Sign in to your account

Don't have an account?

Create an account
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more
Black medical doctor in a white coat and red stethoscope examining a patient on a ward. Our doctors on askawayhealth have years of clinical experience to provide top notch care.

Need to check your symptoms?

Use our symptom checker to help determine what your symptoms are and to ensure you get the help you need.

Check your symptoms


Request a reset

Don't have an account?

Create an account


Reset your password

Don't have an account?

Create an account


Is The Lotus Birth For You? – Part 2

November 2, 2018

Updated April 2023

In the second and final part of this series on the Lotus birth, we look at how safe the method is in other parts of the world, such as African countries like Nigeria.

Portarit of a mum looking tenderly down on her baby while breastfeeding


Previously we defined the Lotus birth and described the process, learning its origins and parts of the world where it seems to be developing some renewed popularity.

We also learned about the special organ called the placenta and how it works.

To remind us:

A Lotus Birth is the process of leaving the cord and placenta to detach naturally in the days after birth.

This is different from the traditional method of cutting and clamping the cord after the baby’s delivery.

Now let’s consider how the practicalities may encourage the use (or not) of the Lotus birth method in some places.

Would Lotus birth work in Nigeria?

How do the environment and culture in Nigeria and other West African countries affect Lotus Births?

Lotus births are different from some belief systems that give special significance to the placenta.

In these, some mums/families may wish to go home with their placenta and dispose of it according to their tradition.

In this scenario, the usual practice of cutting the umbilical cord occurs with bagging and delivery of the placenta and cord to the mum/her family.

However, the practice of Lotus birth is not popular in Nigeria and many other West African countries.

It is also not a component of the training curriculum by the National and West African Colleges of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The risks with Lotus Birth

Given general environmental challenges impacting health care delivery in most West African countries, one can understand the position of training and regulatory bodies on Lotus birth:

Firstly, the placenta is a fleshy, spongy tissue with a bed rich with blood vessels and blood.

It is, therefore excellent medium for infection as soon as it is delivered and exposed to the environment.

There are high rates of healthcare-associated infection in Nigeria and growing resistance to antimicrobial agents.

With a relatively weak healthcare system, the potential risks that Lotus birth exposes the baby and mum would outweigh its potential benefits.

Methods of preservation by Lotus birth practitioners include rock salt and flowers.

The latter helps to ward off nasty smells, and the former a preservative, but …is that sufficient?

Some people store the placenta in a cool bag kept beside the baby.

How would this work in the average Nigerian setting?

What about the availability of the cold bag used in storing the placenta and the additional costs in Nigeria?

What about the care needed in keeping the placenta clean?

Irrespective of socioeconomic class relative to affordability, what about the effects of relative humidity in local weather conditions?

What about the many visitors and well-wishers, naming ceremony events and other activities that happen just after birth?

These practices are embedded in local Nigerian and other West African cultures; how would the whole arrangement work?


So apart from the potential infections and related complications, Lotus Birth seems to be impractical as a birth choice in the Nigerian setting.

While DCC has benefits and should be encouraged, full Lotus birth protocol would bring additional challenges, especially in the Nigerian setting.

Even for Nigerians that can afford to have their birth attended in cleaner, more advanced settings locally, the risks of infection and the practicality must be weighed carefully against the benefits to make consequential decisions about birth.

What do you think?

As usual, your thoughts make up a great part of the story! Stay Well

(Original version published in LagosMums 25th April 2017)

More Reading:

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on various healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and help promote quality healthcare.

The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified healthcare practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly

Share this blog article

On this page

Let us know what you think

Want to know how your comment data is processed? Learn more

Access over 600 resources & our monthly newsletter.

Askawayhealth 2023 grant recipient from European Union Development Fund

Askawayhealth, 2023 Award Recipient

Our educational content meets the standards set by the NHS in their Standard for Creating Health Content guidance.

Askawayhealth aims to deliver reliable and evidence based women's health, family health and sexual health information in a way that is easily relatable and easy for everyone to access.

Askawayhealth symptom Checker tool image

Utilize our complimentary symptom checker tool to gain more information about any uncertain symptoms you might have.