Adele Allen’s son was six days old before he was finally parted from the (by then rotting) support system that had kept him alive for 9 months. His mother and father are part of a growing number of parents who believe in ‘lotus birthing’, where the placenta is left attached to the baby until it falls of naturally.
Obstetricians have expressed grave concern about this new trend and warn it could lead to serious infection and even death in newborns. A consultant obstetrician and spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has said he would very much discourage lotus birthing: ‘If you wanted to pick an environment that encourages bacteria to grow you probably could not do better than to leave the placenta attached after birth.’
Adele and other parents with the same birthing plan believe that it has physical and emotional benefits for babies and that non-severance actually reduces the risk of infection because there are no open wounds. They also think that leaving the placenta attached will boosts a baby’s immune system. What is most worrying is that many parents who opt for lotus births also have ‘unassisted home births’ without a midwife present.