Thursday, 26 September 2013

Lotus birth – umm...?

The alarm bells immediately began to ring when I started reading an article about lotus births and saw the word 'trend'.

Anything to do with looking after babies and giving birth which has to be superseded by the word 'trend' is extremely worrying to me. A baby's life is far too precious to be messing around with anything which is merely a passing fad or craze.

And this is before I began to read even further on about the details of what the lotus birth involves. I had briefly heard about this before. It involves the cord attaching the baby to the placenta not being cut after birth. Instead the parents simply wait for the cord, and thus the placenta, to come away naturally any time between three and six days later. The thinking is the placenta is a valuable source of nutrients but is also a familiar companion to the baby. A number of parents believe the severance of the placenta from the baby causes the little one large amounts of distress.

Those who have had a lotus birth believe their babies to be a lot calmer and happier because they had such a gentle transition into the world.

A growing number of midwives support the cord not being cut until 25 minutes after the birth because until then it is still pulsating and so passing goodness into the baby. You are more hard pushed to find any medics who support the placenta remaining attached after that 25 minutes, never mind for days after because of the real risk of infection to the baby.

I have to say, there was one aspect of this lotus birth which appealed to me and that was the words spoken about the calmness of the birthing process having a positive effect on the baby. I can completely understand how this would be the case. My little boy was very calmly brought into the world because he ended up being born at home rather than in a hospital and he is a very happy and docile baby as a result. In contrast, my daughter had a dreadful week long induction into this world and she does tend to be more highly strung, poor thing.

However, this is where my positive thoughts on the matter end. It is bad enough having to negotiate that little stump of cord on a baby's tummy in the early days. It is an absolute blessing when that comes off, so to think you would have to deal with a whole placenta attached whilst cuddling, bathing and feeding your baby – it doesn't bare thinking about. This would negatively impact on my ability to bond with my baby I am sure because it would literally be getting in the way.

And I certainly wouldn't want to risk the potential death of my newborn baby through septicaemia. If you want to do the best for your baby, get that cord cut and get them breastfeeding straight away. There is no better way to pump them full of health giving nutrients and get the mother and baby bonding process under way.

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