As interest grows in alternative birthing choices such as water births, consumption of placentas and deferring newborn vaccinations, doctors should counsel expectant parents on the risks such decisions could pose to babies, a new report said.
The clinical report was published online in Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and examined seven emerging birth trends.
Few or no clinical studies have been done on some of the trends the report covered, but the document referred to incidents in which these untraditional moves resulted in medical emergencies.
So-called lotus births, which entail leaving the umbilical cord and placenta attached to an infant until the cord detaches naturally, as opposed to cutting it when a baby is born, was not found to have any clear benefit and in rare cases resulted in sepsis, an extreme response to an infection, in newborns, according to the report.
Water births, while shown to be beneficial during the first stage of labor, poses risks of serious waterborne infections, according to report, which also cited instances of drownings or near-drownings of babies born underwater.