‘Lotus Birth’ Becomes a New Trend among Mothers

May 25, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. newborn [NOO-BAWRN, NYOO-] (adj.) – born very recently or fresh from birth
Example: Doctors usually cut the umbilical cord of a newborn baby ten to fifteen minutes after birth.

2. placenta [pluh-SEN-tuh] (n.) – a temporary organ that nourishes the baby while inside the mother’s womb
 Example: Without the placenta, babies would not get the nutrients they need to survive inside their mothers’ womb.

3. incision [in-SIZH-uh n] (n.) – a cut made in the skin or the flesh during a surgery
Example: Surgeons make several incisions into the patient’s body when performing a heart surgery.

4. delicate [DEL-i-kit] (adj.) – in a very weak or sensitive health condition
Example: The newborn baby stayed in the hospital for two more days because of his delicate condition.

5. caveat [KAV-ee-aht, -at, kah-vee-, key-] (n.) – a warning or a threat
Example: The doctors talked about the caveat that the patient’s wound would take several weeks to heal.   


Read the text below.

An increasing number of mothers are now choosing not to cut their newborn baby's umbilical cord, letting it fall off naturally instead.

This trend, popularly known as the "lotus birth," goes against the common practice of cutting the umbilical cord a few minutes after birth. Instead, the cord and the attached placenta are allowed to fall off on their own, a natural process that could take between two to ten days.

Mary Ceallaigh [kel-LEY], a birth consultant from Texas, claims that keeping the umbilical cord attached after childbirth has many health benefits.

According to Ceallaigh, having no incision at the umbilical area can help prevent infection. The lotus birth also lets the baby receive a final transfer of blood from the placenta, which could boost the baby's immune system during that delicate adjustment period after childbirth.

Also, Ceallaigh claims that a lotus birth is good for both the mother and the baby, saying that the natural process helps them bond better.

However, Dr. James van Hook of the University of Cincinnati [sin-suh-NAT-ee] Medical Center warns that lotus birth also has its own caveats. The doctor says that parents must be extra careful to ensure that the attached umbilical cord and placenta are kept clean to keep the baby safe from infection.

Despite the warnings, Dr. Hook believes that the decision is still up to the parents on whether they want a lotus birth or not.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that lotus births could become a popular trend in your country? Why or why not?
·         If you were a mother giving birth to a child, would you choose the “lotus birth?” Why is that so?

Discussion B

·         Do you use any forms of alternative medicine, like acupuncture and herbal drugs? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think more and more people are switching to an “all-natural?”


May 25, 2013