i first discovered lotus birth during my prenatal yoga teacher training. a lovely woman brought up the topic, and ended up educating a room full of women about lotus birth. lotus birth takes place when a child is born and the couple decide to leave the umbilical cord and placenta attached. the cord eventually dries and naturally detaches. this usually takes about 5 to 6 days, and as one can imagine, is a true commitment.
philosophically, parents decide to make this choice, and look at it as a way of empowering the newborn to decide when she is ready to detach from the placenta. after the birth the placenta is wiped clean and place in a bowl or a cloth and then goes everywhere the newborn goes. for many cultures around the world, the parents choose to plant the placenta after it detaches, and in parts of africa and india a tree is planted on top. this tree becomes special to the child as it grows and develop. other cultures including the balinese and the tibetans have links to practices of lotus birth.
for more information on lotus birth, check out the writings of sarah j. buckley and a website dedicated to lotus birth.