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5 Things You Need to Know About Lotus Births

Lotus births have been a relatively recent trend. The name was coined by yoga practitioners who brought the practice, which involves not cutting a baby’s umbilical cord right away, to the US and Australia in the ’80s. It may sound mystical, magical, or downright hippie-dippy, but it’s also quite controversial. The childbirth options out there are seemingly endless, and while “lotus birth” doesn’t actually refer to the birth (it’s what happens after), we’ve got the lowdown on this post-delivery trend.

1. Your baby stays connected. After a long wait, your beautiful, goo-covered baby has arrived. You’re so busy reveling in your new mommy-ness that you hardly notice what happens next — the placenta comes out. That’s when the doc puts a clamp on the umbilical cord and hands an extra-long pair of surgical scissors to your birth partner, and someone cuts the cord. But not in a lotus birth. You read that right: The cord and the placenta stay attached to your newborn.

2. The placenta separates naturally. Don’t worry — the placenta doesn’t stay attached forever. It’s not like your kiddo is going to take her placenta to the first day of kindergarten. The umbilical cord, if left uncut, naturally separates from the navel somewhere between 3-10 days after birth.

Having a lotus birth means that you consciously let this happen. The idea is that you want to extend childbirth and let things happen as nature intended. Beyond the emotional aspects of keeping the cord attached, advocates of lotus birth believe that the extra blood the baby gets from the placenta provides health benefits.

3. There’s an extra appendage to carry around. With the placenta hanging around (literally), there are some practicalities that lotus birth-ers need to deal with — mainly, some way to delicately carry around that extra appendage. First, the placenta is washed, dried, and put into a colander (presumably not one that you will ever, ever use for spaghetti again) to drain. Then, after being wrapped in an absorbent material, it’s put into a special pot or bowl to keep it with the baby.

4. There are some risks. A lotus birth isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Even though the thinking behind it is all about making the birth experience better and keeping baby healthy, this practice may cause serious problems.

Think about what the placenta does: It keeps the baby alive as she’s growing inside of you, passing oxygen and nutrients from you to baby and removing the waste products. When your baby is on the outside, breathing oxygen from the air and getting fed from your milk or formula, she doesn’t need this extra organ. After delivery, the placenta knows its time has come and starts shutting down. Basically, it becomes a decaying organ. That makes it a potential breeding ground for bacteria, and that makes it more of a possible infection source than the necessary lifeline it once was.

5. There is another delayed clamping option. Even though lotus births may seem… well, kind of different, that doesn’t mean waiting to cut the cord is totally out of the norm. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does note that delayed umbilical cord clamping (for 30-60 seconds) may offer benefits for baby, including increased hemoglobin levels and improved iron store for infants carried to term as well as improved transitional circulation, higher red blood cell volume, and decreased need for transfusion in preemies. Those seem like some pretty major benefits, and they don’t require toting around a placenta for a week or more.

When it comes down to it, childbirth is filled with choices. Some of these are the mama’s choice and some are made out of medical necessity. Whether you have a drug-free vaginal birth, a medicated vaginal birth, a C-section, a lotus birth, or any other type of birth, this is your experience. As long as you’re doing what’s safe and healthy for both you and baby, don’t let mommy-guilt force you into a choice that just isn’t you.

What do you think about lotus births? Share your opinion and tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)

Alright, folks. We've officially made it to fall. And if you haven't already started switching out your decor (as long as it's ready by Friendsgiving, right?) you still have time to do so. Draw inspiration from this round-up of new home products that includes harvest-inspired candles, cozy linens and textiles, and a v. practical piece of furniture. One scroll through these, and you'll have all the motivation you need to transition the seasons. Scroll on to start shopping.

Prism x LOREM Collection ($96+): Calling all Cali babes. The popular Long Beach boutique, Prism, announced a boho-fabulous collab with home decor line, LOREM, that we can't get enough of. Shop everything from plant hangers (eight options, to be exact) to artwork, all inspired by the very colorful vibes of the brands. If you were looking for a cheery way to tide you through winter, this. is. it!

Floyd Mattress (Price TBD): Fans of the cult-favorite Detroit-based brand will love their latest launch debuting on October 29. The highly-coveted Floyd Mattress will have the same made-to-last design and superior comfort as their other furnishings, tailored perfectly to fit the line's in-demand bed frame. Additional details for the mattress include a breathable foam material, highly-mobile packaging, and a low-profile design to secure your best night's sleep yet. Check back on the last week of the month to get one for yourself.

Dims 'Composed Vanity' ($595): Small space? No problem! Direct-to-consumer brand, Dims, is giving you a quick and stylish solution to your storage needs with their newest item that doubles as both a desk and vanity. The functional piece is made with non-toxic, chemical-free materials and can be assembled in seven minutes or less. Throw in four sleek shades to choose from, and this may just be your best purchase of 2019 yet!

Saatchi Art x The Citizenry Holiday Collection ($225+): Get ready to deck your walls this holiday season. Saatchi Art partnered with The Citizenry in a one-of-a-kind collection that features a curation of art across styles. Explore everything from modern to abstract creations in a selection so stunning, it's bound to spark a conversation at your next gathering.

NEST Spiced Orange & Clove Collection ($16+): If you haven't experienced the addicting aromas of the beloved NEST fragrance brand, this is the perfect time to get on board! The label recently released their latest scent — spiced orange & clove — just in time for all your gatherings. Inhale festive notes of orange pomander, spiced brandy, cinnamon, and gingered honey across their suite of candles and diffusers to bring all the good vibes to your home.

Bloomingdales x RiLEY Home ($19+): RiLEY Home gets millennials. So they teamed up with Bloomingdales to make shopping their selection more attainable than ever. Now, you can get in on long-lasting, luxurious staples like flannel sheets, bedding, printed throws, premium pet beds, and more, by shopping online and in-stores at the department store. (Trust us: These dream goods are ones you're going to be *glad* you stocked-up on.)

Italic Serene Towels ($12+): The luxury brand that prides itself on using the *same* factories namesake brands (like Calvin Klein and Lacoste) use, but without the price tag behind them, brings you a new product for fall. Treat yourself to Italic's ultra-soft towel set spun from fluffy, 100% Australian cotton, in a convenient set of six. Consider it the perfect indulgence after a long soak in the tub on a cozy FNI (Friday night in)!

Hyascent x Neiman Marcus ($169): 'Tis the season for a delightfully scented home. Warm your abode with scents like bourbon joy, cheeky rose and more in a unique diffuser that doubles more as decor than a fragrance-inducer. Fresh off the (online) shelves of Neiman Marcus, explore nine scents that last up to six months in a specialized hourglass holder. (Shhh! Your friends will never know the secret of why your place smells so darn good!)