Lotus birth, a holistic approach on physiological cord clamping

Women Birth. 2018 Apr;31(2):e73-e76. doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2017.08.127. Epub 2017 Sep 4.


Background: The positive effects of delayed cord clamping (DCC) has been extensively researched. DCC means: waiting at least one minute after birth before clamping and cutting the cord or till the pulsation has stopped. With physiological clamping and cutting (PCC) the clamping and cutting can happen at the earliest after the pulsation has stopped. With a Lotus birth, no clamping and cutting of the cord is done. A woman called Clair Lotus Day imitated the holistic approach of PCC from an anthropoid ape in 1974. The chimpanzee did not separate the placenta from the newborn.

Aim: The aim of this case report is to discuss and learn a different approach in the third stage of labour.

Method: Three cases of Lotus birth by human beings were observed. All three women gave birth in an out-of-hospital setting and had ambulant postnatal care.

Findings: The placenta was washed, salted and herbs were put on 2-3h post partum. The placenta was wrapped in something that absorbs the moisture. The salting was repeated with a degreasing frequency depending on moistness of the placenta. On life day six all three Lotus babies experiences a natural separation of the cord. All three Lotus birth cases were unproblematic, no special incidence occurred.

Conclusions: One should differentiate between early cord clamping (ECC), delayed cord clamping (DCC) and physiological cord clamping (PCC). Lotus birth might lead to an optimisation of the bonding and attachment. Research is needed in the areas of both PCC and Lotus birth.

Keywords: Delayed cord clamping; Lotus birth; Midwifery; Third stage labour; Umbilical cord.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Constriction
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Labor Stage, Third*
  • Male
  • Parturition
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors
  • Umbilical Cord / surgery*