Some mothers forgo modern obstetric facilities in hospitals and have births at home and assisted by midwives. The latest trend in this natural childbirth movement is called Lotus Birth. Participants don't cut the umbilical cord connecting the child to the placenta. Instead, they keep the placenta in a bowl and wait for the umbilical cord to wither away naturally. Madeline Scinto of the New York Post interviewed Mary Ceallaigh, a widwife and advocate for Lotus Birth:
Q: What are the best reasons to practice Lotus Birth?
There’s no wound created at the umbilical site, which lessens the chance of infection.
It allows a complete transfer of placental/cord blood into the baby at a time when the baby needs that nourishment the most. Babies’ immune systems are going through huge changes at a very rapid rate when they’re first born. Not disrupting the baby’s blood volume at that time helps prevent future disease.
The mother and baby benefit from having all the focused placed on bonding, rather than the common focus of "who's going to cut the cord, cut the bond?" Invading the natural process when there's a healthy mother and baby is likely to cause harm in some way seen or unseen.
The respect of all of what a woman conceives, not just part of it. [...]
Q: How do you eat meals, go to the restroom or run errands with a placenta attached to your newborn?
The cord usually dries and breaks off by the third day, so no mother would be running errands during that time anyway...hopefully not until at least the fourth week after giving birth!
In humid conditions, however, it may take up to 10 days for the cord to break, particularly in areas like Bali or the Australian rainforest. In these cases, the early weeks after giving birth is even more low key for the mother - and that can be a good thing....
While the placenta remains attached, it’s kept in a nice cloth, and the cord is wrapped in silk or cotton ribbon. Babies are left on a safe surface or with a caregiver while the mother goes to the restroom. For cuddling and nursing, the placenta pillow is kept near the mother and baby.