Mums are posting pictures from their “lotus births” on Instagram and, although the trend is not a new one, the alternative birth practice seems to be cropping up more often now women are sharing their experiences online.
A “lotus birth” refers to the practice of leaving the umbilical cord “uncut” so the baby is left attached to the placenta.
Some claim lotus births facilitate an “intense bond” between a mum and her baby and some parents believe it can help their baby fight off infection.
However headlines in May 2017 called lotus births a “dangerous”.
So, are there any proven benefits of lotus births and are they safe?
Speaking to HuffPost UK, Mervi Jokinen, practice and standards professional advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “RCM guidance recommends delayed clamping of the umbilical cord.
“With managed delivery of the placenta this is usually one to five minutes. However in the case of a mother wanting to wait for the cord to stop pulsating, it may be longer or after the placenta is delivered.
“There is no evidence about the benefits of leaving the placenta and cord attached to the baby until it separates naturally.
“Ultimately, it is the woman’s decision but advice is required to prevent any infection developing.”
Patrick O’Brien, an RCOG spokesperson, told HuffPost in 2013: “If left for a period of time after the birth, there is a risk of infection in the placenta which can consequently spread to the baby.
“The placenta is particularly prone to infection as it contains blood. At the post-delivery stage, it has no circulation and is essentially dead tissue.”