Doctors warn against rising trend among new mothers

Photo: Instagram

Are you pregnant? This is why you have to cut the umbilical cord.

A group of English doctors warns strongly against the so-called "lotus birth", where parents let their newborn child's umbilical cord stuck in the placenta until it falls off by itself. According to the doctors the bacteria in the placenta can spread to the child, which can lead to fatal illness.

Usually it’s the father who cuts the umbilical cord when the child is born, but an increasing number of parents choose to take the child home from the hospital while the newborn is still stuck to the placenta, until the umbilical cord falls of by itself.

This process normally takes 10 – 14 days, and meanwhile happy and proud parents are likely to show their baby on Instagram with a half-meter umbilical cord connected to a placenta in a bucket or basket, often using the hashtag “three of life”.


According to its followers, the "lotus birth" is a less stressful and more natural, nourishing way for the child to enter the world than the clinical cutting of the umbilical cord as soon as the child has arrived.

The followers also believe the nutrition is still flowing from the placenta and helps the child getting stronger.

The trend seems to be alive all over the world although there’s no figures on how many parents choose to welcome their child this way. But according to British doctors warns against not cutting the umbilical cord immediately. 


The warning is based on the risk of bacteria in the blood-filled placenta that can easily be transmitted to the child. When British physicians first encountered the trend among newly born parents back in 2008, a spokesperson from The British Royal College of Obstetricians stated that recommend parents that insists keeping the placenta attached to their baby closely monitor the child for any signs of infection.

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

At Instagram, the hash tagged "Tree of Life", in addition to the pictures of newborns still attached to their placenta, is a big hit. The lotus birth disciples believes the child being connected to the placenta – also called the tree of life – will nurture the babies in its first days of existence.