away naturally, which can take a few days.(Nickvanessafisher/facebook.com)
For lotus birth, parents keep the umbilical cord attached to the baby until it breaks away naturally, which can take a few days.(Nickvanessafisher/facebook.com)

Recently, they wrote a post on Facebook about their choice:

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For lotus birth, parents keep the umbilical cord attached to the baby until it breaks away naturally, which can take a few days. Until now, the most common practice is to cut the umbilical cord right after birth. However, practitioners of lotus birth believe that cutting the cord too early can interfere with “full placental blood transfer to baby”.

During a hospital birth, the placenta is immediately disposed off. However, lotus birth encourages parents to keep the placenta - still attached to the baby - in a bowl or a special pouch.

Nick and Vanessa decided to wash the placenta with water and then covered it in astringent herbs such as witch-hazel, lavender, rosemary, rosebuds, yarro and sea salt. This helped masked any odour.

According to Vanessa, she thought about having a lotus birth when she was researching for cord blood options. She told Independent.co.uk: “After birth, the baby normally is taken from the womb and separated from his cord and placenta -- a series of events that I imagine could be emotionally traumatic for baby. A gradual separation from the umbilical cord and placenta seems more emotionally considerate of the baby.”

So, is it medically recommended to leave the cord attached? According to this study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Obstetric Practice, delaying clamping by 30 to 60 seconds after the baby is delivered can be beneficial to infants. It raised babies’ haemoglobin levels and improved iron reserves for the first few months.

However, there is no evidence on the benefits of leaving the cord for days till it falls naturally.

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