Story: Pregnancy, birth and baby care

Lotus birth

Lotus birth

Some parents choose not to sever the umbilical cord and placenta from their baby after birth, instead preferring to let it fall off naturally. This practice is called lotus birth or umbilical non-severance. The theory is that the baby and its placenta are created from the same cells so should stay together until the baby is ready to let go of this part of itself. The practice also supports delayed cord clamping/severance, which ensures that the baby receives its full quota of blood and oxygen. This new baby still has his placenta attached. The placenta is sprinkled with sea salt and herbs, wrapped in a nappy and stored in a special cloth bag made by his mother.

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Canterbury Homebirth Association

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Pregnancy, birth and baby care - Baby rituals and conventions', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 10 July 2020)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 24 Oct 2018