Lotus Birth: A Case Series Report on Umbilical Nonseverance

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2019 Jan;58(1):88-94. doi: 10.1177/0009922818806843. Epub 2018 Oct 19.


Lotus birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut until separation occurs naturally. Our case series report describes delivery characteristics, neonatal clinical course, cord and placenta management, maternal reasons for a lotus birth, and desire for future lotus births. Between April 2014 and January 2017, six lotus births occurred. Mothers (four of the six) were contacted by phone after giving birth. A chart review was completed on each patient to evaluate if erythromycin ointment, hepatitis B vaccine, and vitamin K (intramuscular or oral) were administered, treatment of the placenta, maternal group B streptococcus status, postnatal infant fevers, infant hemoglobin or hematocrit levels, jaundice requiring phototherapy, and infant readmissions. Three of the six families decided to cut the cord before hospital discharge. No infections were noted. All contacted mothers would elect for a lotus birth again (4/6). One hepatitis B vaccine was given; all others declined perinatal immunization.

Keywords: Lotus birth; umbilical nonseverance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Organ Sparing Treatments / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Pregnancy
  • Umbilical Cord / physiology*