A cute baby, brand new and squishy, ready for cuddles and having its head sniffed rests in a bassinet making tiny baby grunts and coos. The bag containing the newborn's placenta is nearby!
Yes, this is a real thing which people do. Lotus birthing, as it's called, is the practice of leaving a baby's umbilical cord and placenta attached until it falls off on its own, sometimes taking up to 10 days after birth.
Lotus birthing is a trend which is gaining ground among those seeking all-natural birth experiences. The practice, also called umbilical cord non-severance, was popular with early western European settlers in America.
The 1980s saw a resurgence of this trend, particularly among mothers who delivered their babies at home, and gave the trend the name "Lotus birth" to honor the link between the "preciousness of the placenta and the high esteem in which the Lotus is held in Hindu and Buddhist faiths."