First, let’s talk about how I came to know about the lotus birth:
My sister is a midwife and I often talked to her about my intention to deliver at home. I think as long as I can remember I knew I was seeking for a different experience of birth than the traditional hospital one. I remember saying already say in high school I wanted to give birth in water.
Back then it wasn’t as common and everything thought I was weird hippie or something. And truth is, I don’t see anything wrong with being a “hippie”. I know society, movies etc depict it in such a pessimist “crazy” way. Like if you are hippie you are so disconnected from the world and a “nut job”. But in my world, hippies are the one trying to REALLY be connected to the world. To live, yes, differently, but in peace, in love, in search of a more spiritual mind connected to others and the planet.
All of this to say that, my sister knowing me and my partner really well, once told me: “you should look into lotus birth, I recently heard of it and I feel like that’s something you’ll want to do”.
And oh boy was she right! Once we started to look into it, we were sold. It made perfect sense to us. And so, when the day comes, we will. But in the mean time I thought this practice, whose’s growing more and more, deserved to be mentioned here.
So then what is a Lotus Birth exactly?
“Lotus birth is the practice of not cutting the umbilical cord after birth and, instead, letting the placenta stay attached until it falls off naturally.”
The concept is very straight forward. Let nature take its course. Not intervene with any medical equipment and let the placenta detach himself, when it’s ready to go (usually from 3 to 10 days). This practice might seems too far fetch for you (and that’s completely fine!) or you might instantly feel, like us, that it resonates in you. But no matter how you feel, it’s always interesting and enriching to be aware and educated about practices that exists.
You might wonder: what’s the benefits of this practice and why people might chose to follow it
From a scientific point of you there is, to this day, no proof of any benefits from the lotus birth practice.
“Wait what??? Then what’s the point???”
“Lotus birth is a beautiful and logical extension of natural childbirth. It invites us to reclaim the so-called third stage of birth for our babies, and ourselves and to honour the placenta; our babies’ first source of nourishment.” – Beautiful Births
But the truth is, science isn’t everything. To some people their beliefs, instinct and spirituality are the ones leading or influencing their decisions and life choices.
In the case of the lotus birth, some parents that decided to have a natural birth simply don’t think it makes sense to stop the natural process by using medical instruments to intervene.
“For our second child, this experience was like an evidence for me. It was the continuation of my childbirth at home, to let the body do its thing … The cord detached from the baby in 3 days. I felt like it was gradually separating us. We give birth to our baby and suddenly we feel empty, but by not cutting the cord, there is always this strong bond that unites us. When the cord fell, it was as if my baby was officially separated from me by then. Like a new birth where he becomes himself so to speak. “ -Aurora from Quantik Mama
In other cases, awakened being off this world, relate to the concept that the baby and the placenta are one and highly connected. To them, it makes perfect sense that the placenta represents our very first chakra: our first circle of energy created in the womb. It is believed that the placenta holds energy, even part of our soul, and that by cutting it before it naturally detached itself, the incarnation isn’t fully accomplished, part of the soul isn’t done “uploading” to the baby.
This is suggested to be one of the main reasons why our society has become so materialistic. We are always in search of something that will makes us happy and whole. But an Iphone, a new TV etc will never be able to replace this missing part of our soul that left us when we were born.
That would then explain why lotus babies are known to be very peaceful /easy babies. Parents often report their lotus babies being really receptive and whole, saying they feel as they are “fully present”. They also say how gentle the transition from womb to world.
“I felt the brith that continues from the immediate postnatal. Then the very first look, after three days, of holding my son alone for the first time in my arms. He opened his eyes, he looked at me and I saw him arriving. There was the gazes of the first three days and there were the gazes after the placenta-lotus. I cried in ecstasy when I saw that first look!”- Quantik Mama
Ok, it’s a nice practice, but how does it actually work?
You might wonder about the logistic of having your baby attached to his placenta. Or how to keep the the placenta clean and conserve it so it doesn’t get infected (it is a decomposing organ after all).
Even though it’s not a very difficult procedure, it can seem fastidious to some. This is why some parents opts for a partial lotus birth. In that case, the placenta rest untouched for several hours before being cut.
But the principles of a lotus birth are fairly easy to execute:
- Making sure the placenta is clean.
- Putting the placenta in a bed of salt in a velvet/cloths pocket or even a bamboo steam bowl (with paper at the bottom).
- Then cover again with salt and herbs like lavender for exemple.
- If you want you can also add crystals, flowers etc.
- Close the pocket or bowl.
- Renew every 24/30 hours.
As for the baby, it’s best to rest with him and move him the less possible. Make sure the cord has breathing room. When you want to move him for breastfeading etc simply bring him close to you and move the bag at the same time (ask someone for help if necessary).
Usually parents practicing the lotus birth often say it was a great experience for them as well. Especially the mothers who report this allowed them to rest with the baby more and recover gently after birthing because you stay in bed with your baby and the “non helpful” visits are pushed for later.
Ultimately, wether you decide to have a lotus birth or not, you are making the best decision for you and your baby. We lost touch with our instincts and what I hope for you is to be more connected to your instincts and listen to what feel right or wrong for you and your baby. Do no feel guilty for not doing all the avant-garde trends if it is simply not you, and I hope you do not feel pressure by my words.
My ultimate goal is to empower you in your decisions, this power comes from within you but also from knowledge and awareness. A lot of knowledge has been lost or has stopped being transmitted and I feel we are losing touch and confidence with ourselves. But you are all so powerful! You are the goddess of love and creation. You are capable. Your instincts and feelings are precious ressources within you. Don’t be afraid to use them, and above all: listen to yourself.