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Video transcription

I'm Michelle Collins, certified nurse-midwife and professor of nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, here to tell you what, a little bit about what a Lotus birth is. In many cultures, and for other reasons, people may choose to participate in what's called a Lotus birth and what that involves is the non-severing of the umbilical cord which is attached to the baby and on the other end, the placenta. So non-severing of this cord, artificially, which is what usually occurs after birth when the baby is delivered, and the cord is detached and a little cord clamp is placed at the umbilical stump here on the baby and then when this placenta is delivered, it's either discarded or sometimes people will want to take their own placenta home. But in the case of a Lotus birth, this is left un-severed after the birth and it's left to separate on it's own, which can take up to ten days afterwards. So in some cultures, what's done with the placenta is that it is rubbed with some herbs, salts, oils, placed into a bag and it's kept at the level of the baby. Now this can make it a little tricky for diapering the baby because the placenta will be right with the baby until the time that it falls off. Some other issues that you might encounter with the Lotus birth are explaining to family and friends who may be a little bit curious or put off as to why you would want to do this. And again, the herbs and the oils may be used to disguise a little bit of the odor that may come from the placenta after it's been there for some, for a few days. Also know that even if somebody has planned on participating in a Lotus birth, if at any time they decide that they no longer want to participate in that, that a cord clamp can be placed on that even after it has begun to dry and the cord can be separated. It's just another way to look at birth.